Marley and Me Chapter 6-10 (3)
I looked at Jenny and she looked at me.
"Marley has to go to the hospital," we told the children. "The doctors are going to try to make him better. But he's very sick."
With Jenny's help, I put Marley into the back of the car. He lay on the floor. I petted his head.
"Oh, Marley," I said again and again.
At the hospital, I helped him out of the car and took him inside. The young doctor took him away. Then she came back and showed me some pictures of the inside of Marley's stomach.
"I'm very sorry," she said quietly. "We can't do anything for Marley now."
"I understand," I said. "Please can I say goodbye to him?"
"Yes, of course," she said. "Have as much time with him as you want."
Marley was asleep. I got down next to him and ran my fingers through his fur. I held up each ear in my hands. I opened his mouth and looked at his teeth. Then I held up his front paw.
"I want you to understand something, Marley," I said. "Sometimes we called you the world's worst dog. But you're not. We never told you this before... but you're a great dog, Marley. A great dog."
I sat with Marley for a long time, then I called the doctor.
"I'm ready now," I said.
I held Marley's head and the doctor gave Marley something. It didn't hurt him. He died quietly.
"I want to take Marley home," I said.
Two people brought a large black bag out to my car. Then I thanked the doctor and drove away. When I got home, the children were in bed. I put my arms around Jenny and we cried for a long time.
Later, we went outside. We took the black bag out of the car and put it into the garage.
Next morning, Jenny told the children about Marley. They were very sad and started to cry.
"It's OK," I said. "When you have a dog, this always happens. Dogs don't live as long as people."
Conor made a picture and wrote a letter for Marley:
To Marley. I loved you all my life. You were always there when I wanted you. Your brother, Conor Richard Grogan.
Colleen made a picture of a girl with a big yellow dog. She wrote under the picture: I will never forget you, Marley.
I found a very good place for Marley, in the ground under two big fruit trees. I put the black bag in the ground, and Jenny and the children watched. After I finished, everybody said, "We love you, Marley."
Then we went back to the kitchen and told stories about Marley. Sometimes we laughed and sometimes we cried.
The next days were very difficult. The house was very quiet. When I came home at night, there was no Marley. Jenny cleaned the house, but his fur was everywhere. One morning, when I put on my shoes, I found some of Marley's fur inside them.
Marley was my dog for thirteen years. He wasn't an obedient dog, but he was important in my life. I wanted to tell other people about him. So I wrote about him in my newspaper.
Nobody called Marley a great dog... or a good dog, I wrote. He was wild and crazy. He had to leave obedience school. He chewed things, and he wasn't very intelligent. But he understood people's feelings, and he was very good with children.
A person can learn a lot from a dog. Because of him, I listened to my feelings. Because of him, I enjoyed winter sunlight and the snow and a walk in the woods. Because of him, I can be a good friend.
A dog can show us the important things in life. A dog isn't interested in fast cars or big houses or expensive clothes. Give a dog your love, and he will give you his.
Many people read about Marley in the newspaper. Animal lovers called me and wrote to me. They wrote to me about their love for dogs. They wrote about their feelings when their dogs died.
Many people wrote funny stories about their dogs. Some people wrote, "Marley wasn't the worst dog in the world. My dog's the worst dog in the world!" I began to feel better.
I took the letters home and showed them to Jenny. She laughed, too.
Winter came to an end and it was spring. Our yard was full of flowers. I didn't think about Marley all the time. When I thought about him, I usually remembered the happy days.
In many ways, life without a dog was easier. The house and the yard were clean. We could enjoy going out to dinner. But something about our family wasn't right.
One morning, Jenny showed me the newspaper.
"Look at this," she said.
It was an ad for a dog. I saw a photo of a big yellow Labrador. I looked at the photo, then I looked again.
"That's Marley!" I said.
"It isn't Marley," said Jenny. "Look."
Under the photo was the dog's name: Lucky. I read:
I'm looking for a new home and a new family. I want a quiet home, because I'm a little wild.
We read the ad and looked at the photo again. We didn't say anything for some time.
Then I said, "We can go and look at him."
"Yes," said Jenny. "Why not?"
- THE END -