When I think back over 2011, the highlight of the year (to me) was the addition of Marley to our family.
Don't get me wrong. I loved our trip to the beach. I loved my weekend getaway to Chicago with hubby. And we had several hiking trips that made my heart smile.
But none of that compares to our love for Marley.
And when I saw "our", I mean the WHOLE family.
We will start from the bottom up.
Oh my, if Marley survives him, it will be a miracle.
I actually think Child 4 has struggled with losing the "baby" position to her.
Yet he loves her.
In his own special (and often rough) way.
Many times when he wants to give her attention, Marley burrows under our bed. Her place of safety.
Yet though he is so rough with her, she adores him. I am not sure why a lot of times. But she does.
She was one of the reasons I wanted a puppy so much.
I felt like a dog could be almost therapy for her.
Someone to love. Unconditionally. Who would in return love. Unconditionally.
While Marley isn't too fond of just curling up with this one, she is adored nonetheless.
Every morning, Child 3 comes hopping into my room.
"How did Marley sleep?" "Is she okay this morning?" "Has she been sick today?"
One of my favorite things to do is listen to this child (who has always been a bit rough around the edges) talk to Marley.
"Oh, my sweetie pie, how are you today? Poor little thing. Did someone hurt you?"
It has brought a side to this child I didn't know existed.
That right there was enough reason to bring this furball home.
I think her favorite time of day is after dinner when she curls up with a book in the big chair. Little Miss Marley plops down next to her.
And they are happy.
If this gives any indication, his profile pic (which I had set up with a football pic of him) is now a pic of Marley.
He calls her his hunting dog.
So far the only thing I have seen Marley hunt is spiders and moths. But I guess he is holding out hope.
Then there is hubby.
I am not sure he knew what he was getting into.
We never really had a deep "dog" discussion.
I just got the itch, started sending him pics, and basically begged.
He was the one who picked her up. He brought her home for the first time.
We won't tell her this but a dachshund was not on his radar. I don't think a small dog of any kind was.
But he loves her.
Maybe more than me. :)
And she loves him.
When he comes home from work, she runs to the door, giddy with excitement.
She loves to curl up by his feet when he is in his recliner.
And the feeling is mutual.
I see his face light up when she walks into the room. I watch him lean over to talk to her like she is a little person. He will stop what he is doing to play a game of fetch with her.
And then there is me.
I am at a loss for words...rare for me.
All I can say is that our lives would not be the same without her.
In fact, our lives will never be the same.
When I come home, this is my little bit of sanity.
That little furball curled up by my feet.
I look into her eyes and I see love. Adoration. Loyalty.
And my heart is happy.