A Good Dog

A good dog
Molly, 1990-2005 R.I.P.

In the spring of 1990, my family took a trip to Tazwell, Virginia in response to a newspaper ad for English Springer Spaniel puppies. There were many to choose from when we arrived, but I pointed out one particular dog who had walked far away from the others to relieve herself. That’s the dog we want, I thought. We inspected her closely and found her to our liking. We brought her home.

Like any dog, Molly had her idiosyncracies. She barked at airplanes, chased squirrels, and even ate vegetables whenever she could obtain them. She often made uncanny talking sounds, as she never quite understood that she wasn’t a human like the rest of us. When my brothers and I had kitchen cleanup duties, we’d always let Molly in first to clean the floor. She’d leave it spotless every time.

My father, who fancies himself a Spanish speaker (of the “I took two years in high-school” sort), had a feeding routine with her that consisted of him asking her in Spanish if it were time to eat. She’d then get very excited, run over to her dish, and bark in a Pavlovian frenzy before being “freed” to eat.

About a decade ago we had a major squirrel problem at our house. They were eating wires in our cars, getting into the attic, and multiplying quicker than rabbits. The Bridges boys, Dad included, had declared war on the local squirrel population, liberating them from their lives with our RWS airgun. I once shot one from my bedroom window, and it fell from the tree. Molly instantly ran over to the squirrel, picked it up in her mouth, and pranced around the yard with it as if it were her prize. She then proceeded to eat the whole thing, bones and all. The next day, we took her to the vet for intestinal problems.

She had a penchant for cornering other animals as well. I once shot an opossum a dozen times with the aforementioned pellet gun that Molly had cornered in the backyard. Molly also cornered a 4 ft. long angry black snake and suffered at least one wound until Mom rescued her with nine shots from — you guessed it — the same pellet gun. There’s even a photo to prove it.

Molly was a kind dog, both playful and lazy. She’d always be glad to see me when I came home from college or wherever else in the world I had been. In recent years I only saw her a handful of times on visits home. Last Friday, after weeks of slowly starving herself to death, Dad performed the odious yet necessary task of taking her to the vet to be put to sleep. She will be missed, but the memory of Molly the Brave will live on.

1 thought on “A Good Dog”

  1. My heart goes out to you. It is so hard to lose a close friend, even if they do have four legs and fur. So sorry about your loss. 🙁

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