It started fifteen years and eleven months ago. We had started building the Ranch house and Bunkhouse up on a hill of what became the Wildfire Ranch. Our home and business sold so quick that we had moved into a rental house on the west side of Medicine Lodge. Our belongings were in two stock trailers, a storage unit, in a small former calf shed, and piled to the ceiling in the garage. We would not move into the new house until April 15, 2007. We moved into the rental in August 2006. Little did we know what was to come.

In August 2006 in Cheney, Kansas a litter of German Short Hair Pointer puppies were born. It was a big litter and the runt of the litter had to fight to get enough food. Called Peggy my brother picked her out. In registered dogs runts were not in favor for competitions so the owner was happy to sell her for a ‘runt’ price.

The last thing we needed while building the ranch was a puppy. On my mom’s birthday here came my brother with a little terrorist now named Molly. There was never enough food for Molly and I remember hearing kibbles being gulped down then she came running full speed into the living room scattering kibbles the whole way. When she was satisfied everyone was still there she would run full speed back to start all over. We had to make her pick up scattered kibbles when we went back to refill the dish. And there was the time she was too quiet. When we went back to see what she was getting into we found that she had discovered the roll of toilet paper in the back bathroom and how much fun it was unrolling it. The door was kept closed after that. Yes I do have a mug shot of that.

The backyard had hog wire around it and I had to close all the holes that was in it so we did not have to hook her to the clothesline. She could find holes in the fence like a metal detector. She would get out and run around the neighborhood and soon everyone knew her name from us out calling her. One day mom heard her barking three houses down and she had a Doberman Pincher scared to death sitting on a porch with his back to her.

The neighbor on the south side of us had a lower yard and there were two holes on each end of the yard that Molly could stick her head through to bark at the three Rottweilers that he owned. She would stick her head through a hole and bark at the big dogs. Just as the big dogs got close she would pull her head out and run down the fence, stick her head through, and bark at them again. She would play this game as long as she was out there. She was only a few weeks old and would have been a snack for those dogs, but she was fast.

The whole north end of Barber County knew Molly because she would ride with Dad in the pickup everywhere he went. She rode around his neck with her nose on or out the window. She finally grew too big for dad and had to finally get down on the seat. When we finally got moved in there was no grass yet and when it was wet she stayed in the house. Even though she had a Cadillac dog pen with log sided dog house she did not like it. One night it was drizzly and cold, Dad took Molly out at 4am. They were at the edge of the concrete drive when a cougar screamed. It was a fight for both to get in the door at the same time.

Molly wanted to play with everything. She decided to play with the cattle on the place next to us. This could have been a death sentence for her. I had to break her of this fast. I had a golf cart and grabbed my cattle whip that I used working cattle. The point of the whip is not to strike an animal but to get it to crack and the noise will scare the animal to make it go where you want. I ran Molly around snapping the whip close to her until she ran to the house. She never played with cattle again and would only sit and watch them.

We decided to have Molly spayed. We did not want to raise puppies and we were getting to the point that we could not walk and hunt quail anymore. We brought her home wrapped in a bandage and she was hurting. Dad said “we can’t put her out in the pen feeling bad. So we kept her in the house. Mom never wanted a house dog, but she never went to her pen unless we were going to be gone over an hour. When she had to stay in here dog house she thought she was being punished.

One day she jumped a bird and it flew off. She followed and another bird jumped up. The next thing we knew she was over the hill and we could not call her back. After an hour we started driving looking for her. We went to 99 Springs and then Arrowhead. We could not see her anywhere. We had given up and turned back north on Resort road. Out of 99 Springs she flashed across the road. I honked the horn and she turned around. I opened my door and she jump over me landing in Dad’s lap. She was scared to death lost. We were so happy to find her that she did not get scolded.

Molly had a personality like any dog we ever had. She was the worlds oldest puppy. She was a fixture at the Bed & Breakfast and made friends from all over the world. She started to get tumors. They grew to huge proportions. More and more tumors would grow. The vet said it would be harder on her to remove them. We had friends who had a Short hair that was covered with tumors. We knew time was short. She never gave up. She could pull like a bulldozer even when her joints were giving out.

Her special friends Barry and Victoria Ward stopped to see Molly a while before she left. Another friend Buddy stopped to spoil her with treats not long ago. Molly was special. Many call their pets ‘fur babies’ but Molly was always our ‘little girl’. It will take a long time to get over the day she left.

Our favorite photo of Molly I posted online. It was taken by my friend Carl Koster. It was in her chair that had been my grandfathers. She never liked having her picture taken. I took one that is framed in Dad’s room of Molly in the Gator with him. She loved to ride with him in the gator and the truck.

The screen is getting blurry so I have to end this. I hope when I am gone that I am met by Carl holding Molly as I walk up the path.

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