Earl the McNab

Earl the McNab
Earl the Mcnab

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Molly McNab at Twelve Weeks

Molly Gives Two Ears Up!
Copyright © 2014 MJ Miller

It can't be possible that our little girl is twelve … weeks, that is.  Her legs have gotten longer; willowy, we'd say if she were a girl-child instead of a puppy-child.  She's developed a lovely, foxy profile.  She is completely housebroken (whew!) and she whines at the door when it's necessary for her to go out, letting out a "hey, NOW!" bark if we tarry.  Her bark is still high-pitched and her yips are giggly -- like her pre-pubescent human-child counterparts' voices.

Molly is growing up.  She went in for her shots today and, as puppies do, charmed everyone at Animal Health Services.  They charmed her, too -- Dr. Wyman sat on the floor with her and let Molly take her time wiggling her way forward to give kisses and, ultimately, climb up on Dr. Wyman's neck and shoulders (Molly's sincere sign of acceptance).  Becky bestowed treats upon her (having already been bribed with kisses and wags -- Molly remembered Becky).  Molly received a clear bill of health, a seventeen-pound+ weigh-in, and a to-go bag of snacks.  Naturally, I took advantage of having an audience to show off Molly's repertoire of puppy tricks:  the sit, high-five, down, play dead, roll over, and "puppy wave" with both paws high in the air.  Out of respect for the clinic staff who listen to yelps, yips, barks and growls all day, I elected not to have Molly demonstrate her ear-piercing "speak" on command.

Molly in the Vet's Examining Room
Copyright © 2014 MJ Miller
She has had a good day, as puppy days go.  She helped me do horse chores and visited the chickens in the morning.  She plunks her fat puppy booty in front of the chicken pen and stares at them, ears up, grinning.  Oh -- those ears -- they are both fully in the "up" mode now, but one leans to the inside, touching the opposite ear, like a drunken sailor propped against a lamp post.  After chores, Molly had a leisurely quasi-wrestling quasi-cuddle match with Shotgun Willie, her favorite cat.  Here's this afternoon's Molly video:  Molly and Willie cuddling and half-heartedly wrestling.  As if that's not a perfect day already, there was the ride in the car -- Molly's a good traveller by now, but she's still not sure that the car is a good thing -- and, after her return from the vet, a ramble around the ranch.

It was Molly's second full-length ramble.  Already she is exhibiting the characteristics that make me love Mcnabs:  she has learned to "go on ahead" when encouraged.  She waits a few yards ahead to make sure that her slow humans are catching up.  She leaps over the trail obstacles (a couple of downed trees I use for training the horses) with natural athleticism.  She's cautious when we approach the shared fence-line where the neighbor's large, aggressive dogs bark savagely, but she pulls herself together and happily continues as we have passed.  I don't stop and wait along the way when Molly takes a pee-break -- instead, I continue, and Molly races to catch up, just as a good dog should.

It's a joy watching Molly and Earl rambling together.  She is confident.  She doesn't cling to us or Earl but is autonomous.  She and Earl are partners already, close and attached to each other but not conjoined.  Daily, they chase balls together, play keep-away games, and run happy laps playing tag.  Molly waits for Earl to chase the ball Russ throws, then slowly creeps up on him as if approaching a herd of renegade steers.  As she nears, she suddenly bolts forward and, growling fiercely, steals the ball from Earl's grinning mouth.  At night, for their last waking hour, Molly and Earl tussle in bed.  He adopts his best coyote expression -- lips curled up in a snarl that would be frightening were his eyes not smiling.  They growl, gnaw on each other, use their paws to pin and push and slap, and when Molly and her barracuda teeth get too rough, Earl gives her a smack-down.  Her feelings hurt, she'll wiggle over to me and put her head on my shoulder; quickly consoled, she lunges at Earl again, feisty.

Her spunk amazes me.  If only we could raise little girls to be so uniformly gutsy and willing to engage, bullying would likely soon be a thing of the past.  Molly is more resilient than Earl, less sensitive, more rough and tumble.  We named her well; she truly is the unsinkable Molly Mcnab.


  1. We adopted Daisy while stationed in Japan, but didn't know she's a McNab. All we knew was her Airman was from Texas. After he deployed, mom couldn't keep up with Daisy and a new baby. Heel-nipping derailed two adoption attempts, and the shelter told us we rescued her, though we think it was the other way around!

  2. I was just looking up The Mc Nab, a painting I saw in 1977 in the Art Gallery in Edinburgh. It was very impressive. I knew nothing of the breed of dog that I presume didn't exist before Henry Raeburn, the painter