In the early hours of Sunday morning the world lost a beautiful dog. In the few years she lived outside of the puppy farm, Marnie touched the hearts of all who came to love her and none more so than Graeme and Peggy who took her into their home and hearts.
I met them all for the first time in 2014, soon after Marnie had settled into her new life. It was at a busy event and I recall in ‘Saving One More’ how awed I was by the close bond and trust between Marnie and Peggy:
“….although still nervous around people, when with her family, Marnie had clearly learnt to accept their love and gentle care. While Twinkle was twitching around in the hullabaloo of the hall, struggling to cope with it all, Marnie lay on her back on Peggy’s lap enjoying a calming, meditative massage on the back row of seats. It was really a delightful scene, a dog so unused to touch and human contact relaxing in the safe hands of those offering nothing but love.”
Marnie, like many dogs saved from breeding lives suffered badly at the hands of puppy farmers and came out of that experience deeply traumatised. But through the years that she was free and living with Graeme, Peggy and her canine sister Bindie, she received nothing less than unconditional love and devotion to her needs.
Sadly, in the past year things began to get a little odd and Marnie became more anxious. She would appear to get herself stuck behind chairs, or the television set; she was wide awake at night while sleepy in the day; she’d appear lost at times, staring into space and her appetite declined. After investigations, last autumn Marnie was diagnosed with canine dementia, a heartbreaking diagnosis for Peggy and Graeme.
But determined to do all they could to make their beloved friend’s life as safe, secure and good as possible, Peggy and Graeme gave her all the recommended medication and did everything necessary.
Peggy told me a little while back how they were all adjusting to this new chapter in Marnie’s life:
“we have adjusted to her ways and are always on guard against her getting lost or stressed. She calms down with affection. She has herself become very affectionate.”
It seems cruel beyond measure that a dog who suffered for years in a puppy farm should then experience the confusion of dementia in her last months. But, if there’s any comfort we can all take from this sad reality, it is that Marnie was loved so deeply, so unconditionally by the humans who brought her into their lives that she could never have doubted for a moment that she was uniquely treasured. Right up until her last breath.
While Graeme and Peggy’s hearts are shattered, and they are deeply mourning the loss of Marnie, their pain, I am certain, will one day ease. And when it does, they will again remember with sweetness, the love Marnie brought into their lives, and those of everyone she met. She will always be their special girl, death will never steal that truth away.