I am going to tell about a beautiful white German shepherd named Molly. She lives next to an elementary school, and she revels in the hour before school, and the hour after, when children pet her head and talk to her.
Once a week or so, I have walked by her yard at night, carrying three Milk Bones for her. When she was younger, I would give her each one at a certain spot. I would say, "Love you, Molly! Have a good night," when I left.
Lately, she hasn't even heard me approach. She has lain in the yard, and truth to tell I have thought she was dead. I have left the bones, and prayed next time I drove by, she would be at the fence.
Yesterday I brought her three bones. She was thin; for the first time I could see glimpses of her ribs. I cried as I walked home. I watched TV for awhile, then scooped out some of my dog Sally's food -- which I haven't been able to throw away since she died. I cracked an egg on it, stirred it up, and carried the bowl to Molly's yard.
I called to her; I rattled the fence. Molly didn't move. She was lying down again across the yard, close to her driveway and parked cars. I was a little scared to go closer -- scared she might not be breathing, scared she might be hurting, scared the person who owns her would come outside and ask what I was doing. I have never seen him pet her, never heard him call her name...though I have seen him in the yard with her and seen her eyes follow his every move.
Not knowing what else to do, I walked home, crying harder this time, crying like I am right now.
I still don't know what to do. I want to wrap a blanket and my arms around her, like I did my Sally when her life was fading. Instead I will say a little prayer for Molly. A prayer that either she is OK, or that she won't hurt any more. And that maybe, before she says goodbye, one of those schoolkids she loves so much will stop by, ruffle her white fur, and call her by name.
An Older Dad, Down for the Count
1 day ago