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“I just slid my ticket across the table and I said, ‘Sorry guys, I gotta go see about a girl.'”Our course in life is set by both choice and chance. Most often the greatest change in that course is when we make the choice to take a chance. Four years ago I slid my ticket across the table, started freelance writing and said, “Sorry guys, I gotta go see about a dog.” That dog was Eko and that decision to take a chance on myself was life-altering. How did I pass up the security of a full-time job and a stable future in favor of a pen, a dog and a dream? In a word, Emily. During Emily’s final year of medical school I discovered the adventure of a lifetime – an opportunity to travel the country with Eko and write about it. At the time we had no idea how long I’d be gone and no clue where Emily would match for her residency. Emily is one of those rare few people whose passion and career align. She is dedicated to providing outstanding women’s healthcare and she has worked tirelessly for years to realize that goal. I think she recognized that same passion in my eyes because her support for this crazy trip and this crazy man never wavered. So with Emily’s love at our back, Eko and I set sail. It was an adventure to find the best pet-friendly destinations and it was also an adventure to find myself. But like Robin Williams’s character, I missed out on a lot by giving up the ticket I had. While on the road I missed birthdays, holidays and friends. I wasn’t there when Emily wrestled with difficult residency applications and I wasn’t there cheering when she graduated as the valedictorian of her medical school. What hurt the most is that I wasn’t there the day Emily learned where she’d matched for residency. Before she opened that envelope I should have been there to promise it didn’t matter what the letter said because I’d follow her across the world. But I wasn’t. Instead I was on the other side of the country in a cheap motel with Eko. “You promise you’ll come to Chicago?” Emily asked me on the phone, fighting back tears. “I’m on my way right now,” I promised. The truth is that I was always on my way to Emily. I just needed to take a few detours to find myself along the way. I missed so much while I was gone, but what I discovered was even more important. Because of Emily, because of Eko, because of that trip, I am a better person. Because of Emily’s belief in me, I’m not talking right now about some crazy dream I had four years ago and how I always regretted not taking that chance on myself. The past four years of my life have been the best four years of my life. It’s no surprise it all started with Emily. Marking Our Territory is a story about dogs. A story about dogs is a story about love. And this love story has finally come full circle. Tomorrow I get to marry my best friend. I have a short video pre-loaded for tomorrow, but from the time of this posting I’ll be out of contact for a bit. If anyone asks for me, tell them I had to go see about a girl.
How I love your blogs. They make me laugh and cry. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness!!!
Wow! So good I read it twice. All the best to you guys.
such a well written love story it brought tears to my eyes! Congrats to the both or you – well all of you!
no movie or story can be so wonderful as life can be. thanks for such a touching post!!!
This post should be the first chapter in your future book! Looking forward to some pix soon! Thanks, Will for sharing your “Family” with all of us.
How awesome this is! Have a wonderful day tomorrow….and a lifetime of happiness!
there are wee salty tears dripping all over the world. FAB!!! Congratulations to you and Emily for tomorrow and your future life together …. with Eko and Penny of course!!
Hell yes. All of this, hell yes. Go get that girl, Will.
Happy wedding! And a happy future for all of you!
Happiness forever to you both. You’re a perfect match and just beginning the best trip of your lives.
What a lucky girl and a lucky boy. And a couple of lucky dogs! Congrats. Good luck. Have fun!!
Love and licks,
Cupcake and Mom
You are a WONDERFUL writer!!! Dash, Lilly and I wish you all the happiness in the world these next couple of days and in the coming years. Congratulations. Congratulations Congrulations. Go see about that girl.
Tears in my eyes reading. As my people say: MAZEL TOV!!!
If there was a “love” button for this post I’d have clicked on it. Your comment “So with Emily’s love at our back, Eko and I set sail.” was so sweet and poignant and, during Emily week, quite the tribute. Very best wishes to you both as you set sail on new adventures as husband, wife, with adorable pups.
What, no live stream from the wedding and honeymoon? Disappointing! We wish you, Emily, and the pups all the best in the new chapter in your lives. You all make the sweetest family ever! Now if Mom could only quit her job and just write, we would be so happy, but I doubt it will happen!
Have a wonderful day!
With so much love, life will be good for you, Emily and your future and current family — regardless of the number of legs.
Duncan and I are wishing you all the happiness and good health you have so richly earned!
Emily. You are an amazing person! And Will, so glad that you are going to marry her! It’s so true that sometimes to find what’s important in life you need to step away. And Emily’s love & patience allowed you both to realize that. It’s a gift that will carry through your marriage.
We will all be there in spirit to celebrate tomorrow. Thank you all for allowing us to join in the journey.
Will you made me cry-again.You are both so lucky to have each other.The adventure is just beginning.
Definitely a post that needs to be copied and placed in your wedding album (this coming from an avid scrapbooker). Many many congratulations to you and Emily as you embark on the next adventure. Have fun!
