Archive for the ‘Molly’ Category

Aqua sparkle


Yeah, another picture of the dog, but I just had to show you the color we painted our foyer walls.

If you look to the bottom right of the picture just past Molly’s collar you’ll see it.

It looks much better on the walls.


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New tricks

Yesterday Nathan picked Autumn up early from school and brought her by the office. At one point she had to go to the bathroom so I tried to usher her out the door as quickly as possible.  As we passed the front desk, we spotted a woman in a wheelchair with a service dog sitting beside her.

Autumn reached out to touch the dog.  “You can’t pet that dog, honey,” I said and pulled her away.  The dog was still sitting with her owner by the desk when we returned, and when we opened the door to the office the dog issued a brief salutation with a wag of her tail.

“I want to pet that dog, mama,” said Autumn.

I know service dogs aren’t supposed to receive attention from strangers, though I have known at least one who abandoned protocol and solicited both attention and food when she should have been working. She belonged to the HR manager at Target, a blind man who had the misfortune of having his office placed right next to the break room.  His dog, a Golden Retriever named Dusty, would frequently sneak into the break room, place her muzzle right on the table and look up at us with pleading doe eyes that begged us to share whatever we were eating.

I’m pretty sure Dusty was the exception rather than the rule, so I told Autumn she’d have to ask the lady first before attempting to pet the dog.

“Can I pet your dog?” she asked.

The lady shook her head. “I’m sorry, she’s a working dog and she’s on the job. Petting will distract her.”

This lady was cool, though.  She could have just let it go at that and left the job of explaining the difference between working dogs and pets to me, the mom, but she went above and beyond by offering to demonstrate exactly what this dog, a Golden Retriver named Maui, does for her.

“Let’s say I drop my cell phone on the floor and can’t reach it.”

The woman dangled her cell above the floor and let it drop.  She then issued a command to the dog.

“Maui, phone.”

The dog bent it’s head down and gingerly picked the phone up in it’s mouth.

“Now if I want her to give me the phone all I have to say is ‘Maui, bring.'”

And the phone was returned to its owner.

Autumn thought that was the coolest thing she’d ever seen and looked up at me with a huge smile on her face.  “I wish my dog could do that!” she exclaimed.

I sighed.  “Sorry honey. Molly is a lost cause. She’s only good at grabbing things off the kitchen counter.”

Maui’s owner smiled.  “It took Maui two whole years to learn to do that.  It takes a really long time to train these dogs.”

It wasn’t until later that I flashed on an image of my kid tossing cell phones on the floor and barking out orders to fetch.

Oh yeah.  I can see it now.

“Molly, phone!”


“Molly, phone!

Did you say “Molly” or “Mommy?” Because I’m pretty sure I just saw your mom walk by.

“Molly, PHONE!”

Dude, that’s not even edible.


Right. Talk to me when you’ve got a bowl of Goldfish crackers in your lap.


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Of lost dinners and damaged furniture

Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know I have a dog.  I have told many stories about Molly over the years because there have been many stories to tell.  Stories like how, within the first year of her life with us, she destroyed two fans (chewed through the cords), a mattress (dug right down to the springs) and a Tommy Hilfiger comforter.

Oh this dry grass feels sooo goood

She has dug holes in the carpet in Autumn’s room, chewed up the banister and destroyed several queen-size flat sheets.  She has stolen our dinner more than once.  She has stolen countless items from the kitchen counter and eaten them or chewed them beyond recognition.  A loaf of bread, a milk carton, a sleeve of bagels and a nearly full tub of Crisco are just a few of the many things she has targeted.  Most recently she destroyed one of our best Tupperware containers to get at some leftover Ragu and one evening we came home to find a package of uncooked egg noodles torn up on the floor.

She has eaten so much crap and has rarely gotten sick that we don’t even bother keeping her on the same food anymore.  We figure any dog that can stomach the aforementioned items and both human and animal feces is not going to suffer ill effects from eating Purina one day and Pedigree the next.

But to really appreciate the wonton gluttony of this dog you need to know that this morning a bowl of cantaloupe fell out of the fridge, spilled its juicy contents onto the kitchen floor and she didn’t even budge.  Not even a sniff.  So it appears she does have a discriminating palate after all.

The sad thing is that no one is going to pay me for this story.  There will be no book and subsequent movie in which I am portrayed by Courtney Cox.  People will not sit in a theater and cry when the dog is gone and we will not one day issue wistful sighs as we remember her crazy antics.

And when Molly is gone and Autumn starts begging for that puppy, I’m going to sit her down to read these very words as I carefully explain that while a pet’s unconditional love has the capacity to reach previously unknown regions of your heart, your tolerance for their shit can only go so far.

Giving Daddy a bath

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Caveat Emptor

A co-worker sent around this picture last week.  The puppies are hers, born to her two dogs after a brief rendevouz before she had a chance to get the male fixed.  Numbers 1, 3 and 5 are still available to adopt so I forwarded the picture to Nathan with a note that jokingly suggested we consider one.  We’re not having any more kids, I said, so maybe we can try our hand at parenting another dog.

His response?  “Why not?”

“Seriously?” I asked, “You’d want another dog?”

“Maybe…” he replied.

I let that thought sit for awhile and e-mailed my friend Meg.  Her daughter is the same age as Autumn and they just adopted an Australian Sheepdog puppy.  I wanted to know if she had any regrets and if the toddler/puppy combination was too much of a headache.  She replied that she thought once the dog stopped shitting all over the house the addition would wind up being worth it in the end.

It turns out Molly made the decision for us because that very day we came home to find she had gotten into two trash cans.  Two days later we came home to find one of our drinking glasses smashed on the kitchen floor, apparently the victim of one of her scouting missions for food on the kitchen counter.

