Bearnaise Sauce Dogs

A Molly Story

(A post from my previous blog came to mind this week, a thought only reinforced when an old friend sent the photo below, which shows Molly with dirty paws from the black water described in the blog entry.)

So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the
entrance of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying,
"Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored
and you shall be clean."
But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, "I thought that for me
he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD
his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!
Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the
waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?" He turned
and went away in a rage.

But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet
had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done
it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean'?"
So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan,
according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like
the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
2 Kings 5:9-14

Did I ever tell you the story about Molly and the oily water at the
new dog park? In the fall of 2004, City By the Sea opened a new dog
park, on the site of a landfill. It’s a great fenced area with lots of
fun places for dogs to play, but, seriously, it’s built on trash. This
means that as the ground wears down, things rise to the surface. And
the water that sits in the shadow of one of the hills, the marshy
little watery place, is oily and unattractive.

Unless you are Molly, that is. When Molly gets hot, she will do
whatever she needs to do to cool off. And although it was an autumn
day, and not but just so warm in my opinion, her fur coat said
otherwise. She broke through the plastic fencing intended to be a
barrier and went into the water.

It wasn’t the first time. We had been through it before. Her white feet turn black, and she smells horrific.

But this time was different. Like Naaman the leper, Molly dunked herself repeatedly in the dirty water.

Naaman wasn’t thrilled about going into the Jordan. He preferred the
rivers at home. Were they not better than all the waters of Israel?

Wouldn’t almost anything be nicer than the waters of the dog park?

But Naaman and Molly were both looking for a solution to their
problems. Naaman followed the prophet’s advice, however reluctantly,
and Molly plunged into the only cooling water available to her.

I imagine that to the idle passer-by, Naaman looked as odd as Molly
looked to us. What was he about, this powerful man with his collection
of followers, as he peeled off his regalia and walked into the river?
Certainly he expected something different when he traveled to meet the
prophet. He imagined a ceremony, the waving of arms, the intoning of
special words and the celebration of his healing. He imagined the
thankful gifts he would give to the king and the prophet.

Instead he got seven dips in a river he didn’t find as appealing as the ones at home.


006_19AThere was more in that old post, which brought to mind Phantom Scribbler's Bat Mitzvah Haftorah, but I really wanted an excuse to show you this picture, taken about four years ago. My friend Lori took it, and from left to right we are: her dog, Jake, LP, Molly, Songbird, Mallomar (who has also gone on ahead and was I'm sure waiting for Molly), Sam and Snowman. If you click on the picture to see the larger version, you'll see both girl dogs had been in the black water and mussed their pretty paws!

Living with an invalid dog, you forget what it was once like, and this picture reminds me of days when Molly had great fun, when she ran and got into mischief, when she flirted with all she met instead of sinking down just inside the gate to the dog park. 

I am overwhelmed by the kindness of the many, many comments left on the
previous post, and I thank each of you for taking the time to leave
your words of comfort.

10 thoughts on “A Molly Story”

  1. Love this happy happy picture. The Berners are outnumbering the hoomins…they will take over and rule with gentleness!

  2. I’m sorry about Molly, I know she was much more than your good friend. So vivid are your stories and discriptions, I feel like I knew her and have shed more than a few tears.

  3. Those are some muddy paws on that “little” girl…leaving tracks right on our hearts, even ones she never met 🙂

  4. Songbird- My thoughts, prayers, and tears are with you as you grieve Molly’s passing. If I were as good with words as you are, I would say more, but just know that someone you’ve never met and probably never will is in tears right now, and praying for you. And yes, Molly is most definitely in heaven…for how could it be heaven without the wonderful gifts of love that God has given us in our companion animals.
    Grace Eagle

  5. oh no! songbird! i’ve been away from the blogosphere for a bit, and i’ve just returned for a look around, only just now to learn about molly. i’m so sorry for your loss! i know what it’s like to have old-man and old-lady dogs, with their aches and pains and limps and indignities. knowing you made the right decision doesn’t keep the tears from coming, and i’m crying with you right now. she was a GORGEOUS dog. i hadn’t even known about “berners” until i started reading your blog. of course, you’re doing exactly the right thing, reminiscing and talking about all her habits and quirks and sillinesses and rehashing all your hilarious memories of her. hang in there, songbird. i feel ya’, and i’ll pray for you.

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