When Molly was about five, somebody threw a little dirty ratty puppy over the fence at the stable where I boarded my horse. Not unusual — people dump unwanted dogs all the time. This puppy was a sweetie, but one of her front legs was injured and she had raging diarrhea. I helped get her cleaned up and assured the owners, that no, I did NOT want to take her home.
Fast forward to several weeks later when the owners arrived home from showing their prize quarter horses only to discover the puppy had eaten the whole side off their brand new leather recliner. In the interests of saving that puppy’s life, I took her home. I was not greeted warmly by either Dan or by Molly, although my kids were instantly in love. That puppy became known as Muffin.
Muffin became a huge and supportive part of my children’s lives as they grew, and they loved her unconditionally. Not so much Molly, who didn’t appreciate being tromped on or charged over by two rambunctious kids — and the feeling was mutual. Muffin lived to be 14, and died of congestive heart failure during the time when Dan and I were separated. Unlike Molly’s death, we were all there to be with Muffin in her final moments.