Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Marley and Me

Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog 
Author: John Grogan
Release date: October 18, 2005
Published by: William Morrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a young couple just starting out decides to bring a puppy into their home, they are in for a roller coaster ride unlike any other they've been on before or will be on again!

My thoughts: I'm sure most have heard of this story/book/movie but I had always avoided it thinking it was going to be a terribly sad story mostly. A good friend and I decided to trade a favorite book of ours with the other this summer for fun. We both ended up trying books that were very different then what we would have chosen for ourselves. I gave her my Starters by Lissa Price, and she gave me Marley and Me.

I put off reading this one most of the summer and read it right before coming back to school. I was laughing out loud, and "Oh no!"ing throughout this adorable family story. I was even reading parts aloud to my husband throughout the book.  

When I say "family story", I really do mean that which is one of the many things that surprised me about this book because it was not one of things I had assumed about this story. They really are just a young couple starting out who are hoping to someday have children but they decide, on a whim really, to go take a look at Labrador Retriever puppies. Now anyone who has been involved in this type of little trip KNOWS that there is never just "looking" at puppies. Are you kidding me!? Who can walk away?? I loved how they really did "all the right things" when getting their puppy: went to where the parents are with the puppies not a pet store, read up on the type of breed, read tons of how-to puppy and dog books....BUT they still weren't prepared for what a puppy and then a dog really does to your life.

My husband and I did this same thing with a Chocolate Lab a year before we got married. Ellie's Bailey Blue (Bailey Blue to us) was with us until just 2 years ago. At that point we now had two young daughters who had only known life with a Bailey Blue in it. Putting him down was one of the most awful things I've ever had to be a part of. My husband's loss was more painful then anything I've seen in quite some time. It took us about a year, but then we decided to go for it getting a new puppy who was supposed to be a Black Lab...he wasn't! He's SO much like Marley's craziness - puts everything in his mouth, the jumping, the barking...he's a nutter! We have since learned that the FREE puppy was not completely Lab, but some mixture since the mother was a Champion Chocolate Lab and the father was "from a good neighborhood". I have no idea what the other mixture is that he has in him but it is certainly those breed characteristics that came through the most. There is very little about him that seems like the labs we know. In the end, my husband was so disappointed and frustrated...I was thrilled because he reminded me of the farm dogs I grew up with that were heelers and shepherds. Again, Zach was dogless as Remington quickly became my pal following me everywhere, my protector whether I needed that or not, and my cuddler when he would sit still. 

Then, this last spring I learned that the same mother chocolate lab was going to have purebreed puppies. I was thrilled and it was just in time for Zach's birthday! I am happy to tell you that Zach now has his amazing future hunting dog: Gunner falls asleep during fireworks (Remington runs away), he sleeps most of the day (Remington never sits still), and is quickly outgrowing his half-brother becoming a soon-to-be GIANT Chocolate Lab with the most amazing chill personality ever! Of course there is the peeing on the floor from time to time, and the humping of his brother...but lets move on. So, now that we have "the boys" we have had quite the experience so far with labs. What does this all mean? It means that this book was incredibly enjoyable for me! Just a great read which I could easily empathize with because we have done this journey too. 

Labs are truly unique each and every one. They are also one of the best family dogs because they so easily become another member of your family if you'll only be patient with them and let them into your heart. 

If you are an animal lover at all, I really think you'll like this one. I will be recommending it more now. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

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