Marley the Flying Dog

Marley is truly a gentle giant. But the tall, dark, handsome and occasionally goofy, 100 lb. German Shepard’s ferocious bark motivates visitors to question how important it really is to enter the Parnell’s home.

Upon entry, however, Marley immediately shows his true colors by dropping a tiny, yellow squeaky ball out of his mouth and nudging visitors to play. The Parnell’s are understandably protective of their majestic companion and as such, always keep him on a leash whenever he is out of the house.

So, one can imagine Betty Parnell’s surprise when she opened the front door one day only to be greeted by Marley. She knew she had put him out on the wooden deck; a deck that has a three foot closed fence around its perimeter and stands a good 12 feet above ground.  A perimeter fence at ground level bordered by thick bushes adds another six horizontal feet. She checked the gates. Locked. She checked the exterior doors. Closed.

Her husband Todd scoffed at the notion of Marley jail-breaking the deck.  "Despite his many talents, Marley is not a flying dog," he stated with certainty.

A few weeks later it happened again. Betty again shared the news with her family. “I thought he was jumping from the deck, but they were all convinced that I was either crazy or that I had accidentally let him out,” said Betty.

One afternoon, Todd was barbequing on the deck with his loyal companion at his side, when an elderly neighbor walked into the yard, looked up and slowly shared the following observation: "I hesitate to say this because you might think I'm crazy, but I was looking out my window several weeks ago and saw that big black dog of yours back up to the wall of your deck and take a flying leap. He cleared everything, including the fence and your bushes, and he landed in the grass.”

The woman pointed to a spot in the yard near a bush where she claimed that Marley had landed. Todd guesstimated the distance to be at least 15 feet away from the deck. She continued, “I would not be telling you this today had my neighbor not confirmed that he had seen the same thing several days later. He, too, was embarrassed to admit it. You sir, have a flying dog!"

Despite their son Ben’s desire to videotape the flying dog escapade and post it on YouTube, Betty and Todd have elected to bench Marley for fear that he might break one of his long, skinny legs.

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