It was August 2009 when my boyfriend at the time and I decided to get a dog. We both loved English Bulldog puppies, and when we found a breeder in Morgan Hill, we contacted them for more information regarding the puppies they had. At first, we wanted an all-white bulldog. However, when we got down to Morgan Hill, I fell in love with a puppy named “Tequila.” Tequila was a little rambunctious boy. He followed me everywhere I walked and at that moment, I knew I had to take him home. Thankfully, he wasn’t spoken for, so we paid $1,700.00 for him and made our way back home stopping by PetCo in Gilroy to get his collar, tag, leash, and water/food bowl. Finally, Marley was home.
The first couple of nights it was impossible to sleep. He would always bark and cry, but didn’t want to sleep on the bed. This dog was full of personality. He did whatever he wanted when he wanted. He wasn’t disobedient, just stubborn. Through the years he was my partner in life. Whenever I was home, he was always by my side. I wouldn’t be able to walk to the kitchen or go to the bathroom without my little shadow following close by. And when I was gone, he would have separation anxiety. But, the moment I got home, he would greet me at the door wagging his short little nubbin and basically his whole butt with so much joy. If I was ever upset at him, he’d try to force kisses on me. Or if I was sad, he’d lick my tears away and cuddle close to me. Marley was my life for the almost 8 years he shared with me. I loved everything about him. Even when he was annoying. Even when I had to wake up every other hour to take him outside. He was my everything and knowing he’s gone just shatters me.
Sunday, June 11th. The night before, Marley slept with me on the couch. My parents were in Vegas celebrating my niece’s baptism and 1st birthday, so typically I sleep on the couch with Marley when I am alone. We had a good night’s sleep and woke up around 6:30am to go for a walk outside. That morning sort of dragged, but we enjoyed our several quick naps on the couch together. We even facetimed with sister and parents. After, we took another nap on the couch. We woke up slightly after noon and I decided the dogs needed to go outside again. We went outside where they both peed and pooped. When we got inside the apartment, they went straight to the kitchen so I prepared their lunch: shredded chicken mixed with their kibble. I placed their food bowls down and walked to the bathroom as I decided it was time to color my hair. I was in the bathroom for no more than 5 minutes when I went back to the kitchen and I saw Marley laying on the floor next to the trashcan. My first thought was, “He never lays down there…” and that’s when I noticed food on the floor next to his mouth and his tongue was out. I screamed out his name as I ran towards him and he didn’t move. He reached into his throat to pull out food but there wasn’t much to remove. I’m screaming and crying hysterically while turning him to his side and giving him chest compressions, but nothing. I run and grab my phone and dial T’s number, while still trying to give chest compressions and clearing his throat, but nothing I was doing seemed to help. When T answer’s his phone, I’m hysterical and all I can say is “Please come here now. Marley isn’t breathing” He tells me to call the vet. So I do and they tell me to go to the nearest Emergency Room. Waiting for him to give me the address felt like an eternity. Finally I was able to scribble down “1618 Washington Blvd” and then I went back to chest compressions and trying to blow air into Marley. I picked him, but his body was limp that it was just difficult for me to carry him so I sat on the couch with him on my lap and I just cradled him. I finally managed to get him near the front door. I grabbed my purse and shoes and finally T calls me saying he’s outside. I run outside and I tell him “I can’t carry him” so he runs in and picks him up. I closed the door and lock it and run outside, open T’s car, sit down, and T put Marley on my lap. The whole car ride to the Emergency Room I just cradled Marley in my arms, sobbing. I knew he was gone, but there was that small chance of hope in me that he’ll survive. His face was towards the window so maybe he could see outside one last time. Feel the sun on his face one last time. When we finally got to the Emergency Room, a tech took Marley in and put us in a waiting room. There the vet gave us the news…. He didn’t make it. She asked if he had any illnesses. Mega esophagus. He had problems with his kidneys, liver, and bladder. No heart problems that I knew of. She said they did find food, but not a lot. I told her that I cleared some of it. There’s no definitive reason for death. Did he choke? Was it his health issues? Old age? Did he have a heart problem? She told me about my cremation options and asked if I wanted to say goodbye. They gave me some paperwork to fill out. When they brought him back into the room, they had him wrapped up in a blanket. They put him on the table. Saying bye to him was so hard. I would’ve given up so much to have him come back to life. All I could do was tell Marley how sorry I was. I’m so sorry, Marley. I shouldn’t have left him. I should’ve watched him eat. I should’ve been there. I could’ve prevented this. I could’ve done more. I felt and I still feel like I let Marley down. This is my fault. I felt like someone ripped open my chest and grabbed out my heart. Marley was my world, my love, my life. And he’s gone and I just don’t know how to deal.