(17) Dog Days of Summer Gone By

Molly, the service dog

Golly, Miss Molly:

A blog about a service dog and her veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the veteran and the family caregiver)


“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 NKJV

Our balcony sits high at an altitude of 6,780 feet and overlooks the valley almost to Kansas. It is the catbird perch of the house. Humming bird approaching feederFrom this spot, Molly eyes every activity in a one-mile radius. A symphony of humming birds circles around Molly, fending off interlopers desiring to dominate the sugary deposit hung for them earlier that day. Molly tans herself in the sun, oblivious to the bird wars erupting just two feet above her head.

Huge bear up closeThe neighborhood bear strolls by, his scent tugging Molly to full alert. Curiosity pulls her from her perch. The bear appears as a black shadow three times her size. She remains still behind the stucco pillar of the railing.

A few minutes later, a fox appears with his red tail at attention. He waits to advance behind the bear to pick up any left overs the bear leaves behind. The black squirrel busies himself storing piles of acorns in between rocks. By now at the end of summer, she offers a bark to let us know she remains on guard. She rolls on her back to expose her underbelly to the warmth of the late summer sun until the turkey girls hobble into her radar.Fox on sidewalk

She throws off her slumber. With pent-up energy, Molly dashes to edge of the balcony. Her bark echoes through the canyon.

IMG_1709_edited-1Fifteen turkey girls cluck between pine trees one-by-one, unfazed by Molly’s barking now bulleting through the air. The humming birds react in a frantic daze, suspending feeding until calm returns.

With the menagerie gone by, Molly settles back into suntan posture. The trees rustle around her and bow towards the balcony. The sun disappears behind the monster mountain earlier than expected. Molly sighs and carries her large body into the house.

The bear no longer appears. The humming birds vanished as instantly as they appeared in late April. Mounds of dirt fan-out from rocks, displaced by squirrels and acorn storage. Anticipating Thanksgiving nearing, the turkeys have taken to a path far from human predators. Only the fox remains a visitor to the neighborhood and he is not enough to call out Molly to the chill of early fall.

The dog days of summer passed without so much as a farewell. Molly stays in hibernation with her human family, dreaming about romps in snowdrifts soon to come.

Gone are the Dog Days of Summer.

To those who are suffering in anguish or pain, please know that this is but a season.

There is joy to come and there are those who care about you, including the

Golly, Miss Molly team, your local pastor or priest, and even those at the VA Crisis Hotline.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 VA logodays a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

1 800 273-8255

Post your Comments:

Do you have words of encouragement you would like to offer veterans or family members who are struggling at this time? Please comment below.

Photo credits: pculbrethgraft

About the blogger

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her husband, William, and dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her grandchildren.