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Another Kid

Our family has gone from five to six with the addition of our dog, Marley.

Someone once told me that having a dog is like having another family member!  Of course I had forgotten that until we adopted Marley.

It’s hard to believe it’s been four weeks since Marley picked our family to live with.  There were other people looking at “Marls” but he wanted to stay with us.  One woman came up to us and said, “That dog wanted nothing to do with me and my kids, but he goes right to your family.”  I guess it was meant to be, love at first sight and all that! 

In the time we have had Marley we have lost several hours of sleep - just an example of how dogs become part of the family.  This is Marley’s newborn stage.   We are crate training the dog whom is already crate trained, but he would much rather sleep with us than in his crate.  This is very similar to the baby that would rather sleep with you than in his crib.  Remember the baby crying when you put him into his crib?  Marley does the same thing.  He, of course, waits until your eyes are shut and you’re one breath away from dreamland to start in on the crying!

Speaking of stages, Marley is also in the potty training stage.  He’s pretty good at going “hurry ups” outside, but there are times that he has had accidents.  As I go through this training with him, I wonder who is really being trained here.  I have to learn to take him out throughout the day and notice his signs for having to go to the bathroom.

I have taken Marley to the vet since bringing him home and have learned some interesting things about dogs and vets.  First off, I learned that Marley needed a Lyme vaccine and a few other shots.  He has to go back to the vet for booster shots.  Apparently he has the heart rate of a much bigger dog (think “retriever”) which means his heart rate is slow.  So if he ever has to go under before a surgery he should have an e.k.g. done first.  Okay

Next, the vet took a look at his teeth and said that he has a lot of plague for a dog of his age (he’s around one year old).  So now I have to brush his teeth, yes brush his teeth, three times a week!  I must admit that I have yet to attempt this one.  The dog won’t even let me look in his mouth!  So we have been giving him “greenies,” dog treats which are supposed to clean his teeth.  He also has a large wax build up so I need to put drops in his ears for ten days.  The last thing I learned is that the vet can get pretty pricey!

You may be thinking that I regret the decision to get a dog, but I certainly do not.   Marley is a great dog.  He is sweet and affectionate and the kids adore him.  He is the alarm clock you never knew you wanted until he wakes you up in the morning. When the kids don’t wake up for school, my husband asks if we should “release the hounds.” This means that he will run upstairs, jump on the bed, and lick their face until they get up.  He is part of the family and we wouldn’t want it any other way! 

Yes, it is like having another child but on the upside, we won’t have to send this one to college!

Meredith Adler September 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Maggie, Marley is adorable! I LOVE that picture of him. Being the parent of a dog is just as hard as parenting a child sometimes...but at least you are always guaranteed a kiss or a snuggle in return. Great column!
Fran M. September 24, 2011 at 03:40 PM
You realize that there was a book (actually several) with a dog by that name, right? ;) If the name is any hint as to the personality, you are in for a wild ride! You are certainly guaranteed plenty of writing material too. And yes, you are correct in wondering who is actually being "potty trained"...good luck to you.
Margaret Monty September 24, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Hi Fran, Several people ahve told me the same thing about the name! I have not read the books nor seen the movies, though. Our Marley came with the name and my kids didn't want to change it. We like to think of our dog as Bob Marley! Thanks for the comments and keep reading!!

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