Home > Life, Maybe there IS a God..., Pets > Molleeeee!!!!


maybe“Many people who have turned away from someone in need feel that their own life could have been far better if they had chosen to act more compassionately. We probably are placed in someone’s path for a reason — for the opportunity to do good and to fulfill a portion of our life purpose”. — Caroline Myss

I read this passage yesterday and it stuck with me. In two sentences it sums up my philosophy about life. While I don’t wear my compassion for people on my sleeve and am not always as trusting as I could be, I make up for it when the “person” is a dog… and it runs in the family.

For us, a stray dog in the neighborhood is like a baby in a basket on the front doorstep. There is no question that we are to take that “child” in and either treat it as our own or find someone else who can. As my friend, Jackie, reminded me, “Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me…” Maybe that’s how we see it, subconsciously.

IMG_3986Such was the case when my sister, Cheryl, found a female pit bull wandering through Inwood Park on the upper West Side of Manhattan a few years ago. The dog was friendly and immediately captured Cheryl’s heart (which is never a hard thing for a pup to do with her). She and her husband, Frank, really didn’t have the space or the resources to add another dog into the fray which included their three large sons and 150-pound Bull Mastiff, Hank, all trying to inhabit a 900 sq. ft. apartment on the 10th floor, but they brought her home anyway.

IMG_3901Immediately, “Molleeee” (a naming convention unique to our family — long story) endeared herself to all of them. Compared with Hank, she was tiny and snuggly and could jump from the floor all the way up into 6’7″ son Robert’s arms. She could also manage to confiscate whatever food wasn’t behind lock and chain, including a turkey that she and Hank made quick work of. Once a starving stray, always a starving stray….

Molleeee had probably had at least one litter of puppies and as time went on, various health problems arose. When the family moved to Connecticut a couple years ago, they packed Molleeee up with them and she made the adjustment to suburbia. Just as I am prone to do with one of my dogs, they’d trusted Hank and Molleeee to go out and take care of business by themselves, even as new neighbors began calling to report that “a certain someone had wandered over to their house and was making herself at home”. Already, Molleeee was using the charm that had found her a wonderful family to expand their social rolodex.

Our dad taught us how magical a dog could be for helping people and making new friends. For as long as I can remember we always had at least one dog. Then, there was the period when he decided to become a breeder of Siberian Huskies. If ever there was a reason for our mother to leave him, it might have been over that. With a human family of 10 already, he would periodically add another 8 or so canines and since we lived in suburban Long Island it was particularly challenging. Our social rolodex there seemed to shrink with each new litter. But since he was a minister (and had a dog sled!) no one challenged him about our “kennel”.


Dad was a pushover about obedience, with us and the dogs, and we were not experts at raising them up in the way that they should go, but we did our best to give them shelter and shower them with love. With our legacy of canine compassion, we set ourselves up for a lifetime of unparalleled joy, but with it, the need to mourn far more often than those who have never known the love of a dog.

Yesterday, Cheryl and Frank learned that Molleeee is in the final stages of renal disease. The signs have been adding up, between inappropriate urinating and the smell that indicates that her kidneys are shutting down. The vet has recommended that they put Molleeee to sleep before the disease becomes too painful for her.

If ever there were one deserving of compassion, it is a dog like Molleeee. Though she has cost my sister’s family more than they could afford to spend on a non-human family member, they seem to understand that what is paid out monetarily is not ill-spent; it is simply transferred to their soul bank accounts where the interest rate couldn’t be higher.

Thanks, Molleeee, for finding the people who needed you most. You’ve taken wonderful care of them, good and faithful servant….Wander on, little angel… your work here is done.


  1. Mary
    August 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I’m so sad. What a sweet girl she is…Mary

  2. CherylZ
    August 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks, E. More tears…..more joy, more sorrow.

  3. Lee Anne
    August 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I think I need to leave work and go home to see my Ruby…she sends her love to her cousin Mollllleeeee

  4. Mama Nance
    August 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Mama E you make my heart swell. This is why I’m with you. You know what’s important and you say it. Mollleeee made a difference.

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