I miss you.
It’s only been a day but I miss you.
I woke up this morning, went downstairs and you weren’t there for your morning rub.
I had my porridge and you weren’t there to finish it off.
I did the ironing and you weren’t there watching me do it.
I was out, thinking I would be taking you for a walk when I got back, until I realised.
When I got back I couldn’t do the first thing I would always do when returning home, ‘Hi, Mollie, olly, olly’ I had to stop myself and tears filled my eyes.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I was 11. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I knew about you before I even saw you. Mum had left a note near the telephone that had the phone number of someone whose dog had just had puppies (you) Then she picked me up from my aunts, and there you were, all wrapped up in a blanket in the car. There you were Mollie, of course you didn’t have a name then, but you was ours.
We thought that you should choose your own name. So there we were in the garden with different names written on pieces of paper and whichever one you stood on, would be your name. You obviously went for my choice, ‘Pepsi,’ though mum didn’t like it for some strange reason, you chose again and this time you chose Mollie.
You didn’t like sleeping downstairs by yourself. I could hear you crying and howling in the middle of the night and so I would sleep downstairs with you. Mum ended up changing her mind and let you sleep upstairs with us. You loved being in our beds and I know some people don’t like animals sleeping in the same bed as them but we didn’t care, you were part of the family. You did like sleeping on my pillow, pushing me to the side near the wall, I didn’t mind.
If mum woke up first, she would take you out for a walk and when you came back you would dart on my bed and do everything you could to wake me up, you particularly enjoyed pawing at my head if I hid it under the covers. I always felt safe when you were there with me.
You loved going for your walks! You loved the parks, the woods and the beach, you also loved making friends. It was a shame some other dogs didn’t feel the same. They would come and attack you for no reason and I am not sure why they did that, but they did and it made you not really like dogs any more. Though, you did love cats! Popeye was a cat that came into our house when you were a puppy and you would always play with him, rolling over and chasing him. I think that’s why you preferred to play with cats than hurt them. However, not all cats liked you, with you being a dog and all.
I hope there’s lots of water where you are now, you loved playing with water! We would often have water fights in the garden where you would try to eat the water before it even got out of the bottle or buckets. You would catch sticks which we had thrown into the sea, river or lake. You even had your own paddling pool, until you chewed it up. Sometimes when there had been a big rainfall and we took you to the park, there would be a huge puddle in the middle and you would dart to it each time. If we didn’t splash you then you would do nothing but bark and stand there. We had to get wet too.
You loved chasing squirrels and rats at the park, though you never got them, you would never hurt them, you just wanted to play. I never knew dogs could jump until I saw you jump up and down those tree trunks.
You were always such a good girl. You didn’t really do tricks but I would often say ‘sit, paw, paw and kiss.’ You would sit down in front of me, give me your right paw, then your left paw and then a lick on the cheek. Yuk! Some might say, but I didn’t get poorly, in fact I was hardly ever poorly.
I loved getting home from school, college and work, knowing you would always run up to me as soon as I got home. You were always so happy. If you ever got too excitable you would dart around the room. I would get home, give you a big fuss and then sit down on the couch. Back when you could still jump onto the couch, you would jump up and lay your back across my legs as your head was in my arm, you would sit like that for minutes while I would stroke your stomach. You loved having your stomach stroked.
Playing was your favourite activity! We had so many toys for you. There were tennis balls, balls on ropes, squeaky toys, footballs and frisbies. You particularly liked the squeaky ones which were quite annoying after a while. We had to be careful in the park if there were children playing football because you would run and take it from them, often popping it afterwards. Oops!
We also played hide and seek, you always knew where to find me.
If we were ever upset you would come up to us for a fuss. You were great for cuddles, you seemed to know when we needed one the most. You made everything better.
One thing you didn’t like was fireworks, you hated them! There were a couple of times when we were out on walks and fireworks would go off and you would all of a sudden run away. Luckily, you ran home and was never hurt by any cars. It could have been a lot worse.
Of course, as with humans, animals get older and you got older too. You didn’t like going for walks to the park any more, just to the river. We couldn’t walk to the beach any more, we would get the train instead. Then, when you didn’t like going for walks to the river, you just went around the block. If you didn’t want to go somewhere you would stop in the middle of the street and not move. If both me and mum were out together with you and you all of a sudden couldn’t see one of us, you would stop until you realised where we were.
You wouldn’t run up the stairs any more, you would walk. When you couldn’t walk, you would take a step at a time and jump up with your back legs. Then, you didn’t go upstairs at all, you could no longer keep us warm in bed. You had your own, new, bigger bed downstairs because you couldn’t even get in and out of your old dog bed comfortably.
Instead of having water fights, you would turn the other way. Playing in puddles, forget it! Jumping up trees, no way! Jumping up on the chair for a belly rub, not any more. Playing with your toys, nope!
Did I love you any less? Of course not! You were our family. You are our family. Just because someone gets older, you don’t leave them or get bored of them. You make changes and do what is right for them.
When I arrived home from work, you would still use all of your energy to get yourself up and come greet me. Yes you were slower, but to see your face light up and you wagging your tail, still meant as much as it used too.
Sure you may have been slower but you still used your energy when you wanted too, particularly when you chased our cat, O’Mallie around the house when food was involved.
You would still go for your three walks a day, sometimes five; they were just around the block instead of to the park. I liked to walk slowly so you were still ahead of me; it upsets me when I see people pulling their older dogs along.
You still loved a good fuss; we just had to be gentler than we would normally be. Bum rubs had always been a favourite; you would all of a sudden drop your upper body to the ground and rub it across the floor at the same time.
As you did get older you started to have a few accidents in the house, though when this first started it was a bacterial infection and not just your age. One vet told us it was because you were old, but with how sudden it came on and how frequent the accidents happened we thought it was something else, and it was the bacterial infection. You would still have the occasional accident, but hey, you were in your hundreds, we let it slide.
We could see that sometimes you were uncomfortable as you would sit and look at us for a while; we just had no idea what you wanted and that hurt. I wish we could have read your mind.
Your hearing did decrease as time went on and then sometimes it would all of a sudden be quite good again. I think you were just playing with us most of the time.
You had been my best friend. I saw you every day, you were there every night. You were there when I laughed, when I cried, when I danced (some of which you joined in with) You ‘listened’ to me ramble on about any and everything. You went from a six mile walk to the beach to a walk around the block, from diving onto my bed, to finding it hard to get out of yours, from being ecstatic when we got home, to pushing yourself up and walking stiffly towards us with your wagging tail, from running up the stairs to waiting for us at the bottom, and from playing to sleeping.
In conclusion, you went from always being there for me to still being there for me.
You still greeted me.
You were still my best friend.
You still had a beautiful soul and it’s one of the best ones I’ve known.
Yesterday we lost you, our beautiful Mollie. At just over sixteen and a half years. I’ll miss your big personality, your walks no matter the weather and you welcoming me home every time. Every one needs a dog in their life at some point, especially when they have more soul than some people.
Yes she had a soul, dogs have souls. There is no way anyone can prove otherwise. Dogs will do anything for those they love, for those in their ‘pack’, even if it is not reciprocated. Don’t you think it’s a shame that dogs show so much love and hope and yet there are people who leave them when they don’t want them anymore? Who give them away when they get old? Who hurt them when they did nothing wrong?
Mollie showed me more about love and friendship than most people I know. Just because they are not the same species, does not mean their lives mean less. This goes for all animals; after all, we are animals aren’t we?