Marley and Me
By John Grogan
John Grogan currently works for the Philadelphia Inquirer as a columnist. Formerly he was the editor in chief of Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine and has also worked as a columnist at various newspapers in Michigan and Florida. John Grogan does an exceptional job of bringing Marley into the hearts of readers in his book titled “Marley & Me”. The year is 1991 and John and his wife live in South Florida. After various unsuccessful attempts of caring for a live plant they decide to get a puppy to prepare them to care for a baby. Both John and his wife work for local newspapers and had been dating a long time before they decided to settle down. It was Jenny’s idea to get a puppy as a practice run for raising a child. John was the man but Jenny wore the pants in this relationship. Marley, the star and inspiration for the book is a big yellow Labrador with a heart to match.
Marley is a real life rambunctious, neurotic and half brained yellow Labrador whose wild and crazy antics have cost the Grogan family various pieces of furniture, several rugs, ironing-boards, and doors. The author incorporates a sense of humor and resignation into his writing. It was remarkable how the author managed to remain calm even after Marley destroyed things. The author understood Marley and they were on the same page and spoke the same language. The author didn’t give up on Marley being a world class dog and even took him to obedience school which Marley flunked the first time but came through with flying colors the second time he was enrolled. Marley was never going to be a championship dog but in the Grogans’ eyes he was and some way they would overcome his failings.
Of course the author purchased Marley with good faith that he would be like his childhood dog, Saint Shaun had set the bar for all other dogs to come but Marley was in a league of his own. Marley lived life to the fullest and was full of zest. He taught the Grogans that unconditional love was being able to love one another with out any conditions and that we are only here for a short time and should enjoy our journey through this life. Over time the Grogans realize that Marley was just Marley and that no matter what he was a part of their family and stood by them through thick and thin. With Marley’s passing he left an indelible mark on the Grogan family and a void that would emanate for a long time.
This book was very appealing and managed to capture and keep my interest. The author did a wonderful job of giving details and finding the silver lining in any dilemma. In the end of the book when Marley had to be put to sleep it brought tears to my eyes. I could relate to the same situation in which one of my childhood dogs had to be put to sleep because of the same condition that Marley had. It is a difficult decision to put a beloved pet to sleep and some part of one’s self wants to be selfish and prolong the life of a loved animal so as to delay the inevitable suffering and heartache we must endure with the loss of a family pet.
I really liked how John Grogan gave a vivid description of Marley’s life and all the joys he brought to their family. I especially liked the way he described the “Marley Mambo Dance” and how Marley’s whole body quivered and his tail went crazy when he was excited. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book. It was very well written and put together. I certainly would like to read another book by John Grogan and would rate this book a 10. It was easy to follow, was written in simple words and was about real life tales of love, life and that blessings come in all forms, shapes and animals.