by carolynholm



July 1999 – June 7, 2016

Molly left us. At one month shy of seventeen years old, she had been having a difficult time of it – she was totally deaf, loosing her sight, and suffering from dementia, incontinence, a heart murmur, terrible teeth, arthritis and unstable knees – but she never gave up her plucky terrier tenacity.

So we remember her now, not just as the funny little dog in the blog that so many of you have fallen in love with, but for her very full life. She was serious, tough, and smart. Here are some high points:

Her career: Molly was a world-class ratter. She was wicked fast and she turned on a dime. The rats around our chicken coop and compost pile didn’t stand a chance. No rat could out-run or out-dodge her. She was Rat Dog.

Her second job: She was an outstanding security dog. (When we had a German Shepherd she told him when to bark.) The first time a house sitter showed up while we were on vacation, she was horrified, and refused to believe he was not a burglar, even though we had introduced her to him before we left. He was clearly breaking and entering. (On subsequent vacations we had to board her and use him for the rest of the house and pets.) A few years later she met him again and she still remembered him, working herself into a barking frenzy as she tried to tell us not to trust this guy.

Her Education: Puppy class was intimidating – all those huge rambunctious puppies twice her size – but Molly was thrilled to snap to attention for Sit, Down, Don’t Touch and Stay. She successfully participated in a Guinness Book of Records 15-minute Down Stay with about 100 other dogs at a Humane Society Event, but it was Molly’s dancing that set her apart. At another Humane Society fundraiser her lively pirouette on command drove the audience crazy, winning her the “Cutest Dog” title.

Her leisure time: It wasn’t all work, work, work – sometimes Molly played. As a four-pound puppy it was an astonishing sight to see her wrestle our 90 pound Shepherd. And the two of them howled side-by-side in two-part harmony when they heard fire engine sirens. And Molly and our easygoing cat Chanel loved to play “Roll the Cat” and its variant, “Roll the Cat Down the Stairs.” In the mountains she was a crack High Sierra hiker, tireless and agile. For a more leisurely moment she liked a sunny spot with a view (a view so she could spot danger from a distance.) But for a truly comfy nap Molly preferred a cave. Clueless, we did not provide one for her; ever resourceful, she made her own cave bed. We started noticing that a stack of paper bags in our kitchen pantry kept getting tipped over. We finally realized she was tipping them and sleeping on them, happy in her pantry cave. So we came to our senses and provided a bed in there for her.

Her philosophy:  Life is difficult. Competence is everything. The world is a dangerous place. Strangers are untrustworthy. Children should be avoided. One must be suspicious of everything.  (And as she said more than once, “We’re doomed.”)

Her love: Carolyn was the center of her universe. Next came the Pack, which included Carolyn, her husband, her daughter and her daughter’s dog Mika, the cats and even the chickens. (Caveat: love needn’t include snuggling – snuggling is for poodles.)  Nobody else was worthy of attention.

And finally, a story to demonstrate that Molly was indeed the smartest dog ever.

We had taught her to ring a bell to signal she wanted to go outside. (She loved the bell. She expanded its use to request service in general, mostly for more kibble.) That’s smart, but that wasn’t the smartest bit.

She and her pal, our German Shepherd, would lie side by side chewing on their Nylabones. One day Molly decided she wanted Bruno’s bone. She went to take it from him but he defensively pulled it out of her reach. After a couple of tries and rebuttals she walked over to the bell and gave it a decisive ring. Bruno raised his head with excitement (“Hey, we’re going outside?!!!) and as he dropped his bone Molly darted in and made off with it.

The best thing about this is that it wasn’t a one-off. She did this more than once. It was deliberate. Molly was the Smartest Dog Ever.

So we leave her now, freed from her tired old broken body, off in another world, chasing rats and squirrels and curling up in that nice spot in the sun with a view of the garden. Farewell Molly!


Special thanks to the awesome staff at Abbey Pet Hospital for your generous warmth and kindness during Molly’s final days. You are all wonderful!


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