I’ve always known that my yellow labrador retriever, Molly, is very intelligent; almost human in a lot of ways. I’ve always said that I expect her to just start talking to me any day now. She is so observant of the world around her and so in-tune with it. She always knows when to come around and pass out hugs or slobbery kisses. Since our daughter was born, Molly has become her protector. From the first moment she met her two-legged sister, she has responded to every little cry, squeal, and laugh as if Kylie were her own offspring. She kept me company in the wee hours during that first year and has been my constant companion ever since. It’s funny, when we got her, I was still healing from the horrible loss of our black lab Rudy and had a hard time bonding with Molly. Even though I would play with her some, she was mainly my husband’s dog because it felt like a betrayal to me. Somehow I think she understood and she gave me plenty of time to sort it all out. I believe with all my heart that she was meant to be our dog; sent by an angel named Rudy. Now I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Molly has always been quiet and reserved. Back in the US she would sit on the bank outside our house and look up at the sky at night. She looked like she was counting the stars. Or, as my husband would always say, “contemplating her existence”. She’s never been a big barker unless she’s playing with a ball that she wants you to throw or kick. It’s at that point that her natural dog instincts seem to kick in and she forgets all else in the world except for that ball. Most of the time though, she’s very quiet and notices every detail of her surroundings. She’s even that way with food. When you offer her something from your hand, she has to smell it first and often will take it from you and drop it on the floor so that she can thoroughly inspect it before tasting it. She can seem to be in the deepest sleep possible and one slight move by anyone else in the room will awaken her to full alert in a split second even at ten years old. We’ve always called her our walking barometer because hours before a storm arrives, she’ll start shaking and wanting to be as close as possible to us. Her extreme sensitivity can be both amazing and frightening at the same time.

This morning I watched her in one of her moments of silent observation as she got to know a baby monkey that was teasing her from the wall around our pool. So innocent, so beautiful and so hilariously annoying. She never barked or made even the slightest movement toward it. She just sat and watched as it would come closer, then run away, then closer still. It was almost like a dance between the two of them as the monkey tried to get her to react. I so wish I would have been able to hear the “conversation” that was taking place between them. I wanted so badly to move closer. But, taking a cue from Molly, I too became a silent observer.

I have been thinking about that scene all morning and about how it made me realize that Molly and I are alike in a lot of ways. We both like to take our time when meeting someone new. But, unlike Molly, I’ve gotten caught up in “life” and forgotten how to slow down and enjoy each moment in my day to day life. As I look back, I wonder how many beautiful moments I’ve missed by being in too big of a hurry; in a hurry to grow up…to finish college and start my life…to get married and start a family…to start over when I realized I wasn’t where I was meant to be. I’ve always been a firm believer that God has put me in certain places at certain times so that I could be influenced and inspired in the way He intended. I think today, He intended for me to be inspired by Molly; by her sweet way of observing the world and just taking it all in. I think He’s guiding me to something that I never would have imagined on my own. I think what I need to do now is just silently observe and open my heart to whatever He has in store for me next. Thanks for the reminder Molly.

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