This, I have to be honest, is something I never thought I would write about. Mainly because it’s kills me inside to write it, and I know it will horrendously upset Thebeanspoonerswife.
It’s about Marley.
If you are unaware who or what Marley is, here goes.
Marley was our dog. But he wasn’t just a dog.
We got him as a rescue dog when he was about 7 months old, from a lady in Cardiff…..fucking Cardiff.
We had decided after getting married that we were ready for the next step. For us, the next step was never, ever going to be children.
We had both grown up with dogs and cats in our lives. We decided at that time in our life, a cat was not for us. But a dog was.
We were renting a sweet little house, in a pretty quiet ish village, so after talking to our landlady, a small ish dog was decided on. She owned a cute little spaniel called Lucy. She said that nothing bigger than Lucy was fine. We decided to get a west highland terrier, a westie.
We knew we wanted a male dog, as we didn’t want all the hassle that came from owning a little girl dog.
We searched for ages for puppies and nothing, nothing was available where we lived and at that time. I saw an advert in the regional paper for a re homing of a westie, male, who was still a puppy.
We knew straight away that was the one for us.
After many phone calls, messages and conversations, we were off to collect him.
I’d only even been when camping with the scouts….did we need our passports!? No but we needed money to get across the bloody bridge.
Journey done and dog collected.
Oh my, I was overly worried about being a man, with a fluffy white dog. How wrong was I.
He looked awesome if not tiny.
He sat curled up, on the back seat of our car very subdued. We later found out he must have been medicated to stay so quiet.
I’m not going to fill you in on the journey home, but I will say, it felt like a lifetime and was a nightmare.
I will mention that on the car journey home, we had decided on his name.
We had read a shit load of information about dogs, puppies and how to care for westie’s, and recently bought a dog crate/cage, as we were going to cage train him. Mainly as the house we were renting was small, but also because we had read it helped with sleeping and toilet training.
He was amazing.
But I was also nervous as hell.
Thebeanspoonerswife fell in love with him straight away, and if I’m honest, he did with her. Here we had her child. She looked at him with the biggest loving eyes and he looked back at here the same way.
We had an adventure cage training him. From him crapping all over himself , the washing machine (the cage was in the kitchen to start with), in the washing machine, cupboard doors and even on the ceiling, as when he crapped on himself, he ended up flicking it everywhere.
A few days went by, and he finally figured out what was going on.
He never, ever did it again.
The cage was his, his home, his safe place.
His place full of fluffy blankets, with his red monkey and his blue hippo (later on he got a purple dragon as well ), where he went without asking when we went to bed, or when he wasn’t feeling his best.
He commandeered the one arm chair we had. It later broke, and I had to search for a replacement that was as close as close could be to it, as we needed a new armchair, but he never really sat on it again, not as religiously as the first one. I suppose he knew.
Anyways, Marley went everywhere and did everything with us.
There was the time I mowed the lawn, and he sat watching, only for me to finish, and find him commando rolling under the grass cuttings and then under the shed, covering himself in bits of shit, dirt and grass cutting. He was white…..now with a hint of a green belly and brown face!
But, for a small, white fluffy dog, boy did he love a bath! He loved a shower, but the bath was his favourite. I’d known times while thebeanspoonerswife was in the bath, and I found him sitting in the sink, next to the bath keeping her company while she read a book.
He’d climbed onto the toilet, then into the sink, all curled up.
He was indeed our, her, fluff ball of doom.
He had a knack of reading and understanding feelings, especially hers. They had a very strong emotional bond.
Whenever she was feeling shitty, tired, or crying, he would run to her, snuggle up next to her and make himself known, and be there for support. It was like he knew she needed it.
Me on the other hand…..we did the playing, fighting, and the nods, whistles and head movements. Marley was a exceptionally intelligent dog. He knew from certain whistle commands what to do, that a nod one way meant outside play time, or another meant come in, or its food time and he got this from the start.
