Almost two years ago I read the book, "Marley and Me." I cried probably half of the book. Then came the movie. And yes, I dragged Craig relucantly to see the movie. And yep, I cried again. Then it came out on video and Dalton begged to watch it. So we watched again. You guessed it....I cried. Then tonight it was on HBO and somehow watched it again. I think by now you know what this movie does to me.
Why? I may cry the first time I see a sad movie, but again and again and AGAIN. While I was sitting here watching the movie tonight I realized why. Because we had our very own Marley. Our Marley however was a Basset Hound by the name of Winston.
It was December of 2002. Craig and I decided that Dalton needed a puppy for Christmas. What boy doesn't need a dog? I have always wanted a Basset Hound. The adorable long years, the howling bark, the chubbiness. When Craig and I arrived at the breeder I heard the barking. I swear I was more excited than anyone. Upon seeing the puppies I fell in love. We found the most timid puppy and from the moment I held him, I was gone.
This was going to be awesome! Or so we thought....
It started with the whining and howling. He got locked out in the garage so we could sleep.
Then came the chewing. On everything...side of our outdoor shed, kid's toys, the electrical wiring to our central air unit. We chained him up and bought toys. Escaping. We have a screened in back porch that we would house him in when it rained or wanted to cage him up even more. Well, he chewed through the screens and escaped. We bought lattice work to place up on the outside of the porch so that he couldn't jump through the screens. And like Marley, Winston hated thunderstorms, fireworks, and other loud noises.
Winston even chewed through four doors in our house one night, peed on Dalton's bed and tore off the blind to our picture window. All in one night! Craig wanted him gone. We searched for rescue shelters. I couldn't do it. I couldn't give him up.
Then one morning it occured to me. I was on my way to work and was chaining Winston up. He was shaking. He kept pulling closer and closer to me. When I turned to walk back into the garage I seen the scratch marks on the door. All he wanted was us. He just wanted to be...with us.
I knew that I had to work all day that day. There was going to be no time for a break. Then around noon that day one of my staff called and said she could come in early if I needed her to. Yes, I can take a break. So I headed home. I called to Winston. "You wanna come in" Nothing. Then I looked out the door. He had jumped through the screen door so many times that he had basically hung himself by his chain.
"You stupid dog!" "Why? Why?" "I'm sorry. I should have moved your chain."
We took Winston up to my parent's house and buried him in their backyard. They made a wooden cross with his name on it. We came home and picked Dalton up from school. Immediately upon seeing us Dalton says, "Why are both of you here? What's wrong?" We told him and we cried.
You see for all his psycho episodes he did have his moments. Like winning best in show at a pet show the day after he wrecked our house. Laying absolutely still while a baby pulls on his ears and tail. Being a compainion when it was needed the most.
To this day, Dalton still keeps this picture of him in his dresser drawer. And every trip to the grandparents house Dalton goes to his grave and ensures that the cross is straight. So while watching this movie I see Winston. He was the world's worst dog. But for being the world's worst dog...we loved you and we still miss you!