Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tanya Writes About Her "Marley and Me"

Our kids gave me the book Marley and Me for Christmas a while back, and I spent two nights in front of the living room fireplace, in the glimmer of the tree, laughing myself silly about the antics of that dog.

My hero would ask what was so funny, and I explained it would be better to read it for himself. Which he has since done and laughed himself silly as well.

Now, there are distinct differences betweeh that Marley, and mine. He's yellow and male and she's black and a girl. But both were named for Bob Marley (Marley's folks liked his music; I wanted to to name her after a cool black person but the family nixed Shabazz and Aretha...)

But get into tons of trouble, both did that very well. Even us leaving the house just to walk to the mailbox at the end of the driveway gave our Marl a chance to create some kind of chaos. As a puppy, she managed to get into things we didn't even know we had. Her first Christmas she survived eating so many red glass tree ornaments we equated her to a cat with nine lives. But she's such a cuddlemuffin, forgiveness was instantaneous. And she'd have made a great search dog. If she paws and whines, you know right away a ball or toy is closeby but not within her reach. She's never ever wrong.

Well, the time came, reading that Christmas present book, that my sobs could be heard throughout the whole house. "What's wrong?" my hero came in quick from watching TV. "You okay?"

I remember waving the book at him. "Marley died," I wept.

And so it goes. Our Marley's "big sister" Tawny, our own yellow Lab, crossed the rainbow bridge four years ago. I keep telling Marl she'll soon get to play with Tawny again. When she passed, Tawny took a piece of my soul with her. It was sudden, monstrous. But with Marley, I've had these few days to get myself ready. Although the cancer is inexorable, inoperable, she's still bright-eyed and "bendy"--our Friends-esque word for the acrobatic ways she manages to fall asleep. Still eating--we've decided to spoil her with deli turkey.

This afternoon, she laid under the front tree while I worked on my roses, on a perfect summer day with blue sky, bright sun, and a cool ocean breeze. It'll make a good memory...when I can bear to think about it.

I've still got my big boy black Lab, Seau. But it'll still be lonely around here. Marl's the one I talk to when I'm up late. She's the one who warms my toes when I'm reading in front of the fire. She's the one who slept in our bed, tucked between us, when she was five weeks old.

Tomorrow our little grandson comes for some last photos with her.

And then I know it will be time.

Next up: (when I've recovered enough to blog again) X-rated Fortune Cookies

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