Marley reminds me of my dog, Pepper. Not the best dog in the world, but loved and loving nonetheless. And less than a month after I moved with Pepper to Nashville, he was too sick to go on. One year after my mother died of breast cancer that metastasized to her liver, our dog had gotten cancer in his liver. It was too much of a coincidence. I finally realized that this dog that I thought was mine, was actually hers. Years of her threatening to make him into Chinese Food was nothing in the end but frustrated rhetoric. When she died, he spent his nights in my bed comforting me and his days in her spot on her bed remembering.
My dad often calls the picture I took of Pepper and I just before going to put him down at the vet's one of the saddest pictures he's ever seen. I can't say that I disagree. The moment was one of the hardest in my life. There aren't many times that you decide whether or not something lives. At least not something larger than a bug. And I know others have had to make that decision too. Never a fun or easy thing to do for animals, people or anything in between.
So, "Marley & Me" ends and I'm in a crying fit by myself in the living room when Genghis and Mila come over to me and snuggled in deep. They're not dogs, but in a pinch, they'll do just fine.