Worse, this past Friday my dog died. Molly B. was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in January, so we knew her time was limited, but she was our beloved companion, a charming, smart, alert, and sweet dog, for more than eleven years.
Friends palmed her off on us back in September, 1999; neighbors of theirs had found her in a laundromat in Berkeley, left her at the Berkeley animal shelter, then hastily pulled her out the next day when they realized it was not a no-kill shelter. She was an adorable puppy and would have been adopted quickly, but who knows how long she would have lasted? By about age two, she had become unpredictably dog aggressive. She was fine with most dogs, but terrible with some, and liked fighting way too much. We stopped taking her to dog parks and learned a lot about introducing her carefully to other dogs. As one of her trainers said - Nancy Frensley at Berkeley Humane, who liked Molly very much - she was lucky to have us because she probably would have been euthanized by some people.
Luckily, she was Miss Perfect Dog with people, never the slightest bit aggressive; the worst she would do would be to shrug and ignore you. (Okay, she did bark insanely at an infant the couple of times she visited, but by the time this child was eleven months old, Molly was rolling over submissively at her feet.) Even the few times she was in pain at the vet's, she'd poke you with her nose to show her discomfort.
She was not an effusive or slobbery dog, always more interested in her own species than in people. (We have fond memories of her attempts to go home with a gardener who had a couple of dogs.) She liked us fine, but we also knew that she would be a comparatively easy do to rehome if need be, because she wasn't that deeply attached to any particular humans. This was fortunate, because we had a renovation project going on for much too long during the winter and spring of 2009-10, and she spent a lot of time at friends' houses.
We miss her more than I can say; it is weird to come home and not have her trot up to you with a toy or sock in her mouth, or pester you for a walk or breakfast, or break up a fight between the cats. Rest in peace, Molly B., you were a wonderful, wonderful dog.
Molly Bloom the Dog of Doom
(photo by Cynthia Dyer-Bennet)