Molly is a four year old shetland sheepdog that weighs twice what the vet says she should. She looks like a furry log with eyeballs and a tail. Instead of walking, she lumbers. She is unable to go on walks. Sometimes I wish she were more like our neighbors' golden retriever, who requires constant exercise. Sometimes I wish she were a wolf. But she makes a marvelous pillow. She is affectionate and quiet and a wonderful companion, especially in the winter. I do love her.

I don't usually sunbathe, but I am determined not to be so pale as to be invisible next to the California dance major bimbettes that frolic naked under my boyfriend's window every night. I slathered on the oil and headed outside, bringing Molly with me. She laid under the hammock, happily bobbing her head and occasionally licking my hand.
And then her ears went up and she ran towards a pile of fallen birch leaves.


I sat up, fascinated. I'd never seen Molly move like that. She dug around in the leaves, sniffing furiously. I watched her until I decided that she was just playing, and laid back down.

A few minutes later, I heard her padding towards me. She proudly dropped a wet mound of leaves with a furry something sticking out of it on the ground near the hammock. She cocked her head and looked at me, smiling a weird doggy smile. Horrified, I jumped up to see what she'd caught. I gingerly pinched the critter's tail, lifted... and saw half of what looked like a freshly killed chipmunk. I dropped it and stared at her, amazed. She was about to eat it when I let loose.
"BAD! BAD girl! You are BAD, Molly! BAD!"
She dropped her head and walked away sadly.

I washed my hands and returned to the hammock. Molly laid under the birch tree, giving me sad and guilty eyes. I laid and thought about what she'd done. Yes, she'd killed something cute and fuzzy. But she's a carnivorous predator! She is supposed to hunt and kill and eat adorable critters.
And for a moment, hadn't I felt really proud of her?
I rolled over and pretended to not notice when she slunk towards me and carefully ate her kill. When she'd finished, I pulled her up onto the hammock with me and lovingly brushed her.
I noticed that under her chub, there is something delightfully wolfish about her face.

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