I wanted a dog….
…but on the coldest night of the year, she appeared at our kitchen door instead. My wife, Susan, who was steadfastly against any pets, was seduced by her petite face immediately and called her Molly on the spot. It took three nights of -20 temps, bowls of taco meat and mammoth piles of snow to finally coax her inside for good. She stayed under the bed for nearly a month, only coming out to prowl in the wee hours of the morning.
Then, she became a part of the family. She played with the kids, she warmed Susan’s heart, and she made us laugh. We nicknamed her Kramer for her spontaneous and awkward bursts into a room punctuated with a skid across our smooth wooden floor.
She loved being outside, like us. She made it through winter and awaited the days when she could roam our yard, our own private sentinel of sort. When we played ball outside, she came to participate. When we went for walks in the gardens, she pretended not to follow by racing ahead and acting as if she had been randomly waiting in the exact spot we were headed towards. When we came home after work or school or being out for the night, she was always waiting in the driveway for us, puffing up her body into a prim and proper pose for us to pet her when we approached, as if it was our pleasure to stroke her gentle soul. It was.
And she knew her name, Molly.
She refused to came inside during the summer months. She longed to be wild and sleep under the stars. And now she has not come home for four nights. Maybe she is on her summer vacation; she’s been gone before and returned looking rather haggard but relieved, as were we.
It’s amazing how a pet can become part of the family. Susan says she doesn’t love cats, she just loves Molly. Kate and Rob have learned a new level of responsibly that comes with another living being to tend for. I enjoyed how she would wake me up each morning before the sun was officially up so she could get her start on the day outside, sometimes jealous I couldn’t join her.
She was graceful yet goofy, private yet friendly, gentle yet frisky. We hope she comes back soon and that she had a great vacation.