Today would have been my sweet Marley's 12th Birthday.
With sadness in my heart I report that he passed away just a few weeks shy of his 84th Dog Year.
He left this earth gently, on his own, at the Painted Sky Farm in Wacahoota, Florida.
A place he loved more than anywhere else in the world.
As I look back on the many years I was blessed to have this rotten dog in my life there are a few things that I, and anyone who ever met or cared for Marley, will never forget with a smile....
His Refined Taste
Bread, trash and cat poop topping the list.
How soft he was after a bath and how awful his farts could be.
His Talent for being Lazy
If cuddling were a sport he would have been a decorated champion.
"Do You?" He always seemed to know exactly what you were saying.
He had an iron will and always got what he wanted.
His Good Looks
He was a handsome devil and carried himself with confidence, even when he had a cone.
At every door bell whether it was real or on the T.V.
His Sense of Humor
Stamping his feet to get attention, playing Keep Away and Hide & Seek, the way he destroyed toys. Marley was a rascal and knew how to be funny.
There is comfort in having a dog who isn't fast friends with everyone he meets. The more you wanted to knowhim the less interested he became in you.
His Brotherly Love
How much he cared for his spoiled little (as in younger) sister Whiskey.
Marley, thank you for letting me into your pack. I won my way into your heart with bologna sandwiches and in the end you were so much more to me than a dog. You were my protector, my friend, my sweet baby bear, and you taught me what it means to love unconditionally.
Every time I miss the sound of your collar, I will just picture you out in the fields, roaming down the fence line, smelling the breeze and basking in the sunshine, forever a happy boy.
Goodbye Old Man.
And if all dogs go to heaven, then someone please let God know to put the bread on top of the fridge.