Molly had a heart attack last Thursday night.  She fell over and couldn’t get up.  It was a bad night as her breathing was laboured.  She slept on our bed of course so we could give her Reiki on and off all night and by early morning the breathing had calmed down but her heart was still racing.  The vet put her on two tablets, one a diuretic which has drained the fluid from her lungs and heart and her heartbeat has slowed.  She sleeps a lot but then she always did and she still eats like a horse.  No worries there.  She also still wanders off down to the mailbox each day, sniffs around to see what other dogs have been past, does a big shite and wanders back again.  Sometimes it is a trot and sometimes just a plod.

When she came to live with us it was after Ras had died and after Cherie died, Cherie being the silver grey miniature poodle we inherited from my mother after she had gone to live in a unit where she couldn’t take her dog.  We had said we weren’t going to have any more dogs for a while.  We were going to be able to camp in National Parks and not have to worry about dogs but the hole they leave in your life is huge and we suddenly had to start talking to each other instead of to the animals.  The animals are more intelligent and their conversation more scintilating.

Anyway, unbeknown to us Kay had been looking around for a dog in the Newcastle area and arrived up here one day with a slightly timid Shitzu called Molly.  I might add that she is far from timid these days and walks and talks and acts like the Boss of the place and there is little doubt about that!!!

Kay had found her in the Newcastle Pound.  She lay flat on her belly at the back of the cage and the attendant had a job to coax her out, she was so frightened.  However, Kay brought her home to her place for a week or so before bringing her up here to us and in that time, being pampered and petted and loved, she fell in love with Kay and was so happy that she wasn’t too keen to be left with us when Kay went back to Newcastle without her.  

When she finally realised that she was still going to be pampered and petted and loved here, she decided it wasn’t such a bad place to stay after all but each time, for a long time, when Kay came to visit she would practically turn herself inside out with joy and every morning would jump on her head in bed to show how much she still loved her.  Gradually, of course this abated and although she has always been happy to see Aunty Kay, she settled down to loving us and knowing that we were Mum and Dad.  Himself was at home at this stage finishing his degree so they became inseparable and he still comes first in her life.

Things change however.  Himself finished his degree and started working. She was left during the day to her own devices, a fact that she wasn’t particularly pleased with and then at the end of 2003 we went overseas for nine weeks, leaving a friend to look after our house along with Molly.   On the day we were leaving we couldn’t get her out of the suitcase and insisted on sleeping in the lid while we packed, hoping against hope that we would take her.  Our friend was a dear old man but hadn’t had a lot to do with animals and was afraid that she would wander off and get lost or run over.   He kept her tied up on the front verandah during the daytime and although he spent his time on the front verandah with her as well, she didn’t like being restrained.  By the time we arrived back she seemed slightly withdrawn and certainly was put out by the fact that we had left her for so long.

Life returned to relative normality for us, work and such like but I realised that this little girl was becoming more and more depressed.  We were still living in the shed at this stage while the house continued to grow and so she spent five days a week locked in the shed on her own for the biggest part of each day.

I remarked on her apparent depression to Himself and we agreed we would have to get her a friend.  Tripping off to the Bathurst Pound was such an ordeal.  All those dogs begging to be loved.  I knew why Himself hadn’t come, he would have come home with them all!!!  As it was I nearly came home with two.  A wirehaired terrier had been dropped off at the pound that morning and he just sat there, knowing they didn’t want him, leaning on the side of the cage, interested in nothing.  Was he left there because he was naughty or because they were leaving?  How could they do it?

Walking in to the cacophony of barking and whining was just a like walking into a wall, a wall of noise, and there was Mickey looking at me, climbing the cage nearly to the top beseeching “Take me, take me, take me.”  He was three years old (or thereabouts) and as light as a feather with just his little rib cage leading up to his backbone, no tummy at all.  I couldn’t go past him.  He was frantic when the attendant took him out of the cage and gave him to me to cuddle.  He snuggled right in.  Poor little man.  I had to go and sign for him at the front desk and the man there said “Not that little white thing?”  I said “Yes, that little Maltese Terrier.”  He sniffed as if to say “No accounting for taste!!!”  They had to desex him and give him his shots so I couldn’t get him untl a few days later.