Those, I suppose were our roles. The emotional, caring mother, and the stupid, playful father….
He was, our child.
I took him out into the garden one time with a shit load of tennis balls, his favourite thing in the world.
I had taught him, very early on, to catch, fetch, and generally fuck around with them.
I was in the middle of teaching him to catch a bouncing tennis balls, mid air. Something later in in his life he became professional at.
Anyways, after a few days of repeatedly throwing a ball hard onto the patio, to watch him watch it bounce up in the air, he cracked it. I bounced the ball harder then ever and stupidly looked down, just as Marley just up at sub sonic speed.
I can’t remember what happened next, but I woke up, flat on my back, in hard concrete, to a fucking white fluffy dog, looking beyond pleased with himself, and his tennis ball. The little shit had knocked me out!
But that was just him.
There’s the times he stole the post from the postman and destroyed countless letters.
This post could carry on for miles, as that dog touched our hearts in so many different ways. But some things I just can’t write about, as they are still a little sensitive, all these years later.
Later in his life, he taught Bruce how to be Bruce, and the cat how to help him steal out of the kitchen bin, and share the bounty between the three of them!
He also had a knack of chewing through the telephone extension leads that used to run through our next house.
He even, at one point in his life, taught Bruce that licking the underneath of slugs was a brilliant idea, and how to beg for food, straight after being fed.
He was, as I’ve said, very smart.
The day we brought Magoo home, he changed. He went from being a smart, emotional dog, into a smart, emotional guard dog.
He was dubious to start with. There was this little thing, taking all the glory away from him. I think he had learned to share us, after we had Bruce, and Hobbes, but this, this was something different.
He did learn over time, that Magoo made some awesome smells, had awesome toys and amazing food, but most of all, Magoo made pretty good company!
He got sick before Christmas, we hadn’t noticed him becoming ill, as he was not only white and fluffy, but hard as nails and kept getting on with things.
It was his kidneys. The vet did everything he could, as quick as he could, but we hadn’t been quick enough in catching it in time.
I know, even now, thebeanspoonerswife wife still blames herself. It was no ones fault, it was just the way it went.
He struggled on, on Christmas day, he sat next to us, all wrapped up on a cushion, while we ate in the kitchen, as a family, all of us, altogether.
Boxing day. Still looking after him, still going on.
We all decided we needed to have showers and get dressed.
He looked at us, with his big black eyes and I picked him up and popped him on his arm chair, wrapped up, with one of his new Christmas toys, a sea horse and his cushion.
We all made a huge fuss of him and then he let out a massive sigh of relief, and slowly turned himself round to snuggle in more. Magoo and thebeanspoonerswifes wife went upstairs to get in the shower, and I went up afterwards.
I popped back downstairs minutes later.
Bruce was sitting under the armchair, looking panicked.
I went to check on Marley, and my heart sunk.
I noticed he had died, and instantly my heart died as well.
I didn’t cry, I just slowly walked back upstairs to tell thebeanspoonerswife wife.
She went hysterical, in her own way, she had lost a child, she had lost him.
We all went back down together.
Bruce was beside him. He had indeed passed away.
Our fluff ball of doom had died.
What proceeded, is between us, and not for anyone else. We know what happened, and we know how it destroyed us.
He had a dignifying cremation and now resides on our book case, in a gorgeous little pine box with his name on it.
Bruce, in all the years that have followed, has never been the same.
I know thebeansoooners wife hasn’t. I know this, as I haven’t.
I would, in all honesty, give up my own life, to have him back for her, as she misses him more than life itself.
People say that dogs don’t have personalities, or quirks, or even a place in this world.
That’s not true.
Our, my, fluff ball of doom, taught be how to be responsible, how to love a little more, how to play, but ultimately how to be a dad.
For that, I am forever grateful, and I will, always love him with everything I have.
I know thebeansooonerswife misses him everyday, and so do I, so terribly much. But I’m also so thankful for meeting him, and him letting us share him, and loving him.
We will always miss him x