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July 15, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

When you wish

Pine Cone waits in the window. (© Copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Pine Cone waits. (image ©)

When you wish upon a star, you remember where they are.

Molly Malamute was not alone. She was not afraid.

Our Old fashion, actually compassionate as well as with that rare commonsense, rural-type vet came to the house.

We had spent the entire night before on the floor by her bed so she could she look out the windows without much effort – up and down the block – witnessing the biggest Super Moon. She being an ancient breed, nights like that always enchanted her.

All true wolves – and those of the ancient DNA – relish those full moon nights. We agreed with her. (She did, as always, discourage Sr. Staff’s pathetic attempts to wolf howl…”Please stop, Dad” Molly always said with a glance. “You don’t know what you are saying – and looking silly….Embarrassing me in front of my friends…”) 

She was comfortable – in all ways. The ones that mattered.

Yesterday, Molly Malamute slipped away from us.

A fast growing brain tumor abruptly robbed us.

The hitch in her giddy-up was more than arthritis, displeasure with the extreme heat, and her 10 1/2 yrs. Two weeks ago during her annual check -up, she was full of antics and bounces.  

Then she refused food. Then she seemed unstable, and wobbly with a couple of times her back legs not cooperating.

I thought mini-stroke. 

Oddly, that morning while sitting in the kitchen mending Molly’s favorite toy, Pinecone, a small bit of movement caught the corner of my eye. I had to stop myself from calling out to Molly who was on duty on her bed at the front window, “Watch out, Molly, RC Cat is coming your way and she looks like cat on a mission…” Caught myself. Unsettling. Rushed in to check on Molly and give her a hug.

Back to the vet who let her cavort around the clinic and play while he observed. Quietly he said, “I’m 99 12% sure, but here’s the number of a friend pet neurologist with big machines – if we want them.” 

That afternoon and night, she acted as if she had spent the day socializing and playing with friends. That happy. 

Small things never bothered her too much. “Life is too short,” she would laugh things off.

Oddly, a few nights previously – just before dawn, a flash of a intensely colored dream: On a path winding between arching trees – lined by wild flowers – like the ones in Colorado – sat RC Cat. Before I could question, RC Cat stood up and said, “I’m here for Molly. She’s missed me- and strangely I’ve missed her. I’m the Welcoming.”Before I could say anything, Molly bounced to RC’s side and both tails waving high, the walked of chatting like two kids thrilled to see each other at the bus stop after a long summer apart. “It’s OK to go. Stay with RC!” I called after them, but they had already rounded the curve in the path. I’ve told you before that people sometimes check out with me on their way out. That and this are not fiction. It’s been something all my life.

Yesterday, if Molly had been a wolf in the wild, instinct would have whispered to go off into a small dark cave and wait. 

Her decline was kindly so fast:

  • Refusing the hand-fed yogurt and fresh cooked chicken chunks she’d had the day before. “Oh, wait. My favorite cheese? A little bit, please. That’s enough. Thanks.”
  • Accepting small amounts of water from her travel bowl.
  • Unable to rise. Even to sit upright. Not able to walk at all. Periods of disorientation when trembling, rocking, head leaning, eyes not tracking together – in fact one eye socket seemed to be swelling.
  • But in between the confused episodes that were increasing, she was busy watching lizards out the window – exhausted, yet happy to have extra attention and companionship from her human pack.
  • Decided: no specialty pet neurologist clinic.  We would keep her comfortably at home instead of in a cramped, cold cage in an unfamiliar sterile place full of unfamiliar rushing around people.

By noon, our vet said, ‘Don’t try to lift her 85 lbs. into the car, I’m on the way.” And he was.

There was no fear. She was not in pain. She had her Pinecone. She walked quietly away from us. 

Welcoming committee waiting, no doubt. 

Out of nowhere, a heavy rain fell once she left.

Don’t tell me the passing of even the smallest goes unmarked.

There’s a large hole here. 

Malamutes are very much like mischievous 3 yrs old kids. We chose each other at the pet rescue adoption…”We went in for cat food and came out with a dog.” We became pack. 

Molly transformed from wild and crazy, social, party girl to be Sr. Staff’s emotional support dog as he goes through treatment.

We took her to feel snow with her paws in winter, and chilled mountain streams among flower in the wild scented mountain meadows. We always promised she could experience the lands of her ancestors. Wish we had given her more of that, but she was happy and contented anywhere. As long as we were pack.

It will be quiet here for a while. 

Star light, star bright. 

