Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book review - Marley and Me.

Sigh. I love animals. Especially dogs. Especially golden labradors. When Marley looked at me at the library from outta the book's cover, I had to know his story. That was how I ended up picking up 'Marley and Me - life and love with the world's worst dog' by John Grogan from the shelf. Seriously, how can anyone resist that 'tilted-head' look!

The book is an biographical account of a young couple - John and Jenny - as they start out on married life. Extremely terrified about starting a family, they decide to first try to bring up a dog, and in comes the first addition to the family - Marley – a male golden yellow labrador retriever. From the beginning, Marley proves to be a handful. He is a compulsive chewer of things – eats everything and I mean that. To Marley, things large enough to get into his mouth are breakfast, lunch or dinner.

He grows up to be full of energy (which he takes out on every person in his path), terrified of thunderstorms and with a serious obedience problem that leaves his owners in despair. After three children, two moves and a movie, Marley is still with them. But, the signs of old age soon set in. Arthritis, infections, poor eyesight and a scary close call later, the family faces a day when Marley can no longer hold on.

The book takes us from right from how they picked out Marley to when they buried him and moved on with their lives. But the book is not just about the fun times and Marley's antics. It is about all the things that life throws at us – the joy and pain in work, marriage, children, moving, finding dreams and everything else. And about how a crazy dog called Marley crawled into their hearts and stayed through all that.

Through their short life spans, our pets help us to understand life. As we watch them at various stages – play, love, fear, family, old age- we realize that things happen at a higher pace to our beloved animals. Their lives are on fast-forward mode. At the end, I think they make us better people – more loving, caring, accepting of faults and help us adjust to the inevitabilities of life - which to humans are the same as to any other animal. Read More......