Almost eleven years ago our family was looking to add a “big dog” to our family pack. There was the five of us and one scrappy little general, our schnauzer Tucker. Tuck needed a buddy, some one to play with doggy style, not just with our kids. The search began with my husband giving me a limit I could spend while all the while he was thinking, “ha ha..she’ll never be able to get what they want for that amount!” Away he went to the east coast on a business trip and we began a full frontal assault of the “for sale” pages in papers and on the internet.
Low and behold..a day or so later we found an ad for “Labradoodle Puppy for sale”, the kids and I arranged to head out into the bright blue beyond to find a friend for Tuck. We drove for about an hour and came to a lovely country home where the “mom” dog had be bred to have puppies to make a little extra cash and she could have a friend. There were two pups left, cleverly named “colllar” and “no collar” catchy but we knew who was who! We had brought Tuck along as we wanted to see if there was any chemistry with either of the pups. We introduced the dogs while having a glass of lemonade in the breeders back yard. Low and behold, “collar” took to Tuck right away – hide and seek and war games were happening! After about 20 minutes I asked the kids what they thought, all were in agreement that we should take “collar” home with us.
I took a minute and asked them if they had played with “no collar”, a big resounding “no” was heard. I asked them why not? The answer “well Mom, he is hiding under the bench, he is afraid of Tucker”. I asked who they thought was incharge of the games that “collar “and Tuck were playing, and the answer was “collar”. I explained that I thought no collar was the better choice as we wanted Tuck to stay as top dog. Several phone calls later with no response from Dad we took no collar home.
We named him Marley, after Bob Marley as he was the proud owner of black and silver kinky hair. For the next almost eleven years he helped us laugh, cry over the premature death of Tucker and to grow as individuals. Three years ago, Marley got his own buddy in the form of a dog we thought was a three year old Tibetian Terrier cross that was rescued from a kill shelter in Texas. Turns out the rescue, Oliver was 10 – the same age as Mar.
With Olli came the routine of opening the blinds in the office every morning for “squirrel theatre” – so they could watch and be tormented by the squirrels out front. We all waited for and watched each days installment of “fight club – Mar and Ollie style”. And then, last week Mar got sick. And yesterday all of our hearts were shattered when we had to put him down – oh how I hate cancer. It was a quick attack – on the table as my husband and I were telling him how much we loved him and what a great dog he was he was still wagging his tail.
We had no choice, it was the right thing to do. Today, from the east coast of Canada to Scotland and several points in Ontario we are all crushed. The pressure in our chests , directly over our broken hearts is incredible. Olli isn’t eating and is either sleeping on Mars favorite pillow or is searching the house for him.
I finish writing this dear imaginary readers through tears that are streaming down my face. Dear, dear Mar…you were our big dog, our friend, Rest In Peace . Find Tuck , he’ll show you the ropes.
LOVE YOU MAR