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Here’s a book you might be interested in if you are interested in how brains work or reality of awareness and consciousness. What It’s Like to be a Dog:

“What is it like to be a dog? A bat? Or a dolphin? To find out, neuroscientist and bestselling author Gregory Berns and his team did something nobody had ever attempted: they trained dogs to go into an MRI scanner — completely awake — so they could figure out what they think and feel. And dogs were just the beginning. In What It’s Like to Be a Dog, Berns takes us into the minds of wild animals: sea lions who can learn to dance, dolphins who can see with sound, and even the now extinct Tasmanian tiger. Berns’s latest scientific breakthroughs prove definitively that animals have feelings very much like we do — a revelation that forces us to reconsider how we think about and treat animals. Written with insight, empathy, and humor, What It’s Like to Be a Dog is the new manifesto for animal liberation of the twenty-first century.”

“Dog lovers and neuroscientists should both read this important book.” — Dr. Temple Grandin

A constant unwavering vigil. Sure there is a new Dog Star in the sky. ((image © copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

A constant unwavering vigil by a true friend. Confident there is a new dog star in the sky.(image ©)



Leave a Comment
  1. walkingoffthechessboard / Jul 15 2022 12:44 pm

    Molly Malamute was truly blessed to have such a warm and loving family. I am glad I got the opportunity to follow some of her life experiences through this site. She will always be in your heart, as well as those of us who got to know her from a distance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 15 2022 3:35 pm

      She was one in a million. (No doubt she and RC Cat are reviewing rescue animal resumes and will direct screened applicants to this way…hopefully after a bit of time so we can glue ourselves back together and be welcoming. Thanks for leashing a comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RAB / Jul 15 2022 12:46 pm

    Oh Phil, how gently written. Thank you for sharing Molly with us all these years, and thank you for HER sake for loving her. This is a beautiful post that spreads the love and grief around. A good life, a good death, and now she belongs to the universe. May her memory comfort you and all those she leaves behind. I hope all those who have a similar grief can find your post and the solace in it. I’ll stop now before my heart breaks all the way. XOXOOXOX

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 15 2022 3:30 pm

      We feel Molly was such a gift to us for all these years. If the future always builds on the past, then the next adventure and cast of characters will be quite a ride. Thanks for the lovely comment


  3. Kate Crimmins / Jul 15 2022 1:17 pm

    My allergies must be acting up. Eyes all watery. I haven’t gotten used to RC being gone and now they are all gone. Sending huge watery hugs (allergies you know) from everyone here. Even our cats who do not like big slobbery dogs will miss her stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 15 2022 3:25 pm

      Quite. a shock..but…I’m, not sure …it seemed like I heard a quiet conversation between the two as they departed…”Honestly, RC. Are you sure? If I go what will become of them when / if the Orange vegetable invaders return” “I left instructions – they will find them before needed.I wasn’t the RC for nothing!”
      I dunno. Never underestimate a cat?
      A human wave in place of a paw salute…maybe it will be acceptable to the commiserating cats and your realm. Onward and thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Jul 15 2022 5:29 pm

        When dignity is required, RC will do the right thing and show Molly the ropes — where to get extra treats and a nice watering hole.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea / Jul 15 2022 1:43 pm

    So sorry for your loss although thankful for the speed and ease. What a blessing to have a vet that comes to you! I’m sure there will be an enormous hole in your hearts for some time. Sending you many hugs.


    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 15 2022 3:21 pm

      Molly was a gift for over 10 years. Not everyone’s so lucky to have one like that (Oh, OK two…RC Cat was also over 10…although it only seemed like 3-4 years ) Thanks for slipping in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. disperser / Jul 15 2022 2:43 pm

    I’ve played this when I’ve lost someone I cared about . . . I don’t think the species matters, I sympathize.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. shoreacres / Jul 15 2022 6:52 pm

    I just can’t believe it — what a loss, and what a shock. On the other hand, as with humans, so with animals: the quick exit sometimes is far more blessed than lingering for weeks or months in pain. When Dixie Rose took her leave, it was only four hours from finding her to saying that final goodbye. I still tear up remembering that, and when I was reading your account of the recent events, I teared up for Molly, too. I’m so glad that she was able to go to Colorado, and I’m glad she was at home when her time came — especially since she truly was “at home,” and not in some sterile environment.

    Perhaps RC and Molly will come across Dixie, and they can swap stories about their crazy owners!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 16 2022 9:31 am

      Shock is an understatement. You saw her recently – there were no warning signs. (FYI – our best and favorite vet is retiring in 3 weeks – going back to Texas German country on some acreage- with a cow tank. Family heritage from there back to early early days. Never thanked you enough for giving us his name.)
      We did our best for Molly all of her life. That’ll have to be consolation.
      PS I have it on good authority that the German reserved some seats in a spot for the best viewing on occassion…just for them to keep an eye on us once and awhile…Lawdy, laawdy it’s obvious somebody better keep an eye on us as we are now wandering around unattended. It’s snake season/alligator territory/ and the humans are undone by extreme heat. I think the new Siamese adolescent next door and the adopted stray cat across the street have been given orders and additional homework.
      Sigh. See ya later gator – thanks

      Liked by 2 people

      • shoreacres / Jul 16 2022 9:34 am

        I wondered if that was the vet who helped you out — actually, I hoped it was. He was wonderful. It’s hard enough finding a new eye doc and such. I’m glad I’m not in the position of having to find a new vet now — reports I’m hearing from others is that it’s not an easy search.

