FAIRFIELD — There was a special guest at Saturday’s concert at Rolling Hills Park. And, his name was Marley.
He wasn’t there to play music. He was there to run in the grass and wag his tail.
The Yorkshire Terrier was found in the Moss Valley area of Rolling Hills in pretty bad shape. He was extremely matted, dirty and smelly, said Elaine Gatka, who spearheaded the effort to find the pooch a new home.
He had a hard time walking with all the hair dragging him down, Gatka said.
The residents who found him sheltered him for the first night but told Gatka they wouldn’t be able to keep him.
Gatka posted a message about the dog’s need for a home on the Rolling Hills Neighborhood Network email distribution and social media sites.
Susan Flynn stepped up to foster Marley until a forever home could be found. Flynn’s own beloved Yorkie had been missing for about a year.
Prior to meeting Marley, whose gender had yet to be determined, Flynn was hoping the dog was her missing Mia. He wasn’t. In a tribute to Mia, Flynn took Marley to the veterinarian and then a marathon grooming session complete with anesthesia.
A couple of days later, Marley got away from Flynn and Gatka sent another message out to Rolling Hills residents. He had not yet been microchipped.
He returned by the next day, on his own, after Flynn left his crate, blanket and some food outside in case he came back.
“This little guy is a very FAST runner and had been spotted by many last night but was very elusive, dashing off,” Gatka wrote her neighbors. “Luckily he knew where to come back to.
“Marley has been on his own for so long, he seems to need some time to get used to the idea of staying put. His foster family will be working with him to get used to a leash, learning his new name and some basic training along the way. We still need to find a forever home for this little guy.”
A family, who preferred not be part of the story, read that post and adopted Marley.
“It’s wonderful to see him healthy and happy,” Gatka said Saturday night.
Before the band broke into song, Gatka introduced Marley.
The event also gave Flynn a reunion with the dog. “I didn’t want to see him for a while,” she said. “I have missed him.”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.