"MARLEY & ME" by John Grogan
People were in awe that I owned two yellow labs and HAD NOT READ "Marley & Me". It was as though I had committed a major transgression in the lab ownership handbook. It was then that I took it upon myself to read the "#1 New York Times bestseller" that everyone was raving about.
Naturally, I anticipated some sentimental tripe that would quickly bore me. But to my pleasant amazement, I was met with a clever, witty tale of a lab owner's journey through puppyhood to the golden years with his rambunctious and spirited male labrador, Marley. It is no surprise that John Grogan is a journalist for he writes with effortless ease, no forced humor, but instead clever anecdotes that any dog owner can relate to.
One humorous example is when John plays the "hostage negotiator for a SWAT team" as he attempts to retrieve his wife's gold necklace from Marley's mouth as the dog does the Marley Mambo and then issues the ransom demand: "Leave two hundred unmarked Milk-Bones in a plain paper bag or you'll never see your precious little necklace again." What I like about Grogan's method is how he describes the incident with wry humour through HIS perspective and then interjects with MARLEY'S loopy perspective. The book is filled with such lively tales of the disobedient Marley as the "worst dog in the world"; yet it also pays tender tribute to Marley's unconditional love and devotion to the Grogan family (Pull out the kleenex for the last chapter as Marley enters his senior years.)
Grogan makes it clear that despite Marley's antics, "Mr. Wiggles" Marley "taught [him] about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following [his] heart, friendship, selflessness and unwavering loyalty". It becomes clear toward the end of the book that Marley is deeply loved by the Grogan family despite his faults. I would recommend this book to any dog lover; it is a book we can relate to.
** Important note: Grogan makes a point of noting that Marley is an American Lab which is a breed that the AKC describes as "athletic, tall and VERY hyper, high-strung personalities". On the other hand, English Labs are "shorter in build, very sweet, quiet, mellow and lovely dogs".
FYI.....CEDAROW LABS ARE THE ENGLISH type of labrador.
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