Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Marley & Me, John Grogan

Title: Marley & Me
Author: John Grogan
Rating: Great!

My wife was given this book for Christmas, and spent a fair bit of time howling with laughter while she read it. Then she set it down on the top of my TBR pile, so I picked it up next. The story covers the life and times of Marley, a huge, goofy, and borderline psychotic Labrador Retriever owned by John Grogan and his family. The subtitle is "Life and love with the world's worst dog" and that gives you a pretty good idea of what is coming. Marley lived a long and full life, and I can assure you that parts of it are amazingly funny. Of course, any story of this nature covers the end as well, and I spent the last two chapters bawling my eyes out as I read about Marley's failing health and eventual end.

I love my dogs. They mean more to me than almost anything, and I do my best to take them everywhere I can. Sometimes they drive me crazy, of course, but that's all part of the package deal. I won't recount their stories here - though I still need to write them up for posterity - but I will say that Nikki suffered one of the same issues that Marley did: a horrible fear of loud noises, particularly thunderstorms. If you read this book and learn what Marley was like, you've also learned about Nikki in that case, though she was a lot lighter than Marley, which reduces the damage potential somewhat.

Grogan covers more than Marley's life, though. This is basically an autobiography. He's a good writer, and the stories are good, but they are at their best when Marley is on the center stage.

Recommended reading if you're an animal lover, or want to be one.