Ever since I discovered the joy of adopting an older dog, I think my puppy days are behind me. However, I still love puppies and I don’t think they get much cuter than Marley the Bernese Mountain Dog Mix. Marley’s dog mom and personal photographer Nicole Maddalone took these photos of Marley and his favorite dog, Addy.
From Nicole: “We can never replace Zeus and never would try, but this little boy crossed our paths and so now he has a home! We got Marley on Dec 23rd, 2018, without even planning it. Ever since Zeus passed away, Addy had been a little down. And in recent months we could see how sad and lonely she was getting. Sleeping more, not really caring if she ate all her food, and her eyes just looked so depressed. We had talked about a puppy but hadn’t made any serious effort to get one. We’d visited shelters and looked online on and off and hadn’t fallen in love or found the right dog to fit our Addy. She is quite old, and we have to be mindful of that.
One cold and snowy Saturday night I was browsing through a dog Facebook group for my state and was “oohing and awwing” at all the cuties. I saw a post about adorable available puppies. However, the post was two weeks old, so my hopes were not high that there were any puppies left. I sent a message and waited about ten minutes before she told me there were two boys left and they were twelve weeks old. She couldn’t keep them much longer, and she said we could take one immediately. Shocked, I called my husband to the office and showed him, and he was instantly in love with them, but we could only adopt one; I let him choose.
It was a 3-hour drive the next day, and it was a long day for us. But the moment she got out of her car holding him, and he saw us, he like flew into my arms. He knew we were his people. He fell asleep on my husband’s lap for the ride home, and we were so excited to show Addy and our boys.
We pulled up the driveway, got out and let him go to the bathroom and then my husband went inside to prepare Addy and get her calm (she’s always so excited when we come home after being gone).
He opened the door for me, and I cannot describe to you accurately what her emotion was when she saw me with Marley. She tilted her head and perked her ears, and I placed this little puppy at her feet.
Her tail started wagging vigorously, and she was making this whiny squeaky sound as she sniffed him all over. He looked up at her with great wonder and just started bouncing at her barking. Within seconds they were chasing each other around the living room. Marley knocked her to the ground and started gnawing on her ears, and she just laid there with this gleam of absolute joy in her eyes, taking it. Loving it and just soaking it all in. He was the best Christmas gift we could have ever given her and ourselves.
I was in tears, laughing at how happy she was. At how much she already instantly loved this puppy. I had not seen that level of excitement in months. We were so worried she was giving up as much as she loved us because of how much she missed Zeus, missed having a buddy. We give her so much attention and love, but we know that is not the same. She’s a pack dog in a sense. She needs other dogs. And here we are, five weeks into having this handsome, energetic little guy and they have the same routines. They sleep together at night on the big dog bed and nap on the floor together during the day. The dogs go outside and play in the snow together and wrestle at least three times a day. They are never apart. And they are both so happy!
Marley fits in well with us! And he sure is a lot of work, so much energy. He does not slow down unless he’s asleep. Marley is a big fluffy ball of fiery energy. He loves to chew anything other than his toys, table surf, and steals food. But we’re working on it. Marley barks at absolutely nothing but is quiet when someone knocks. He is so goofy.
Marley also won’t sleep alone, if he’s not with Addy, he climbs in bed and sleeps between us, on his back paws in the air. He truthfully reminds us so much of Zeus. My husband said he thinks maybe Zeus’ spirit came back to us sooner than he ever imagined. If a man and a dog could be soulmates, they sure were so that it would make absolute sense. He gets along great with our little boys, and our 4-year-old loves to crawl around with him and let him jump on him and give kisses. It’s magical hearing that laughter of a happy child with his puppy.
As for these adorable photos, I’m a newborn photographer, so of course, I photographed him in such a way! It was so cute! And I also love to photograph the pups together, playing and enjoying life! We feel so blessed.”
About Nicole Maddalone Photography: Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Nicole specializes in newborn photography as well as family portraits.