Elegie For A Dog.

Almost 12 years ago, my mother took my little sister and me to the dog pound and showed us eight wee, black, fluffy balls of fur. We picked one of the fluffballs, a tiny black thing with a white cross on her chest, a bare pink belly and light brown paws and took her home. We called her Molly.

Molly wasn't the smartest dog in the world. Nor was she the bravest. But she was sweet and kind, she never barked and she never growled. Even people who are scared of dogs loved her. Because all she did was shove her nose into your crotch for greetings and then lie down under the table. Or basically anywhere where there was food. She loved food. One year, when my mum was having a birthday party, she snuck into the coat room and ate an entire platter of spicy chicken wings. Once she raided our Easter chocolate baskets.

She also loved the snow and lakes and rivers to swim in. She loved rolling around in other animals' poo. She once hunted down a small deer, only to lick its shaking head and then leave to sniff at something else. When she wanted us all to get up in the mornings (usually at the reasonable hour of around 5.30...) she would stick her wet, cold nose into our faces and huff and puff until we got up. During cold winter nights, she would sneak under our blankets, place her head on the pillow and spoon us. She also managed to take up an entire king size bed for herself somehow.

And when we sat in front of the tv in the evenings, she would plop down next to the couch and stick up a paw for us to hold, until she fell asleep. If you let it go before she was fully asleep, she would puff indignantly and stick it up again, until you took it.

This Saturday I came home to the usual crazy welcome by that lovely dog. For 10 straight minutes she wagged her tail, made her weird squeaky noises and made me rub her belly.

It was the last time she did that. A few hours later, she was in so much pain from the tumors that have plagued her the past few months, that we had to take her to the vet to be put down. She was sweet and kind until the very end.

Sleep well, Molly Malone. I hope you're somewhere where you can eat fox shit, roll around in dirt and hunt rabbits forevermore!

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