Death will not stop Marshall from raising awareness about the plight of abused, neglected and homeless dogs. Through his Facebook page I am Marshall, his furparent Thea Ifurung continues to urge everyone to save a life by adopting a rescued dog.
Marshall is a German Shepherd who was adopted by the Ifurung family in 2011 when he was just about a year old. He was not well cared for in the place where he came from. He was so thin he was like a "bungo" or a skeleton as Thea's mom described him then. He had worms when he was checked by the vet after the adoption. With the Ifurung family, he was provided with all that a dog needs and was showered with love. Last year, he was diagnosed with enlarged prostate. Thea went for a combination of Western and natural treatments and was thus able to spend one more year with him. A few days ago, he died after developing complications from his prostrate problem.
When he was alive, Marshall helped raise funds for his furfriends in animal shelters.
He may be gone now but Thea says Marshall will continue to help his rescued furfriends.
For one, his page which has 11,000 followers will continue to promote animal adoption.
For another, donations will be forwarded to animal welfare groups and no-kill animal shelters.
Appeal to help rescues
A sponsor has agreed to give 1 PESO FOR EVERY LIKE that “I Am Marshall” gets (up to 30K likes). The said amount will then be given to Marshall’s homeless furfriends.
“In memory of Marshall, please like and share his page so that we can continue to reach thousands more people to continue to help the rescued ones,” Thea says.
Thea adds, ”You may also want to donate to his favorite animal welfare groups that save homeless and abused animals like Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL Inc.) and Hound Haven Philippines, the latter has a shelter for retired K9s. These are the two places we visited when he used to be alive.”
A letter to Marshall
As part of processing her grief, Thea wrote this message to Marshall:
“This was my supposed eulogy for him during the wake. I did not have the strength to say this in front of everyone, so I wrote it instead. I would like to share it to all of you:
I didn't know what to say when I saw you lying there. I knew in my heart that I had a million beautiful things to tell the world about you but I was left so broken that I ran out of words to say just looking at you. I thought I cried all the tears I could when you passed away but apparently, tears just keep coming, buddy. You looked like you were just sleeping. Tell me, how dare I wake you from such a peaceful slumber?
From you, I learned to be patient, to be kind, to be understanding, and to love unconditionally. Oh, how I will miss all those days I spent with you. From days when you were younger, you would jump at me when I get home and I would literally fall on the floor because you were so excited to see me. As time passed by, you could no longer jump but would come up to me and I would stoop down so that you could dig your head on my chest and I would rub your head. And in your last years, you occasionally tried to walk to me when I arrived, but you were getting old and by this time you would just give me that face of "You're home!" from your favorite spot.
Thank you for constantly making me feel like I was the best person in the world, even when there were days I felt like I was the worst. You weren't just a good boy, you were a great one. Always so full of love.
We walked every day for almost a decade. And until the very last day, you wanted to walk. Your face lit up when you saw me. You were so excited that you were losing your breath. So much so that you went unstable as you tried to get up for a walk! I had to say, "No, it's okay. Just rest." ...And so you did.
So sleep well, my love. It was a much a needed rest. I am so grateful that God gave me you even just for awhile. I am sure He is enjoying having you around up there.
I love you so much, Marshall. Until we meet again.”
Marshall’s remains were aquamated.
Thea shares: “We were fortunate to find out that Pet to Nature Philippines offers such services.
Aquamation is also known as water cremation, an eco-friendly procedure where his ashes will be healthy enough to be used for planting. I am looking to plant a tree in a family lot I was determined to turn into a small home and farm cafe to live there with Marshall this year. I guess he will have to continue ‘living’ there with me but as a tree, this time around.”
From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all the love. I really did not expect thousands to be moved or people coming all the way from Dubai to visit him in his wake. All the more this moves me to continue our advocacy to promote #adoptdontshop. All in memory of my best friend, my sunshine, my Marshall. Run free.”
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