Saturday, August 25, 2007

Molly and Vick

The story on everyone's radar is Michael Vick's admission of guilt to charges involving dog fighting and killing. I'd rather share another story with you.
When Joe (my late lover) and I moved to Baltimore in December, 1992, our first place was out in the suburbs of Baltimore County. The following Spring we found a place in the city just a block from Joe's office. In July Joe had to fly to Phoenix, Arizona, for a church conference. The morning he left I was packing his bags. To get him out of the way I sent off for a long walk with Bentley, the miniature schnauzer we brought from California.
I had just finished packing, closed last suitcase and was putting them out on the porch when Joe and Bentley came up the walk. They were followed by a larger, skinny dog covered with mud, blood and dog poop. She was a mess.
She was a pit bull that somebody was trying to make mean so she'd be a fighter.
"She was tied up to the fence behind the old high school. I untied her figuring she'd run off but instead she followed me home, what am I gonna do?"
My response was "You're leaving for Phoenix when your ride gets here and I'll take care of her." His ride came, we took time for a long kiss and off he went with promises to call when he got settled. After he left I put Bentley in the house and set down on the porch steps, the new dog came over and put her head in my lap. You need to know that I'm a big softy especially when it comes to animals. I also have a cast iron stomach. It takes a lot to make me throw up. "Well girl, will you stay here while I get some stuff from inside?" She didn't answer but she didn't leave when I went inside and grabbed the dog shampoo and a pile of old towels and the first aid kit. She watch patiently while I uncoiled the garden hose and turned on a gentle stream. It took a half hour of washing and repeating to get all the mud and crud off of her. She kept trying to drink from the hose so I got Bentley's outdoor water bowl and kept it full as she tanked up on water.Her face was swollen, one eye almost shut but no cuts on her head. She had bruises and shallow cuts on her back around her tail. (In case you ever need an ice pack and you don't have a "real one", a bag of frozen peas or corn makes a great substitute.) The most amazing thing was that she let me use peroxide on her cuts and an ice pack on her face without fighting me at all. As I was finishing up Sharon, a good friend, the neighborhood dog walker, stopped by and asked me what was happening. I told her the story as she was petting the new dog. Sharon had been a nurse so she gently checked for broken bones and infected cuts. I told her I couldn't afford a vet to take care of the new dog. She said we didn't need one yet but she knew vets who would help out for free. While she was checking the dog I slipped inside and got a bowl of dried kibble. The new dog was famished.
We ended up calling her Molly. Molly was my constant companion for the next 14 years. She took care of me when Joe was sick and when he died. She took care of Bentley in his old age, until he died. About a year ago she developed a number of tumors, cancer the vet said. When it got to be too much I held her in my lap as the vet gave her that last shot. At the end she was trying to lick the tears from my face.Molly was the sweetest, gentlest dog I'd ever met. She was all the proof I needed to know that pit bulls can be as good and loving as a dog could be.
And so Mr. Vick, you disgust me. You are cruel and malicious, a common thug. I am glad you've lost your job and I hope this ruins your career. I can't help but wonder if a man as cruel as you abuses women and children. The best news is that people will forget you, you will only be a pathetic footnote in NFL history.

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