Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Molly and Me ~ Part One...

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog...He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come encounter with the roughness of the world...When all other friends desert, he remains." ~ George G. Vest

She was never supposed to be mine, my dog Molly. Our intention was to go investigate a beautiful bluetick coonhound mix at the local shelter which had popped up on a Petfinder.com search. We already had a coonhound mix named Jake and loved the breed with their graceful frames, hound faces, and delicate disposition. Apparently though, it was Molly's lucky day. We were told the bluetick coonhound did not get along well with other dogs, especially other male dogs. Although we were looking for another dog, it was not an urgent matter and we wanted to choose the best companion for Jake. Even though we glanced at some of the other pens on the way out of the shelter, it looked like we were going home empty handed.

I turned the last corner to leave the shelter though and there she was. I thought to myself "what the hell is that?" I thought she was one of the most bizarre dogs I had ever seen. A friend of mine recently referred to her as a product of "design by committee"; meaning it looked like a bunch of people gathered together and each one put a body piece together to form who we now know as Molly. If you look up the term "design by committee", some of its defining characteristics include logical flaws and lack of a unifying vision. Well by looking at her, that certainly seemed like the truth! She was just an odd assortment of parts all put together. She definitely was part basset hound as evidenced by the size of her paws, short stature, and long (although not basset hound long) ears. However that basset hound parent of hers definitely got mixed up in something sketchy which has yet to be determined.. Some people say the rest of her looks like black lab. She has a brindle color which has had a few non-dog educated people claim she must have pit bull in her. I guess some people have never observed the tri-color pattern of a purebred basset hound, the white, black, and brown.

My ex-husband was apparently thinking she was too bizarre as well (plus he really had his mind set on another coonhound), because he kept shaking his head. We were a little concerned because she had been brought in with a brother who was subsequently diagnosed with heartworm and was adopted by another family a few days prior to the day we first saw her at the shelter. They could not afford to take both dogs as Molly had just finished being treated for Lyme Disease and they were concerned about medical costs for both dogs. We had been in a similar situation with separating dog siblings when we adopted Jake. He got separated from his brother when he was brought to the shelter four years prior because his brother had to be put down for aggression issues. After dealing with his separation anxiety once we had him at home, it gave us reason to think twice about the possibility of dealing with that issue again; we finally had worked through it...did we want to entertain the possibility of going through that all over again with a second dog?

There was something about her though. I am typically so practical and I overanalyze things until everyone around me wants to run, but I didn't care in this case. I would come to understand years later, she was meant to be mine and I hers. I just had to see her and interact with her up close. So Molly got taken out of the pen and began her show. Within seconds, she had thrown herself on her back anticipating a belly rub and we truly thought her tail would break into a million pieces because it was thumping on the floor so hard. On top of that, she added in some of her classic moans and howls to sweeten the deal. And that, as they say, was all she wrote...

She actually did really well with the transition to her new home. She was quite the spitfire though. Poor Jake could rarely get a moment's rest, my ex husband constantly had to be worried about being suffocated while watching TV. She felt the need to throw her whole body over his face and try to smother him at times, which of course she never did to me-smart dog! Overall she just kept things lively. She was stubborn and although affectionate, she was not the one that would be the first to comfort...that was Jake's job. It was always interesting to observe the difference in the two of them. Molly seemed so much more engaged but not as sensitive. Jake, on the other hand, was the one who could sense me crying from the opposite end of the house and would immediately came to my side. Actually, I didn't even need to be crying; he could sense my need for him just by being in the house with me. They made a perfect pair but like many pairs, their time together was about to come to an end....

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