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7:33 PM   April 18, 2015
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Lessons from Marley


Here in the Northeast, it looks like we are going to skip spring this year and go right into summer. We’ve had several days over the last few weeks near 90 degrees. With the coming of summer, so too come the summer traditio—barbequing with friends, a trip to the Jersey Shore, Drive-In Movies, multiple visits to The Great Escape Amusement Park in Lake George, N.Y. and the thoroughbred racetrack in Saratoga Springs, NY.

One of my favorite summer traditions is going to The Farmer’s Daughter Ice Cream Stand with my family. While the ice cream is amazing, I particularly enjoy going because we usually take our now 13½ year-old Chocolate Lab, Marley, with us. Our inaugural visit this year to Farmer’s Daughter occurred last week. Not much has changed for Marley with respect to her visits to Farmer’s Daughter other than having to be loaded into the back of the car since jumping in is no longer possible for her. She always gets the same thing—vanilla ice cream smattered with dog biscuits. She lies down with the bowl of ice cream between her front legs and attacks it, biting it like she would if she could catch one of those crafty squirrels she chases. After licking the bowl clean, she usually turns it over with her nose hoping that the other side of bowl holds more servings of this delicious delight. After being disappointed that her bowl is indeed empty, she gazes at my husband and I and our two daughters wondering why we haven’t finished our ice cream yet and hoping someone’s scoop will roll off of the cone onto the ground. She’s probably also wondering how to get rid the brain freeze she is experiencing.

During this recent visit, I couldn’t help but wonder how many more trips to Farmer’s Daughter old Marley has in her. While she is still in relatively good health, you can’t fool the calendar or Mother Nature for too long. On the drive home, I started to think back to when Marley was a puppy, and I was newly engaged to be married. So much has changed since the—the birth of my daughters, the loss of family members, moving into a new house, opening and nurturing Sloppy Kisses into a successful business. During this time of change, there has always been one constant in my life and that is Marley—always happy to see me, always looking to sneak in a sloppy kiss, always wanting to go for a walk or better yet a swim, always living life like it should be, without a care in the world or trace of hate in her heart. Always wagging, licking, eating, sniffing, exploring and sleeping.

When we got home from Farmer’s Daughter, my husband opened the hatchback and Marley decided to jump out of the back of the car on her own. She ran into the backyard, immediately plopped on her back and gave herself a very long "grass bath” and back rub as if to say "I’m not worried how much longer I’m going to be around. I’m just happy to be alive right now.”

Laying in bed that night, I realized I learned something from Marley. I need to enjoy each day to the fullest, ignore how old the calendar says you are, eat more ice cream (LOL) and most of all, live in the moment!

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