The Best Golden Girl a Mom Could Ask For
Marly is a very special, one of a kind Golden Retriever who is very loved by her family, close and near, friends, neighbors......, well, mainly her family. She loves to play ball, go boating and beaching (really just anywhere her family goes is okay with her, ride in the car, get her hair brushed, go for walks, meet the neighbors, eat treats, take naps, did I mention play ball?
Let's jump back 11 years ago........
We first met Marly when she was just a pup. We adopted her out of a liter of 10 golden puppies. The breeder had both the mom and the dad.
Even though her house was pretty disgusting, she was sweet and just so cute. We couldn't say no. So we took her home. As Marly has grown up, she looks a lot like her mom.
When our oldest daughter was a teenager, she wanted a puppy, so after a couple of years, we gave in. The movie Marley & Me was popular about that time, so our daughter named her Marly, no e, even though Marley in the movie was a male.
They were so excited to meet each other.
One of the first things we did was to traumatize her by giving her a bath.
What a lovable little face.
We were all just falling in love with her!
She loved to play with toys and to be held.
Since we got her at the end of February, a cold Ohio month, I tried to keep her warm, but she wasn't having it.
Meeting Mandy was interesting. Mandy was our super sweet Golden who had been dropped off in the neighborhood as a puppy and showed up at our front door one day. So glad she found us.
They got along fine. Mandy was always so easy-going. She really didn't care for Marly's level of energy and all the puppy biting though. I'm not sure any of us were ready for that.
But who could resist this face?
She was just a perfect angel.
.....when she was sleeping.
This was how we introduced her to the world....well maybe just to our small family and few friends.
One day, Marly's brother, Sam, came over to play, and boy did they play. We'll never know if they remembered each other, but they definitely had fun.
She loved playing ball from a very early age, and she would play so hard we thought she might just drop over one day. When it was time to put the ball away and go inside, she would always have the saddest little face - like we had taken away her best friend.
RUN Marly RUN!
Our golden girls loved playing chase. Mandy was faster, but it didn't take long for Marly to overtake her. Mandy was 5 years older than Marly.
Marly moved in and took over. She told Mandy that she was the alpha dog and Mandy said okay. We were surprised.
The oldest and the youngest. Love these girls.
I know she looks pretty innocent, but she really was energetic and curious and not necessarily in a good way. After Thanksgiving, we had the turkey carcass still in the baking pan on the counter. We planned to use it for turkey soup. We had just stepped away from the kitchen. When we returned, we found the pan on the floor and the turkey MIA. Upon further inspection and after following the juicy trail, the turkey was all the way at the end of the hall near the bedrooms. Oh My. That girl is in so much trouble.
Got Dirt? Your nose and your belly give you away little girlfriend.
Marly started out as a rough and tumble kind of kid and she didn't slow down for quite a while.
She definitely got into a lot of mischief and seemed to be proud of it.
Marly was known for trouble.....at least for the couple of years. One day, the girls and I were baking chocolate chip cookies. We had one batch in the oven and one batch on the tray on the counter waiting to go in the oven. The girls had left the kitchen and I was just around the corner in the laundry room when I heard the sound of dishes crashing around in the kitchen. I thought.....oh Al must be unloading the dishwasher, very loudly, so I continued on with my laundry. A few minutes later, I returned to the kitchen to find no one. As I walked around the island I noticed a cookie sheet on the floor and thought how odd. Just then, the moment of panic set in. Oh No! Marly had stolen the tray of raw cookies and eaten all of them and even licked the tray clean!
Bad Dog, Marly!
LOVE LOVE LOVE these 2!
I think Marly was turning Abby into a rough and tumble girl too. They had such a fun day at the 'pool'.
Our family always enjoys a good hike. Hocking Hills Ohio
They played together for as long as Mandy could.
Goodbye to our first Golden Love
I feel like you can never have too many photos of your fur baby.
