400 dogs turn out to support dying pooch Marley on one of his final walks

Marley's big walk
Marley’s big walk (Picture: Ashleigh Murray)
Ashleigh Murray and Marley are best friends.

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.
Some of the hundreds of people on Marley's Big walk
Some of the hundreds of people on the walk (Picture: Ashleigh Murray)

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.

Ashleigh and Marley on the walk
Ashleigh and Marley on the walk (Picture: Ashleigh Murray)

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.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs that have been spayed or neutered live longer than dogs who are intact.

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.’

Ashleigh and Marley
Ashleigh and Marley (Picture: Ashleigh Murray)
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.

The whole group at Marley's Big Walk
The whole group at the walk (Picture: Ashleigh Murray)

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] .

Teach Your Dog to “Find the Treats” for a Fun Game. Teach your dog to ‘find their treats’ by hiding them throughout the house. Simple nose work games are a great way to keep your dog busy & mentally stimulated. It’s Laika’s favorite indoor game by far. (Looking for some more indoor games? Here’s 33 simple ways to keep your dog busy indoors)

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