Early in our marriage, Frank and I adopted a crazy little shih tzu puppy that we named Marshall. It was probably a bad decision at the time. We were very busy both working long hours. Marshall spent a lot of time alone. He had behavioral issues that we never corrected but we did love the little guy.
Although the dog was house broken, it was a regular occurrence to have puddles around. Yes gross, but again, we loved the little fellow and tolerated it. When Megan was born the dog wanted little to do with the baby which was fine with me.
Then came the day that changed everything. I was standing in the kitchen next to a half wall that separated the family room. Megan was in there with Marshall, she was maybe 18 months old, and I heard the scream. I looked over to see Marshall with Meg’s arm in his mouth. I grabbed the first thing I saw which happened to be a shoe. He did not bite down instead only scratched her. I am very sure that if I had not been there he would have bitten her arm.
That was his last day in our home. We could not have an animal that we could not trust around our baby. We also loved the dog so after a little research found a refuge that would take him. We were very honest with the man who ran the refuge because we did not want Marshall to hurt anyone. He committed to us that even if he could not find someone to adopt the dog, he would not put him down. To our surprise we received notification that he was adopted by an older couple whose children were grown and out of the house.
Over the years we stayed in contact with the wonderful woman who took in our little monster. He bit her once pretty severely yet like us, there was just something about him that she loved. She took him everywhere and loved him deeply.
The last year or so he has had several health issues. Today we received an e-mail that Marshall passed away. I am sad mostly for the fine woman who took him in, cared for his crazy self over the years and loved him so. This is the last paragraph from the e-mail she sent to us today,
Marshall will be very missed by all of us. He had a very happy life with us, full of love and fun outings and good food (some good human food too!) My little sweetheart, my little handsome guy, go in peace to heaven, my Marshall, you are in our hearts forever.