When Molly Gets Her Walkin’ Ears On … And Why That Matters to Me As a Writer

When Molly gets her walkin’ ears on, they sweep back.  Not flat and hard like angry dog ears, or limp and wimpy like sad/scared dog ears.  More like the wings on an F-14.  I get a kick out of it, every time.  I mean, Molly’s ears are hardly the stuff of wind resistance—they look about one size too small for even her little head.  But soon as she’s on the leash, her tail revs up and back go the ears.

Shifting into Drive, I guess.

She’s a power-walker, is my Molly.  No sniffing hydrants or nosing around light poles for this gal.  Twenty-one pounds of got-places-to-go-and-people-to-meet, she trots lightly beside me, head on a swivel, undersized aerodynamically positioned ears bouncing in time with her spritely gait:  doink, doink, doink.  She clocks in at an effortless 2.6 mph on the pedometer, and she’s having the time of her life.

That makes two of us.   Especially when ladies stop to fuss over her, and the college student in the silver pickup pulls up to the stop sign, lowers his window, and says, “That is a really cute dog.”

I beam like proud mama.  Molly wags furiously, yearning to get him in a lip lock.  Of course, Molly yearns to get everybody in a lip lock.  She is, after all, a major people person … uh, pup.

We still have some things to learn, a few minor kinks to iron out.

  1. Joggers don’t generally want their legs licked mid-stride.  It makes them trip and get grumpy, even at someone as adorable as you, Molly.  This is why we’re learning to sit as they approach.  I know it just about kills you to let them pass unslurped, but such is life.
  2. Pausing for a silent salute to the bunny who didn’t quite make it across Victoria Avenue is okay.  An up-close-and-personal sniff (or, God forbid, lap) at the corpse is not.
  3. Beetles are not pick-me-up snacks strewn along your path by a benevolent Deity.
  4. Nix on belly-flopping on the grass when we get home, simply because you’re not ready to call it quits.  You grin up at me smugly, obviously intending to play immovable object until you get your way, but let’s face it:  You only weigh twenty-one pounds, and you’re a sucker for treats. We’re not talking rocket science here.

So, that’s Molly.  And, yes, I’m besotted.  But I didn’t create this blog as a platform to prattle exclusively (and, perhaps, endlessly) about my newly adopted dog, wondrous though she may be.  I created it to prattle about writing.

Not seeing the connection, are you.  I didn’t either, until this morning.

But there we were, tripping lightly down the sidewalk under a steel-gray sky when I realized I was writing.  In my head.  Watching Molly’s bouncy step and bobbing ear-lets, watching her get all squiggly and excited at the prospect of planting drive-by slobber on the well-muscled calves of the lady jogging toward us, I found myself searching for the best way to describe it all.  Experiencing the walk on two levels, both as Molly’s pal and as the observer who couldn’t wait to get her fingers on the keyboard, so she could try to bring Molly’s ears and the way she eyed the poor dead rabbit and the fun we were having together alive for somebody else.

So that’s the connection.  Molly makes me want to write.  Not only about her, but about the way people and animals move.  The humidity that rolls sweat down my back.  The way the sky looks when it’s shrouded in gray.

A while back, I quoted Rilke, who said, ““If your everyday life seems poor, do not indict it; indict yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to summon its riches; for the creator there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place.”

At the end of that post, I reckoned I needed to learn to come alive to the world around me.

And this morning, for 2.23 miles, I think I did.

Thanks, Moll.

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