Marley Skaei Goes to Shetland – Part One

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my good, golly gosh!!!  Hello everyone!!!  It’s me – Marley Pops!

Me back in the summer.

Or Marley Skaei really.  Skaei is Greek for Pops.  Which is why Fi calls me Marley Pops all the time.  It doesn’t sound like Pops in Greek though.  In Greek it sounds like your English word “SKY”.  So you say my name “Marley Sky”.  Which is MEGA weird because Fi and Jay’s last doggy friend was called Skye!!

Isn’t that just the spookiest?!!  Fi wanted to tell you all ages ago, but she thought it would be more fun if we waited till I was big enough to tell you all myself.

And now I’m a whole, big, grown up girl of something called “10 months”  she said my writing is sooooooo good I get to have a page just for me and I can tell you all my Tales  all by myself!

Fi says lots of people are interested in me because I was such a clever, brave girl when I was a little puppy all on my own in the bushes at Olympia.  She told me a lot of our readers gave me money to help me get my passport and come all the way to Scotland in our Iggy the Hymer home.

Our first days together in Zakynthos.

That was sooooooo kind!  Thank you!!!

I was sooooooo sad in the bushes on my own, but because of all of you I’m not sad anymore ever.  (Well almost ever.  I was sad at the dog wash yesterday but Fi says I’ve got to stay on track and “That’s another Tale entirely Marley Pops!”)

But today’s Tale is called “Marley Skaei Goes to Shetland” because “Shetland” is where Fi calls “Home” when we’re not in Iggy.  So now I have two homes!  Its sooooooo exciting!!!  I used to not have ANY homes, and now I have Iggy home and Shetland home!  And home is where we start from, so Fi said Shetland was a good place for me to start my Marley Tales from too.


Shetland is GRAVY BONES!! 


It takes a loooooong time to get to Shetland!!  Luckily I’m a nomad dog and I’m not sure what “time” is anyway… But Fi said most human people think its quite important so I guess I’d best tell you about it.

I know Iggy couldn’t come because he had to do “service & MOT” so we left him with “Gary Mechanic” when the sun came up and went to a special place Fi & Jay called the “station”.  I liked “station”!  It was very busy, with lots of people and lots of food smells!  Yummy!!

There were a lot of strange smells and noises.  I like strange smells because we go to new places in Iggy all the time.  Squirrel is one of my favourite smells in towns.  And fox too.  Fi taught me the “train” smell at a place called Gorebridge and showed me them running really fast on their tracks and people climbing in and out of their sides.

There were a lot of trains whooshing in and out of “station” and while I was watching another dog climbing into one my friend Erin turned up with a suitcase!  Erin was coming to Shetland too!   No sooner had she arrived than we were going through a funny looking gate and right up to a big train!

Who’s on the seat?!?

I was a bit scared when Fi asked me to jump into its belly with her!  But I didn’t need to be.  It was just like being in Iggy really.  Just bigger and I wasn’t allowed to lie on the seats!  Something about people not wanting my hair all over their nice clothes.  But I don’t really understand that because I like my hair and I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want it.  Fi doesn’t make much sense sometimes, but she gave me biscuits for staying on the floor so I guess that was okay.

We were on “train” for a whole, big, afternoon nap.  Though people kept stepping over me to go to the human toilet room place.  It was very smelly!!  Much worse than the toilet room place on Iggy which humans can’t even smell because it’s so clean!  Fi said it was two and a half hours on the train from Edinburgh and I’ve to tell you it cost £50.60 return for three grown up humans travelling together.  I didn’t know what that meant so she told me it was one big bag of my food.

I got a bit worried then!  I like my food and didn’t want Fi to give it to “train”!  Especially when I couldn’t even sit on its seats!!  But Fi told me it was okay it wasn’t my food!  It was just like my food.  And then she gave me another biscuit.  So that was alright then!

And then the train stopped and we were in Aberdeen and everybody got up all at once and left “train”.  It was colder in Aberdeen and the sea smell was nice and clear even inside “station”.  I like colder much better than hotter and it was good to stretch my legs after such a long nap time.  Fi led everybody through big corridors of shops to a place called “Northlink Ferries” where the humans got bits of paper from a lady and left all their bags.

My last time on a ferry

I’d heard Fi say “walk” more than once so I was feeling happy and warm and jumpy in my bones!  “Walk” is my most favourite word.  Well maybe second most favourite word.  “Liver cake” is a really good word.  And chicken is a little better than walk too.  But “walk”is definitely my most favourite word after those other favourite words!

All walks are BRILLIANT!  This walk was ‘specially good though because it went all the way to the Dog Food andToy Shop, with Rabbits Behind a Glass Wall to Sniff at.  Fi calls it “Pets at Home” and I love it!  Love it, love it!!  There’s always biscuits on the floor under the shelf.  I love sliding under to catch them!  And when we leave we always have lots and lots of my favouritest chews and biscuits.  And new toys too when I’ve eaten my old ones.

