If you knew Martin for any amount of time then you also knew about Marley. Her full name is Marley Hana Sharkbite. How did we come up with that name? And yes, we got her before the movie Marley and Me came out.
Marley because Jamaica is one of our favorite places and Bob Marley’s music is some of our favorite. Hana because one night Martin brought home a chihuahua dog and said we are keeping him. I immediately told him we were not Chihuahua people and sorry but it needs a different home. The kids were furious. Sorry but that was not the best fit for our family. So as you can guess it comes from the full word O’Hana. You know from Lilo and Stitch – O’hana means family and family means no one gets left behind. So this was the kid’s way of making sure Marley didn’t go the way of the Chihuahua. But it was too long so we shortened it to just Hana. Then Sharkbite came from Payton. She pointed out the marking on the top of her neck resembled a shark tooth. There you have it. Marley Hana Sharkbite was the perfect fit for our family that I knew would come along when the time was right. Again, God’s timing is always perfect.
On June 7, 2008, we had dropped Payton for her first year at Florida College’s Dry Creek Camp in Louisianna. Leaving her was hard even though we knew she would have a great week. When the time came for us to leave, Payton kissed us goodbye and said I will talk to you tonight. I cringed and said, Love you and you will have a great week. Then we loaded up in the truck to drive home. Connor was furious. “Momma you knew she couldn’t call home and you made her stay. Payton is going to cry all week and wants to come home and she can’t.” It was a full production in the back seat coming for the little brother who was arguing with her 2 hours earlier. He cried and was mad for almost 2 hours. He cried himself to sleep. Finally some quiet.
We pulled up at the house and he woke up and still was angry. So Martin’s problem-solving skills kicked in and he said let’s get a puppy to shift his attention. Uhhh … what? So then he scouring the Houston Chronicle for Boxer puppies. A boxer was a great dog, but we didn’t have the yard for him nor did I want to see a horse running into my office all day. Then there it was… Boston Terrier puppies in Crosby. I was told that we were just going to “look” at them. We didn’t “have to get one.”
We show up it’s late and it’s very dark outside. Walk into this house and incomes 1 brown/seal color and 3 black and white Boston Terrier puppies. As luck would have it they only had one female and it was the brown one. But good news, the people felt like we would make a great home for this puppy and they offered us a $100 discount. So, she was only twice the price as the black and white puppies. Martin said to get a boy, I reminded him that we are “looking.”
On the way home, Martin told me happy anniversary. Excuse me, what? This was not the 11th-anniversary gift I was holding out for. But hey, they let me pick her first name.
Later that week when we went to pick up Payton. Connor was so excited to tell her what about our new inhabitant, he forgot what horrible parents we were for leaving her at a camp in Louisiana with no way to call home.
Martin took Marley as many places as he could, and many places he shouldn’t have. Saturdays were filled with trips to the Chambers County dump and then a DQ stop for ice cream. She was the favorite child and wanted for NOTHING. Martin made sure that she could swim at least well enough to get to the steps in case she accidentally fell in.
Many have asked how Marley is doing now. She has had a hard time with Martin being sick. She looked for him while he was in the hospital and knew when he came home something was different. In the last couple of months, Marley would walk Martin to and from the bathroom like it was her job. She was never more than 2 feet from him when he was walking with his cane. That was what she could contribute.