She gets very desperate when her ball is out of reach. She'll do just about anything to get it, even try to climb a tree.
'Come on Dad, throw the ball. I'm ready!''
Fall Photo Shoot/Ohio
Fall in Ohio is Buckeye season. Once we discovered where the buckeye trees live, we gathered buckeyes each fall and eventually grew our own trees. One evening, we were making buckeye necklaces and we left our supplies out on the chair ottoman and went out. When we returned, we realized that the buckeyes were missing. Oh NO! Buckeyes can be poisonous to humans. We weren't sure about dogs. It was about 10pm so too late to call our vet, so we called The Ohio State University Emergency Vet Clinic. After explaining the situation to a vet and answering some of her questions, she said we should just monitor Marly carefully over the next 24 hours and to expect vomiting and diarrhea. Then she said 'What kind of dog did you say you have?'
'Oh, a Golden Retriever! They can eat anything. I doubt you'll even notice any change at all.' She was right!
We noticed at a very young age that she has a really long tongue. We often wonder how she gets it back in her mouth when she's finished panting.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Slow down silly girl.
Guess who loves snow???
Especially when ball is involved.
What a great jumper too. Both Marly and Mandy loved to eat snow/ice.
I don't miss these snowy days, and I like snow, but Marly might. I just don't like cold.
During a big ice storm, we were out of power for about 4 days. GRRRRR. One day we got take-out Chinese food and had some left overs for the next day. Al was heating his food in the wood burning fireplace downstairs. He went back up to get something from the kitchen and when he returned, he found a very unwelcome sight! Marly, who was maybe 2 or 3 years old, had her front paws on the hearth of the fireplace, her head in the fireplace, and her tongue in his pot of food.
Her tail was wagging, like it always is. He yelled at her and ran around the sectional couch that separated him from the family room fireplace. By the time he reached the front side of the couch, she was out of the fireplace and heading across the room. In a second she made a quick decision to avoid the dad and leap right over the couch. She ran down the hall and out through her doggie door.
YIKES! Marly. I'm glad you survived that. Dad was pretty mad.
Our move to FL was pretty easy on her. She loves when we have the lanai sliders open and she loves to play ball out there. We don't walk too far when it's hot and humid but she really enjoys the cool winter days.
She also enjoys having a pool, but doesn't like to get in. The water is too deep, but I think she likes when her ball goes in so that she can fish it out.
Click the photo above to see what happens when the prized ball goes in the pool.
We walked 4 miles at Robinson Preserve and it was too much for our girl. After the first mile or or, she would walk to every bench and shelter area hoping for a rest. We stopped a few times, but couldn't stop at every one. Poor Baby:(
Somebody loves her pup and somebody loves attention.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Pretty Girl!
At some point, I found this book and had to buy it. After all, this is who our girl is named after.
As I flipped through the book tonight, I found that someone had taped photos of Marly in it.
Somewhere, we have the original book too - the one the movie was written from. Oh, and I think we still have the movie too. It's just too sad to watch again, sort of like Hachi and A Dog's Purpose.
She gets so excited when we start to pack up for the boat or beach and tell her she's going in the car. She follows us everywhere and waits in the laundry room by the door, crying, when we go to the garage without her. If we've told her she can't go this time or she's staying home, she gets her flat pig and mopes around with the saddest face ever.
Click the photo above to see Marly playing in the bay.
She'll play ball anywhere she can, including on a sandbar in Tampa Bay - looks like Death Valley, well except for the water and the Skyway Bridge.
She even played ball during Hurricane Irma! She's one crazy girl!!!
Again with the tongue.
Abby started working with Marly on this trick when she was about 5 or 6 years old, so don't be fooled by the old saying you can't teach an old dog a new trick.
We place the bone on her nose and she sits holding it until we release her with 'OK'. She then tosses it up and usually catches it. She's such a fun girl.
See for yourself!
