Friday, October 07, 2011

Molly McGillicuddy Malone

Calhoun’s Can(n)ons for Oct. 7, 2011

                                    In Dublin’s Fair City,
                              Where the girls are so pretty
                      I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone

It was the petal ears and the dark liquid eyes, I suppose, that first caught my attention. And that “look” that spoke of the age-old woe of a good girl fallen on hard times. And the back story that resonated with me since her fate was a reversal on my other rescued racing greyhound, The Mighty Finn McCool. Finn’s mother had died of neglect shortly after giving birth at the track in Caliente, her pups tossed aside to die until the angels from the Greyhound Adoption Center in El Cajon swooped down to rescue them. In this case, Molly was raced while pregnant, then when her condition was discovered, she was discarded. But, unlike Finn’s mother, she didn’t die. Instead, she would end up giving birth to three healthy pups, nurse them tenderly until they were ready to be adopted to wonderful new homes, and then have her photo peer out at me from a GAC email to trigger a goofy conceit on my part.

You know the old joke? Play a country western song backwards and the wife comes back, the dog doesn’t die, the pickup truck runs again and the booze stays in the bottle. With Molly’s brindle striping, she looked like Finn’s twin, so I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to symbolically unspool Finn’s song: his mother wouldn’t die but would, instead, come to live with him forever and ever. Silly? Yes, but there it was.

                              As she wheel’d her wheel barrow
                              Through Streets broad and narrow

So I contacted Barbara VanDeventer, the local GAC representative and once Molly’s puppies had been sent to their new homes and she had been spayed, Barbara and I headed to Kettleman City to meet Jim Howell, GAC’s volunteer transporter. When we got home, Candy and Phil, my greyhound-owning neighbors came by to help with our introductions, a meet ‘n greet walkabout, one by one, until we had the whole gang walking as a pack up and down the street. Then, all in a line, two by two, we kept walking right into the house and out into the backyard before any of my dogs could even think about defending “their” territory.

And with only a few brief snarks at the other dogs for unauthorized butt-sniffing, Molly slid into the pack like she had lived here for years. Even Zuri, the Sloughi, a breed that is the canine version of a crow -- new-adverse and suspicious of all things—took to Molly like a long lost sister. And in no time they were play-bowing and hip-bumping and racing down the breezeway to fly out into the yard with a bound. Finn, of course, was ecstatic at his new fake Mom, a mom small enough to walk under her very, very tall fake son.

                     Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

And so the dynamic and energy of the household shimmered briefly then parted and sweet Molly McGillicuddy Malone slipped in without a ripple. Even a trip to the dog park jammed nose to tail into the back of my Tall Dog Car with the other thugs couldn’t ruffle her composure since it turns out she’s also a great Rider In Cars.

So there it was. From a silly conceit to a lovely reality, all because she’s a good girl, our Molly is. And why shouldn’t she be? After all, the McGillicuddy clan motto is Sursum Corda – “Hearts Upward.”

                             Alive, alive o!, alive, alive o!
                    Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!


Alon Perlman said...

Mollies’ ghost?
Congratulations on your new family member. Too bad she can’t read, and appreciate her literary introduction to the blogosphere. She’ll just have to get by on oodles of unconditional love.

Christina said...

Such a happy ending for a beautiful girl. I've a fondness for brindles of any breed.

Sewertoons said...

Beautiful story for a beautiful girl - look at the contentment on her sweet face! Thanks Ann for the interesting backstory on the newest pup - (I laughed the fake Mom, fake son part!)