Molly Bloom. She was my baby since I was 21. A sassy, rambunctious, intelligent dog with a penchant for running at top speed around the farm and a strange hatred for bananas. According to a DNA test, she was 1/4 Chow Chow, with strong Border Collie blood too.
I went to my vet’s office in 2009 with the intention of getting a black dog. The kennel tech handed me a wriggly puppy with scraggly, tufty fur and told me she was found in a storm drain and was getting over mange, mites, and a horrible case of fleas. I could tell just by looking into her eyes that she was sharp. After a minute of cuddling her, she jumped out of my arms and ran from kennel to kennel to taunt the other dogs. Her sass sealed the deal for me, and I knew from that moment that her name was going to have to be Molly Bloom, after the bold female lead in James Joyce’s Ulysses. After a bath, she was ready to go home. We spent the afternoon playing and what I thought was bonding. However, when Michael arrived home from work, Molly leaped into his arms and became his baby from that moment on.
Molly’s first year with us tested every bit of my patience. She chewed everything and refused to fully house train. I cried every day, and while I wouldn’t have given her up, there were many times when I did regret getting her in the first place. Fortunately, she proved to be a very smart dog. She learned tricks quickly and often came into the house bringing us tiny pumpkins, tomatoes, or other vegetables from my PawPaw’s farm. She also herded the chickens and guinea fowl around the yard. We didn’t think her coat was going to become as long and shiny as it did, but once it started growing in thanks to a healthy diet, she became a beauty.
She was my buddy. She always “talked” to me, showed her teeth at inanimate objects, gently bit my lips when I kissed her nose, and made me laugh all the time. As much as I loved her, her world revolved around Michael. When he and I went our separate ways, there was no doubt that Molly should go with him. He continued to give her the best life possible, and I’m so thankful that when he began a new relationship, his girlfriend immediately loved Molly too.
She got sick without much notice, and last week Michael texted me to let me know there was a possibility that she might have something more than an infection. I tried not to let it bother me until I found out more after her follow-up appointment. But on Wednesday, December 12th, he let me know they were at the emergency vet and it was time to say goodbye. I dropped everything and went to send off my girl. As soon as I saw her, I knew he had made the right decision. We spent a long time petting her, loving on her, talking to her, and reminiscing about her, and then we let her cross the bridge. She left the world surrounded by three people who loved her, and she knew it.
She was 10. She was beautiful. She was Molly Bloom. I’m so grateful for the days I had with her, the lessons she taught me, and the laughter she brought to my life.