Marley & MeJohn Grogan
HarperCollins Publisher, 2005
"The Love affair lasted fourteen years, and by the time he died I was no longer the little boy who had brought him home on that summer day. I was a man, out of college and working across the state in my first real job. Saint Shaun had stayed behind when I moved on. It was where he belonged. My parents, by then retired, called to break the news to me. My mother would later tell me, "In fifty years of marriage, I've only seen your father cry twice. The first time was when we lost Mary Ann" - my sister who was stillborn. "The second time was the day Shaun died."" (8)
The first part of Marley & Me was the story of a dog named Marley who may seem like the world's worst dog from the perspective of the author, John Grogan. John Grogan, as stated above, had a dog as a kid through when he an adult, and stated that the dog set the footprints for the best trained dog. Going from the dog he called "Saint Shaun" to Marley was a huge transition. Marley was an energetic dog who seems like he just runs around and messes up everything, which almost causes the bond between the owner and dog stronger. The Grogan family got Marley when John and his wife, Jenny, just got married. They got him in hopes of having a dog like Shaun, and it turned out to be a completely different dog. Instead of being the dog that was obedient and only ate dropped food if told to, Marley was a wild dog and ate anything and everything. Marley was a very active, destructive dog that so far in the book, has caused nothing but trouble. So far, the book is entertaining, for it reminds me of when I got my first actual dog, Emmet, and how I thought he'd be the perfect dog. He was a terrorizing puppy, but is now one of the laziest, loving dogs I know.
The main question from this book is, "What makes the perfect dog?" Everyone may think that the perfect dog may be a dog like Shaun, but I truly believe that a dog that makes you happy is the perfect dog. A dog that is like Shaun is a great dog, and easy to take care of, and a dog like Marley may be a nuisance, but if they both make you happy, that makes the perfect dog. I think throughout this book, they try to tell a story of a dog that they call the world's worst dog, but at the end of the day, they love Marley and couldn't imagine a world without him. I remember getting Emmet, my chocolate labrador retriever, and thinking he would be the easiest thing to train. He was such a bothersome, from chewing up shoes to whining at night, keeping me up. I would get so annoyed of him, but at the end of the day, just like the Grogan family, I would still love him to death and couldn't imagine my house without him.
Overall, I really like this book so far and I'm really excited to see what else it has in store. It's such a interesting book that I can relate to very easily. As I'm sitting here typing this, my dog, Emmet, keeps trying to jump on me and lick me. This past weekend, he ate a whole container of brownies and chocolate candy. He reminds me so much of Marley and being a dog that literally will eat anything, even if it's bad for him. Even as mad as I want to get at him, I can't stay mad at him, just like the Grogan family.