After yesterday’s lasagna incident, I feel like the traveler who missed her connecting flight only to find out it crashed in a field somewhere with no survivors.

And to think we were thisclose to kicking off the New Year with the biggest bone headed decision ever.

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Molly and Me

Last night Nathan and I spent a good two hours assembling four trays of our favorite lasagna. We like this particular lasagna because it calls for lots of garlic, which we both love and often add more of, and is pretty reasonable cost-wise to make. We bought the prosciutto and pasta sauce at Costco, and if you hit the grocery stores at the right time you can usually find the rest of the ingredients on sale.

We froze three trays and baked one last night to have this evening for dinner so we wouldn’t have to wait 45 minutes for it to cook. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight I realize we should have just cooked the damn thing tonight.

Nathan set the lasagna on the counter after it baked and then transferred it to a chair out on our snow-covered back deck when we went to bed. There was no room for it in the fridge and he figured the cold Michigan air would keep the salmonella at bay until we heated the meal up again tomorrow. But wouldn’t you know I had no idea the lasagna was out there when I let Molly out to do her business this morning.

I am usually the first one up in the morning so I let the dog out before I take my shower. Any other day I no sooner have my hair lathered and the dog starts barking to be let in. And it’s not just one bark. She barks over and over so that we make sure to remember she’s out there with her hindquarters chilling in the snow. This morning there were no barks and I should have realized something was up. Yes, something was up indeed.

As I approached the slider leading out onto our deck, I could see Molly was not in her usual spot staring expectantly into our dark house. As I opened the door I saw that she was actually snout deep in garlicky Italian goodness.

I screamed Molly’s name. She turned to me with an “oh shit” look on her face and immediately slunk past me towards the stairs. Nathan and Autumn appeared and I retrieved the partially eaten pan from where Molly had pulled it from the chair. I flung it onto the counter and turned on the light to inspect the damage. The top two layers of at least one third of the dish were gone. There were spots that looked untouched but I new the entire thing was inedible.

Right now I have no idea if Molly actually did her business at all or if she immediately caught wind of the lasagna, thought, “hot damn, a delicious lasagna all for me” and dove in until I caught her. And that’s another thing. She most surely must have known she’d be caught, but there’s simply no mechanism in that food-obsessed brain of hers that’s able to tell her stealing the family’s dinner might be a BAD IDEA.

I hope she enjoyed the dish. It may very well be her last.

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Dear President-elect Obama,

First off, congrats on the big win! Historical moment there.  I stayed up and watched your victory speech and I must say you are an awesome speaker.  I can’t stand up in front of a class of ten people without stuttering and there you were in front of thousands, talking about change and how you’re going to get the girls a puppy when you move into the White House.

About that puppy.  I understand every president has to have a pet.  A presidential pet is a public relations gold mine.  Remember Millie?  That dog wrote a book.  And Socks the cat looked so cute whether he was perched on the official press conference podium or cradled in Chelsea’s arms.  Socks had some class.

Make no mistake, every breeder and kennel in the greater Chicago area is now hoping to be the one to supply the First Dog to the First Family.  Perhaps you’re thinking of a Golden Retriever. They’re good with kids, docile, but shed like a sonofabitch.  Unless you want Michelle chasing the dog around the White House with a Furminator, a breed with a wiry short coat like a Jack Russell would be ideal not to mention peppy.  Just imagine the photo ops as he bounces around Malia and Sasha on the White House lawn.

But really, why must it be a puppy?  I get that puppies are adorable with their squinty puppy eyes and short puppy noses, but they’re also a lot of work.  They pee and poo everywhere and chew without discretion.  In a house full of historical antique furniture, you’ll want to be especially vigilant and keep a good supply of Bitter Apple and rubber bones on hand.  With that in mind, I would suggest you stay true to your humble roots and adopt a seasoned rescue dog.  If you like that suggestion, I have the perfect dog for you.

Molly might have some issues, but I can guarantee you’ll not have a dull moment with her in the house.  She’s like a magician, that dog, and will keep you guessing long after you think you have her figured out.  Would you ever have imagined a dog could eat an entire container of Crisco?  Molly can.  Would you like to see whole loaves of bread and bags of hot dog buns disappear?  Molly can do that, too.  And if you’re looking to see cans of trash strewn up and down the West Wing, I have no doubt Molly will surpass your expectations.

As you can imagine, a dog that’s been known to eat dirty diapers can produce some pretty heinous gas.  No worries there because you’ll have all that space to put her out if need be.  Just be sure to lock the gate.  An unlocked gate means visits to the neighbors.  I’m sure you don’t want to waste the taxpayers’ money by sending the Secret Service out to look for a wayward hound trolling for garbage on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Molly is great with kids.  She’s patient and very attentive, especially during meal times.  If your girls are messy eaters, Molly will quickly become their best friend.  If not, you still won’t be without her during meals as she will stand stock still, stare at you drool onto the floor as you enjoy your dinner.  The kitchen staff will love her since she seems to be very interested in where the meals come from as well as where they’re going.  Seriously, you can’t get rid of that dog when there’s food on the stove.  Unless it’s bacon.  For some reason the sound of sizzling bacon scares her, though she’d eat a whole pound of it raw given the opportunity.

Finally, Molly is very receptive of guests.  She loves guests. Just try to keep her away from and off of the guests.  Some people consider the jumping bothersome.  I like to think of it as one more dimension of her delightful personality.  Not only will Dmitiry Medvedev leave the White House with scratches on his hands and legs, he’ll also leave with fond memories.

So Mr. Obama, President-elect, please consider this ringing endorsement of Molly’s character as my nomination for the position of First Mutt.  While her owners would miss her dearly, they are, first and foremost, patriots willing to make the sacrifice for their country.


Molly’s fed up exasperated loving family

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