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Marley's Story

On February 26, 2009, Katie Ball received copies of the following email from 3 different sources. (It seems Katie and Marley were destined to be together.)

Please see attached regarding a plea from Marley, a 6 month old female [turned out to be male] Healer X pup who was born blind.

Can anyone out there find someone for her.

Her kind have helped us humans as Guide Dogs for the Blind and now one of them
needs a Guide for a Blind Dog.

Contact me if you are willing to help this dog.


Ken Smith
Director of Animal Control
Del Norte County
2650 Washington Blvd.
Crescent City, CA 95531

Here is the attached photo, mentioned in the email.

MarleyKatie replied that she could make room for Marley, but couldn't afford to pay for the vet check and neutering. Thanks to the Internet, Marley's plight made it all the way to New York City, Where Lorraine Sakli joined the mission.

---- lorraine sakli wrote:
Just paid his neuter bill at All Creatures Animal Hospital--and for all his shots--rabies, parvo, bordella and fecal exam so he will be in tip-top shape for his new home with Katie. Thanks for saving this beautiful blind boy and I look forward to seeing his photos on Katie's website.

Wishing you all good things.




The next email came from Tana:

On Mar 2, 2009, at 12:22 PM, Tana Bachmann wrote:

Hi Lorraine,

Marley was delivered to his appt this morning to be neutered. He is at All Creatures Animal Hospital, here in Crescent City. We are planning on getting him down the road in a few days to his rescuer. I finally got to meet Marley this morning and what a sweetheart! Thanks so much for your help on making this possible.

All Creatures Animal Hospital 707-464-7448

Many Blessings!


Ken and Marley

On Wednesday, March 4, 2009, Katie and Stan drove the snowy roads to Ashland, Oregon, where Ken met them and delivered Marley to his new family.

Here is a photo of Ken and Marley at the meeting place.

Poor Marley wasn't too happy after a very long drive from Crescent City to Ashland.

Katie Ball Meets Marley for the first timeKatie and Marley finally meet. It was love at first site for Katie -- not so much for Marley. (Bribery didn't help either.)

Ken & Katie & Marley










One last shot before Ken had to get back on the road.

Marley's new collarKatie tried to win Marley over with a new collar -- Marley decided to play hard-to-get. (That's Katie's foot he's stepping on.)

Marley and Katie on the way home from Ashland.Taking a break at a rest area on the way back to Redding.

On the way home, they stopped at Petco, where everyone fell in love with Marley and he was given a very generous book of coupons to get him started in his new life. Thank you, Petco.

Katie also sent her thanks to Lorraine.

On Mar 6, 2009, at 7:24 PM, <katiesfinds@gmail.com> wrote:

Thank you so much for your generosity. I can say that in just a few days Marley is a different dog. He is playing, bouncing and has a big smile on his face all the time.

Here is Lorraine's reply.

Oh, Katie, what wonderful news. I am so happy that Marley is with you and will be safe. He will live a happy life, though he is siteless. He still has his nose and your loving touch!

Though I live in New York and could not physically help Marley, I wanted to reach across the miles and do something for him in some way. That beautiful face and sightless eyes touched my heart. How could it not.

Thank you for your kindness and compassion. You now have a wonderful dog and give him a big hug for me. I will keep checking your site for updates on Marley.

And thanks to Tana and Ken for all their work on Marley's behalf.

March 8: Marley at the vet with KatieMarley woke up with a fever.Katie took him to Gateway Animal Hospital. He was in very bad shape. His white blood count was elevated and he was dehydrated, besides having a fever.They took X-rays and found something in his intestine. Theydecided to keep him at the vet, under 24-hour observation, with intraveneous meds, hoping (and optimistic) that the problem would correct itself.

We're all so sad for this little pup who's had so little happiness in his short life. Please keep your fingers crossed for Marley.

March 9: Marley did not respond to treatment. His temperature kept spiking. His only hope was surgery, but the cost was way beyond our limited resources.

Lorraine Sakli came through again. She reached out from New York City, called Gateway and arranged to pay for Marley's surgery. Our deepest gratitude to Lorraine for her overwhelming generosity.

March 9: Marley is out of surgery AND HE'S GOING TO BE FINE! He had ulcers so bad that one of them almost ruptured and would have killed him without immediate surgery. They removed the part of his intestine that contained the ulcers. He is receiving outstanding care and compassion at Gateway Animal Hospital in Anderson, where he will stay for another day or two. Our thanks to the entire staff, who have been so nice, helpful, and understanding.

Marley and Colby, both blind from birth.Latest Update: Marley is home from the hospital and doing fine. The biggest problem now is keeping him still--he wants to get back to being a puppy.

Here are Marley and Colby making friends. Both were blind from birth.

Marley & Colby sharing breakfastMarley and Colby sharing breakfast. It looks like they're BFF now and this "bland" diet tastes pretty good.

Stitches out! Marley is now a happy, healthy puppy. He runs, jumps, bounces, and spins. This is probably the best he's ever felt in his whole young life. He has an outside friend in Expo and an inside friend in Colby. LIFE IS GOOD!

March 23: Marley went to school for the first time, tonight. He was a good boy and plays well with others.

March 25: Ever since he got his stitches out, we've been trying to get some happy photos of Marley, but he only has 2 speeds: out-cold and this:

Marley at play Marley at play Marley at play
Marley at play Marley at play Marley at play

Have you ever almost seen a happier puppy?

Here's Marley and Katie at Love Your Pet Expo 2009

Marley & Katie at LYPE 2009
Photo taken by Michelle Mahood (click to view photo gallery)


Marly chewing on a Pegetable snack.Here is Marley, chewing on a Pegetable snack. He is now a very happy, healthy, lovable member of the family.


We did some research on Marley's breed and situation. Here is what we learned from the wonderful people at The Handicapped Pets Forum.


Our sanctuary runs on donations.
If you would like to help sponsor Marley,
please click on the PayPal button below.
Any amount is greatly appreciated.