For twelve & a half years, you were my shadow, there to hug, talk with, walk with, chase squirrels with.
Being honest, you chased the squirrels, I just laughed. Now, I have had to bid you goodbye, my faithful friend.
This has taken me a few days to write a tribute to you, my friend. For today, as I post this to the exact minute you went on your way over the rainbow bridge, I mourn your loss. You were & always will be, my friend.
*warning: If you haven’t tissues nearby or you’re sad already, you might want to come to this later or get prepared. #mascarawarning
I recall the advert at work that led me to you. It was someone giving away a dog to a good home, a family member of a work colleague whose son was asthmatic & they couldn’t keep you. We learned 6 months or so later that was a lie when your previous owner stopped you & your new daddy in the street. Your daddy innocently questioned how the previous owners’ son’s asthma was. What asthma?? was the reply back. We knew then that they fell in love with a pup but couldn’t cope with the fully grown dog that was you.
When I picked you up, I didn’t have a dog guard in the car. I had at least emptied the boot of all the nonsense I’d kept there, under the shelf, out of sight. The shelf was removed, as was all the other nonsense that seemed important until you arrived. You jumped in as if to say: Right, let’s go! That was that; you were mine, I was your friend, your new mum! You did also try to jump into the back seats: cheeky!
Everywhere I went, you were there, like a shadow. Even when I was only going to the loo, you’d follow! You went into season within two weeks of getting you; because I was pregnant & you hadn’t been spayed yet. Trying to get you home, out of the car, whilst 24 weeks pregnant wasn’t easy, but we got there, didn’t we? This is one of the first pictures I took of just you. Not with me, not with your dad; you. You were SO alert, you’d look at me in reply when I said something to you or asked you a question as if you could not only understand but you had an answer!
You were there when I finished working for ITNet/Serco & we had the hot, long summer of 2006 to contend with. Boy, you loved the tiled floor! In & out you were; first on the hot slabs, then in on the cool tiles! And back out again half an hour later! I remember the car journeys & how bored you were! It took me a while with the cotton-wool-pregnant brain I had to work out you were bored & needed toys & water in the boot! Maybe also a bed, something soft for my friend to lay on. We got that sorted too though, didn’t we? Why did you have to eat the beds though, huh?! :laugh:
The first time we took you to the beach was hilarious! You barked at the sea when the tide was coming in! The wind would catch your ears & they’d look like this. You loved paddling in the sea once you learned it was wet & that it was fun! You had us in stitches with your antics, your quirks.
One of the first walks we ever did together as a family, you chased a crow. You were good on the lead but you weren’t used to being let off, trusted. It took you a few days to learn to poop on the walks (the second walk, you didn’t do your business outside, you did it in the house when we got back, 3 hours later! I was so not amused with you!!) & when you did, I didn’t take doggy bags with me! Thankfully, someone up there was watching over us & a plastic MacDonald’s bag with napkins was nearby. Guess what I had to do for you, my friend? Go back & pick up your poop! I carried nappy sacks with me ever since. I figured if they could hold a dirty baby’s nappy, they’d hold your poop. They did!
Hoses & Water
Water was one of your favourite playthings. I’d take you to a wading point in the river in the nature reserve & let you paddle, cooling you down before the days of 2006 got any hotter. We’d go there with the pushchair, which you learned quite quickly to get out from under the wheels of!
The hose, when it came out, was a fun thing for you & you’d go barmy about it being turned on. You’d go barmy at the printer printing things too; but that wasn’t as much fun as spraying you with water, watching you run up the garden, then back down for another soaking. We never tired of that.
My mother-in-law was nervous of you, to begin with, but you just didn’t care. You laid on her feet when they were down, keeping them warm & like her feet, her heart warmed to you too. You weren’t disciplined or trained, really, before you came to be with us. Poor you, you were left to your own devices in the backyard, left to entertain yourself from what I saw. Not with me! I had the fun training you to give a paw, to sit, to stay, to walk, to heel, letting you off the lead & watch you chase squirrels, pigeons, crows or other dogs if they were friendly enough.
Though how you discovered that squirrels squeak like toys when they’re in the jaws of a dog, I’m not quite sure! But you did! So did we as a result!
You were defensive of the kids when they came along too. The first time I vanished, you didn’t know what to do with yourself & when I did come home, with the baby who is now nearly 12, you didn’t leave my side. You actually jammed me into the downstairs loo! I had to get you to move & that took some time because you were laying there, wagging your tail thinking it was great fun that I was locked into the loo! Thankfully, the baby didn’t cry to demand my attention. You’d be with me when I was up, feeding him at all hours of the day or night. I’d lay on the sofa & you’d be there, on the floor, right by me, keeping me company.
There was a retriever in the park, Digby, who loved to come & say hello. He did knock the now middle child over & ever since then, you were watching for him coming to say hello to me. You’d make him stop bounding towards me; you bossed him around & the saft bugger let you. Loved you for that!
You loved the log burner when we installed the first one. Oh, man, you’d almost cook yourself by being so darned close to it! You warmed to that more than you did the cat when it was necessary for him to arrive with us.
You were so jealous but that didn’t stop me loving you any less than I had before & trust me, girl, if you could’ve killed the mice that I’d accidentally bought into the house with the wood for that fire, there’d have been no need for him.
But alas my friend, you couldn’t. He could. He stayed & a few days later, I had to tell you both off for trying to fight. I grabbed you both & explained how it was going to be & that you two just had to get along. Six weeks or so later, you both did.
We’d get visits from other cats & I recall once, you launched yourself at another cat, right over Nito! He crouched, you jumped over him & the other cat scarpered like a cat right outta hell! Even when we were walking past other houses, you’d spot any cat at 100 paces & you’d try to chase it. You tried it a few times but you learned quite quickly not to try that whilst on the lead! I’d only have to tell you “No” in the voice my dad used on you from the start & you’d obey. You were brilliant!
These are only a few of the snippets I’ve remembered of you these last two weeks. I question if it has really only been two weeks since you’ve been gone. Your heart was giving up, your kidneys were too. You were suffering and my darling, I promised you the day I got you, I’d be there at the end. The fact it happened here at home, with me holding you, brings me some small comfort. It wasn’t ended in the vets’ surgery, it was here with the kids you helped to teach to walk, hugging & crying over you because you’d gone. You left us in the house you helped make into a home. A home, that is now so much emptier without you. I cherish finding clumps of your hair stuck under & behind doors, the fridge, the counter with the missing kick-board.
Until we meet again Molly Monster. Until we meet again my darling girl. My friend.
This song has been playing in my head; well part of it has been since the moment you died in my arms & I can’t think of a better song to say goodbye to with. Until we meet again Molly my darling. I miss you!