On July 13th our amazing little Marble was taken from us in a tragic accident. She was at “boarding school” while we went on vacation in an attempt to help her learn to be more comfortable with herself and especially other dogs. We knew that if some professional trainers could spend just a little bit of time with her, her already happy life would have been that much better. The biggest irony is that we sent her there specifically so she would be safe while we are on vacation, and somehow she managed to escape the dog yard and I’m sure you can guess what happened next. This post isn’t about how she was taken from us though; this is a small gesture to our sweet little girl so that hopefully she knows, whereever she is, just how much she meant to us.
They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. Marble’s star certainly should have had plenty of fuel left in it, but she definitely burned brightest while she was here. We’ve all sen jokes about how every day is the best day ever for a dog, but for Marble every second was the best. Her perpetual state of excitement and happiness was something that rubbed on everyone who crossed her path: even my friends that don’t like dogs loved her. She could pick up on even the slightest hint of a bad day and find a way to cheer you up. She might wag her entire butt at you until you can’t help but laugh. She might come over to wear you are sitting on the couch and snuggle up with you. She might beg and plead to go on a walk. She might just look at you in the way that you could tell she thought you were the most important person in the world. No matter what she did, she found a way to bring joy to our lives. Even more than the joy she brought us though, we will always remember her as the perfect dog.
No, she wasn’t perfectly trained. No, she didn’t always walk calmly on a leash. She certainly never played nicely when a ball was around. But she was a perfect dog because she made our lives so much better, and she made us much better people, than we were before. Most dogs find a way to adjust to their owner’s, but Marble saw in us that we wanted to change, and her force of personality was the will that pushed us along that path. There will certainly be other dogs, but I can say with complete confidence that there will never be one that has a bigger impact on our lives.
Over the last three short years we can attribute so much personal growth to our little girl. Even before we were graced with her presence, she was helping to teach us patience since it took over a year of waiting before we finally got her. Nearly every part of our daily lives today evolved from something that Marble needed, and all of them have pushed us in a direction we always wanted to go. Our early morning coffee routine (possibly our most cherished time with each other) stemmed from the fact that when Marble was a puppy, she couldn’t hold her bladder past 6AM. And by the time that she could, we had become accustomed to waking up that early and loved time morning routine that had developed. As she got older, we couldn’t find a way to tire her out simply by playing in the condo, so we started going on walks with her and Radar. That was the first baby step in our path to our active lifestyle that we enjoy today. Eventually she worked us up to a daily 3 mile walk and even that wasn’t enough, so we started running. Just last month she went on her first 6 mile run and she was still ready for more. Our constant desire to push our running distance was at least partly fueled by our growing fascination with just how far Marble could go. And then of course there is the biggest thing she was having an impact on.
It seems to silly to say that we were building a house for our dog, and I won’t say that was the only reason. We definitely designed a house that we want to live in and spend a long time, but I honestly don’t know if we would have even started down that road without Marble. So many nights were spent in the condo dreaming about the day that Marble would be able to roam around the backyard to her little heart’s desire. We felt so bad that she was always walled up in the condo, or on a leash as we walked her, and we just wanted to be able to give her a yard to play in. The fact that she won’t get to see it is honestly something that kept me up last night. You aren’t supposed to get a dog expecting it to change you, but even if we didn’t expect it she definitely pulled it off.
In the end, she as doing everything that she could to make us happy, just like she always did: you’ve never met a dog that liked to please more than Marble. She had spent the last two weeks at a board and train obedience school trying to learn how to be a better dog. From the updates that we were given over those two weeks she was struggling with being around the other dogs, as we knew she would, but she was doing her best and making progress. My biggest regret is that she put in all that effort, effort to try and make her Mom and Dad proud, and that we never got to see the fruits of all that hard work. All she ever wanted out of life was to make us happy and I hope she knows that she more than accomplished that goal.
I don’t know what we will do next yet, the healing process hasn’t even started yet, but I do know that we are forever changed by our little girl. She may not have been with us for even 3 years, but her memory will live on with us every day. Every time we wake up before 6AM to go for a run. Every time we enjoy our morning coffee ritual. And certainly every time we walk out to our backyard, she will be missed dearly.
Where ever your spirit lives on little girl, I want you to know that we love you, we will always love you, and we could not have been more incredibly proud of you. From now until forever, you are our little girl.