Character sketch — Marie Clarke

b. 1984

Marie was born to Smokey and Marisol in 1984. Her first name is actually Smokey like her father, but she thinks Smokey Marie sounds like a racehorse, so she goes solely by her middle name. She grew up helping her father train exotic animals. When she was 18 in 2000, she went to UNT to study Behavior Analysis. The plan was for her to come back and join her father’s business as a master’s apprentice. However, he had a stroke in the first year of her Master’s program at UNT (2005). She left school, came home, and took over the business.

The stroke left her father unable to speak and weak on his right side. He has been unwilling to do much of his physical therapy. He hasn’t been able to help with the business which left Marie in charge. He had experienced trainers working for him, but she alienated them, and they left. She is arrogant — thinks she knows as much as her father, and perhaps more because of her school experience. She’s young — just 26 — and she doesn’t people to assume she can’t handle the business because of her age. Unfortunately, what she wants to come across as “strong and capable” instead is perceived as “arrogant,” and she is unable to ask for help when she needs it.

She thinks she knows everything, which is part of the reason she’s so controlling with Rain’s training. She gets stuck though and doesn’t want to ask for help. She is humbled when the “uneducated” retriever trainers can help her.

She is intrigued by the idea of training the dog because she knows no one has ever trained a field trial dog this way, and she thinks that might drive business to her business (which is starting to lack clients). That is why she agrees to her father’s request that she take on this project.

Marie wants/needs:

  • To succeed at the help of her father’s business.
  • To make a name for herself, so she isn’t just Smokey Clarke’s daughter.
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