I am a dog person. I’ve always loved animals but didn’t know how much support, affection, and love they could provide until this little polka-dot come into my life. I now absolutely believe that there is nothing in the world like the love a dog can give.
My family never had big dogs growing up and frankly, I was a bit scared of them. I think this was something my parents instilled upon me as a child. Several of my extended family members had Rottweilers they weren’t the most friendly dogs and in an effort to protect us, my parents wound up making me nervous around larger dogs. So naturally my last semester in college I got a Pit Bull.
My boyfriend at the time (now husband) and I had been dating about 6 months when a friend of his found this little 6 month old Pit Bull walking in the forest with no collar. After putting up “Dog Found” signs and scanning for a microchip, little miss polka-dot needed a home and a family. If you did the math, she was most likely born when we started dating.
We had not been planning on getting a dog, after all, our relationship was new and exciting. Taking Marley home was the best thing that happened to us. She taught me how to really connect, taught me that no matter what, I am her #1, that when I come home, it is the most joyous occasion, and when we go to bed, well, she is my personal space heater and snuggle-bug.
The night we brought her home, we stopped by Petsmart and bought the essentials – always one of the most fun shopping trips to make. She sat on my lap on the way back to the city and when we got her home, it was bath time.
I am so grateful that I took pictures of her first night with us because she didn’t stay small for long. J tucked her in a blanket on the couch and now forever this dog will always “ask” (paw dramatically until you understand) to be tucked in under the blanket.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was probably living in the forest rummaging around for food hoping to find something or someone. She had no shelter and was blind in one eye. We rescued her from that. She still thanks us with her unconditional love.
I moved into J’s apartment in Lakeview 2 blocks between Lake Michigan and Wrigley Field. We had an enclosed courtyard in front and Marley LOVED it. One by one our neighbors came out of their caves and decided to join us with their pups. Before we knew it, we were having dog parties and using this as an excuse to drink beer and socialize with the neighbors we’ve had for years but never exchanged more than a greeting. Little did we know, it was great for Marley to exercise and get very comfortable around people and dogs.
Marley wasn’t always the perfect dog. She was named Marley after the Jennifer Aniston & Luke Wilson movie Marley and Me. There were so many similarities between the movie and our life that we knew her name instantly.
When we left her out, things would be destroyed – including my first pair of Uggs. Decorative dried flowers became smashed and shredded potpourri ground into the rug and the old hardwood. Pillows… oh come on- They ARE toys, right? We soon had the brilliant idea to lock her in the bathroom instead of buying a kennel. One new hair straightener later.. we now know to clear the bathroom of EVERYTHING before locking her up. Yes that includes the toilet paper because THAT is definitely a toy. So what does she decide to do – turn on the shower full blast towards the H… We get home and open the door… the air was thick and so foggy we couldn’t even see her at first. Luckily nothing overflowed and more importantly, she was okay.
I think she learned her lesson, slowly but surely. J and I trained her after watching several episodes of Caesar Milan’s Dog Whisperer. We heard that Pit Bulls mellow out when they reach 4 years old, and sure enough that was true. Now she is 6 and sleeps 23hours a day. I’ve even trained her to stay on the couch when I come home and I go and pet her for awhile. It’s a moment out of the day where I dedicate myself completely to her. Some say dogs are just animals and they cannot connect with humans, that is just not true.
She has been with us from the beginning. My Marley rescued me. We have a special connection. My dogs are my kids. She is perfect.