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Marley -n- Me

Jul 07

July 6, 2017

Dearest Marley,

So here we are. Today is the day that I have dreaded since the moment I held you in my arms and your puppy breath kisses covered my face on 7/15/2006.

I had never met a dog like you before. You challenged me…in good ways and bad sometimes. You pushed me to be better.  Do better.  You inspired me to be a person that doesn’t just preach love and kindness towards animals but to be one to stand up and do it. And not just animals but for anyone that doesn’t have a voice. You reminded me every day that I needed to stop and take a moment to enjoy what I have in life, right here and right now. There is always something to be thankful for no matter how crappy life could get. You taught me that no matter what I did or how I had failed, you would always love me like I was the greatest human being that ever walked the planet. I failed often. But you didn’t care. You were perfectly happy to sit in the background and watch me as I cared for other rescue dogs that needed my more immediate attention. You did so without jealousy because you knew that I was always yours and you were always mine.

I am sorry that we didn’t get to finish your bucket list together.  I am sorry that we didn’t start it sooner.  I am sorry that I couldn’t have you by my side every moment of everyday that you walked this Earth.  Even if you walked it the rest of the moments with me it still would not have been enough time with you. I am sorry that my passions that you inspired took me away from you. But you so gracefully and willingly allowed me to do what you inspired so deeply in me.  Ultimately, it was always because of you. And it will always be because of you. I am sorry that I couldn’t cure your bone cancer. Dammit, it was not because I didn’t try or make the decisions that I thought were best for you. I know you didn’t understand what was happening or why I kept taking you into the doctors’ offices. But what a soldier you are. You never once complained. You never once resisted. You did what I asked of you and I am just sorry that it didn’t cure you. I am sorry that I lied and said we would fix you. I believed it. I ached for it to happen. And I am sorry that I failed in fixing you one last time. We made it through so many medical crises. I truly had faith that we would beat this one.

The reality is that you never failed me. Not once. You have always had my back and protected me even when I didn’t need protection. You not only accepted my human son as yours but you loved him as if you shared his soul. You protected him, our family unit, our home…the things that mean the most to me. You had this uncanny ability to know precisely when I needed a pick me up and never resisted the opportunity to bring over a toy or ball and drop it on my lap to play a quick game of fetch. You never missed an opening to give me a pitbull hug in the morning with that helicopter tail going or a cuddle session at night before the lights went out. You never missed a morsel of food that fell on the ground (or you were handed) even if you irritatingly sat under the table periodically licking our pant legs to remind us that you were there waiting. Remember how I would always have you grab a toy to put in your mouth whenever anyone would walk in the house because you had an uncontrollable licker? Yeah, that always made me smile inside. You swam like you were born in the water and attacked the hose like a maniac anytime we watered anything. I will miss that.  I will miss you trying to eat the vacuum, because let’s face it, that asshole has been out to get you since day one. I will miss our car rides…getting burgers and fries…Tim Horton’s Timbits…and Starbucks Puppchinos. I will miss you at work with me. I will miss you scaring the shit out of strange men who would try to approach us on walks by barking at them. I may have acted mad at the time but secretly I was giggling inside because I knew what a weenie you actually were. I will never forget the day that you ran that new vet at Parkview right out of the room. I was mortified at the time but that ish is hilarious to me now. I will miss the days that you could do back-flips. Remember those? Nobody could believe that I had a pitbull who could do back-flips. What an athlete you were. Remember when Aunt Kelly would make shadow puppets on the walls and you would chase them for hours? You always knew how to fill a room or a deck with uncontrollable laughter.

You were our first baby.  Nothing can or will ever change that. You made us proud. You made us crazy. You made us laugh. And you continued to make us fall in love with you over and over and over again each and every day…especially the sicker you got. What a blessing to have entrusted us to care for you during your sickness. It was truly a gift to care for you in your finals months, weeks, days and hours. I will treasure this final day together and I will not let it ever escape my memory.

And don’t worry, I am not mad that you have been avoiding us the past couple of weeks and wanted to be alone. I saw the way you have been looking at us as life moved forward. There you were stuck in pause in what I can only imagine was insurmountable pain. You don’t understand that cancer isn’t contagious. But yet, you were still living your final act of love trying to ‘protect your pack’ by not getting us sick while longing to feel good enough to play. That pure love didn’t escape me sweetheart. What a beautiful, selfless creature you are.

