May 9, 2017 11°

"Joyful, joyful, joyful, as only dogs know how to be happy with only the autonomy of their shameless spirit."     Pablo Naruda

This year for the first time in 12 years we are opening the cottage without Molly, our silly, sassy, supremely entitled and occasionally well- behaved dog. Long Point was her favourite place. Miles before we would reach our home she would start yip-yip-yipping in the high squeaky voice she used only on this occasion. Running from one side of the car to the other: Lake! Woods! Lake! Woods! Yip! Yip! We'd arrive and she'd leap out of the car and bound up the little hill toward the beeyard, run back and tear around the house exactly four times before skidding up the stairs to then run from room to room, claiming each as hers for the next six months. Or sometimes after her ritual circuit around the house, she'd dash down the steep stairs to the beach and run along the shore, knee deep, chomping at the water, eyes wide and slightly crazed, water splashing everywhere.

She was a smart dog, but a slow learner. It took an inordinately long time to realize that barking at the bees wasn't going to stop them from stinging her. Nor was curiously peering into the hive entrance. She loved all manner of beekeeping, and would sit on the ramp to the honey house for hours, keeping me company while I worked inside. (Unless it was garbage day, in which case she'd secretly sidle out to the driveway to be Bad Dog with a piece of chicken.) 

During harvest, she'd sit with her nose pressed to the glass, hoping to be let in for just a little bit of honey? Pleeze...

One consolation. When we were here with her a few weeks ago I distributed a bag full of her downy undercoat for the birds' nest-making. As we arrived yesterday, I heard birds singing everywhere and I imagined their cozy, fur trimmed nests, a little bit of Molly appreciated throughout this bird paradise.

And another point of happiness. Yesterday, daughter Megan and family were here helping with all the opening tasks, stocking pantry and fridge, making beds, removing dust covers... Turkey chile dinner, big breakfast, card games with Dallas (now 10), and puzzles kept us busy and happy.

But here it is, a cold, rainy Sunday night, wind whistling mournfully through our single pane windows. Kids gone, no Molly. Sadness has crept in to this normally happy time. We've made a fire in the wood stove, put on my new favourite compilation, the soundtrack from Big Little Lies (Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Leon Bridges, Elvis Presley...), and poured a glass of wine, but soon we'll climb into bed without the warm, snoring, encroaching presence of our best, our prettiest girl.