Today I was supposed to have lunch with my smart friend, Hannah. We've been trying to make lunch a regular event, after going for about two years saying, "we should have lunch," and then not doing it. She had a restaurant in Martinsburg all picked out.
But nobody told Molly.
Molly is the dog that lives in my house. I hesitate to say she is "my" dog, despite the fact that I feed her twice daily, walk her every day, take her to the vet as necessary and had her spayed at the appropriate point in her puppyhood. She sleeps on my bed and leaves dog hair behind. She has ruined several pairs of shoes by chewing. She likes nothing more than to steal Kleenex from my bedside table, then shred it across the floor.
In pursuit of what must be a mole living under my back yard, she works nearly every day at a trench in the mulch, then appears at the door with muddy paws and an excited attitude. I can barely catch her to clean her paws before she's jumped on something upholstered.
Molly is the dog that my son, a student at West Virginia University, picked from a litter in someone's garage when she was the size of a gerbil. He carried her everywhere, as she grew to the size of a guinea pig and then, beyond. Eventually she resembled what she actually is: a beagle. At that point, my son's landlord informed him that he can't have a dog in the house and Molly came to live with me.
This is supposed to be a one-year arrangement. My son has begun searching for pet-friendly residences in Morgantown for the next academic year. Which is, at this point, only ten dog-filled months from now.
Molly lives by her nose. In true beagle fashion, she is happiest when gulping scent. Squirrels and rabbits drive her crazy. There are a lot of squirrels and rabbits near my home. We back up to an undeveloped woodland of more than 100 acres. This provides her with the opportunity for a lot of craziness.
She got out the front door today and was across the property line before I could even put on shoes. Then, she was up and over a limestone ridge and out of sight. There was not going to be a ladies-who-lunch day for me without Molly at home, and I didn't know when that might be. I called Hannah and rescheduled.
Eventually, there was a knock at the door. It was a neighbor with her very good, well-behaved, golden retriever mix, who obeys even when off the leash. They had spotted Molly while walking trails in the woods. Everybody knows Molly around here. Although she can be quite bad, she is extremely cute. Like many of her gender, dog and otherwise, she gets by on youth, good looks and a friendly personality.
Between two humans and one golden retriever mix, we were able to corral Molly and I picked her up to bring her home. Whatever she had rolled in was crusted into her fur and carried the stink of a fertilized farm field. She was elated with herself.
Flash forward past the immediate bath she received and the half-hour she spent rolling on the carpet afterward. Move past the load of laundry that ensued from all my soiled clothing and the towels put to use on Molly and myself. It is lunchtime now, and I am fixing myself a pastrami sandwich. I shall dine alone.
Molly is in the back yard, snoozing in the sun.