Reviewed by Ambrea
In Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, John Grogan and his wife, Jenny, adopted a dog and named him Marley—and the rest is history. He became a ninety-seven-pound behemoth of a dog, shutting down a beach, tearing up furniture, eating expensive jewelry (among a multitude of other things), stealing from the trash can and tearing down walls and knocking over visitors. He was the world’s worst dog and, according to the Grogans, the best friend a family could ever ask for.
I loved this memoir. I loved every bit of it.
As an experienced journalist, John Grogan has an incredible skill with words and he has a wonderful story to tell that encompasses a universal human experience: owning a rambunctious dog. He describes Marley with such careful detail, making sure to catalog the usual problems that (most) pet owners experience and the simple joys of having a devoted dog in one's life.
Honestly, Marley & Me hits close to home. Having owned pets for most of my life, I know exactly what kind of complications one can run into when owning a dog, especially an aging pet, but I also know how critical they are to our daily lives, how important they are to our hearts and, truthfully, our well-being.
Dogs can be an aggravation. They slobber, they bark, they tear things up - staircases, bike pedals, wood trim, shoes, clothes, socks, books, and surely more - and they know how to make a mess; however, they are family. They give us love and affection, joy and laughter. They are our constant companions through life and, no matter the cost, we love them and care for them.
As Grogan pointed out, “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.”
And that's just about the best thing there is.
As a warning to other readers, I will admit that I cried at the end of Marley & Me. I’m not joking, I bawled like a baby at the end of this memoir because, like other members in the Secret Brotherhood of Dysfunctional Dog Owners, I know exactly what it’s like to own a crazy canine and what it’s like to lose of the best friends I’ve ever had.