Congratulations. I hope the doggies take part in the wedding. I see Eko in a tux standing beside you as best man and Penny as the cutest flower girl ever. Emily seems to be a wonderful woman and you guys are lucky to have found each other.
You brought tears to my eyes with this one. Love it.
I would have worried that she’s still be there for me when I returned.
Now that you’re back from your honeymoon (because you better not be reading your responses before then ), you had better get started on a book. Fiction or non, you have a talent like no other. You have an incredible knack for putting so much emotion into every word; you had my eyes welling at each paragraph. Emily; hound him (pun intended). Eko and Penny; stare him down. We want more to read. I’m saying this in advance with much certainty; We missed you and hope you had a wonderful and relaxing time.
Such a sweet love letter to lucky Emily. Congratulation you guys – I see many more adventures, together in your future!
Where do we send gifts!?
Jezz, crying my eyes out you bloody hopeless romantic! What an adventure, what a girl – today for us, tomorrow for you but its here now and even though I haven’t met any of you in the flesh I feel like I know you and wouldn’t have had that opportunity either without Emily. You’ve got yourself quite the catch there. Wishing you all the most fantastic day tomorrow. We’ll be thinking of you here on the other side of the world. Hugs to you all.
pawsome love is always pawsome when each respect each other, paw babies teach you how to love .. I know we do
We wish you love, happines and health 🙂
Loved all articles about Emily!
Such beautiful words. I am struggling to see my keyboard through the blur of tears. All the best for your wedding and your future together xx
Congratulations! I love your blog and how all four of y’all enjoy each other. Hugs and kisses from Texas.
Awwww so lovely. Wishing you every happiness for the future.
To the happy couple… and the lucky doggies.
Dottie and Tuffy
Wishing you as many years of love and laughter as i have been lucky to have…33 years and still we find ways to make each other laugh like nobody else can…love to you both..now go..marry that girl before she catches onto you Will 🙂 xxxx Fozziemum
OMG I am sitting crying my eyes out!!!!!! They say “behind every great man is a great woman”…and in your case, it is also “behind every great woman is a great man”…..I am so happy for both of you that I could burst. That Emily sees your special talent and that you see hers…………..I just couldn’t be happier for you both!!!!! May you all be blessed forever!! We love you!
Congrats to you and Emily and may you always have the other’s backs! As always we (your fans) will do the waiting this time. Enjoy the celebration & have fun!
Been married 30 years.On doggies 5 & 6now, you two, or should I say four, have many wonderful adventures ahead. Congratulations!
Emily is one very lucky lady to have you in her life. That was one beautiful post. Best wishes to you both on your new adventure and a lifetime full of happiness!
What a lovely post Will! Be sure to thank Emily, Mr. Eko, & Penny. Most importantly, I’m sure you will have a glorious day tomorrow & a happy life together! Thank you for writing, blogging, & being so thoughtful, sensitive, & an animal lover! When’s the book coming out? I wish to recommend it for my bookclub, most of which include Rhodesian Ridgeback parents! All our best! Warmly, Rene & Chi-Chi Chelmsford, MA
Rene’ L. Hester “Better one day of energy & determination than a 100 years of idleness!” ~The Dhammapada Sent from my iPhone
Rene’ L. Hester “Better one day of energy & determination than a 100 years of idleness!” ~The Dhammapada Sent from my iPhone >
What a beautiful post. What matters now is that you two are getting married and will be together from here on out. Good luck to you both on your new adventure in life. Congrats on believing and standing the test of time, you will become a family tomorrow with so many joys to come across. xoxoxox
Will, Emily is a keeper. It is very difficult to find a person that can be patient and understanding about the things we, as a person, feel we must do. Yes, there are times when we must miss certain things, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc., in order to figure out certain things, to take stock of our lives and where we are heading, to find peace within ourselves, and in my case to learn to like and yes love myself. I am so glad you had the opportunity to do what you had to do. Kudos to you. The best to you, Emily, Eko, and Penny. You have a beautiful family.
Very lovely post, you and Emily are lucky to have each other!
Congrats on the wedding tomorrow!
That is beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your adventures and amazing life! Congratulations and good luck to you in your new life adventure!!
Just call me a soppy old broad (no – nevermind – don’t do that!) – I just loved this post Will……..it’s so fully of pure, honest love and hope and all the things that will make for a wonderful lifetime of love with Emily and your family no matter WHERE you are. You are a wonderful story-teller, an excellent pet-advocate, and I’m sure your wedding tomorrow and the years to come will just multiply your many talents – and your love of life – over and over……….forever. Have a wonderful time tomorrow – you’ll remember the day ALWAYS.
Hugs, Pam and Sam
As usual, when you write your poignant pieces, I cry.
And, Congratulations to all of you!! Emily is so beautiful, and her inner beauty shines through.
I wish your next dream would be to become a screenplay writer, because this true and amazing story would be a beautiful movie!
This is every girls dream, to have a post like this written and inspired by them! Love your love and your little family!
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