MERRY CHRISTMAS! We took our Christmas card pictures at this gorgeous beach. Marly is always such a good sport and does most everything we want her to do.
.....including wearing sunglasses and a huge bow.
What a fun book! Even though, like most kids, she enjoys being read to, I think she would have preferred a treat.
She's such a good car rider. She wasn't always though.
Have you ever heard of a dog who loves lettuce? My last 4 dogs, 2 shelties and 2 goldens, have all loved lettuce, but no one loves it more than Marly.
Marly enjoys boating when the weather is perfect....not too rough, not too bumpy, not too windy, not too cold, not too hot, not too sunny. She does enjoy getting in the water from the beach, not from the boat. We've never been able to get her to jump in. It is a major production to lift her down from the boat into the water and back up again. Oh My!
She loves the dolphins playing in the water and the pelicans coming in for a landing. She doesn't mind her life vest but prefers to swim naked!
Stalking sea life is rewarding work. There's always a treat for keeping your bottom on the seat.
FEB 14, 2019
Marly received her first ever Valentine today from her new boyfriend, Murphy. He even put his picture inside! She thought they were exclusive, but then she realized that Charlie got a Valentine too.
The girls got together and asked Murphy to pick his favorite Valentine. He's keeping quiet.
2 beauties by the pool. Marly loves when Steph comes to visit. We do too!
Her favorite toys are flat pig (she ripped his stuffings out when she was a puppy and we don't even have any pictures of what he used to look like), monkey and ball. One of her funny things is that when we give her a mintie (a bone to help with bad breath - and it works), she walks around with it in her mouth with drool running out looking for pig and/or monkey. She then places the bone on them, sometimes cries a little, and then takes the bone back and eats it on the living room rug. It is quite a routine that she has developed.
That's not her only quirky behavior......When she was young, she started stealing food and water bottles. She would counter surf while we were sleeping or gone or she would rummage through backpacks left slightly open. She would take baggies of crackers or cereal and mostly empty water bottles. She usually did not eat the treat herself, but place the baggies on her toys, mostly flat pig or rubber monkey. She did this until she was about 7 or 8 years old.
Marly's boyfriend, Murphy, is the most handsome stud in the neighborhood. He's a Southeastern Guide Dog breeder. He is so sweet. Everyone just loves him.
Merry Christmas from Shell Key. This is Marly's favorite beach. It is a gorgeous sandy beach where dogs are allowed to roam free, with their people nearby of course.
That darn Elf will NOT be stirring up trouble around here any more!!!
Mom, can I eat him now?
She always knows how to get a belly rub.
NO! Not the cone of shame!
She does have her faults.......she licks her feet.....way too much! No one is perfect!
For Christmas this year, we made dog treats for our friends and neighbors. They seemed to be a big hit. We had some requests for more. And Marly helped.
Who wants to play ball?
Click the above photo to see how Marly plays ball in her old age.
Marly also enjoys watching tv, especially when the guide dogs are on.
I recently got a new rug, and Marly took it over, leaving a light layer of hair on top.
She loves her veggies.
She gets green beans, lettuce of course, carrots, apple, banana, watermelon, and cantaloupe. She doesn't care for spinach and broccoli makes her gassy.
For Valentines Day, Marly wanted to show her special guy just how much she loves him. So, she invited Murphy for a poolside treat, but she's a little worried that he's wasting his time chasing younger neighborhood girls.
Always a Happy Girl
Click the above photo to view a fun video of our awesome girl!
Hope you enjoyed this FUN Marly Adventure!
Sketch by Kate Sumners......what an amazing likeness.
I know you've heard about Murphy, the studliest guy in the neighborhood, but Marly has a couple of other friends too.
Meet Murphy, the handsome Yellow Lab.
Meet Sonny, the cute Black Lab. Marly prefers big dogs and doesn't really care for small ones.
There is one exception......Sunny.
