When Marley first came across a strawberry toy while out shopping with his mom, he immediately fell in love with it. After picking it out himself and making it clear to his mom, Hayley Martin, that he needed it, she bought it for him, and from that moment on it was his favorite toy.
For over a year, Marley played with and doted on his strawberry toy. It meant so much to him that when his mom met one of her idols, singer Kirstin Maldonado from the group Pentatonix, she brought her a strawberry toy to give to her own dog, hoping her dog would love it just as much as Marley did.
Unfortunately, after over a year of being playing with constantly, Marley's strawberry toy became worn, and eventually Marley’s mom had to throw it away.
“Its last legs was when it got soaked and covered in mud and washing it couldn’t save it,” Martin told The Dodo.
Martin immediately looked into buying Marley a replacement strawberry toy — and was devastated when she realized the toy had been discontinued.
Marley is a trained autism service dog, and works hard to help his mom out every day. She desperately wanted to do something for him in return and get him a replacement strawberry toy, so she began posting online, asking if anyone knew a way she could find one.
Somehow, a manager from the store that sold the strawberry toy saw Martin’s post and quickly got in touch with her. She told Martin she could send along two strawberry toys, and Martin was thrilled.
When the package arrived, she excitedly opened it up, expecting to find the two toys — and instead, she found 20 strawberry toys inside.
Martin couldn’t believe it, and as soon as he saw the toys, Marley couldn’t believe it either.
“Marley was shocked,” Martin said. “He didn’t know what to do! He was so gentle about it all but was so excited! He spent an hour going through them all giving each of them a nudge so they would squeak!”
Marley was so excited to have not just one but 20 strawberry toys, and his mom is so happy that he’ll never have to be without his favorite toy again. Marley does so much for his mom, and she tries to give back to him whenever she can — and making sure he always has a strawberry toy to play with is definitely the best gift he could ever get.