The world lost a magnificent creature a few months ago. I have been unable to face it, write it, talk about it but rather pushed it away. It’s time now to honor him with a little remembrance.
His name was Marley. He came to us by accident as most of them do. We got a call and Dan said, “hey why don’t y’all come over and take a look at this little puppy we found before we take it to The Animal Defense League”. Click here for information or to donate
Under a bar stool was a smooshy little sleeping yella baby. Too much skin, big baggy eyes and a broken toe, he already had my heart. There was no way this little seven pound bundle of sweetness was going anywhere but home with us. The first few hours were pure bliss. We watched him as he slept (he was cutest when asleep) and waited for him to wake so we could watch his floppy little ears when he ran around the yard doing his bunny hop. This is the beginning of the story of the ten thousand dollar free puppy.
A check up at the vet was first on the list. The vet said, “Wow! Did you see the size of these paws?” (later to be known as Marley’s “big ‘ol bunny feet” equal in size to my 7.5 women shoe size). Over the next 60 days he gained a half pound a day, every day and it did not stop there. At his heaviest he topped off at one hundred six pounds but that was after the consumption of an entire seven pound bag of cat food and the bloat that followed ($3000)…I digress.
God made Marley so cute so that nobody would kill him. They say a dog will not defecate where they live. After nights of no sleep we conceded and bought a crate. The next battle was at two a.m. each morning which one of us would hose out the crate and who would hose off the puppy. These horrible sleepless smelly nights lasted until our buddy Redneck Jack said, “I’ll show ya how to put a puppy to sleep” and threw him out the back door.
Bubby (my favorite nick name for Marley) managed over the next several years to rack up an enormous amount of vet bills. He commonly would get things stuck in his big baggy eyes. One time he had to see a specialist (doggy opthomologist…cha ching!). After about $1500 worth of tests it was time for the diagnosis and treatment. The Doctor said, “Marley has……..big baggy eyes and gets things stuck in them”. Well thank goodness we paid for that.
One of the many good things about Bubs was that he was very trainable. Obviously driven by food he would do almost anything for a bite of kibble. I was even able to train him to be a great protector of the chicken flock although he still loved a romp right through the middle of them causing them to fly and cackle. He watched over them, ate almost all their eggs before I could get them, and learned to smell their vents and predict when they would lay an egg. No, I’m not kidding.
I spent many years in the demonstration business and had lots of “product” around the house. I represented a company called Honey Stinger. Marley managed to get hold of a box of chocolate bars…he ate them all then went for three bags of energy chews. It was a long night pumping him full of huge amounts of hydrogen peroxide at the vets urging. He finally blew and it was a cacophony of chocolate, foil packages, peanut butter, minty something and plain ‘ol bubbly puke! Disgusting. He felt like a million bucks and wanted dinner shortly there after.
Marley was gross! Commonly had floor length drool out of both sides of his mouth with various stuff in it. He would sit under the dining table at dinner and fart. He cleared rooms at large parties with his gaseous explosions. He regularly smelled of things you could not even explain and his belches seemed to come from somewhere other worldly, like maybe the depths of hell. Having said all that, he was one of the great loves of my life and brought me more laughter and joy than just about anyone or anything. His sweetness was overwhelming.
Seems to me this post is getting a little long so I will bullet point a few of Marley’s other brushes with death.
- Cat food incident
- Ate a water bucket and hose
- Ate his weight in chicken poop
- Ate a few raw not so fresh dead animals
- Ate a LOT of chicken feed
- Got a crab caught between his toes
- Fell in the bay over the sea wall
- Got kicked in the head and knocked completely out by my horse, Friggy
- Got ran over by a golf cart (not just once)
It wasn’t all bad you see. One of the things we most enjoyed doing together was standing by our beautiful fig tree, me with a glass of wine and him snuffleupagosing under the fig tree for ripe fruit.
Sweet Marley with the “cuuuurrrrrly hairs” left us at age 10 or so. He lived a wonderful life and gave us so much joy. My prayer is that they have Figs in Heaven.