Marley Jones and Barney Miller

Marley Jones

Never saw the movie Marley and Me, but I know it’s about a dog that people loved, and I believe the story involves the dog dying. I heard it was sad and I heard that nobody should ever name a dog Marley again.

Well our dog’s name is Marley. He is a pit terrier mix and we suspect he has some catahoula somewhere in that mix due to his coat colors and patterns. His “spots” are in the shape of hearts, and he is devastatingly handsome. His pupils are very strange, unlike any I’ve ever encountered. His eyes are marbled with bright light blue and dark brown. He is water and earth. His demeanor revolves around love, and he is playful, protective, and often chill, but overly excited when Mama walks through the door. He especially loves when his oldest sister Echo- my human daughter- plays with him. And his master, his best companion, my human mate, is his numero uno. He watches him and follows his lead curiously, always learning, always wagging.

Marley has had stomach issues for months now. We have placed him in our Vet’s care on numerous occasions, with no real solid leads as to what might be causing his sensitivity to food. He often experiences vomiting or diarrhea for no apparent reason. He underwent a surgery a couple of months ago when he stopped eating for days and couldn’t keep the fluids from his IV down. He hasn’t been back to “normal” since the surgery, and we still had no real inkling as to what the underlying issue might be.

My boyfriend took Marley to the Vet for another check-up yesterday (day two in a row) since he hasn’t eaten his food in a few days, and is still sick with an upset stomach. Yesterday we learned that kidney disease is the likely cause. Marley is still not eating, he is still lethargic, and still vomiting and having diarrhea.

I love my dog. And my dog loves me.

Loss is something I’ve always experienced, unwillingly. Loss is something I try with my might to avoid. Loss is something I will always have to deal with, and prepare myself for… The older I get, the more I realize that it’s coming, ready or not. I’m never ready to lose someone or something I love. But I understand that this is the cycle of life.

Barney Miller

I also learned yesterday that the mightiest and most invincible man in the world has lung cancer and will have to go through another biopsy procedure to determine if the cancer is malignant or benign.

My papa has always been a real hero to me. A Korean War vet, a member of the Georgia Country Music Hall of Fame, a deep-sea fisherman, an AC repair man, a guitar builder and instructor, a cameo role player in My Cousin Vinny and Lawless, a metal worker, a husband who flirts with his wife (still- in his upper 80’s), a father of five, a grandfather of eight, and a great-grandfather of four.

This man can do any damn thing. This man backed out of selling acres of his land after learning that the forest areas would have been demolished and developed. This man told stories out of this world with humor, animation, and heart. This man played the dobro unlike any other on this entire planet. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but his flaws made him all the more legendary. And his disease makes him all the more human. But despite this, he is still a seemingly god-like creature, immortal in spirit and full of life.

I am unprepared for what is surely to come. And my heart is shattered into a million pieces, it seems. But I know I have to be strong, strong like him… strong enough to fight as hard as I can, like my grandfather and my dog.

It’s important to have a shoulder to cry on, and yesterday, we cried. We snotted. We trembled. We tightly embraced. And we were okay. We knew despite everything, we would be okay.

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