Molly Jacobson

Molly Jacobson's Credentials

Bachelor of Arts in English; Bachelor of Arts in Drama, Tufts University

About Molly Jacobson

Molly Jacobson grew up in Plainville, Connecticut, went to school in Boston and lived in New York City and Missoula, Montana, before making a home on Maui. A voracious reader, her appetite for words started at around 18 months and continues to this day.

Attending Tufts University, she finished her coursework for her major, Drama, by her third year. Having already taken most of the courses necessary for an English major, she decided to add that to her transcript. She graduated magna cum laude in both majors, a reflection of her fascination with and speed at both consuming and writing words.

Her career looks peripatetic to the casual observer, but it’s anything but if you think about how words build worlds. She spent her twenties in books: in Boston bookstores and the literary publisher Farrar, Strauss & Giroux in New York.

Interested in a career change, she turned to her home library to see what she was most interested in. Noting a large number of health books, she researched health careers and landed on massage therapy, a newly-medicalized course of study in New York.

Her work in the healing arts and a move to Missoula, Montana, led her back to writing when she went to a summer intensive photography instruction program and discovered they needed help with marketing and curriculum management. The visual arts re-awakened her connection to creative endeavors. When she moved to Maui and met her husband, she was happy to find work in his small independent book publisher.

Jacobson is the editor of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide and has spent every day since 2008 helping its readers cope with dog cancer. She is thrilled to have been a part of from the beginning and to serve as its Editor-in-Chief.

My Dog

When I was three in 1975, my mother’s little dog, Laurie, was pregnant, and I was so excited, because we were going to KEEP one of her puppies, and that would be MY little dog. Unfortunately, Laurie died giving birth, and I never met my puppies. That night I learned the tragic lesson that dogs always, always, always die too soon.

Fast forward to 2008, when my husband’s dog, Maui, passed away. As we mourned her loss, my husband, James, realized that I had never had a dog of my very own. I told him about Laurie, and her puppies, and he vowed to get me my very own little dog. He was still deep in mourning for his Maui, his heart dog … but he went looking for my dog.

I was super skeptical. Keenly aware that dogs choose us as much as we choose them, I didn’t think he would be able to find a dog who would be 100% mine.

Well, he did. He found a tiny Maltese on another island. She was beautiful, and dignified, and snuggly, and everything my little three-year-old inner child had hoped for. He traveled during our first week together, and Kanga (the first half of our two maltese … Roo came along later) and I just stared at each other in amazement for four whole days.

Kanga lived until 14, when she died of cancer. During those fourteen years she took me on walks, to the beach, and meditated with me. She opened my heart and encouraged me to heal in so many ways I can’t quite write about it all without writing a memoir-length book.

She had discernment in everything, and was wise beyond her species. She understood and loved me so completely; she saw everything, every flaw and every strength. I still think of her every day, and I know I always will. In a real way, she mothered me back into being the exuberant dog lover whose heart was broken at age three.

Although I will never love another dog with the heart I grew just for Kanga, I am now able to love every dog — and every human — more completely, thoroughly, and wisely — because of her.

Right after Kanga came into our life, we started working with Dr. Demian Dressler on his book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. I can honestly say that my love for Kanga, and her love for me, sustained my passion for caring for people whose dogs have cancer. Whatever good we have done for dogs and the people who love them in the last decades, has been because of her.

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