He lives next door so they see each other a lot. He comes for visits and sometimes we babysit him. Marly decided he was an okay guy when she realized that he loves to eat.....
The bigger guys meet up on the sidewalk and all love to play, walk, play ball......just whatever.
Marly loves to give them kisses. They accept! Or maybe it's tolerate.....
I took my camera out to shoot the moon, but my daughter and Marly had a different idea.....
I like their idea much better!
LOVE this one!
She likes to get 2 balls out but it makes for a hard decision.
She catches the first with her mouth and the second with her hands.
Since she's a senior, she sometimes plays laying down.
This is what happens when she's tired.
Oh, my beautiful girl! I love all these pictures my daughter took!
These are just fabulous!!!
She looks exactly like this and they really show her personality.
Sunset by the lake.
Marly has really been enjoying the pandemic. We have been home for 7 weeks. She probably wonders when she'll be able to have some alone time.
Our boat club has been closed since mid March and it finally re-opened on May 1st so we ventured out for Cinco de Mayo. She was so excited!
The weather was perfect......not too hot, not too cold, not too bumpy, not too windy.
She mostly stayed in shallow water but did swim a little.
'Hey Mom, I'm heading back to the boat. Can someone give me a lift up?'
'Perfect! What? You're staying out there? Can I come back out now?'
'Oh, Great! Hey Thanks!'
'And I'm glad you remembered my ball this time.'
'Since everyone is ignoring me, first taking selfies, then taking pictures of this cute girl, I'll see if she wants to play.'
How about a few pictures with your sister?
'Well, she smells okay, so I guess it will be fine.'
'She tastes pretty good too!'
Why do you look worried? You don't even know what's coming next!
Abby thought the sun was too bright for her and she didn't object.
She tolerated the sunglasses for about 3 minutes before she dumped them in the water.
Notice the name of our boat. So true. Everyone had a great day and it was so nice getting out on the water. Looking forward to next time.
MAY 26, 2020
I think Marly is the smartest dog we've ever had. She learns new things all the time. I talk to her like she's my child and she seems to understand so much. Shortly after we moved to FL, we got into a walking routine. She picks the direction, usually south in the morning and north in the evening. On hot and humid days, she doesn't like to go far. Sometimes she just stops walking and stares at me. I started asking her if she want to turn - as in turn to go home, and quickly she learning that word.
When we cross streets, she likes to walk on the white striped crosswalk. Maybe it feels different on her feet. Now that she's older, she walks sometimes without her leash. She likes to trot about 20 - 30 feet ahead of me and then wait for me to catch up. If she gets too far, I tell her to wait and she does. She's such a cool kid!
JUNE 16, 2020
Having said all those great things about Marly........well, today, we were outside washing our car and blow drying it with the leaf blower. Marly was outside with us and occasionally brought her ball over for us to throw. My daughter went inside, for a moment, where she heard my phone ringing. It was Murphy's mom. She wanted to know if we were missing a dog. WHAT?!?!?!? We looked around, not that we doubted her, and sure enough Marly was missing!
I guess she didn't like the leaf blower. Maybe it was too loud for her? Maybe she asked me to throw the ball and I didn't notice. Either way, she took her ball and trotted down the sidewalk to Murphy's house! It's great that they were outside to greet Marly. I don't know if she would have waited in their yard for them or if she would have come back home. Who knows......
It's hard to watch a loved one grow older and struggle with basic things. Our girl is having trouble with our slippery floors. We have a few rugs and we even bought her her very own special rug that is right beside my desk because that is one of her favorite places to hang, but she enjoys the cool tile on her belly most of the time.
Her front and back paws all slip and take her out. It was occasionally at first; now it's daily. So sad:(
Now she has toddler socks with grippers! She actually doesn't mind us putting them on her. I explained that they will help keep her from sliding and falling, so she keeps them on for a while, even overnight, but then sometimes I guess she's just had enough and we find them usually together on the floor or in her bed.
