Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book Look Review "Marley & Me"

Book Look

Debbie Balzotti

“Marley & Me”

The movie based on this book is coming out in August. You may want to ruin the experience by reading the book first since the book is always better than the movie. I am trying to make your life better by suggesting good books to read but I can’t be responsible for your movie choices! I read “Marley & Me” by John Grogan a couple of years ago and laughed out loud at the grief and joy one dog can bring to a family. Your own pet dog memories will come flooding back as you read about Marley. One of our dogs, Tammy was a beautiful, intelligent collie. She looked like Lassie – but she was not Lassie. My brothers trained her to take the mail out of the mailman’s hand and burp. The first trick was disconcerting to every newly assigned mailman who thrust his trembling fingers filled with mail through the metal slot in our front door. The second trick was truly disturbing. Tammy would stand between the knees of a visitor, gaze sweetly up at the face now bending toward her, and produce a dog breath burp that could cause instant paralysis. I am surprised Mark ever came back to see me after his near death experience with Tammy.

Newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan decided to prepare for parenting by testing their skills on a Labrador retriever. There seemed to be some logic in their plan. Before taking on the care and responsibility of a human baby, wouldn’t it be best to practice on a puppy? Already you can see that this was a crazy idea. There is no prerequisite class for parenting. Marley was a very naughty puppy who grew into a psychotic adult dog. It wasn’t that the Grogans didn’t try to tame this beast; they did take Marley to obedience school from which he was expelled, they did sedate him during storms after he destroyed their drywall repeatedly, and like all true dog lovers they excused his bad behavior and gave him lots of treats.

As their family grew to include two boys, the loveable Marley continued to challenge and entertain everyone. Many times, I was telling them to get rid of this monster dog, and at other times I was cheering their decision to keep him. Grogan writes this dog tale as I imagine he wrote his newspaper column. He gives the reader brief, humorous glimpses into his world which is now canine controlled. There is exasperation and affection as he describes the escapades of that darn dog (his language is bit more colorful). It is a story of how a dog slowly but surely becomes a beloved member of a family.

Anyone considering purchasing a puppy or having a baby may want to read “Marley & Me”. It will give you the courage to do either or both because you know you are much smarter than the Grogans and would never make the same mistakes they did. You would never let your dog/child act like that!

No comments: