Saving Marlo

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“I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it.”
~ Cesar Millan

Note – All names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved


Last Friday, after a terrible night’s sleep, I spent most of the day napping. I was in a good space, but a worrisome niggle kept bothering me. Not even a worry about a person. A worry about a dog. A dog I’ve never met. A dog called Marlo.

Marlo belongs to one of my clients. He’s a big dog – a Saint Bernard cross – a failed rescue dog who has become the cherished friend and companion of a woman I’ll call Sarah. Each time Sarah has come to see me for a reading over the past few years she has brought pictures of Marlo, and asked about his well-being. He’s one of the most important relationships in her life. Before Marlo, Sarah had suffered from depression and severe social anxiety. This special dog has helped Sarah to get back out into the world again, to make new friends, and to better manage her mental health.

So, as I was napping on Friday, I began to worry about Marlo.

After a few hours of worrying, I ended up digging out Sarah’s details and giving her a call. I felt a bit dumb to do so. ‘Hi Sarah, It’s Nicole Cody here. How’s your dog? I was just thinking about Marlo so I thought I’d call up and say hi.’

Marlo, she assured me was just fine. So was she. Sarah had received a big promotion at work and was currently interstate, doing some training  for her new job. This was a huge step forward for Sarah, and proof of how far she’d come since adopting Marlo. Anyway, Sarah had just skyped home that morning and spoken to both Marlo and the person looking after him. Thinks were all okay. Sarah was grateful for my call, but a little bemused. Me? I was a little embarrassed…

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All weekend I still had a sick feeling in my stomach about Marlo though, so on Monday morning I fought my discomfort and rang Sarah one more time.

‘Are you sure?’ I said. ‘Is Marlo okay? I’m still worried about him. Something’s not right and I’m so sorry to ring you, but I can’t get it out of my head.’

Sarah was still interstate, but she called home. There was no response. After several hours passed and Sarah was still unable to raise the person house-sitting and pet-minding for her she rang a neighbour who went round to check on Marlo. The neighbour ended up breaking a window in the laundry, when he saw Marlo collapsed on the tiles.

The poor dog had been locked in the house since Friday. There was a bowl of food left out, but Marlo had knocked over the big bucket of water and had been inside for four very hot days, most of that time with nothing to drink.

The neighbour took Marlo straight to the vet, where they are treating him for severe dehydration. He’d also badly injured his paws trying to dig his way through the laundry door. Luckily, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

The person who’d been minding Marlo? She met up with a guy and that was that. She packed up and left that poor dog alone, locked in a house, without letting Sarah or anyone else know.

I’m so glad I called to check on Marlo and insisted that Sarah follow it up. Sarah’s going to bring Marlo round to visit me when he’s all better so I can give him a proper hug.

Meanwhile, Sarah’s boss is a pet owner who completely understands. He let her come home from training straight away, so that she could be with Marlo while he recovers.

If you’re a dog lover like me, please send Marlo a little extra love and healing energy. I’m sure he’d appreciate it. Thank you!

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Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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25 thoughts on “Saving Marlo

  1. Thank dog for your intuition and connection, Nicole. Hoping Marlo is making a wonderful recovery – it beggars belief that anyone could act in this way towards an animal entirely dependent on them for their care. Thinking also of Marlo’s owner and hoping she’s doing ok too.

  2. Thank goodness Nicole you have such insight. Precious fur baby, sending love for a speedy recovery. What an amazing Boss Marlo’s owner has too. As for the carer!!!!!

  3. How anyone could do this is beyond me. Cruelty to animals is just one thing I cannot process/wrap my head around. I hope the owner does press charges of some sort, because this ‘woman’ needs to be taught an important lesson – dogs before peen [ugh] I am SO relieved that you had your little-big voice nagging you to call Marlo’s owner. Being a rescue dog just makes me even sadder, and I hope he remembers all the love he’s had over the years and not this one instance when he was left to fend for himself XO

  4. It breaks my heart to hear such stories. I’m a animal carer/house sitter…. A reliable animal loving one! Please always check for a legitimate website with testimonials from happy clients before entrusting your furry family to anyone. All our animals deserve someone to love and care for them, especially when their owners are away. Thanks for following your intuition Nicole and reminding us all to do the same.

  5. The quote from this article really struck a chord with me. Integrity. Perhaps that is why i like dogs so much as well. It is truly horrifying that there is still such neglect in our first wold country, bourne from lazyness and narcissism. My dog was rescued from neglect, and the saddest part is that his former owners had five children! Caring for pets not only involves food and water, but companionship, health care, exercise, calm and assertive discipline and affection. The thing with dogs is that everything you put in you get back tenfold and they end up rescuing you in the end.

  6. Well done for saving Marlo, Nicole. You are a champion. Your tenacity and persistence saved that beautiful dog’s life. You are a hero! xoxoxoxo

    1. My husband and I are still shaking our heads. But at least this one had a happy ending. And Sarah has been advised to press charges, as she had a written agreement with the woman minding Marlo, and was paying her to do so.

    2. I was asked to look after a friends place while she was in England. At the last minute she had her niece come stay in her house – and niece brought a very dodgy boyfriend. The whole things was a mess and we got blamed due to her behavior! Ugh. Well, at the very least she should get her money back AND ask for compensation for vet bills!

    3. I so hope she does press charges. Not out of revenge, but simply to prevent this animal ‘carer’ from doing the same to any other animal. Thank God for your gift Nicole or that beautiful dog may not be around anymore.

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