Saturday, 19 January 2013

Today I miss my dog

I was walking up the street earlier today and I almost burst into tears, all of a sudden.

Not over the sudden break up of my twelve year relationship/nine year marriage. I'm still too angry at the moment to be sad about that. Though I have no doubt the sadness will come.

No, what made me sad was the sight of a man walking two gorgeous dogs, which immediately made me think of my dog, Molly.

My Molly.

We got her eight and a half years ago. A friend knew we were softies when it came to animals, and on the lookout for a female dog as a playmate for Muttley. He told us a tale of many puppies, destined for a bag in the river if they didn't get homes.

We went and looked at them, wary but curious. We hadn't intended to get a collie. And the first few pups we saw weren't particularly gorgeous, I must admit, they seemed to have some terrier in them maybe?

Then we saw Molly.

I picked her up and she started licking me shyly. The other pups seemed to push her out of the way and bully her - she looked different, she was a little larger than them but clearly the odd one out, still a sort of runt of the litter perhaps. Affectionate where the others were yippy and nippy.

We brought her home and introduced her to Muttley, who was used to playing with the cat Mercury, similar in size to the new pup. He immediately took to Mols. They played roughly, but he always took care.

I know it looks savage, but it honestly was harmless fun.

Muttley and Molly quickly became friends, but in the end, I took longer to love the little dog.

She peed, you see. Every morning we would come down to find a piddle on the carpet.

No matter what we did - late to bed, early to rise, a dog-toilet (like a litter tray), every morning she would pee. If we left her in the non-carpeted bit of the house she would whine and scratch and scrape and bark until we took pity on her and let her out - or feared the wrath of the neighbours in what was a semi-detached house with paper-thin walls.

The neighbours came to feature more prominently in our lives as the months drew in. It turned out that whenever we were away from home, Mols would bark. Pretty much incessantly.

I can understand how that would drive them crazy. They had a young child. They were genuinely nice people. But I came to dread having to leave the house except when dog-walking, as I knew that I would have to pay for that time away later in the form of listening to well-justified complaints that I could seem to do nothing about. Any of the training methods we had found so successful on Muttley simply didn't work on Mols. She was a totally different dog.

We moved out to the country, and my anxiety eased - now there were no neighbours to listen to her barking. She found other ways to release her frustration - a remote control chewed beyond use, lino torn up, even an occasional item of furniture would suffer.

I don't remember when I came to love her. It was a gradual thing. But one day I realised I did. She was my dog, and she was there for me and I loved her.

Muttley died, and we had Sherlock the newfie for a while, but Molly was a constant. She adapted her anti-social personality as we came to have more frequent visitors after E was born (she used to fear people coming over, probably having picked up on my anxiety from the early days of visitors equalling complaints and stress, and responded to any attention by growling, which naturally many people found disconcerting).

She still got anxiety from being left alone in the house, and even at this age was capable of causing destruction more akin to that common from a puppy. But I loved her, so I forgave her.

And then.

Then came the split. I left. I couldn't take her. I had to take my child and my pregnant self and find a new place for us to live, and the places near town (since I now have no car) don't tend to be pet friendly, or even if they are, would be unsuitable for a dog like Molly who needs several miles of walks a day.

I expected the ex would continue to look after her, but no. He decided he would be living somewhere else as well, somewhere unsuitable as well.

I had to say goodbye when I went to get my stuff from the house. I hugged her and kissed her nose and had to tell her to go back to the house when she wanted to jump in the car beside me. It broke my heart, and even though I know she's happy in her new home with a family and another dog to keep her company, today my heart is breaking for her a little bit.

My Molly. Miss Bear. I miss her. I may not see her again. And that is just horribly, terribly sad.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, so sad! I've had a little weep for you reading this. It's been a weepy day... I'm so sorry you lost your dog along with everything else. I hope you've someone with you to give you a big hug! X