Monday, August 28, 2006

Book 72: Marley and Me

On the very excited recommendation of my lovely wife, I started to read Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan. She read the book over the course of two or three days and was moved by the book and could not wait for me to read it. With that recommendation I could not wait, either. Marley and Me is more a story about John Grogan's life through Marley as it is simply the life of a dog. Grogan takes the reader on a journey starting not long after he married his wife, Jenny, and their desire to start their family with a dog and how they answered a newspaper ad and picked out this Labrador Retriever puppy. Marley was a puppy so a certain amount of wildness was expected, but Marley was wild even for a puppy and he did not grow out of it. He was a dog that many people would probably drop off at the Humane Society because he destroyed so much property and when there was a storm he would destroy the walls. But Marley was a loving and loyal dog, always sleeping next to the bed and always needing to be near his owners. It is weird, but Marley was a "bad" dog in so many ways, but he was also a good boy as well.

John Grogan writes very lovingly about his dog and how Marley impacted his life and that of his family, but he does not hide any of Marley's many flaws. Marley got old and this is where the book became very sad as we know it is only a matter of time. It is very moving reading about Grogan's entirely unsentimental love for his dog and while I don't think I yet have that relationship with my dog, I know that it will be very difficult when my dog reaches the end of his life. I think it is thinking about my dog while reading about Marley at the end, but I'll admit that I cried at the end.

Marley and Me is an excellent book that is more about the relationship between family and dog and there are little lessons that the author learns from having Marley in his life. The lessons are the kind that one can only learn by having and caring for a dog, especially if the dog has a little bit too much personality. This book will appeal to dog owners and dog lovers and comes highly recommended.

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