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Marley -n- Me

Jun 29

So since this blog is about Marley, I guess I should tell you about how Marley came to be mine and me hers.

In 2006, my then fiance (now husband) was finally convinced that we (I) needed a dog.  I did what most other people do…I went to to find a rescue.  I found the cutest shepherd fluff-ball of a puppy.  I could hardly stand waiting three days to go meet him at the weekend adoption event.  I went to multiple pet stores to buy all the things one needs for a new puppy…food, bowls, toys, brushes, bed, crate, collar, leash.  I was fully prepared to bring my bundle of fluffy, adorableness home.  I spent the next three days showing his picture to friends and family and daydreaming about my life with this new wonderful puppy.  I had even went as far as to pick out his name.  This cute adorable fluff-ball would be named Hercules.  I bound out of bed the morning of the adoption event and made sure that I was looking my best to meet my new boy.  We arrived outside the pet store where the rescue was having the adoption event.  My hands were shaking with excitement as I rushed Russ out of the car one hour before the event started to make sure we were there first to adopt our new boy.  I walked in and looked at the row of cages setup in the middle of the aisleway and scanned each one looking for Hercules.  No dice.  The cages wrapped around the corner and I quickly bee-lined around the corner to look for my guy.

WHAM! The sight hit me like a ton of bricks.

A young couple had my Hercules in their arms, cooing over him, him licking their faces and the husband filling out paperwork.  I just about lost my shit.  Actually, I am pretty sure that I did. I ran out the front door without even saying a word, furious and heartbroken.  Russ came running out after me and pulled me in to give me a big hug when he finally caught up to me at the car (the car was locked and he had the keys.)  He made me look him in the face and said, “Look.  I know Hercules has been adopted.  But let’s at least go see if there are any other pups you like.  They all need good homes, right?”

Uggh.  Of course he was right.

I walked back in looking at the cages with way less enthusiasm.  In fact, I just wanted to leave.  My boy was gone.  I peaked around the corner to the adoption area just long enough to see the new family with Hercules get their picture taken before they walked out of the store.  Sigh.  Russ interrupted me and said “Hey, come look at this pup.”  I walked up to this large crate and saw a 10 pound brindley-looking thing.  She was kinda skinny.  And homely looking.  She was sitting there with her paws crossed quietly while all the other dogs were barking like maniacs to be taken out and taken home.  She was quiet.  She was stoic.  She acted like she did not really give a fuck about anything actually.  And, wow. What is up with those ears?  Russ opened up the crate and pulled her up into his arms.  And, well, we left the adoption event that day with a dog.

We debated for a couple days over a name.   I was starting from square one since this was a girl.  I couldn’t name her Hercules.  She wasn’t Hercules.  We were in the kitchen getting ready for a few of our friends to come over for a BBQ.  Russ had his Grateful Dead shirt on and was blaring music out in the backyard prepping the grill.  I heard “No Woman No Cry” come on over Pandora outside and I sang along while I prepped the potatoes.  Russ busted in the backdoor and came running up to me with a big smile on his face and sputtered…”Marley, Marley, Marley!”  “Like Bob Marley?” I asked.  “Well, kinda, but no.  It’s just a great name.”  I smiled and looked at our cute little girl curled up on the couch.

Marley it is.

I would love to say that it was such a blissful first year.  But yeah it pretty much sucked.  Teething.  Potty training.  Chewing, chewing and chewing!  Crazy bursts of weird energy at random times.  Puppy teeth.  Dang, it was not fun.  We enrolled her in Puppy Obedience class that she almost flunked out of because she is uh, er, um stubborn?  I thought something may be wrong with her…like mentally.  I ended up calling the rescue and asking what her backstory was.  She was just so…Marley.  Apparently Mom was a junkyard dog that got knocked up by a traveling dog.  The owners of the junkyard sold half her puppies and gave the other half to the rescue that they couldn’t sell.  Marley was the last of her litter.  I talked to them about the issues I was having with her stubbornness and not being particularly fond of strange men. They weren’t at all sympathetic and told me that I could return her if I wanted to.  Return her?  Really. People do that?  No.  No.  This is my girl…for better or for worse.  This is my Marley.

And so we learned to work within the confines of Marley’s comfort zone.  It’s cool.  I didn’t really like strange men either.  I just couldn’t get away with barking at them.

As I had Marley out and about with me at work, at school, out for walks, I noticed something interesting.  People were terrified of her.  And she was just a goofy puppy.  Like they would literally avoid us while walking and cross the road to the other side.  Especially people with children.  I guess I didn’t realize I had adopted anything other than a dog.  I quickly realized that I had adopted not a dog to the general public but a stigma, a pitbull.  But she’s just a dog.  My dog.

I literally spent weeks pouring over research, papers, videos and any kind of information that I could get my hands on about pitbulls.  I learned about their behaviors, body language and their temperament.  I learned about training, their intelligence and their diehard devotion.  I also read stories of the abuse that comes along with these animals from shitty humans that exploit their most amazing qualities and the torture that they have endured at the hands of man.  I was embarrassed.  I was mortified.  No. I was sickened.  I vowed to do everything I could to right all the wrongs of the past hundreds of years of history for this single dog.  That was all that was in my control.

I couldn’t change the world.  But I could change the world for this single dog.  And so we embarked on a journey that I had no clue would ever end up here… <“here” is for another post>


Sailboat Marley

3 comments so far

  1. misterrustybucket
    4:23 am - 6-29-2017

    I get so excited when I see that Marley has a blog update – I’m hooked. I love Marley’s adoption story and how she calmly and quietly stole the show without lifting a paw. She knew you would recognize her greatness! Funny how what we think are accidents or second choices were actually meant to be. Ok so a moment for this picture of Sailboat Marley – you really should warn a person. I almost couldn’t handle the cuteness. I mean seriously those ears and a life jacket? It hurts she’s so cute. I’m so glad you two have each other and I will wait ( somewhat impatiently) for my next Marley blog fix! Hugs to you and Miss Thang.
    ❤️Amy & Rusty

  2. rikntracy
    2:31 pm - 6-29-2017

    LOVE THIS STORY! And I can relate to so much. They are such incredible dogs. It’s such a blessing for her that Hercules was not available. She needed just the right person for her, one who only paid attention to the soul on the inside, not the Pittie outfit on the outside! I hope she’s feeling fine today.

    Tracy & Zatoichi

  3. elizabeth
    12:52 am - 6-30-2017

    When I got my dog, Jake, I had gone to get another dog. When I arrived, a lady was filling out paperwork for him. I was so bummed. A shelter volunteer asked me what was wrong and when I told her, she said “wait right here”. She ran to the back and came out with a tiny blue eyed ball of black fur who laid right down on my shoes and asked for a belly rub. She said his waiting list was full, but its adoption day and no one showed up for him. He was my greatest sidekick for 12 years. My point is that Marley was really the one the universe was leading you to, you just didn’t know it at the time. Love how the universe works like that….

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