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1. The Seven Foot Long Dog

What would you do with a dog the size of a small pony in a house the size of a school bus? Molly has always wanted a puppy. What she gets is more adventure than she bargained for. What happens when a giant dog turns your world upside down?

Molly O'Hare is finally getting the puppy that she has waited for. After two years her dog is coming home. Join Molly as she gets, trains, and settles in with her new puppy. Share the adventures of living with a dog that is the size of a small pony. Find out what secret her dog has hidden. Laugh and cry with this adorable duo as Molly learns that a best friend doesn't have to have two legs.

1. The Seven Foot Long Dog

Chapter 1

My name is Molly O’Hare, and I am finally getting a dog. It’s not just any dog, but one of the biggest dog breeds in the world.
It all started back at the end of May, on the first day of my summer vacation.
I woke up bored that morning. My best friend moved away after Christmas and I didn’t have any other friends to play with. I am an only child, so I don’t even have a brother or sister to annoy. Mostly, I was lonely.
I couldn’t make friends at my school. The kids had formed groups back in grade school, and weren’t open to letting new kids in. I had moved to Cut and Shoot, Texas at the end of fourth grade and had made a friend then, but now I was friendless. Since Michele moved away, nobody even talked to me.
If I tried to talk to any of the girls in my classes, they just looked at me and walked away. It had been a miserable time at Creighton Intermediate.
I was going to get a puppy, but that wasn’t for another four to six weeks. I just didn’t know what to do with myself until then.

That day, I woke up late, with the sun shining in my eyes. The sun didn’t hit my window until after nine o'clock during the summer, so I knew I’d slept extra late. I felt on the nightstand for my glasses and put them on, then got out of bed and felt with my toes for my slippers and gave a good stretch.
“I wonder what I can do today? I’m tired of vacation already and it’s only the first day. It is going to be a long summer.”
Good grief. It was the first day of vacation, and I was already talking to myself.
I knew one thing that I was going to do immediately, eat breakfast. I smelled BACON!

My mother was just putting the bacon on a plate when I plopped into my chair at the table.
“Molly, sit up straight. My Heavens child, you look like a pile of rags thrown into a chair,” my mother laughed, “Why aren’t you dressed yet? Have you forgotten what today is? We're leaving for San Antonio in an hour to go look at puppies.”
I couldn’t believe that I'd forgotten that today was the day we were making the trip to the breeder’s house to go see the puppies. I shoveled food into my mouth as fast as I could, so I could get done and get ready to go.
“Slow down and eat like a human, and not like the puppies that we're seeing today,”
My father laughed as he walked into the kitchen, his hair still wet from his shower. “We’re not leaving for an hour. You have time to eat slowly, shower and get ready by the time we leave.”
My parents looked at each other, grinning. Though they corrected me a lot, I knew they loved me and were just trying to teach me manners. My parents were both mannerly and polite.
Sometimes, when I had been standing too long after church, and my parents were talking to EVERYBODY that came up to them, I wished they could be just a little rude.
The people in Cut and Shoot liked my parents. They had moved there shortly after getting married and made lots of friends in our tiny town. They had moved away for a few years, to Houston, and that’s where I was born.
We moved back here a couple of years ago. They’d picked up their old life like they had never left. For me though, it was a whole new life. It was one that I had never quite settled into.
My dad, Ian, was a volunteer girls’ basketball coach for the middle school team, and my mom, Siobhan, volunteered for the literacy program. She believed that reading was very important. Both of my parents were writers. They didn’t get why I had such a hard time finding a friend. Their lives were fine. They didn’t understand that I was different than the other kids. I wasn’t in 4H, and I didn’t want to grow up to marry someone named Bubba.
A few of the girls on the basketball team had a crush on my dad. He’s tall with wavy black hair and bright blue eyes, while my mom is petite, with bright red hair and green eyes.
I’m tall, like my father. I have red hair and green eyes, like my mom, but my red hair is almost orange, not the beautiful coppery red hers is. Plus, my hair is so curly that I can’t do anything with it, it looks like a pile of orange springs that somehow found its way to the top of my head. This was yet another reason the girls in school made fun of me. They called me Little Orphan Annie. You know, like from the old movie.
I really hated brushing my hair, because the brush always got caught and tugged at my scalp. I really dreaded combing through it after I took my shower. Although, today it would be worth the pain to go to see the puppies. I had to make a good impression on the breeder.
I slowed down and chewed my food carefully. My parents sat down and ate with me.
“Molly, there’s something we need to talk to you about,” my father looked very serious as he put down his fork and leaned towards me. “We’re going to be making a lot of changes in our lives soon. Your mother and I were offered jobs with a travel magazine, as staff writers, and we have taken them.”
“That’s great Dad! I’m happy for you. Now you won’t have to worry about money so much.”
My breakfast finished, I stood to take my plate to the sink, to wash it and put it in the dish rack.
“Leave it hon, we haven’t finished telling you about our new jobs. It’s going to involve traveling all over the United States, and maybe even out of the country.”
My mother looked very serious as she took my plate and laid it back down on the table.
I felt my heart break into a thousand pieces. They were going to go away and leave me. I burst into tears.
“Why are you taking this job and leaving me here? Who am I going to live with? Why are we even going to look at puppies if you’re going away and dumping me on someone else? Nobody will let me live with them with an Irish Wolfhound!” I wailed.
“Oh baby, we’re not leaving you. You’re coming with us.”
My father walked around the table, picked me up and hugged me.
“We are just going to rent the house out. The publishing company that we’re going to work for is paying to have a bus converted for us to travel in. We’ve already looked at one and they are converting it for us, so that we can all live comfortably, even the dog. I made them make sure that they put in space for your dog.”
I wiped my eyes.
“But Dad, how am I going to go to school? Are you going to homeschool me? Where will I put all my clothes and stuffies? Where is my puppy going to sleep?”
My mother chimed in, “Molly, we’re don’t need to figure that out yet. You just go take your shower and get dressed. It’s getting late and we have a date with a litter of puppies.”

Fifteen minutes later, I'd showered and dressed and was waiting by the front door with my hair still damp. I had thrown a change of clothes and fresh underwear with my toothbrush and toothpaste into an overnight bag. Not only would we get to see puppies, but we were going to stay overnight in a hotel. This was exciting!
Just when I thought I couldn’t wait any longer, my parents came to the door carrying their suitcases.
“Did you remember to use the bathroom?”
My mom asks me this question every time we go anywhere. It is downright embarrassing.
“Yes, Mom!”
I practically hissed my answer at her. I didn’t want to be sassy, but my mom didn’t need to remind me to go to the bathroom every time we left the house. I’m eleven years old. I know when I have to go to the bathroom. I’m not a baby.
I kind of made a face behind my mother’s back. Luckily, I didn’t get caught.
Her father gave me a dirty look. Maybe my funny face hadn’t gone unnoticed after all.
“Alright Molly, it’s a four-and–a-half hour drive to San Antonio and we need to get to Mrs. William’s house by two-o'clock. I won’t be able to stop very often.”
I went ahead and made a pit stop before getting into the car. There wasn’t any need to prove my parents right by having to stop an hour into the trip.
Empty now, I got into the car. We were finally off to meet a litter of eight Irish Wolfhound puppies!


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