YORK COUNTY, Pennsylvania — Not many dogs get to be firefighters, police K-9 officers and electricians, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the experiences one man arranged for his beloved pooch, as he and his family prepare to say goodbye.
Mister Molson’s days got a lot more exciting after Tim Griffin created a bucket list for his 12-year-old dog who was diagnosed with cancer, given only months to live.
“He’s always there for people, so this gives us a chance for everybody to come back out for him,” Griffin said. “Everybody was sad, and partially with the kids also, I wanted to try to take it as an opportunity to be less negative about it. It’s been 12 weeks since his surgery and in those 12 weeks we’ve had a lot of fun.”
Friends from all over York County have joined in on giving Molson the best final days possible, from being an honorary firefighter with the Yoe Fire Department, to becoming Sergeant Molson with the Pennsylvania State Police at the Loganville, York County police barracks.
“A lot of people were there for Molson. It was like, one of the big bucket list things that he completed, and it was loud,” Chloe Griffin, Molson’s “sister” said.
“Not many golden retrievers, so I’m happy that he got to be one of them,” Elliot Griffin, Molson’s “brother” said.
He’s done more in 12 weeks than many of us have in a lifetime. He’s even served as president!
“With a unanimous vote, they elected him to be the President of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 229,” Tim Griffin said.
While Mister Molson’s days are numbered, the Griffin family knew they had to find love for their dog who has loved them so much, so naturally, they held a wedding, complete with a flower girl, ordained minister and a bride, of course.
“My dad had the idea that he, that Molson would get married, and someone was willing to let him get married,” Elliot Griffin said.
Wagging down the aisle, the dogs entered into matrimony in front of their loved ones — giving them all an opportunity to thank Mister Molson for his unconditional love.
“I think he did this to help them kinda get through this too, and it’s helping us too because we’re all joining in on it,” Veda Reider, Mister Molson’s friend said.
Reider works with Tim Griffin at Local 229. She said she knows Molson as family, just as she knows Griffin as a caring single father, working to help his family cope with the inevitable.
“It helps make it a little bit easier, in a sense,” Reider said.
“I’m trying to be a good example for the kids on how to deal with it,” Griffin said.
Griffin is teaching his children a lesson in letting go, and the kids are doing their best to accept that Molson is going to leave them soon.
“There’s gonna be less going on, because he’s an important part of the family,” Elliot Griffin said.
While it’s not on his list, being a big brother is quite possibly Molson’s biggest accomplishment yet.
“When he said he might last a year, I started to cry because he’s been there for me for a long time. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t know him,” Chloe Griffin said.
Knowing Molson is just the beginning, as everyone who knows the four-legged friend won’t soon forget him.
“Oh it’s getting horrible. We all — when we think about it, I think all of us you know get teary eyed about it,” Reider said.
For 12 years, it’s been tail wagging, playing and unconditional love. Tim Griffin said the companionship he’s had in Molson cannot be matched, as the canine has been Tim’s shadow for more than a decade.
“When I come home and he’s not there, just not having him by my side all the time I think is when it’s really gonna sink in,” Tim Griffin said.
For now though, it’s laughter and adventures for the Griffin family as they make new memories with their furry family member.
“In death, we can celebrate life and that until we take our last breath, we can still have a lot of fun and we can still impact people around us,” Tim Griffin said.
For Mister Molson, there’s been no shortage of treats or tears from loved ones along the way.
“Tim told me I can give him as many biscuits as I want, because he deserves to be spoiled,” Reider said.
Tim Griffin set up two websites for Mister Molson — one where you can follow his adventures, and another where you can donate to canine cancer research.