It was winter and fairly cold and dark by the time I left work and picked him up.  Himself had two dog beds ready and dry food out for him to eat but when he saw Mick he nearly died.  “Why would you bring home a terrier?  You can’t do anything with them and they yap all the time.”  “Well, you wouldn’t go in and choose so this is what we’ve got.”

Mickey stank of the pound and it was too cold and late to bath him.  We put him on the floor and he had a smile all over his face.  He would eat a few bikkies at a time, but not many because his tummy had shrunk and he couldn’t eat much.  How things have changed!!!

Mrs Moll’s reaction was one of horror.  “What is it?  It stinks.  It stinks of the pound!!!”  She flew onto our bed and stared at him, her eyes nearly bulging out of her head.  “OMG.  Get it away.”

We had two beds side by side on the floor at the foot of the bed and we put him in his which he would only leave to have a drink and a few more bikkies every now and then.  We only gave him the dry stuff because we thought anything else would scour him.  At one stage she came down to the foot of the bed to look over at him having a bite to eat but then he came back from having his little bit of sustenance and climbed into her bed instead of his.  She nearly died!!!  Horror was written all over her face and she scuttled back up to the top of the bed where she stayed for the night.

The next day was warm enough for him to have a bath.  We washed the bedclothes from both their beds as well and later in the day introduced Moll to him again.  This time he stunk pretty.  She sniffed all through his fur, giving him a really good going over.  When she was satisfied he smelled okay and not of the pound, she stood back and said “He’s alright.  I’ll accept him.”  They have not looked back.  

It took him a good while but he put on weigt and is now fairly plumpish, more like a Dachsund than a Greyhound.  He won’t be reading this so it is okay.

I forgot to say that after we had had her for about a year Molly was kicked in the head by Jack, the horse who lived here with us at the time.  She was kicked right between the eyes (they were both only playing but she was a bit smaller than him) and I don’t know how she wasn’t killed.  However, she started going  blind in one eye when she was about 8 or 9 and the lens is completely opaque now with the other one getting a bit milky.  We had a Sunday trip to the vet with that one of course with an overnight stay on a drip.

A few years later we were visiting friends at West Wyalong.  They had no pets at the time and insisted on them coming into the house even though I had made the two nice and comfortable in the laundry.  We had been talking and laughing, as you do when suddenly we realised the dogs were eating some blue stuff they had raked out from under a cabinet.  You guessed it, rat poison!!!  Visited the West Wyalong vet at 10 o'clock at night!!!  Not a happy chappy as he had had a few drinks and if he had been pulled up we would have had to pay that as well but as it turned out the police were not out and about that night.  Good luck for us.  Another few hours there with the two kids vomiting up blue stuff till the vet was sure there was nothing left inside.  Then we paid an arm and a leg for some slow K to be given to them each morning for a long while.  The vet's bill wasn't all that bad considering.

Down the South Coast a few years later again and she was bitten by a tick.  Mick was too, he was covered in them, but they don’t affect him.  He's a little scrubber and she is a lady.   When Moll started to go in the back legs we rushed her to the vet and about a thousand dollars later, she was her old self again.  A few months after that we were coming back from Maitland and she was out to have a wee  at the Colo River when she was bitten by another one, on her lip.

This one we were unaware of until we realised that she was going in the back legs again so we raced her into the vet (not our vet this time but his partner) on a Sunday morning.  It is a service they give the locals to have a clinic for an hour on a Sunday.  However, this vet felt we were panicking and said she wasn't that bad.  He had very bad hay fever at the time and probably wasn't feeling so good.  Himself slept on the floor with Mollie so he could monitor her every move and by about 2 o'clock that morning it was obvious she was in a very bad way.  We rang the same vet and he reluctantly told us to bring her in.  His hay fever was worse and his face was swollen and red but on seeing the dog he agreed we did the right thing and that he had made a mistake in the morning.

 Another lot of money later, she was well again.  We had spent so much on her the vet said to me “I suppose we should invite you to our Christmas Party.”  We have to keep the vets alive and having holidays.  What would they do without people like us and our pets?

Since then she’s been good although we have known for a while that she had a heart murmur but it hasn’t become any worse until now.

We love them both dearly although he definitely  has a second child syndrome and thinks that she tends to get the best of every deal.  He has a way of looking at you “Oh yeah, that’d be right.  She gets the best,”  Children!!!  What do you do with them?

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