Those of us who are pet owners treat our furry friends as members of the family. And like our kids, of course they are cuter, smarter, jump higher, run faster, play harder and do just about anything better than the next door neighbors. But nobody has a dog like mine. I mean nobody. Right?
Molly knows what I’m going to do next before I know it. When I think she is in deep sleep she’s actually watching with both ears cocked. She’s the worst clock-watcher I ever met. Knows exactly when it’s time to eat, time to walk and time to take the laundry out of the machine. Like elephants running from a Tsunami, her radar ears, soft as velvet, detect storms before they actually hit.
We used to live on the 24th floor of an apartment building in New Jersey, directly across the Hudson River from the World Trade Center. Our windows faced all of lower Manhattan and the Twin Towers. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Molly’s behavior took on a dramatic change just minutes before the planes actually crashed into the towers. Having just showered, I was looking out the window, towel drying my hair. The view had always been spectacular; it was one of the reasons we took the apartment. At night it was magical. That morning was particularly sparkling. But I couldn’t figure out why Molly was so agitated.
She whined, panted and raced from room to room. She wouldn’t let me comfort her. She usually exhibits similar behavior during severe thunderstorms. But, as we all know, it was a gorgeous, clear morning in that part of the world and the sky was a brilliant cobalt.
A few minutes later I watched the nightmare enfold before my eyes. First the planes, then the fires; people flying from windows, the buildings crashing down, the billowing dust and black smoke that eventually came across the river. Molly jumped into my arms, buried her head and trembled. I trembled too and somehow the skies over New York City have never again been quite that blue.
We don’t live there anymore and Molly misses our walks along Newport’s River Walk. Even in winter, watching the tugs, the barges, and the great ships that plow those historic waters night and day was like chicken soup for soul. Molly had lots of pals there, but she gravitated to those her own size or smaller which is hard to find since Molly is a six- pound black, white and tan Chihauhau with large ears and a big heart.
Unlike Paris Hilton’s dainty teacups, Molly is not for decoration. She demands being taken out and loves rolling in dead things. When I’m sick with the flu she never leaves my side. I’ve had many dogs and cats, but I can’t imagine life without Molly. Like the great love of your life, it only happens once, and I know one day she’ll be gone. But since the present is all that really matters, Molly and me are gal pals forever.
Susan Scharfman is a freelance writer-editor at http://www.susanscharfman.com .