My name is Molly. I am almost 8 years old and have lived in the same home with the same people since they chose me when I was just a floppy eared bundle of curls and curiosity. I ruined no less than a dozen sets of shoes and about ten hairbrushes during my formative days, peed on the carpet about a hundred times and slowly learned to live in a family of humans. I have recently become a big sister to my male counterpart Scooby, who is learning the ropes but much slower than I ever did. My mum refers to him often as being cute but as “dumb as a post” and often she calls on me to teach him some good old fashioned dog sense. “Molly, for the love of God would you straighten him out please!”
I am trying my best but he is the dog version of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. Flopping about like a gumby doll singing out “If I only had a brain” But one day…we’ll work it out. This is my little brother below. My mum thought the one blue and one brown eye might be unique. She clearly didn’t think that one through at all because he certainly is uniquely something. But, he is smart when it comes to me, saving me from my own silliness when I dove into some choppy lake water recently, so I will cut him some slack and we’ll keep him even if he is a goofball.
I am a very lucky and grateful part of this family. My life extends far beyond the barriers of a huge backyard and daily walks, my human family are like gypsy’s often off on new adventures of which I have become a part. It’s a great life and I am loving every moment of it. I am a water dog and have had the opportunity to jump into almost every body of water that exists across Canada. From the Pacific Ocean and into the Atlantic if there is water nearby we pull over to allow me my fix and off we go even though my wet and smelly fur is ruining the back seat upholstery.. My brother Scooby is just an idiot so the long trips are for me alone. Until he learns that he is not allowed to sit on the drivers lap he will remain behind with extended family. I sure do hope one day he settles it down so he can enjoy the same excitement I get when I know a trip is looming.
My letter is for all of those people we have met along the way. For those people who don’t see my life for what it really is. Those people that stood outside of our SUV last week with their cell phones in hand ready to turn my parents in for being bad dog owners. As I sat staring at you through one of the four FULLY OPEN windows from my perch beneath that big tree where my dad totally illegally parked…so he could help my mum drag groceries and the twenty five pounds of dog food to the car. I was perfectly OK. It was a breezy day, the sun was shining and my head was happily hanging from the window. If I had, for any moment, felt that I was uncomfortable, I have the common sense to leap from that window and stand quietly at the side of the car. We travel a lot so we figured it out. Dad circles and circles until he finds the perfect spot for shade. They leave all my windows open and they go for no more than ten minutes. They eat every meal in the car with me…or we stop and find a quiet spot and we all get out to enjoy it.
Or the lady who saw me as I dragged my dad up the street the other day….there was water…and when I see water I want to get into that water at all costs. My shoulder harness was not strangling me, and my heavy panting was the result of my determination to break free and run straight for that ocean in front of me. That panting begins the moment I smell water. Every. Single. Time. I am not dying..I am not thirsty and I am not mistreated. I am excited and I want to run. But..I am traveling with small children that day, they are hungry and we need to stop to feed them french fries. My need to swim must wait, so I am asked to lay down quietly at the picnic table. And that’s when you noticed me. And determined that I was thirsty even though my parents both informed you that I had just had two full bottles of water from the car. You shook your head like you didn’t believe them and continued on about how my panting was definitely thirst, because clearly no one else in the world knows how to treat a dog like you do. So you got to the ground beside me and coddled me in my mistreatment, poured me water of which I had absolutely no interest and continued to ignore what my parents were telling you.
And that was unfair. I understood that you lost your own dog recently and that you were a dog lover but your tears were a source of great confusion to the two small children that were eating french fries. I don’t believe you even noticed them in your bid to save me from my bad owners that afternoon. My mum sympathized with your pain yet you still gave her that look that suggested she could do better for me. And that isn’t fair.
My parents have conversed over whether bringing me along is a good idea anymore. And that breaks my heart. Because people are so quick to race to judgement I may not have the opportunity to spend my last years racing from one coast to the next. I may have to stand now and watch as they pull away. And that’s not fair.
If you see me in a hot car with the windows up, thank you for caring enough to try to release me. If you see me in a car on a balmy day with the windows down, please consider that my own humans are being mindful of my well being and exercise some common sense instead of judgement.
If you think I may be thirsty, certainly offer some water, but do not ignore my family when they assure you that I am being a drama queen and pulling. Do not shoot sideways glances that indicate your disbelief that I am anything less than well cared for.
My parents are dog lovers just like you are. And I love them because they include me in their adventures. And I would like to continue to be a part of these adventures until such a time that I can no longer physically do so. Mistreating me would be to take that away from me and the continual rush to judgements are making it more uncomfortable with every trip we take.
Exercise some common sense in all situations. If I am clearly in distress then by all means take measures to relieve me of this situation. My family will do the same for your pet.
Stop judging what you do not understand. My life is a good one. I am happy, I am healthy and I am well treated. And above all. I am loved.
Maybe next year the goofball can join us. We’ll see.