Marley & Me (& Koda & Summer)

The book that I want to recommend this week is Marley & Me, Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog written by John Grogan in 2005. While many people have seen the movie that came out in 2008 based on this story, the book is a must read. Journalist John Grogan wrote this touching memoir about his life, through the story of his labrador retriever Marley. Following the life of Marley he touches on marriage, job, family, love, and loss. It is both hilarious and heart-wrenching.

I read the book when it came out, and laughed and cried. It was relatable to me at the time since I had four children and a rambunctious dog. Our dog Dot also was called out in puppy class for misbehaving. I yelled at Dot every now and then when she got into something, finding wrappers from food she’d taken out of the garbage strewn across the floor, or the times she peed under the piano in the living room. “Bad dog Dot!” I would yell. Just as it happened in the book, when our sweet Dot was weak and her health was failing, I remember laying with her and stroking her fur and telling her what a good dog she had been for us all these years.

My son read the book when he was in high school, I found him in bed in tears as he read the last chapter. This tough sixteen year old boy was crying reading about Marley. At the time our dog Dot was still alive. The love of a pet is universal. Anyone who has a dog or cat knows what it means to feed, care for, and be greeted by their little furry family members. The pain of losing them is felt deep. The joys of playing with them in the yard or snuggling them on the bed outweigh the frustrations when they get into mischief and destruction (like chewing on table legs and shoes Koda and Summer!).

This author wrote another book called The Longest Trip Home. It was memoir encompassing his childhood. His humor and knack for taking the reader into the past with him made it another great book I recommend. I actually got to see and listen to John Grogan in a small gathering. He spoke about the experience of writing Marley and Me and having it made into a movie. He said it was strange to see Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston play through scenes in his life. He also mentioned the fun they had on set with all of the puppies and dogs who played Marley.

John Grogan was a journalist who wrote a weekly column, a topic frequently beginning with something he experienced with his dog Marley. In a way, it makes me think of my intentions in my blog. I am writing about experiences with Koda and Summer, and many of my posts branch off into other directions. My life with the dogs is merely the springboard, once I jump off, the depth of what I enter varies. Humorous or sad, I will share what is on my mind.

Take a look at these two books, or rent the movie Marley & Me.  Laugh, cry, and enjoy!

A picture below of our friend Bodhi who is a spitting image of Marley. He came by for a visit last week and jumped right into our pool.

Our Friend Bodhi
Our Friend Bodhi

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