When Marco first arrived from Spain he had some quirks, like being afraid of the broom, hating the rain, and an extreme fear of being in a kennel. He was easily startled by loud noises back then too, which made car rides and the Fourth of July a little scary for him. Potty training was a challenge, and he scarfed up ever morsel of food he could find, but his sweetness was always there. Looking back it feels like he blossomed quickly. He now LOVES the car, no longer runs from the broom, is much calmer and more comfortable in general, doesn’t really startle at all, and can even leave food in his bowl if he’s not hungry! We still don’t kennel him because he still doesn’t like to be shut in, but he actually loves his kennel now, to the point that his kennel is his favorite place to sleep. The door is always open for him to go in and out as he pleases, but he even prefers to sleep in his little “cave kingdom” (as we call it) over sleeping on the bed with us now! He still hates the rain, though. As an example, we have a dog door, and when it was raining recently he thought he figured out a way to go potty outside without getting wet. He stuck his head out so that the flap still covered him and then proceeded to go. Unfortunately, he did not realize that his back half was still inside! it was hilarious. Despite his hatred of rain, he loves to swim. We recently got a little kiddie pool for him to wade in on hot summer days, and we frequently go on hiking trips where he will have an opportunity to get in the water.

He’s taken so well to training too. He enjoys learning new things and he’s a pro at sit, stay, and recalls now! Turns out his favorite summer treat is watermelon and his face lights up whenever he sees me cutting up slices! Of course he always gets a piece.

One of the most wonderful things about Marco joining our family though has been how much he and his brother Murphy have bonded. We got Murphy as a puppy and in part decided to get Marco so Murphy could have a buddy. We didn’t realize how much joy it would bring them both. Marco is definitely the little brother. He follows Murphy everywhere, has to sniff everything Murphy sniffs. He likes to cuddle with Murphy when they nap, and is just generally more comfortable and confident with Murphy is around.

I could go on for ages about how wonderful it is to have Marco in our lives. He’s just so incredibly sweet, such a good playmate and buddy for his brother. He really more than doubles the joy of having one Brittany. We couldn’t imagine our lives without either of our boys, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone involved in the ABR international program: from the kind people who cared for Marco, formerly Tarzan, at the shelter in Spain, to the ABR volunteers who traveled to bring him here, to his foster mom, Yuki, our coordinator Andrea, and everyone else who helped bring him into our lives. Thank you!

From two happy dog parents,

Olivia and Cole Reichenbacker