07 July 2007

Marley & Me by John Grogan

I finished this book yesterday. My mom gave it to me to read because she absolutely loved it. When I was in High School I got a golden retriever from the 4-H Guide Dogs to train. His name was Jazz. From the beginning he was into trouble. He would eat anything and couldn't keep his mouth off of anything in reach. He would try to cram 2 tennis balls into his mouth and still chase after the next one you would throw at him.

A year and a half later we sent him to San Francisco for the big Guide Dog testing. Well a few weeks later we found out he failed so they gave us the opportunity to take him back. We said, "Of course!"
So for the next 7 years Jazz was the treasured family pet. He was no where near as destructive as Marley but every bit as loyal. He passed away in my mom's arms at the ripe old age of 9. It's amazing how much a dog can get into your heart if you let him.

After the death of his beloved Marley John Grogan comes to this realization:
Was it possible for a dog--any dog, but especially a nutty, wildly uncontrollable one like ours--to point humans to the things that really mattered in life? I believed it was. Loyalty. Courage. Devotion. Simplicity. Joy. And the things that did not matter, too. A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.
I know I can learn something from Marley about how to live a better, more fulfilling life. Loyalty to others,. Courage to do the things that I want to do and what is right. Simplicity in life. Who really needs all this stuff anyway?? And doing these things will bring us joy.

I can't say that this was one of the best books I've read, but it was entertaining and well worth the read.

And here is Jazz how he always loved to be.


Melissa said...

Aack! You're making me cry! :*) We had two dogs when we lived in Oregon. We weren't able to bring them to California (they wanted $500 per dog in deposit money). I have never cried so hard in my life. It is amazing how they change your life...

Cheryl said...

I am NOT a dog person. I never was, never will be. But I do have a kind heart for animals (and even though I go to zoos, I don't like them) and this book made me cry like a baby! It touched me deeply and made me love my cat more. Okay, well, like him more. (I'm not a cat person, either).

Jamie J said...

Cheryl, you crack me up. Why do you have a cat? :) I used to be more of an animal person, but I hate washing my hands after touching them and worrying if I'm gonna get some random disease...I know that's silly. When Spencer and I were first married I used to tell him we were most certainly getting a dog one day and he was adamantly against the idea. Now I'm closer to that school of thought. I do NOT want to clean up after another animal...:)

Melissa, That's sad about not being able to bring your dogs. Hopefully you'll be able to replace them one day!

Ashtyn said...

Interesting to know.