Janet took her to a place called The Right Paw for obedience training. It worked! We enjoyed freaking people out when they came over or a cookout, because Molly thought fetching was just the coolest thing. We'd give her her own hot dog in a bun (with ketchup), maybe a dab of potato salad, and put them on a paper plate and she would enjoy the cookout with the rest of us. When she was done she'd come up (looking for more food), and one of us would say, "Molly, fetch trash." She would then scamper happily to the empty plate and pick it up, bring it right up to us so we can throw it away. Tail wagging. Always wagging, and smiling.
Molly loved Frosty Paws - an ice cream for dogs. Always got one after enduring a bath, always bringing us the empty, chewed up cup when she was done. And once a month she got one of her favorite treats: heart worm pills. She'd gobble those down. Seriously. She even loved to get vacuumed, would stand there and wait for you to attached the upholstery piece and run it along her back. Being a water dog, the pool was always a treat. She'd stand at the top of the steps and wait for someone to say "OK" before leaping in, swimming across the shallow end and coming out at the steps, shaking and cool. There was a definite hierarchy with the OK command. The kids had authority in her mind to say it, as long I wasn't there, then it had to come from me. Unless Janet was there, then it had to come from her. :-)
And Popcorn - Molly loved her popcorn.
Most of all, she loved her family. She'd walk up to you constantly wanting pats, being so excited about it she couldn't stand still. You could be gone for only an hour, to church or wherever, and Molly would greet your return as if you'd been gone for years. She'd walk in circles while everyone - and she insisted that anyone in the room must participate in this - scratched her back and ears and head while the scratchers shuffled about to avoid getting their feet stepped on. Andrew, Amanda and Audrey were her brother and sisters and they loved her as much as she loved them back. She'd lay outside Andrew's door waiting for him to get up (and sometimes we'd open the door to let her into his room to wake him up) so he would feed her, then Amanda when her brother is off at school. She'd saunter out with Amanda and let her take picture after picture, always happy to oblige. Audrey loved to take pictures of her, too. The girls took these pictures you see now. Molly was playmate to all of them, their buddy and pal, on so many days outside, especially when time came for chasing the ball. And every school or camp morning she'd go into each of their rooms with Janet and lick their hands to wake them up, always making sure she got equal attention.
Though the dog and I were the best of buddies, the love of Molly's life was her Mom. As soon as Janet walked into a room there was only Mommy (well, after she ate the apple core waiting on the grass). She was the one who would play with her ears and give those long, luxurious scratches and save a little bit of scraps every morning when making lunches for the kids and sneak them to her, tell her how perfect a dog she was. Molly knew she was a perfect dog (how could she not?), but I think she liked to hear it.
Lastly, can't talk about favorites without mentioning her favorite uncle in the universe (no offense to all the other aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents): Uncle Paul. Molly was happy all the time, but would explode into fit of joy so overwhelming her butt would be all over the place from her crazy tail when Uncle Paul visited. Paul and cousin Holly's house was Molly's version of Disney World. They would dogsit her whenever we went on vacation, watch movies and eat popcorn and chase the ball. If Paul and Holly were visiting, when they prepared to leave there would be Molly, standing by the truck, wondering if she'd get to drive back with them for a visit.
I know Molly's in a good place now, running and chasing tennis balls like she loved to do, and getting popcorn every night. We love you, Molly. You're a good girl, and we miss you very much.