Puppy in a pizza box (photo by Danica Prowse)
Sitting here thinking about how I have nothing intelligent to write about, and nothing very exciting happening in my recreational pursuits to report, but I haven't dedicated a post to my best friend.
I adopted Marshall in the summer of 2010. My daughters mom had originally fell in love with Marshall when she was accompanying a friend who was looking at adopting a puppy. Marshall was the runt, an adorable little fella. His parents were a combination of Blue Tick Coonhound, Great Dane and some breed of Mastif. I am not sure the exact paternal/maternal mix. I remember him as a pup. He was very friendly, too friendly sometimes. He loves to give open mouth kisses still to this day, as my step dad found out last weekend. He liked to jump up to greet new people(new being someone he hadn't seen for a few minutes). He chewed and messed in the house. He managed to chew the steering wheel in the car he was sitting in waiting to go for a walk. I offered to take Marshall to the beach with Natalie one day, while her mom was busy. I thought he was a little bit of a nightmare, but I could see potential in him. He loved to chase a ball and swim. Two traits I love in a dog. It didn't hurt that he has the cutest face and hangy ears. He didn't listen to me at all, and I had a really hard time getting him back in the house, after running through the neighbors house soaking wet.
The bluffs at Comox Lake
Shortly after this meeting, I found out that Natalie's mom had to move, and wouldn't be able to keep Marshall. Earlier in 2010 I had to put my other dog down. He had bone cancer and there wasn't much that could be done. Poor Jackson, he was a good one too. A great guard dog. I couldn't let Natalie lose two dogs in one year, so I agreed to take on Marshall.
Basically my first experience with Marshall as my dog was almost my last. We had taken him up to Raft Cove for a weekend trip in mid-August. He traveled well in the vehicle, quiet, didn't get into trouble. We arrived at the trail head at dusk and had to hurry to get down to the beach before dark. Marshall got out of the Landcruiser and proceeded to find some human feces and roll in it. He was coated in it. So gross. We hiked to the beach trying to keep him away from us, smelling the shit the whole way. Unable to wash him that night I tied him up away from us. He wouldn't settle and whined and cried all night. I might have slept for about 3 hours. I layed there, so angry, wanting to throw my shoe at him. I refrained for fear of my boot being eaten. Once he was washed and not smelly the rest of the weekend was great. Since that first trip he has found other bit of poo and rolled. Now he gets tossed in the tub and is given a bath. I am much less mad at him.
Raft Cove the day after the smelly incident
Marshall has been a great addition to my house. With two separate sessions of obedience training he has become such an awesome dog. Marsh is great with Natalie, my girlfriend loves him, he is company for my dad during daily walks in the woods. He is a partner for us on mountain bike rides, trail runs, mushroom picking, swimming, and cuddling on the couch. He loves to lay on the floor in front of my wood stove, the granite his pillow. He is the most brilliant swimmer. Not only in stamina, but in love. He will go in the water and swim without being encouraged in with a stick. He will swim in circles just because he loves it so much. He travels well in a vehicle, only squeaking when he recognizes where we are, and knows it is a walking spot. Marshall will eat anything, his food, vegetables, fruit. The only thing he won't eat is mushrooms. But not when he is offered it, he never eats off the counter. Never anymore that is....
I can say that Marshall was a great decision for me. I love having a dog home to greet me on nights when I am home alone. I look forward to him waking again when a black bear in getting in the garbage, and taking him to "Find Adventure" with me and my family in the coming years. I love that beast:)