So now we are trying some doggie socks. Our friends' dog, Jax, has these and they work great for him. I'm excited for their arrival!
They're here and they're cute!
She's not all that happy about getting them on but she doesn't resist.
We try to make putting them on and wearing them a game so she'll associate something positive with wearing her booties.
Oh, my pretty girl!
Reward time. Socks Off - It's ball time!
Marly has always been afraid of rain and thunderstorms. Today is no exception. The thunder is super loud and the lightning is extra bright! At least she has her toys and her rug right next to my desk.
AUGUST 20, 2020
Marly's favorite furry friend returned home today after a long 'vacation'. She missed him and his peeps.
Today is a special day for him and his family. He officially retired from his 'stud' gig at Southeastern Guide Dogs and his family officially adopted him. As his mom put it......'He created 58 little superheroes.' Way to go Murphy!
We made a little gift for them to help celebrate and commemorate this special day.
And we couldn't forget about the star.........
The kids love Crunchy Os....especially Blueberry Blasts, Banana Kablammas, and Pumpkin Kran Pow.They smell so good that even Marly's sister Abby tried one! She has tried dog treats before, so we weren't really that shocked. She has become quite a food critic during this past year and her assessment is........that they are DRY!
Lots of rain, thunder, and lightning tonight. Marly is hiding by the couch, but sleeping peacefully.
Good Night Bradenton!
Well, we've made it to the start of Back to School, the signal that fall is right around the corner, which means almost nothing if you live in Florida - just ask Marly, she's still hot! We've now lived through five plus months of the pandemic, which Marly loves - we're home most of the time.
With the start of school, brings the start of golf season for Marly's sister. Jax' sister also plays golf and his mom made Marly a new tag. How sweet!
One day, my husband, aka Dad (to Marly), threw out all her toys, so she only has flat pig, monkey, and a collection of balls. When we visited my mom last week, she gave Marly a stuffed Santa to play with and she really enjoyed it, so we decided to get her a new toy.
Meet Blue Chops! I'm not a very abstract person and I always struggle with determining what stuffed animals are if it is not abundantly clear. I really wasn't sure what he was, but Dad and Abby say he's a lamb. Whatever he is, Marly likes to shake him around and squeak him. She even tolerated this!
Look at my poor girl's runny nose:(
By the end of the first day with Blue Chops, we was well broken in, which really means that he was crunchy!
I taught Marly this trick years ago and she still does great at it. We can place food in front of her or throw popcorn on the floor, or even accidentally drop food, and tell her to stay and she will. I can even walk to another room and she won't eat it. What a good girl!
Sometimes I think she feels guilty for thinking about eating it before we give the command so she looks away and won't make eye contact......but she waits.
She's very patient.
YUM! I'm sure this is what she was thinking........All that waiting and showing patience and discipline for those 2 tiny morsals that I could barely taste! WTF? Where the Food? Since we're from the Midwest and now live in the south, I guess it should be.....Where the Food at?
Another storm, just a reminder that summer is in full swing.....Marly is scared. She gathered most of her toys and put them on her special rug.
Marly & Murphy went to a fish feast at Sonny's house. They didn't get any fish, but they played with Sonny's toys and got lots of attention from all the human-folk, which they loved..
Murphy's dad took him home early and then returned to the party. When I saw Murph and his mom the next morning on our walk, he was still noticeably upset that he had to leave while his parents and Marly got to stay, and he was even mad at his mom! He was walking extra slow with no swagger in his step and was very stubborn. So funny how our pets have so many emotions and demonstrate so many personality traits. It's so easy to see how they become part of our family and are so much more than just dogs.
During our Safer at Home time, we've started watching some tv series like........Yellowstone, which we love, and Prison Break, which we also love. Once in a great while, I take a break from my computer chair and relax on the comfy sofa in our bonus room and Marly joins in. She tries to get up, by placing one paw on the cusihon, but then has to be air lifted up and of course lowered down when it's bed time.
