Marley and Me

December 16, 2010
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It all started out when my girlfriend Sylwia and I went to “Happiness is Pets.” I’ve wanted a dog for quite a while now, but I never found the right one. I looked around everywhere for a dog that would be a small yet playful dog. I wanted a Shih Tzu because they are cute, small, and don’t shed a lot.
So, we ventured inside and started looking around. Finding a male Shih Tzu puppy was difficult, as we found out before when we came inside the same store and they did not have any. Nevertheless we did not give up and this was our lucky day. We spotted an adorable Shih Tzu and to our excitement, it was a boy! The owner of the store let us take the puppy out and play with it. Perfect. I informed the owner that I would definitely be back for it as soon as possible. I told him I'd try to be back the next day.
Unfortunately, I required 800 dollars, which I did not have, so I decided to ask my brother to pay for it with the understanding I’d pay him back. I felt lucky because he agreed to go return the next day to purchase the Shih Tzu.
So, the following day, my brother and I went back to “Happiness is Pets” to get my dog. However to my dismay, when I showed Ivan the dog I wanted, he laughed and said we are not getting a “rat” as a dog. He initially agreed to buy the Shih Tzu, but now he did not want it. I felt as if I was crashing down from the sky. I was speechless and all of my thoughts went blank and anger rose in my body. He said that if we were getting a dog, it was going to be a big dog that we can actually play fetch with. So, he found a Golden Retriever that he really liked. He showed him to me, but I was not amused. I had my heart set on that Shih Tzu. I tried arguing with my brother that a Golden Retriever would not be good for our family. First one, my mom did not want a big dog. And second, Golden Retrievers shed. A lot. My mom would not be happy. But of course, Ivan would not listen. He said that he was paying for the dog and if he was paying, he was getting a dog that he wanted. I felt pretty pissed.
It ended with us getting the Golden Retriever. I told Ivan that I refuse to take care of it because it was his dog so he would have to do everything. I would just play with it whenever I wanted to.
I ended up taking the puppy to Sylwia's work, where I thought I’d surprise her. I stood at the door where they exit to go on their break.
“Hey Oleh what are you doing here?” She asked me with a surprised look. I turned around holding the Golden Retriever in my arms, as he was licking my finger.
“Aw whose dog is that?” She asked with a confused look in her eyes.
“It’s my new puppy, I guess Ivan didn’t want a Shih Tzu” I replied with a disappointed look. She did not seem too happy about me not getting the Shih Tzu either. But she then started to play with it and, started to like it.
“He’s really cute actually, so what are you doing to name him?” she asked as she looked at me. I randomly named him Marley just for him to have a name for now. He reminded me of the dog from the movie Marley & Me so I thought it was a good match. When I told Sylwia his name, she thought it would suit him perfectly and that I should keep the name. So I did.
A lot of things happened ever since Marley came to live with us. The funniest and most nerve-racking thing that happened was when Ivan and I showed our parents the puppy. When we got him, they flew to the Dominican Republic for a vacation so they did not know that we now had a dog. My mom started crying and laughing when she saw him. She became nervous to have a dog because we never had one in our house yet, but she was excited because he had the most adorable face ever.
The bad thing that loomed over us, was that we had to potty train him. It was the worst. He peed and pooped in the house for quite a while before we could get him to go outside.
The other bad thing about Marley was that he started biting a lot. It really pissed Sylwia off. It got to the point where one day she could not take it any more, and blew up at me. She said that she would never come to my house again as long as that dog was still there. And she kept her promise. I did not know what to do. I wanted Sylwia to come over so I told her I would do anything, even if it meant I had to give the dog away. She said she would not be happy if I did that because she knew I loved Marley. It posed a problem for me. We were not the same for about three weeks, until I confronted her and said that it really upset me that she would not come over anymore. She thought about it and told me that she would come over just to make me happy. Then she started coming over again after those three weeks. Ever since she did, she loved Marley. Even though he still bit.
My mom loves Marley too. She said that she would not buy him anything because he was mine and Ivan's dog. That was a total lie. She bought him more cookies and dog treats that shes even bought for Ivan and me. It's ridiculous but funny. When I showed all of Marley's treats to Sylwia, she laughed.
Marley has grown about four times his size ever since we got him. Everyone tells me that, but I do not like hearing it. I want him to stay a puppy forever, but I know that won't be possible.
To make Marley behave and stop biting, I signed him up for puppy school. He's been there twice so far and improved. Even Sylwia said so. He knows how to sit now, and it's pretty funny because whenever you have a treat in your hand he will automatically sit. He also kind of knows how to lay down and roll over but we're still working on that.
A lot has also changed ever since Marley came home. My dad and I put up a fence so Marley could roam around the backyard without running out onto the street. Before the fence, there were two entrances where they led to the front yard and the street. We knew it would not be safe for Marley and because whenever one of us took him outside. we had to tie his leash to the basketball pole for him to not run away or get in our way. Now things are a lot better because I can just open the back door and let Marley out into the big fenced backyard so he could run around the backyard and we don't have to worry about him.
I'm very glad how things worked out with Marley. Everyone is ecstatic and he is a very sweet dog. He loves to play with me and I cannot wait to teach him how to fetch. I wonder what he will look like when he grows up fully. So far, everything plays out great and hopefully he will learn to not bite anymore. He has four more weeks of puppy school so we'll see how that goes. Everybody loves Marley now and it makes me really happy.





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