Marlon is our morality police dog. A role he defined for himself. Mostly it is his misguided attempts at protecting Carol from me. It’s either that or a kind of doggopomorphic jealousy. At any public display of affection on the boat, Marlon will bark at us. More specifically at me. Then he will do his growling best to separate us. He will stand between our legs, jump up on us, barking all the while. Once we are separated he calms down and goes back to his berth to snuggle with one eye open – just in case.
Carol recently suffered with painful hips and a tight left iliotibial band. The better cure for which was some concentrated massage from her favorite masseuse (i.e. me). Marlon was having none of it. As soon as therapy began, he inserted himself between me and my patient. And there was no reasoning with him. He’s clearly some kind of closet fundamentalist in this regard.
But the morality policing doesn’t stop there. Oh no! Dancing sets him off. Either dancing alone, or heaven forfend, as a couple. When the music starts his ears perk up. He will look around and give a low growl. Then he’s up on all fours and off the berth. Barking louder than the stereo could ever possibly manage he demands the revelry stop. And now!
Fortunately, Marlon doesn’t keep tabs on all of the seven deadly sins. Let’s go down the list:
- Lust – Covering that base.
- Gluttony – He’s okay with it as long as he gets to lick the plate. And he’s okay with drunkenness, so long as kissing and dancing aren’t involved.
- Greed – His history here isn’t good. Marlon would steal every dog toy in sight given the chance.
- Sloth – He likes sloth. But he also likes to chase tennis balls and take long walks. So he’s not afraid of a little work each day.
- Wrath – Marlon is pretty wrathless, except when it comes to invading his nice warm space when he’s settled down for some Sloth. Then he forgets who the alpha dogs are.
- Envy – He doesn’t have much time for envy. Life is pretty good.
- Pride – Well, we’re proud of Marlon – most of the time.
I’m sure Marlon will have his own perspective on this in a future blog post. For now we do what we can to reassure him that no one is in mortal danger, and the best thing he can do is settle down and let the humans get on with their odd and annoying behaviors.