The pair have been together since he was a puppy and he has been by her side through the loss of her baby, the loss of her dad, the breakdown of a 10-year relationship and through PTSD.But sadly, at just seven years old, Marley’s life is coming to an end.
The Cocker Spaniel has haemangiosarcoma, a very aggressive form of cancer.He had surgery to remove his spleen and a tumour but the cancer has not reacted to treatment and now Ashleigh, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been told that he just has weeks left.
Ashleigh was left heartbroken by the news, as they share such a special connection.Posting on Facebook, she said: ‘Someone once said to me that Marley was my owner in a past life and now I’m his.
‘I honestly believe this, I have never seen a person and their dog have such a connection like we do, he really is my soul dog.’
In a bid to make the most of the time he has left, Ashleigh wanted to spoil him with lots of toys and special dinners.
But the big event she wanted was a huge walk, inviting dog owners and their pups from across Northern Ireland to join them, making one of his final walkies one to remember.
Ashleigh launched Marleys Big Walk on Facebook and soon hundreds of people had promised to join them at Crawfordsburn Country Park in Bangor, Co. Down.
Ashleigh explained she chose the location because Marley loves it there: ‘This was one of his first walks and he still gets super excited about arriving.’She decided to raise money for The Dogs Trust and although they were expecting a big crowd, Ashleigh and Marley were overwhelmed when over 350 people and around 400 dogs turned up to support them.
Together they walked around the park, playing, chatting and giving Marley a day to remember.
Local businesses donated treats for the pups and pizza for the owners.
Ashleigh added: ‘Never in our wildest puppy dog dreams did we ever think this amount of people would show up for a normal girl and her little doggy.
‘We are so humbled and honoured to have spent the day with so many fantastic people.’
Have you done something special for your pet’s final days? Let us know at [email protected] .
Wow, check out those choppers! Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42.