Mollie was the ultimate Bassett hound from nose to tail which meant she was really good at sniffing, snoring, howling and wagging her tail. She spent her doggie life not with just one family but as a loyal companion for three families. In her lifetime of 14 years her vigorous tail wagging, nose-glued-to-the-ground sniffing, rock-n-roll back scratching, melodic howling, house shaking snoring, ‘friendly’ cat stalking, and blue-ribbon-trash can-dumping, she disarmed (and charmed) everyone with her sincere expressions of apology.
She joined our family for good about 5 years ago. She was one of several pets we inherited from our kids. It always seemed that there was one reason or another that one of our pack of animals needed a place to bunk for a while. Mollie always fit in, entertained us and sometimes drove us crazy with her tendencies to find the open gate, garage door or distracted person so she could get out. She always seemed to figure out how to find her way into the neighborhood to visit friends and to follow any and all the tantalizing scents that were abundant. Of course the last few years she had lots of help in that we were blessed with 6 grandchildren within 5 years, (Including 2 sets of twins the same age).
Mollie married into our family when she was a puppy. She provided a sweet comforting presence during several years of changes and moving. She was always the best ‘baby sitter’ around, letting babies and toddlers sit on her and crawl over her. Since she was a very large dog with very short legs they couldn’t push her around very easily. She always knew her own mind. The most consistent way of getting her to come home after she slipped out any available door was to yell “treat”! And she would come running, her short legs propelling her forward and her ears flapping in the breeze, a big grin on her face. She had lots of dog and cat friends including her buddy, Corondo (Siamese cat) that she knew the longest and dog ‘cousins’ Magic, Bailey and Annie as well as a cadre of cats including Dante, Romeo, Calla and Lily, and most recently Taffy and Cookie.
She had an unpretentious personality. She made herself at home anywhere she was. But she had her moments. One time when she went on a trip with her ‘first’ family she was caught standing on the dining table gobbling up the salad, a tossed salad!! We heard her howl every day before dinner. She seldom barked but when she did it sounded like it originated out of a cave. It was deep and resonant, enough to discourage any intruder. In those years we had our black lab/cocker spaniel, Magic. So when Mollie and our daughter’s Viszla Bailey visited we joked that we were having another ‘3-Dog Night’. Soon Annie, another Viszla, was added to our daughter’s family. No more ‘3-Dog Nights’.
After my husband, John and I retired we moved to a horse property. Mollie loved it. She not only got to stop traffic on the road in front of the house during rush hour while checking out the road kill, she often visited her boyfriend Buddy, a boy Basset who lived across the street. Buddy’s family finally just put her inside the fence with him until we came and got her.
Mollie’s health was pretty stable through most of the time we had her. She did suffer from arthritis and pretty early she developed fluid filled sists that occasionally needed to be removed. About a year ago one of them became abscessed. We put her on antibiotics and she got better but only for a while. She also had developed a heart murmur. She had an episode at the end of July and we thought we might lose her. I was heart sick. We did try one more round of antibiotics and put her on pain pills. She bounced back for a while. During this time I tried to clean and doctor her sore as gently as I could. I even put a large ‘bandage’ on it pretty much every day. But soon when I got the bandages out she would see me coming and she would tremble and crawl under the nearest table. She also started to hide in a walk in closet or in a bathroom. She still howled for her food even though she began to leave most of it in her dish. As most of you dog lovers know the time to let a beloved animal go is very hard. But for a while when I was caring for her it seemed she was still happy being a dog.
I realize now that her most recent escape into the neighborhood included a visit to Buddy across the street and may well have been a good bye visit. My goal for her was that she would have a good time. Other family members had said their good byes. But I held on, I just wanted her to know we loved her and we wanted her with us for as long as she could manage it.
I am so grateful for Kathleen’s help during this time. Mollie did let me know she was ready and went peacefully while lying in front of our fireplace. I read a good bye note that her first ‘mom’ had written and John and I cried as we listened to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Her first family had made the decision to donate her to C.S.U. so that she could continue to give, to provide insight that could help other dogs live healthier lives. When our young grandkids have asked, “Where’s Mollie,” we have told them that she had been very sick and had died but that she was in heaven, a place that we couldn’t see but a place where she could run and play like she used to, a place filled with love. And that was enough.
She was everyone’s dog. We all miss her. But she wiggled her way deeply into my heart as I accompanied her on her way to the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you, Kathleen, for giving me the chance to share just a little about this very ordinary but very special and beloved member of our families.
October 13, 2009 Pam (Grammie Pammie)
Anjie, Jamie, Kyran, Chase and Avery Wolf; Jennifer, Miles, Cory, Tyler and Amber Thorland; Pam and John Wolf; Buddy, Bailey, Annie, Denali, Lily, Cookie and Taffy
P.S. After she died John left the gate to our back yard open in her honor.