When we leave Fi & Jay always says I’m a “Fortune”!  I don’t know what a fortune is but it must be a happy thing so I always give Fi & Jay my bestest smile and waggy tail when they say it.  They always do their big laughs then and I feel very happy and warm.

Today we didn’t have Iggy to get into after “pets at home”, so we got to have a double walk all the way back to Northlink.  It meant I had to wait for my chews but I didn’t mind because walk is much more fun than chews!

Back at Northlink there were lots of people sitting waiting in the big room.  Some of them wanted to talk to me of course.  People like to talk to me and rub my fur and say “What is he?” and “He’s very big!” and “He’s lovely!”  Fi and Jay tell them I’m she not he, and about how we met in the car park outside Olympia.  They always say they’re very happy that they found me ( even though I ate the lino, and the cruise control, and some shoes, and DM’s face!) and I smile and try to chew the new people’s fingers to tell them I’m happy to play if they want to!

After a little while chatting to the people everyone jumped up and started walking up some stairs and along a big corridor in the air.  The corridor opened up into a big room that smelled of metal and oil and people and sea.  Everything was very fast.  We walked across carpet to a man who opened a big metal door and we followed him down the metal steps into the noise and oil smell.

I remembered the metal walls and steps and floor from before when I was just a puppy and we left Greece.  I remembered that this was what “ferry” was.  I remembered no grass or sand and dogs in cages.

Last time I was really scared!  But Jay & Fi took me to a nice warm room and stayed with me and let me lie on a big warm bed and nothing bad happened.  So this time I wasn’t scared.  I knew I was okay with Fi & Jay, but I still didn’t like the metal corridors and stairs.

Fi told the man we didn’t want “kennels” and were going to “deck”.  He said it would be cold and to tell him if she changed her mind.  Then he took us up some other stairs and outside onto a cold metal floor at the back of “ferry”.  It was soooooo good to be outside again!

I’ll stay out here thanks!!

People kept coming out and looking over the side of “ferry”.  A lot of them talked to me and Fi and Jay. Men turned wheels and pushed things, and moved ropes and “ferry” began to move away from the land and out onto the water.  It was very exciting and I liked watching the land get further away and all the huge birds that flew along beside us.  That was great!

It got darker and colder and sometimes Jay or Fi would go in through the doors into a big warm room with carpets and food smells.  I wanted to go too but they said I wasn’t allowed and had to stay where I was.  They looked very sad when they said that and I felt a bit sad too.  I didn’t like it whenever one of them left and it made me cry a little until they came back again.

The sun goes down on deck.

They had my blanket but I wouldn’t lie on it at first, but then it got much colder and I let Jay wrap it round me.  The floor was still very cold and I curled up with my nose to my tail and lay very still to keep warm.

The dark got darker, and the cold got colder and Jay and Fi said they were worried about me being cold and “We can try the kennels?  See what she thinks?  At least she’ll be warm.  Maybe even just for three or four hours.”

Then Jay went away and came back with one of the ferry men.  He took us inside and back down the metal stairs.  Then down more metal stairs that were very hard to walk on.  I was scared and didn’t like them but Fi asked me to come so I did.  There was a big noise that kept getting bigger, and then we went through a big metal door.

The man opened another door and there was a small dark room that smelled of “chemicals” and dogs and cats and fear and sad and lonely!!  I didn’t like the smells!   I didn’t like the room!

A big dog sat in a cage and was so scared he didn’t even look at me.  He was so scared!  I didn’t want to be near the scared dog.  I didn’t want to be in the scared place!!

Fi put my blanket on the floor on the big cage next to the scared dog and sat down next to it.  She showed me it and I put my head in, but I didn’t like it!!  I didn’t like it!  I lay on the floor next to Fi and I started to shake.  Fi put her hand on me and said to Jay:

“Jay she’s shaking!  Feel!”

My foot started to shake so bad I didn’t think I could stand up, and Fi said, “No.  That’s it we can’t leave her here.  She’s terrified!  Let’s go.”

So we went back up all the metal stairs.  Away from the noise, and the smells, and the sad, sad, scared dog.  Back through the metal doors and out onto the cold, hard metal deck.  Right out.  As far as we could get from inside “ferry”.  Where the air was clean on my nose.

And that was where we stayed.  All through the darkest dark until the sky slowly started to get light again.  Until the huge, big birds appeared again.  Flying beside us until the endless waves of the endless sea gave way to a poke of brown land.


“It’s Shetland” said Fi, and I sniffed hard at the wind.  It smelled of clean and wild and open.  It smelled of free.

Are we there yet?

And Fi says that’s enough chat for one day and I must tell the rest later.

Do I get chicken now Fi???

Fi & Jay trying to keep their eyes open in the morning.


Marley S. xx







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