Molly, the yellow lab, loves everyone but the vet

Every now and then, I mention Molly, our yellow lab, in my stories. She is an integral part of our family and even despite the hair (does she keep any on her body?) I would miss her terribly were something to happen to her.

Every morning that I’m able, I snap on her leash and we go for our customary jaunt down our road. I try to push myself into a light jog and back off to a brisk walk when my body screams, “What are you, nuts? Enough!”

Molly, my ever-faithful companion, kicks it in with me, matching my pace every step of the way. She knows when we’re going for an outing when I haul out her leash. She stretches out on the deck every single time before we begin; extending her front legs all the way out, lowering her head to accommodate the stretch. She’s no dummy.

Following me all around the farm, she worries the chickens while I tend, patiently watches while I feed the pigs and chases cats around while they’re waiting for their breakfast. I always want to tell them, “Why don’t you go catch a mouse while you’re waiting?”

In the house, she’s underfoot or under the table as I prepare our meal. Molly patiently stays by her feed dish until we begin eating supper. Then and only then will she dig in. She never eats until we do. If she needs to go outside, she’ll wait by the door, wagging her tail and watching me in the kitchen. Her tail and eyes answer me when I talk to her and tell me things as she talks to me.

As wonderful as Molly is, the one thing with her is: She really hates vets. When we were still milking cows and our vet would come out to do a herd check, or for a sick cow call, she’d take one look at that vehicle and her hackles would come up and she’d growl low, down in her throat.

Our vet was the nicest guy on the face of the earth and really good with cows and dogs and every animal in between. But Molly didn’t know that. The smell of that vehicle and stranger was all it took to get her riled up.

Soon it was discovered that Molly’s rabies shots were due. Since we had our vet coming out to the farm, we figured we’d have him bring along the vaccine and take care of it right here. Because he knew Molly, he suggested we give her some sort of calming meds before he was scheduled to come, and he prescribed something, along with the dose.

We had her, we thought, sufficiently drugged when he came driving down the driveway. Her hackles came up and she started growling low, down in her throat. Those meds did nothing. Not a thing. He took the vaccine back to the office.

I got to thinking. When Molly came to us, she was already about six months old and was terribly fearful of the broom, of all things. When I hauled out the broom, she put her tail between her legs and ran for the back room. We figured her previous owner had used a broom on her. (Lowlife.) It’s the only thing we could figure. And she was very timid around my husband at first, too, so we thought guys and brooms were not her favorites.

The veterinary service we utilized happened to have a woman vet on their staff. I called the office and asked if at all possible, could they send her out to the farm, if she was in the area, in the next few weeks? I explained why.

She came out. Molly took one look at that vehicle, and her hackles came up and she growled low, down in her throat. Then the person stepped out of the truck.

In a singsong voice, “Well, Moll-lly, look at you. Aren’t you the pretty little girrl-ieee?”

Molly stopped, sniffed, cocked her head to the side and took one step closer.

That high, lilting voice: “Come on, Moll-lly, see? I have a treat!”

Molly, sniffing tentatively, her nose high in the air, walked over and couldn’t help herself, started wagging, happy as a clam for a treat and a sweet voice.

All the while the vet was talking, and quick as lightning she got one shot in. Another little treat and another shot went in. A tender pat on the head, encouraging mommy-talk and the last shot went in.

Molly never knew what hit her.

(“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.” Proverbs 1:5)