This video is how I will remember her -- happy and fun loving.
Molly was the essence of Good Dog. She was loyal and sweet and gentle and very protective of her people. Not aggressive, just protective. She embodied unconditional love.
Molly arrived in our driveway and our lives one very hot August afternoon. I say at least 18 years ago, because the vet estimated she was a year and half to two years old when she found us.
When I saw this very thin dog in the driveway, I went out to check on her. She ran to the then vacant house north of us and hid on the porch. I got a leash and walked over. I sat on the porch steps with my back to her so I wouldn't be threatening and started crooning to her -- "It's OK, sweet baby. You're OK. Come on, Sweetheart, it's OK" again and again for about 15 minutes. Then a head appeared over my shoulder. I slowly turned around, gently put the leash around her neck. and started stroking her face. She uttered a great big sign and pushed her head into my chest, as if to say, "At last. I am safe."
A trip to the vet revealed a healthy but very starved and dehydrated dog. So I took her home and introduced her to the rest of the pack, and she settled in - eventually 45 pounds of hair and love. That scrawny dog in the driveway turned into a beautiful dog.
Molly was my constant companion. If I was in the garden, Molly was in the garden. If I was working, Molly was under my desk. If I was gone, Molly waited by the door until I returned. And she always quietly placed herself between me and any other person on the property except Gayland, Daniella, and the Best Boys.
|First Best Boy with Nanny Molly|
|Molly guarding sleeping Best Boy|
|Best Boy and Nanny Molly with her Summer hair cut|
As the boys grew older and more independent, Molly still supervised them as best she could. And she played with her doggy friends, Mike the border collie, Esau, the dachshund mix, and Angel, the white lab.
|Molly, Angel, and Mike|
|Angel, Esau, and Mike with Molly's tail in right corner|
Until one black day when the dogs got out of a gate left open, and ran into Ederville Road. Esau was hit by a car and killed instantly. Molly was badly injured. Angel wasn't badly hurt, but died soon of a broken heart, grieving for her Esau. We arrived home from a trip to find Mike alone and grieving, Molly still in the hospital, and a distraught Daniella and Tino who had to tell us what had happened while we were away.
We wept and grieved. We comforted Mike. We visited Molly at the vet, where she was recovering from a broken shoulder and a broken hind leg. Every day, I crawled into her large cage and held her as we both grieved. I told her she had to get better and come home, that we needed her.
And she did. Mike was overjoyed to see her and the two dogs comforted one another over the loss of their pack. Daisy the Corgi arrived and she and Molly became playmates. Mike ignored Daisy until the day he died of old age.
When two soft coated wire haired dachshund puppies arrived, Molly took one look and adopted Ms. Wiggles and Toby as her puppies. They were ostensibly Gayland's dogs, but in Molly's mind, they were her babies.
And they remained her babies until first Ms. Wiggles died, much too young, of a tumor in her heart, and three years later, Toby. We never knew why Toby died. It baffled the vets and left us bereft once more. And Molly grieved again.
By this time, the Best Boys were turning into teenagers and Molly was slowing down a bit. When one Best Boy turned 14 last year, we realized that Molly had to be at least 17 years old. We were astonished. She was still in good shape, a bit stiff when she first woke up, but still playful and funny and always loving.
Then Samantha, a dachshund mix, arrived, and later Ms. Buttons, another rescue, and Mr. Carson, an elderly teeny dachshund, joined us.
And Molly began to sleep more. As her eyesight faded, she wanted to be touching me whenever we walked in the garden. We walked slowly, because her healed leg was beginning to stiffen.
And often, when she slept, she'd wag her tail. I hope she was dreaming of running pain free with her pack.
And finally, it was clear she was in pain, It was time to let her go to a place where she could be young and pain free, happy with her pack until I can get there.
So we all said goodbye. The Best Boys and their mama brought a bouquet of happy flowers, Gayland helped wrap her in a soft towel. Next week we will have her ashes.
But it's very lonely today, with this Molly-sized hole in my life.
|Molly with her "babies," Wiggles and Toby|
|Molly with me in the Gazebo|
|Molly hanging out with me in the Chapel Garden|
|Molly stealing birdseed|
|Molly and Mike playing in the snow|
|Molly with her last pack|