As the reality of what happened to our little girl is really starting to set in, we want to make sure that we capture everything that we loved about Marble. Our little girl was a one of a kind, and while we have already listed some of the major ways she improved our lives, there was so much more to her that we wanted a place to capture and remember all of the “Marble-isms” that we had come to know and love. So this will be a living list of things that come to us as we remember them, in absolutely no order.
- When Marble was young and non potty trained, she was never allowed in the bedroom. When she was finally able to be in the bedroom without having an accident, she didn’t believe that she was allowed in so she would just stand in the doorway looking longingly into the bedroom. If we ever invited her into the bedroom, she knew that she might be in for a rare treat: she gets to sleep with Mom and Dad tonight! She knew that if she could just convince one of us to put her on that bed, she was set for the night. Even if it was 7AM, she wanted on that bed. And her whole body would wag, compensating for the lack of a tail, until someone picked her up and put her on the bed. Then she would lay down, right at the foot of the bed, biggest smile on her face, and wait for us to join her.
- During our morning coffee routine, Marble had a very specific spot she wanted to be. I had joked around with Jes, before we got Marble, that the “perfect dog” would lay next to me, with just their head resting on my leg. But that was a joke, I never actually tried to teach Marble that. Going back to morning coffee, Marble’s “spot” – which she chose for herself – was in a little crevice between me and the arm of the chair I always sat in. And if that spot wasn’t there because I wasn’t sitting “properly”? She would push and poke and prod until I opened up that little space for her, and she would lay down and put her head on my leg. She would stay there for as long as I would let her, happy and content and relaxed. It was my one of my most cherished time of the day with Marble. – CGF
- Marble could learn anything you wanted her to. One day we set out to teach her that if she wanted the ball to be thrown, she had to bring it directly to us. It took her about 3 times for her to figure out that she had to put it directly at my feet, but she wasn’t really happy about it. The entire time you could see her wheels turning. But the best part was that I was sitting just past the top of a small hill. A few times she put the ball close enough to the hill that it rolled back down the hill. You could see the look of “that’s not fair, I brought it to you and it moved on it’s own” clear across her face as she barked at me. She was clearly telling me to go get the ball myself, that it wasn’t her fault I didn’t grab it soon enough. The more stubborn one prevailed (me of course) and she eventually went and got it. But how easily you could read her thoughts, and see that she was having them, was amazing. – CGF
- Marble was a terrible leash walker. The only thing that really helped was a prong collar, but that didn’t do anything to curb her enthusiasm for cars. As a coping mechanism, when we were walking on a sidewalk, she would walk along in the small patch of grass between the sidewalk and the road and just pull the grass. We are both convinced that was her way of distracting herself from the cars. She knew that if she focused on the cars, she would lunge, and the prong collar would pinch her. So instead, she focused on pulling up pieces of grass until we were no longer on a sidewalk. Again, her ability to learn about her environment and how to alter it was something I will always remember.
- As anyone that ever saw marble on a leash can testify, it wasn’t her strong suit. She would pull in all directions and make a mess out of things… but not when I ran with her. I was determined to have a dog that would run right next to me – a companion to keep me going when I ran alone. It only took her a few tugs on the leash and a “with me” command to learn that I meant business about her staying by my side as we ran. Of course my fastest pace was always just a fast walk for her, but she trotted along beside me – and would look up and check me out every now and again to make sure she was doing what I wanted. Having her by my side made me so proud of the both of us. Look what we can do would always run through my head as I passed others on the trail. And everyone always looked, because she was such a rare and interesting little girl to see running along her owner. The best was at the end of a run with Marbles, I would sprint. I would go as far and fast as my legs could carry me and she would finally get a chance to run. On the last 6 mile run we went on, after we sprinted she laid down in the grass and watched me stretch. This was a behavior we had never seen from Marble before. And I finally believed that I would wear her out someday soon. -JLF
- Marbles loved to jump in a creek in the park. She wasn’t yet a fan of lakes, and never got the chance to see an ocean, but man she loved a bubbling creek. She would chase the bubbles that rose as the water pored over rocks and try and catch them in her mouth. It was the silliest thing to watch her try and catch the never ending supply of air bubbles with full-Marble-enthusiasm. She would also go exploring off the creek bed into the “deeper” water, and Marble was not a graceful swimmer. She liked doing it, you could tell, but she would bring her front paws up out of the water on each stroke and would plop them back into the water splashing her face and anyone around her with each movement.
- Marble never went skiing (as most dogs don’t) but she liked to slalom. As we walked her favorite path in Chastain Park, she would hop back and forth over a 10 inch high rock wall as she moved along the path. She didn’t do it every day, but you could always tell when she was in a playful mood – she would find a way to inject the walk with a few extra steps or challenges.
- Most days when I came home, Marble would get the first hello. She was waiting on top of the sofa right as you walked in the front door of the condo, and she made it all too easy to make sure she was addressed first. But I remember I came home frustrated a few months ago, and went straight to the kitchen… most of you know that my frustration builds with hunger. Charles met me in the kitchen to talk about what was bothering me and as we spoke I saw from the kitchen that Marble was still waiting on her perch by the door. This is not a place that Marble hangs out – she jumps up there for her Hello, and jumps down once received. I laughed and pointed out to Charles. Once I went over there to give her a very loving and impressed greeting – she hopped down and contented about her business of sitting on her chair and looking at the trees behind the condo. I didn’t even realize what a cute routine we had until that day – and I looked forward to my hello even more each day after that. -JLF