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My Tribute to Marley on her Birthday

7th Birthday

Marley on her 7th Birthday

The love of my life was an angel in a puppy-suit named Marley.  She was my baby, my life, my world, my everything.  If you believe a soulmate is the joining of two souls that find each other through all of eternity and make one perfect match, she was it for me.

Today is Marley’s birthday, and I wanted to do a special post to honor her and to wish her a Happy Birthday.  I always made such a big deal out of her birthdays, especially after I was told I would lose her at an early age because of her liver disease…each birthday was a victory.  And she was SO easy to spoil.  She was so sweet and so happy and so easy to love.

If you have time, please take 3 minutes and listen to this special song…it really sets the tone for this post…and I was SO proud of myself for figuring out how to put it in!!!  This song ALWAYS meant Marley to me, especially now after I lost her.  (Reminder…if you play it with the arrow in the lower left corner instead of the big one in the center you’ll stay here in the post instead of going to YouTube.)

I knew I was getting Marley weeks before she was actually old enough to come home.  The day the call came that I could come get her, I was making bread (yes, I USED to cook!).  I left it rising in the oven, I didn’t care if it exploded…I was going to get my puppy!  I drove all the way into town, but there had been some sort of delay.  I ended up walking the aisles of the hardware store next door for an hour or two while I anxiously waited.  But finally the puppies were there.  I knew the moment I saw her that she was meant to be mine.

Happily I took her home, and I was eager to begin our new relationship, but she was less sure.  She spent the day hiding under the kitchen table, curled up with an old purple ski hat!

First Day

But soon we were happily walking together along the River…something we would love to share for our lifetime together.  Her first time coming up the Riverbank she almost made it to the top and then she tumbled head over heals backwards…I helped her back up then as she reached the top I snapped this picture…

1st Riverbank

This post would not be complete without the picture of her first time in the River…It’s like baby’s Christening…and it’s my FAVORITE baby picture…

1st time in River

Marley was such a happy puppy.  She used to like to “hold my hand” when we walked outside…she’d take the edge of my sleeve gently in her teeth and just skip along beside me.  It was hard to get pictures of her because as soon as she saw me she came to me.

Here I Yam (2)

When Marley was one we had the adventure of a lifetime and drove the Alaska Highway!  It was amazing and Marley made friends all along the way.  At one hotel she was so popular that they sent a special room service tray just for her!  When we returned to Bozeman 10 months later we ended up living in the car for 4 months, but even then she was happy and I was happy because we were together.  And in the crisp fall Canyon mornings we walked quietly beside the River enjoying the beauty surrounding us and the beauty of what we shared.

Alaska Hotel

We loved to play silly games like hide and seek, or dancing around together, or chasing toys.

We could simply disappear into each other, so that nothing in the whole world existed except us and our joy and our love for each other.

Liberation Day

When Marley was two she was diagnosed with degenerative liver disease and I was told that she would not live to the age of 5.  This was devastating.  I did TONS of research, did everything I could possibly do for her, had the help of a different, wonderful vet who believed in her, and I am very happy to tell you that she lived to be 13 1/2 years old!

marley in gmas yard (2)

There are two flowers that will always mean Marley to me, white daisies and yellow roses.  White daisies because they are fresh and sweet and innocent like she was, and because they grow wild along our River.  Many times I would see Marley sitting, surrounded by daisies, feet wet from the River, brown eyes shining with happiness.  Yellow roses because she loved them so.  We had a little yellow rose bush at our house in Colorado that put out the most fragrant yellow roses.  Marley used to go up to it, close her eyes and stretch her nose out to the newest bloom and sniff just as deep as she could, then she’d sigh with utter delight.  It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

at shenango

Marley always preferred to be close to me.  Even when we were walking by the River or hiking, she would stay by my side instead of running ahead as dogs usually do.  And, if I sat down to watch the River or read a book, she’d lay next to me instead of exploring. We were only apart a total of 15 nights in 13 1/2 years.  I was told over the telephone each night that she was ok, but I’m not sure I was.  We avoided separation…the cost to our hearts was simply too great.

Last time at River

Marley’s last time at the River

Marley filled my heart and my life.  Her liver disease with its occasional crisis brought an acute awareness that someday I would have to let her go.  It also caused me to treasure all the more every moment of time that we shared.  The pain in my heart living without her is only slightly lessened by the absolute knowledge that Marley is safe in heavenly realms, and I know she is sitting at the very edge watching and waiting, and the first thing I will see when it is my turn to move beyond these earthly bounds will be her beautiful smiling face and shining brown eyes, and once again she will take my hand gently in her mouth and side by side we’ll continue our journey home.


39 Responses

  1. That is just such a sweet post and tribute to your friend Marley!

  2. Beautiful C, You made me cry! Thank you for sharing with us. You know this has made me understand even more why you miss her so much! The pictures are gorgeous!

    And a very happy spirit birthday to you Miss Marley! Watch over your mama everyday! And flow free with your River!

  3. I have to admit that I never quite understood the depth of your feelings for Marley, this helps a lot.

  4. Im back again! Consider yourself tagged! I have something for you at my place!

  5. I am sitting here in tears. What a lovely tribute.

  6. Sweet, sweet, sweet! {sniff}

  7. Dogs, more than a friend & more than a member of the family.
    I can honestly say I have grieved more over the loss of a dog than for anyone or anything else. A wonderful tribute to Marley

  8. Marley was such a beautiful dog. Large dogs usually don’t even live to 13 and a half, so with her disease it is a miracle. It must have been all that love that kept her going.Thanks for this post, even though it made me cry.

