on her bed in the living room of the ontario house
I lost a friend in July. I haven't written anything about it yet, because I just didn't have the words. To be completely honest, I still don't think I do, but I knew I wanted to write about her, and to remember her.
Her name was Mollie Jean, but that wasn't what we always called her. She had nicknames upon nicknames, but a few of my favorites were MaiJean, Ween, MahJee, Bibi, Johnny Bear, Jonathan Ellington Bear, and MoWee, just to name a few. When she was a puppy, she often clacked her teeth and would "stamp" anything you put in front of her (especially paper). Dad would say, stamp this for me, and she would.
She came to live with us when I was fifteen. She had a home before ours, but that one didn't work out, so then she became a part of our family. Right after we got her, I was lying on the floor on a rug in the living room, and she jumped up on my back, curled up into a ball, and stayed there until I deigned to wake her and get up.
She had an attitude. You could always tell what she was thinking by looking at her extremely-expressive face. She sometimes bullied our bigger dog, Riley. She wanted everyone to know that the was the pack leader. We sometimes joked that she knew English, and that we were lucky she couldn't speak her mind. We joked, but sometimes I think it was real.
She ate ceiling tile once. We were doing some remodeling work in the Ontario House, and somehow she got ahold of some of the debris. We found her hunched over in her kennel (which she would never enter willingly) one night and knew she had to go to the vet. Luckily, she came out of that event unscathed, but probably a little bit embarrassed.
Her favorite show was Gilmore Girls. She would lay in bed all day with me while I was on break from college, and watch it.
She was always there.
When I traveled home to Shreveport in August, before the fall semester of my second year of grad school started, it felt so weird when she wasn't waiting for me to come home. Mom would always tell her when I was coming home, and she would always sit and wait on her perch on the first few steps of the staircase. It felt weird when she didn't stand guard on the edge of the front porch while we sat outside. It felt weird to not hear her crowing bark throughout the day, as mailmen or neighbors or strangers walked by on the sidewalk. It just felt weird that she wasn't there.