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The Dart: Never too late for puppy love

With chocolate brown eyes, a smooth and shiny coat and a fresh ‘paw-dicure,’ 1-and-a-half-year-old cockapoo Molly was ready to mingle during PetSmart’s Small Dog Event this Saturday.

The event provided owners of small breed dogs the chance to stock up on food for sale prices, receive coupons and even register for a drawing for a shopping spree to the store.

For Molly’s owners, Patrick and Patricia Foley, the occasion offered not only a chance to save a few dollars, but a chance to treat their beloved pet to some extra social interaction and spoiling.

“She loves coming here,” Patricia said. “She loves seeing all the other dogs, so this is a great opportunity for her to be out and social.”

Molly’s owners enjoy the opportunity to take her to PetSmart and do so about once a month. They must be selective they say: Though she gets terribly excited about her trips in the car, she also gets carsick.

Molly entered the lives of Patrick and Patricia some seven years after the loss of their dachshund. The pair were determined to be pet-free, as Patricia is retired and Patrick is only a few years away from retirement.

Their intention was to be free and untethered for travel. Then their son adopted a rescue: a poodle-terrier mix named Scout.

“She was like the ambassador for all dogs,” said Patricia. “We just fell in love with her and we said, ‘you know what? There’s something missing in our life. We need a dog like Scout.’ ”

Molly has been with the Foleys since she was 8 weeks old, and she was the only female of a litter bred from a female cocker spaniel and male miniature poodle. She’s filled more than the pair’s void of a pet: She’s helped add some life and noise back into their house after their adult children moved out.

“She’s very loving,” Patrick said. “She’s a lapdog which is really nice. She’s our shadow.”

For those considering dog ownership, both Patrick and Patricia offer nothing but encouragement.

“They bring so much to your life,” Patricia said, and Patrick commented further.

“So much joy and happiness.”

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