Chapter 2 Life with Marley
For the next three days, I played with Marley. I lay on the floor and he climbed on me. He followed me everywhere, and he tried to chew on everything.
When jenny came back from Disney World, she played with Marley, too. She held him and petted him. She got up in the night and took him outside. Most of all, she gave him food. Marley ate three large bowls of puppy food every day. He got bigger all the time. His head and his paws were very large, and his tail was thick and heavy. When he wagged his tail, he pushed everything onto the floor —- magazines and glassed, and phones.
Marley loved to grab things and hold them in his mouth. He grabbed things from the floor and from the dining-room table. He grabbed shoes, pens, bottle tops, and many other things.
“All right, what have you got this time?” I asked. When I opened his mouth, I always found something new inside.
Every morning, I took Marley for a walk on the beach. Then I put him in the garage with a bowl of water and some playthings, after that, I went to work. I always said, “Be a good boy, Marley!” jenny came home at lunchtime and gave him food.
In the evening, we took Marley down to the beach again. But our walks weren’t easy. Marley ran in front of us and pulled on his leash. We pulled him back, then he pulled us again. He went this way and that way, and he sniffed everything.
We tried to teach Marley, “Come! Stay! Sit! Down! No!” But he didn’t listen to us. He was like an excited child. But every day he got bigger and stronger.
“I killed the plant, but I’m good with Marley,” Jenny said happily.
One day, Jenny invited a friend to our house. Her friend brought her old dog, Buddy, with her. Buddy wand Marley ran and played. Then they were tired, so they lay down in the yard.
Some days later, Jenny was with Marley when she said, “Come and look at this, John”!
I looked, and I saw something small and black in Marley7s fur.
“Oh, no!” I said. “Marley has fleas.”
They were on his paws, inside his ears, and under his tail.
“Buddy had fleas and he gave them to Marley,” said Jenny angrily.
She ran out and got into her car. Half an hour later, she came back with bags of chemicals. First, she washed Marley’s fur with the chemical. Then she put him in the garage and cleaned the house carefully. I cleaned the yard. Every day after that, we looked in Marley’s fur, but we couldn’t see any more fleas.
Some weeks later, Jenny said, “John, I’m going to have a baby!”
“That’s wonderful,” I said. I was very happy. We were ready for a baby now.
Then Jenny said, “But will those chemicals be a problem?”
“What chemicals?” I asked. “What do you mean?”
“Don’t you remember? I used very strong chemicals when Marley had fleas. They can’t be good for a baby,” she said.
She talked to her doctor about the chemicals.
“It’s all right, Jenny,” he said. “Everything will be OK.”
Jenny got up early every day and took Marley for a walk. She ate lots of fruits and vegetables. After ten weeks, she and I saw the doctor again.
“Would you like to see your baby?” he asked.
“Yes, please,” we said. We felt very excited.
The doctor took us into a room at the back and Jenny lay down. He moved something over Jenny. On a machine next to him, we could see something like a small gray bag. But we couldn’t see a baby inside.
“Is there anything in there?” asked Jenny.
After a time, the doctor said quickly, “I’m very sorry, Jenny. Your baby’s dead.”
I felt sick. I sat and held Jenny’s hand. We didn’t say anything for a long time. When the doctor left, I put my arms around my wife. Later, I took her home. She was very quiet in the car. Her eyes were red, but she didn’t cry.
Back home, Jenny went into the dining-room and sat down quietly on a chair. I got Marley from the garage. He was very excited. He jumped up and wagged his tail. He wanted to play.
“Not today, Marley,” I said sadly.
Marley ran int the yard. He came back into the house and drank water from his bowl. Then he ran into the dining-room and I followed him. But at the door of the dining-room, I stopped.
I saw a wonderful thing. Marley stood quietly in front of Jenny with his tail between his legs. He put his big head on her legs. He looked at her with his large eyes and made small cries.
“Marley understands,” I thought.
Jenny petted his head and put her face in his fur. Then, suddenly, she began to cry. I went to them and put my arms around them. The three of us stayed there for long time —- Jenny, Marley and me.