Marley and Us

Marley and Us

Update (07/27/2015): Good news, Marley has been adopted! Just this afternoon, we drove Marley down south of Dallas to meet up with Pattie from Brittany Rescue in Texas. From there, they drove down to Waco and met the adoptive family halfway from their home in San Antonio. I got the pleasure of having two great phone conversations (before and after adoption) with the new family. From what they shared with me after getting home tonight, it sounds like Marley is settling in and beginning to bond with his new family. It’s a little bittersweet to not have Marley around anymore, we’re going to miss him. But because Marley’s got a great new family and a fantastic future with them, we can’t be any happier for him!

We have two dogs in our family, Crockett and Zoe. Both dogs are Brittanys (formerly known as Brittany Spaniels). Crockett is creeping up on four years old and Zoe is nearly 1 and a half. I’m no expert, but as far as I can tell they’re both pretty representative of their breed: smart, energetic and sweet dogs. For more about the Brittany check out this article; 10 Things You Should Know About the Brittany Spaniel

When we got both Crockett and Zoe, we struggled with buying a dog from a breeder or adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group. Ultimately, we decided on getting both dogs from different, respectable breeders. We don’t regret how we brought Crockett and Zoe into our lives, but we do also recognize there are lots of dogs out there in shelters and in need of help. This fact has inspired us to become a foster home for the local Brittany rescue group, Brittany Rescue in Texas (BRIT on Facebook). Each dog we foster is going to get featured in a blog in the hopes it helps find a permanent home for each fostered dog faster. If you have any questions about what being around Marley is like, feel free to ask in the comments below. If you’re curious about the adoption process, please contact Pattie with BRIT and she can help explain the process and answer your questions.

Not too long ago, BRIT placed our first foster with us. His name is Marley. Marley is a 5-year-old male Brittany. He’s a little bit closer to Zoe’s size, which is around 32 pounds. Marley has been a bit different from Crockett and Zoe, which isn’t a bad thing at all. He’s much more laid back than either Crockett or Zoe with a lower energy level, we suspect that’s because Crockett and Zoe are still very much puppies at heart. Marley is quite content to just follow us around the house and lie down somewhere within a couple feet of us when we’re not especially active. Crockett and Zoe are a bit more high energy and would like Marley to come join in on their hi-jinx. That’s not to say Marley isn’t energetic, when he joins in on the rough-housing he can certainly hold his own. He’s also sprinting out ahead of the rest of us every time we go into the backyard in order to patrol and clear the premises of any squirrels. Marley is also much more cuddly; most of the time we’ve been in the family room he’s been up on the couch snuggled right up next to myself (mostly) or Julia. When he can’t lay right next to us, he likes to lie right at our feet, which is pretty convenient for us because Julia and I both have enjoyed petting Marley’s incredibly soft fur.

Initially, he had a rough few days. He was surrendered, changed hands a few times, went to the vet to get neutered and came to us. Despite all of that, he was instantly warm and affectionate towards both Julia and I. Crockett and Zoe were curious, excited, and playful towards Marley and Marley made them aware that those initial over-engergetic overtures were not welcome with a precautionary growl. Despite his unease and anxiety at the situation, Marley was very patient with Crockett and Zoe as they tried to figure everything out.

Figuring everything out really only took a matter of 1-2 weeks, Marley started to fit a bit better more and more as the first two weeks progressed. By the end of those two weeks, it was quite like he’d been here for a long time.

Marley doesn’t seem to have much formal obedience training, but still he seems to understand us pretty well. He’ll come when called, he understands when he is told that it is time to go outside for a bathroom break, and he seems to understand when we correct him by telling him no (which doesn’t happen very often). My personal suggestion for any potential adoptive household would be to sign up for some obedience training. However, this is not a recommendation specific to Marley, it’s just something I think that every dog owner should always be working on. We have had quite a bit of luck teaching (or reminding) Marley how to sit. He’s a very smart cookie and a very quick learner.

Marley, Brian and Julia embarking on a foster adventure. Taking a mid-afternoon nap. A handsome little guy! Enjoying bones with Crockett and Zoe. Winding down for the evening. Binge watching some TV with Brian and Julia Getting some quality time with Julia. What a face! Posing for the camera. Staying hydrated. Zoe, Marley and Crockett catching some Zs Marley showing off his Sit Marley and Crockett both sitting. Marley laying down by Brian's computer desk One last headshot of Marley.

Those first few days, there wasn’t a whole of playing going on. But at this point Marley, Crockett and Zoe are all playfully running around the house, patrolling for the ever-present squirrels, enjoying car rides together and in general just having a fun time. Marley’s apprehension at playing with the dogs early on have proven to be part of his acclimation and acceptance into our little pack.

We have loaded up all three dogs in the car and attended Crockett and Zoe’s group obedience sessions a number of times. When we’re at the obedience lessons, there’s a constant stream of people and dogs through the storefront. Julia and Marley observe while Zoe, Crockett and I participate in the lessons. Marley has been friendly and pleasant with all the people he comes into contact with as well as those people’s dogs. There are always a number of people in the store each lesson, and I’m always very impressed with how Marley behaves. This is yet another sign what a good dog he is.

Marley took some time getting used to our house and learning where was (and wasn’t) acceptable to go to the bathroom. We’ve been working on this and while we’ve had two or three accidents inside, we feel pretty good saying that Marley is housebroken. Because the accidents happened early on, I think his general unease and discomfort with the situation was probably the driving force behind the accidents.

Marley’s manners are quite good and he’s very well behaved. My only behavioral observation so far is that he tends to climb up on you and that’s not a trait specific to just Marley, we have two other dogs right here who want to get as close to you as possible at times too. Marley’s actually very gentle about it, instead of jumping up at you with reckless abandon like Zoe does, Marley kind of inches up your leg and stands up to give you a hug. He does this to us in the mornings and when we both get home from work, he’s just happy to see us.

We don’t know much about his life before he came to stay with us, and I think we’d prefer it that way. We would much rather start off with a blank slate. Whatever happened in Marley’s life before being rescued by Brittany Rescue in Texas doesn’t really matter any more. All we know is what we’ve experienced since he came to stay with us, and it’s all been positive. He’s a great dog, and he’s going to make a good addition to somebody’s household in the very near future. We can’t imagine him staying with us all that long, he really is a wonderful dog.

Are you curious Marley? If you have any questions for us about Marley, please leave them in a comment down below and we’ll answer them as quickly as we can. Are you interested in possibly adopting? Then email Pattie with BRIT to learn more about the adoption process.

I will also update and tweak this blog the more I learn about Marley. If you’d like to move forward with adoption, you can find the BRIT Adoption Application on their website. Did you miss out on Marley? That’s okay, there’s lots of other adoptable Brittanys on BRIT’s website and hopefully we’ll be repeating this with other Brittanys in the near future.