  9. Hey Equoni
    First let me say, lovely tribute. Cool dog.You are quite lucky to have had such a great friend.
    I was confused when I first started reading because I didn’t realize WT had taken on a blogging partner which is to say I have been pretty absent from the blogosphere of late. I thought wow I didn’t know WT had all this in his life. When did he fit in all this Colorado time? I finally figured it out. So nice to meet you. My parents used to own a ranch in the Black Forest there way back in the very early 60’s. My mother, a Jersey girl, couldn’t handle the wildness of it so they moved to Denver long enough for me to be born then moved to Maryland. My father missed the state for all his life. Went back on his motorcycle a few times. We took his ashes there when he died.

  10. What a lovely tribute to a wonderful soulmate. I have 2 dogs now that are just that for me. I cannot imagine life without them. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  11. I would love to say more – but I cannot see through the tears.

    Happy Birthday, Sweet Marley…awesome tribute that I will reread when I am stronger.


  12. Fantastic post. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Awww. That was so nice. Marley sounds like he was a wonderful companion and friend. I know you miss him, but what a great tribute to him. People who don’t have pets just don’t know what they are missing.

  14. Love gives us all kinds of strength. Thank you for sharing your beautiful friendship with Marley.

  15. What a lovely tribute, you had me in tears.

  16. What a powerfully emotive tribute, thank you for sharing your journey with Marley.

  17. Beautiful! I am so moved by your love for Marley. My animals are so special to me. They will get extra hugs today, thanks to you and Marley.

  18. I have always believe that people who had love for dogs were truly the best people on earth. OMG…I was so moved by this, and it brought back memories of the first dog I loved when I was a child. Thanks so much for sharing Marley with us…and you’re right, I’m sure she’s watching over you!

  19. Tears in my eyes!! This was so beautiful and touching, it was just a lovely post! The bond between dog and human can be so strong and beautiful! The 2 of you are proof of that! The pictures in this are amazing!!! Happy Birthday to your sweet Marley!
    Marley was a Spitz right? My grandparents had 2. I had a special connection with both. Your pictures remind me of those 2 girls! Esp with the mountains(my grandparents lived in CO)
    Hugs to you!

  20. Aw..ok, you’ve got me in tears first thing in the morning. Wherever Marley is, happy birthday.

  21. Equoni,
    You have written a lovely and comprehensive tribute to your sweet Marley. I can see her frolicking along the River for those 13 1/2 years bringing you great happiness. The picutres are beautiful.

  22. That was lovely, words and photos both. Just lovely. Happy birthday, Marley!

  23. What a beautiful tribute! A real tear jerker for me… I only visited w/ Marley a few short times when you had her at work, I know she was a very sweet and special dog. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be met by her shining eyes when the time comes… Happy Birthday Marley! 🙂

  24. What a wonderful tribute I’m weeping on my keyboard, she was a beautiful looking dog and I feel your loss. My own beloved dog lived until she was 13 and this brought back sweet memories.

  25. Ok, you have brought me to tears, especially after losing our Zack 3 months ago. I thought of each of our dogs that have crossed the rainbow bridge while reading your post…it was beautiful and the photos are beautiful also…great job!!

  26. What a sweetheart.
    Beautiful photos & great post!

  27. What a wonderful journey for you both. Beautiful Marley.

  28. Thank You EVERYONE for visiting, for helping me to remember Marley, and for ALL of your kind words!!! I can’t tell you how much they meant to me!!!
    I would have told you sooner, but Poncho and I had a few special things planned to remember Marley on her Birthday. We went and bought a bundle of daisies and two yellow roses at the local florist. Then we drove to a pretty waterfalls near here and placed one of the roses at the base of the falls. Then we went to a pretty spot on a creek and had a picnic dinner and spent some time thinking of Marley and remembering other birthdays through the years. Finally I took the bundle of daisies and the remaining rose and threw them in the creek for her. It was a really pretty evening and Marley would have loved it. She would have also really appreciated all of you and your time and your kind words. It made this birthday special and it made her feel closer today and that helped a lot. THANK YOU!!!!
    ~ Equoni ~

  29. makes me yearn for my lovely rotty — I had him for 12 years.
    people who have never loved a dog could never understand how one grieves for a friend.

  30. Oh my, you’ve made me cry! She looks so happy, and full of personality, and she’s beautiful! What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing her with us. And congrats on figuring out how to post a video!

  31. Thank you for sharing this with us. Marley truly was a gorgeous dog and I am so delighted that she proved that vet wrong for so many years.

  32. Awwwww! Really sad!

  33. That was a really nice post!

  34. I don’t mind admitting I shed quite a few tears as I read your tribute. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories with us. It’s that strong bond between a person and their dog (best friend) that I crave to experience once again one day.

  35. That was beautiful, Equoni. Thank you for sharing your Marley with us. She seems to have been quite a dog and a very special friend.

  36. i can’t see to type this.

  37. What a special, special tribute to your beloved friend, Marley. You brought tears to my eyes as well as memories of my friends who are waiting for me. Heaven has another angel waiting for you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute with all of us.

  38. What a wonderful tribute to the beautiful Marley. You have moved me to tears. x

  39. My favorite things about Marley:

    She smelled the yellow roses (I never knew a dog would smell flowers and relish them like that. That’s cool)

    She held your hand/sleeve in her teeth. That’s love.

    And she was SO DANG CUTE as a puppy. Looked like a baby polar bear or something. Bet you couldn’t resist just scooping her up and hugging her all the frikkin’ time.

    Happy Birthday Marley!

    Sorry I missed it. I was up at Camp Sequoia, enjoying the lake. Good times.

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