I just finished reading Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan. It's a book that tells the tale of a man and his dog living and growing together throughout the dog's life. Mr. Grogan gets married and has 3 kids in the meantime.
Marley is a lab that is....let's just say...rambunctious? He gets into all types of trouble and destroys/chews anything in his path. Mr. Grogan's style of writing is appealing because it feels honest. He doesn't sugar coat things in regards to the way his devotion grows for Marley. I found the first half of the book hilarious.
Their experience choosing Marley. Marley humping any and everything. Marley in the way when Mr. Grogan and wife hump (hilariously the next line of the book speaks of Marley's balls getting cut off). But for me, by far, the most side-splitting story was the story of Marley getting das boot out of obedience school.
The second half of the book was less compelling. I thought Mr. Grogan talked too much about his life in and of itself instead of weaving it into Marley's. For example, early in the book his wife has a miscarriage and he tells a wonderfully touching tale about Marley consoling her that brought me to tears. Later in the book he talks an awful lot about a career change that was more distracting than interesting.
When Marley dies at the end of the book it wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be. I guess I saw it through the eyes of the child I was not the man that I've become. Ironically, I stay away from owning a dog for a variety of reasons, including my fear of attaching to him or her and the pain of losing him or her.
But he also writes quite elegantly about how a dog gives unconditional love. Leave it to the animals to teach the humans how to do it.
One last thing. My mom and daughter picked out this book for me. It's a lovely hard cover edition with pictures. They went on a "secret mission" to get it. So, regardless of my reaction to the book it will be a forever cherished part of my sweet memories of what books bring into my life.