I never got to meet you. You passed before I came into Marlee’s life. But I want to thank you for preparing Marlee to care for a dog like me.
Not every human has the heart or the patience to love or care for a dog. We are sometimes complicated animals, who need a lot of attention. Not everyone wants to spend the quality time with us that we so desperately need to feel safe, loved, and happy. However, I got lucky. I got Marlee, who was already prepared to completely love a dog like me.
It was all because of you.
You came into Marlee’s life when she was in seventh grade. She remembers the first day the family brought you home. You were a golden ball of fluff and energy – Running around and biting everything in your path, with your razor sharp teeth. But they didn’t care. They were already head-over-heels in love with you.
The years went on, and you were a part of many milestones in Marlee’s life. You were there for her first dance, her first jazz band concert, her high school graduation, and her first 3.5 years of college. You were also there to help get her through many tragedies, like the death of her grandma, the heart break from her first real relationship, and the many stresses she struggled with in college. You were with her and the family for nine years, and in those nine years, you taught her so much about unconditional love and happiness.
Your last week with Marlee and the family was the hardest. They knew you were leaving them soon. Your body was giving up on you – you were weak and the cancer spread through your body rapidly. There was nothing they could do but hold on to you and kiss you.
Then you left this world. In a blink of an eye, you were gone. But the love for you remained and what you taught Marlee and the family about love stayed as well.
You taught Marlee patience. Us dogs are sometimes wild and rambunctious, and we don’t always listen – we have a mind of our own. But Marlee knows how to be gentle and understanding. She never yells – she is always kind.
You taught Marlee how to cherish. She embraces every moment she has with me and never takes any time spent with me for granted. After all, us dogs are only put on this earth for a short amount of time. She clings to the times she is with me and she cherishes the moments that will one day be the best memories when I am no longer here with her.
Finally, you taught her unconditional love. I can always tell how much she cares for me by the look in her eye and the fact that she always wants me near to her. She never stays angry at me and she never hurts me. She is the most compassionate person I have ever known. And her soft and caring heart full of unfailing love is all because of you. You helped mold her. You helped change her. You taught her how to love a dog like me.
I can never thank you enough for what you did for Marlee. You were only here with her for nine years, but you taught her how to love me. Thank you for being a part of her life and thank you for allowing me to take over for you. I only hope I can impact her life as much as you did.