I really believe that dogs come into our lives and define chapters for us. Guinness, my soul dog, was with me for fifteen years through my first marriage and move to a new life alone in Birmingham. Bailey protected me in my first year in Birmingham (only by looks and a great bark- he was a huge, sweet, chicken Doberman). Cooper and Sophie were Dan’s and my girls, bringing love and laughter to our Chez Gainey, the home we made together. And then there was Marley.
Marley eased my heart in the heartbreaking loss of Sophie. Her gentle, easygoing, and loving demeanor also has changed our lives in another wonderful way; she is the perfect travel dog. We can easily take her on vacations with us, as she doesn’t bark, loves everyone she meets, and happily sleeps when left in a hotel room. As my career has grown in exciting ways, I am doing more and more traveling, and when I drive, Marley is my ride-along buddy, opening up a whole new chapter of adventure for me.
We are in Tampa now, making the long drive home this afternoon when my International Clarinet Association Board meeting ends. Having Marley with me makes me feel like I have a part of home with me; I bring a blanket so that she can sleep with me on the bed, she is my workout bud each morning, and keeps me company as I work on the computer. She also keeps me awake on long drives as I talk to her, reach back to pet her, and stop to walk and water her along the way. No matter what we encounter, she is gentle, patient, and just happy to be with me.
How lucky I am to have this truly great dog. I am looking forward to many more adventures with my sweet girl…but right now, I think we both are looking forward to being home with Dan and Shiva and in our own bed tonight. There truly is no place like home.