Dog Gone It!

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On August 3rd, 2012 my daughter painted the most beautiful piece in her art class. Her masterpiece was an adorable puppy! I was so impressed with her talent, but her dad was even more so. Fast forward to August 5th. I had a girls day with Natalia and Ava, and John-Marlon informed me that he would be going “fishing” with Marken. They did not go fishing! Instead dad and son conspired to drive to Massachusetts to the home of a breeder and buy a 6 week old puppy that looked eerie familiar to the photo that Natalia drew. When Marlon surprised my kids with this puppy as a reward for Natalia’s most amazing art work, my girls went crazy. I on the other hand whipped out my knee high, 6 inch heels because I would die before having that puppy lick me. YES, you guessed it – I’m also afraid of dogs! I nearly had a nervous breakdown (not kidding) I had everyone under the sun calling me asking me if Marlon had lost his mind – but how could I tell a man fighting Cancer NO! I grinned and beared this huge inconvenience in my life and somehow overcame my fear of Buddy in the process. He eventually even became my jogging pal!

Buddy became a part of our lives, and once I knew that Marlon was going to leave us, I knew that I could never give away the dog as it would be one of the last things my husband left behind for our children As Marlon neared his final days, he begged me to give away the dog, because he knew that I was drowning with responsibility and this puppy was now 80 pounds and rambunctious with no limits. He ate everything and he even began to feel the sadness in our home and seemed to sense the pain that was yet to come. I explained to Marlon that I could never give the dog away because the dog was innocent to our situation and the kids would never forgive me if I did. John-Marlon began to resent the dog as my attention was split between him and Buddy. As my life began to fall apart at the seams because there was not enough of me to go around, family and friends began to come to rescue and help me with caring and entertaining my children. One of those friends was my beautiful high school friend Erica. She took out my kids several times, and on one of those occasions, my six year old Ava said “Erica, I think you would make a good mommy to Buddy, do you want him?”

I made the difficult decision of accepting Erica’s offer to take Buddy even if temporarily. I preferred to give away the dog while Marlon was alive. I could also begin to care for Marlon exclusively without worrying about this overgrown pup. It was one of the hardest decisions for me to make next to telling my children that their dad had passed, and letting my husband know that he had days to live. When we dropped off Buddy and said our goodbyes my heart broke for me, for my children for the lives we once had. We were a family of 5 with a dog, and here we are 4 of us driving away with a heavy heart leaving behind this most precious gift.

Fast forward to today – Buddy is doing amazing in his new home with his new mommy and family. He has a step-sister by the name of Sienna and they play and are quite silly all day long. My kids have visitation rights (see pics), and just like their dad – the memories remain. What dad replicates his daughter’s painting with a real life dog, and then drives 6 hours to find the perfect match? Marlon was one of a kind. I miss everything about him! When the children think of Buddy they always think of their dad – and that will always remain. Memories – they live forever.

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