        Liked by 2 people

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 16 2022 9:47 am

          He has some wonderful stories about early life in TX. Their family was part of the German group who fled to MX and S. America when the civil war broke out – told either to sign up and fight or leave or worse. Eventually traveled back to Germany only to return to TX. So many stories. I hope his cow tank is always full there. Truly a kind person who deserves lovely sunrises was well as sunsets.
          (Oh, no- eye doc? And I was going to ask you…we know someone in med center, but the drive…) Stay cool!

          Liked by 1 person

          • shoreacres / Jul 16 2022 9:49 am

            Nah — I had to make the eye doc change a year or so ago. I still go in to Houston Eye Associates on Grammercy. Hate the drive, but wanted to stick with the crew that disposed of my cataracts and put in the new lenses. And, the new guy’s a glaucoma expert, which is good, since I’m holding that at bay.

            Liked by 2 people

          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 16 2022 10:52 am

            Yep, don’t mess with what’s working.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Audrey Kalman / Jul 15 2022 7:17 pm

    Oh, I am so sorry. Her Internet tribe will miss her :-(.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. SusanR / Jul 15 2022 10:39 pm

    RC is out there to greet Molly and show her around. Hugs to you Phil, with feelings I can’t begin to express. Molly was so lucky to have you, and she will always be in your heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. SilverTiger / Jul 16 2022 12:48 am

    I was saddened to read of Molly’s apparently sudden departure and send you my sympathies.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. marina kanavaki / Jul 16 2022 2:04 am

    Oh, no, my friend!!!!!! Reading in disbelief….
    I know there are no comforting words [familiar of that void all too much], but just maybe she lives in a better world and with you at the same time. My thoughts, love and hugs to all and a sad tail from Hera who will miss her friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 16 2022 9:39 am

      Appreciate such kindness from your Realm. Live fully, Hera – she would want that…that and take your person for walks – humans are so quick to forget the importance of walkies. Pinecone send regards!


  11. Littlesundog / Jul 16 2022 8:20 am

    I wonder if our critters ever understand the gift of their lives here on earth? There is always some gratefulness to be found in a good parting – time to say goodbye, and yet not yet too much time to linger and suffer. I’m sad, so many memories of Molly written with beauty and humor and grace. Your mother heart will hold her close, even years from now. What a beautiful love story. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Curt Mekemson / Jul 16 2022 2:08 pm

    So sorry guys. I had come to like Molly a lot, feeling like I knew her from her packs ongoing commentary. I’m sorry I never had the opportunity to meet her. My heart goes out to you. For what it’s worth, I used to howl with my basset hound. He’d always join in. Maybe he was trying to teach me how to howl better. Maybe he just appreciated that I was willing to try. Or maybe on some primitive level going back from a million years of evolution we were actually communicating with other. Take Care. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2022 10:19 am

      Bassets are such characters. (No doubt he was howling along trying to get you to copy the accents correctly…Dogs try so hard to encourage improvements by their humans)
      Thanks for tossing a comment this way


      • Curt Mekemson / Jul 20 2022 1:44 pm

        I’m completely convinced that dogs spend a lot more effort training us than we do them. 🙂 Speaking of howling, I once had a howling session with a coyote. We had played peek-a-boo for a while when finally the coyote (Who was about 50 yards away) sat down in the middle of the trail and started howling. I plopped my self down in the middle of the trail as well and started howling back. We had a jolly old time. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 21 2022 1:50 pm

          Ah, you know what Native American lore says of coyotes
          What a rare experience!


          • Curt Mekemson / Jul 22 2022 8:50 am

            The Trickster. 🙂 It went on and on Karen. As long as I was willing to sit there and howl, it was willing to sit and howl along with me! Special. –Curt

            Liked by 1 person

  13. cat9984 / Jul 17 2022 10:58 am

    I’m so sorry. She sounded like such a sweet dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mohawkvalleygirl / Jul 17 2022 2:24 pm

    So, so sorry about your fur baby, but what a beautifully written eulogy. You were blessed to have each other.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Robin / Jul 24 2022 9:36 am

    Beautifully written, very sad, read. I am so sorry. These wonderful beings come into our lives for such a short time. I’m glad Molly has RC to help her find her way.

    Liked by 2 people

Always glad to hear from readers.

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