Thank you for putting up with the hundreds of rescue animals that have come through our home and teaching and leading each one of them. Some were harder than others. I know that some tested your patience and you were probably relieved to see them go. Some you probably wished had become part of our pack. But you took every hurdle and challenge we faced in stride and with grace. It is not just our life that you impacted. You impacted each one of those canine and every one of the subsequent human lives that adopted those dogs. People like to call the human rescuers “unsung heroes.” We are not the unsung heroes, it is our human and canine families that are the true unsung heroes. Unsung hero, you were, no doubt. And even though most of those people will never know your name or that you even existed, we do. We know.

I know that this is a weird day. And you are going through an unknown procedure called euthanasia. I can’t tell you how it will feel. But you need to know that this is my final act of kindness and motherly love for you. I do not want to shorten your life. I am choosing to shorten your death. You don’t deserve to feel this kind of pain anymore. My love never has and never will waiver for you.  And I promised you that I would do what was in your best interest always even if it means it breaks my heart into pieces.

There are so many special people for you to see where you are going. Go see G’Pa Colton.  Have him show you all the bluebird boxes that he tends to. Make sure he gives you the 7-up (not the scotch) and pretzels at Happy Hour time. Go see John Seibert. He was a dear friend who loved dogs as much as I do and he will give you good snuggles and play fetch with you whenever you want to play. I thought about John this morning and I know he is already anticipating your arrival. Be sure to see G’Ma Colton who will make you get off the furniture but watch over her as she plays Solitaire and Freecell. Go see Duncan, Daisy, Mandy, Tyson, Sasha, Ginger, Sneakers, the other ‘Schensky house’ animals that went before you. We kinda have a clan of them where you are going and they are all great. Be sure to ask around about who the NBS Animal Rescue doggies are that are up there. We have a clan of them, too. Remember Harrison who used to try to bite you? Well, I bet even he will love to see you but please don’t try to eat his food. And Mr. Bob will be happy to snore in your ear again. Give him a kiss from me. I keep telling your Boy that you are going to heaven. I have to believe that All Dogs Go To Heaven…because truly…what human has as pure a soul and heart as you?

After the pain subsides of losing you, know that I will neither forget you nor let your Boy forget you. We will always talk about you, look at your pictures, watch your videos and tell your story. Know that it gives me comfort in my own death that I will have the opportunity to “feel you and see you” again one day. We had an amazing run, Marley. Now shed this crappy body that life decided to deal you and go run free…on three or four legs…whatever you choose this time. I will catch up one day and we will be together again.

Til then, just remember I love you and I will need to talk to you from time to time. There will never be another ‘you’ for me. My heart dog. Though there will be many that will follow in your pawprints, you have that one piece of my heart that is permanently reserved for you and you only.

Peace out Momma…til we meet again.



Marley -n- Her Boy

Marley -n- Dad

Marley -n- Me


9 comments so far

  1. Michelle
    4:43 pm - 7-7-2017

    Beautiful tribute to Marley. I am sitting here tears running down my face. Run Free Marley til you meet your family again.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2. linda8115
    4:54 pm - 7-7-2017

    The world may have lost an Angel but heaven has gained one. Your words to Marley are some of the most beautiful I have ever read and between them and your pictures of your beautiful girl have my tears flowing freely here. Fly free Angel Marley. I’ll bet your “job” in heaven will be “sister & caretaker” to the pups who weren’t as loved here on earth. And just as on earth you excelled at that for so many you will do so in heaven! Sending love to you all!

  3. Jen Martinez
    6:04 pm - 7-7-2017

    This is just amazing, I never met you Marley but I love you like I did. Fly high sweetheart. 💞

  4. rikntracy
    6:41 pm - 7-7-2017

    The world certainly did. Be free, angel. What a joyous reunion it will be :).

  5. benny55
    8:21 pm - 7-7-2017

    Absolutely speechless as audible sobs break the silence while I read this over and over and immerse myself in every word you have written and every beautiful picture you have shared.

    This is one of THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY HEARTFELT TRIBUTES I HAVE EVER HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF TRAVELING THROUGH WITH A DOG SOUL. You have allowed us the honor of being with you and Marley throughout his time here on earth and we treasure every sacred memory you have shared with us.

    We were able to “see” everytime you wagged that robust helicopter tail.of yours! 🙂 We are laughing out loud at the visual of you chasing the Vet out kf the room! 🙂 Licki g yout pants leg under the table to remind you to drop a morsel on the floor..LOL 🙂 And having to get Marley to put a toy in his mouth so he wouldn’t kiss/lick all visitors…..what a character!

