Sunday, August 7, 2011

Marley & Me by John Grogan

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.
Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound steamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women's undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. Obedience school did no good Marley was expelled. Neither did the tranquilizers the veterinarian prescribed for him with the admonishment, "Don't hesitate to use these."
And yet Marley's heart was pure. Just as he joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley shared the couple's joy at their first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over the miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived and when the screams of a seventeen-year-old stabbing victim pierced the night. Marley shut down a public beach and managed to land a role in a feature-length movie, always winning hearts as he made a mess of things. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.
Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.

Rating 5/5

I only read this because I remember way back in third grade, this book made my best friend [who, at the time cried like a stone] cry. Honestly, it made me cry too.
First, the tears were tears of laughter. John Grogan tells the story of one of the most worst behaved dogs in the world, so of course there's a fair amount of hilarity. Marley got in to all sorts of things, ate things he definitely shouldn't have, pulled his owners on his walks, got kicked out of obedience school, and destroyed the house when thunder storms hit. But, despite his misgivings, he was a great family dog. He didn't eat any of the 3 babies as they came home, he followed everyone everywhere even when he got arthritis in his hips to the point he could barely walk anymore, and stood guard the night John rushed to help a stab victim.
But, John Grogan tells the story of life with Marley, from beginning to end. Eventually everything dies, and Marley followed that rule. By that time in the book, I was unknowingly attached to Marley. I started reading the book knowing he would die at the end, yet I found myself hoping it would turn out different.

I think this book could be recommended for anyone. It's funny, serious, sad, and real. You don't even have to like dogs [I'm not very fond of them].

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