So, I think it's safe to say, that our girl enjoys the series too!
No matter how old she gets, she still loves BALL!
It's almost Thanksgiving and we're still home most of the time and Marly loves it - at least I think she does. We play outside every evening with Murphy and his family.
She's excited to see him coming down the road every day!
They play hard.
Marly can't jump any more, so we enjoy photographing Murphy showing off for us.
Even though she can't jump any more, she still runs fast!
Somehow it's time for Christmas pictures already! Believe me when I say it was no easy task.
At first, Murph was very concerned about the hat.
Then he at least gave a grin of acceptance.
In the meantime, Marly played a little more ball and Murphy posed beautifully.
Then Marly took a rest and posed.
She was keeping a watchful eye on Murphy's mom, who had the treats, and especially Murphy's dad, who had the blue ball and the thrower.
What terrific memories we will have for years to come!!!
December 8th.......Almost A Holiday!
Murphy's 4th Birthday!!!
We started getting ready early buy making bow ties for the neighborhood kids.
We tried diligently to get them all to sit and stay. This was our best attempt.
Murphy loved searching through the birthday bag.
He loved his pillow......
but thought it was a chew toy!!!!!
He had such a fun time. We all did!
One handsome boy!
More Christmas Pics Please
Don't they just warm your heart?
Come On, Let's Play!
Look at me. I got to wear the big antlers today!
Do you like Olaf? I don't even know who he is but I bet he has a lot of stuffing to pull out!
You know you have a really long tongue?
Do you like your hat?
Some help here please!
This pretty much sums up the day.
Treat me please!
I just wanna play ball.
My turn for the big antlers.
Our super Amazing kids!
Make sure you sing the song.....it's just more fun!
One of our favorite photos
Christmas is an exciting time at our house. There's lots of presents, a big mess, and way too much food!
Even before Christmas Day, we were busy making thing for our friends.
Some friends got Dog Mom or Cat Mom pillows.
Marly was shocked that some prefer cats over dogs!
Our super fun buddy next door got his own special pillow too.
We even made Dog Mom tumblers!
We made a very special calendar for Murphy and his family and we couldn't wait to give it to them!
I'm pretty sure they liked it!!!
On Christmas morning, Marly woke up early and was eager to wear her Christmas bow!
She opened her gift and like her new toy......for a few minutes.
Then she was more excited to see what everyone else got.
She was shocked to see that her very own sister is a Cat Mom!!!
December 30th.......Marly's BIG Day!!!!
Of course Murphy showed up early to wish Marly a very Happy Birthday!!!
I know he looks a little sad, but he was very happy when the bag of gifts came out. Both of them tried to put their heads in at once! Then they got treats!
We got them to sit nicely for a quick second and then it was back to playing.
Marly was all decked out in her new birthday scarf and button. She didn't care too much for the crown but was okay for a couple of pictures.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAUTIFUL GIRL!
That didn't last long. Murphy took the slice of birthday cake squeeky toy and was off and running.
They shared a pumpkin, peanut butter, and applesauce cake that Abby baked. I think they LOVED it!
In honor of Marly's 12th Birthday, she and I wrote a book.......How to Live Your BEST LIFE......as a dog......It's been a big hit!
To all those who have come before.....
Picking the best one.....
Meeting the fam......
Explore your new home......
Impress your new family......
All you need is LOVE and a Marly!
Try lots of fun activities......
Until you find one that you LOVE!
Who doesn't LOVE snow???
Oh, people who live in Florida!
Wherever you go, NEVER forget your ball!
Always offer to help around the house, especially in the kitchen.
LOOK OUT! It's comin' atcha!
Take good care of your toys.
Take better care of your friends.
Who thinks I look like a Gremlin???
It really is a GOOD LIFE!
Thanks for the fun picture, Julie!
I know who loves me!
And I know I'm living my BEST Life!