    I can only imagine the glorious reunion Marley had with all his friends at the Bridge! And then to catch up with others he didnt know while in his earth clothes, but they all knew you. Oh my goodness, all they did for the first few hours of the reunion was talk aboht what a SPECTACULARLY JOYOUS AND LOVING TIME THEY HAD WITH YOU!! 🙂

    You and Marley are one heart. And your heart continues to beat for him. You will continue to help animals in need and they will feel Marley’s loving presence through you. MARLEY AND YOU HAVE AN UNBREAKABLE CONNECTION!! You can never, ever lose what has never left you. And Marley will NEVER leave you!!

    I cannot wait to hear all the various ways he makes his presence known. Pay attention to everything Marley’s boy says….pay attention to any “unique” behavior or action of Rosie and Bella…..I have a feeling arley will be very creative in the ways he makes his energy felt! 🙂

    Marley has given us all such an impactful legacy that will touch lives forever. I think one of the most beautiful gifts he gave you…..and goodness knows, his never ending gifts are too numerous to count…is the gift to stand up for ALL the voice less across ALL species!

    I wish I could find the words to express how much this tribute touches my Soul. You and Marley have given us a most illuminated insight into Marley’s well lived and well loved life that is STILL sooooo full of purpose!! Marley was already an enlightened Soul when he came to earth and picked you. And he picked you because you clear@y were the enlightened Soul he wanted to share his purpose with. NO O E else could jave helped him fulfill his mission better than you, your hubby, Bella, Rosie, all the other dogs who were given a chance because of his nurturing…And his boy.

    I hope you can feel my love…the love of all your tripawd family. I hope so ehow it helps carry you through the rough days ahead as you step further and further into all the happy memories you and Marley shared.

    From my heart

    Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  6. midnighter94
    12:28 am - 7-8-2017

    wow..what a wonderful tribute to a great dog! I have tears streaming down my face. I’m so very sorry that your time with Marley was shortened. You obviously loved her very much, and she loved you right back.
    Hugs to you,

  7. juliedarling
    12:46 am - 7-8-2017

    Sobbing. Marley will always be with you. Wise Sally once told me – would you trade the pain you have now if it meant you never got to have Buddy in your life. Those words helped me through the darkest of days. I won’t say it gets easier or that time heal all wounds because that’s just not true. You have to know that you and Marley were so very blessed for a special amount of time. AND – I promise this because I know this to be true – Marley will give you signs. Just watch for them. I promise. You have a bond that cannot be broken. I promise
    Julie and Spirit Buddy

  8. misterrustybucket
    1:55 am - 7-10-2017

    I am always so happy when I see that Marley has a new blog but when I saw the title my heart sank. I love your writing but I didn’t want to read this – but I did read it and read it again, and again. It is heartbreaking, it is remarkable, it is gut-wrenching, it is loving, it is devastatingly beautiful.

    Thank you so much for sharing your Marley with all of us. I feel like I have honestly gotten to know your girl and I am just so thankful for that opportunity because what a wonder she is. I love Marley’s spirit – she is a fighter and she and her Mom did not let the cancer win, neither of you failed not by a long-shot. You did not let cancer take away the joy of sharing your life together. You did not let cancer change the way you attacked her illness head on. You did not let cancer stop you from sharing precious time and travels and movie and morning breakfasts together. You did not fail. I believe you succeeded in a big, big way. You picked each other up and kept walking forward. You tried everything possible to eliminate or hold off this awful disease. You loved each other every minute and helped countless others along the way. You made memories that will last a lifetime and that my friend is not failure by any definition.

    You and Marley have become such important members of our Tripawds community and I sincerely hope that you will continue to share the stories of your adventures with Marley with all of us. You have an incredible gift for writing and making Marley and your family come alive on the page. I hope that when you are ready you will do that again and bring that precious girl back here on this blog in what I can only imagine are hundreds of stories.

    I lost my baby girl almost one year ago and what you wrote in your letter to Marley so perfectly captured those painful emotions. Thank you for being brave enough (and sane enough) to put those feelings into words. This letter is an incredible testament to your sweet, precious girl and I want to thank you for your honesty and for sharing the truth of the highs and lows of your battle. We had some of that Scotch (that Marley’s not allowed) and said a toast to Marley, “F*ck This and F*ck That and here’s to a life incredibly F*cking well-lived. “

    With much Love, Amy & Rusty

  9. jerry
    10:23 pm - 7-10-2017

    With all our heart, we are so very sorry. Your love for Marley shines through so brightly here, what a beautiful, brave and unforgettable tribute. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing the beauty that was your life together. You are truly an amazing human being and Marley is no doubt not far from you at all times, smiling and so proud she taught you so many life-changing lessons that ripple across humanity.

    Lots and lots of hugs and condolences coming your way.

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