Marley and Me by John Grogan

marley_and_me.jpgHachette Australia.291 pages.

Ok so i’ve been reading a lot of frontline books lately. frontline meaning those ‘top 100′ books that are always at the front shelves of bookshops. so i’m sure everyone has seen this book in the last few months.

When my very own Marley, Tofu John, passed away early May of this year, this book also made it to the bookshops’ Top 100 list around that time. So I didn’t even want to pick it up, or browse through it. bitter bitter bitter.

But as months passed, I just couldn’t help it. I knew i was going to be in for a 200 plus page chicken soup for the dog lover’s soul read–but i’m a masochist that way.

So John Grogan chronicles his married and family life with Marley, their hard to control Labradror–who has such a destructive behavior. Later on, he self-diagnoses Marley as a dog with mental problems.

Unlike most chicken soup stories though, this dog does not really save a life, a country, or something really heroic like rescuing his master from a crashing and burning building.

It’s just the real honest to goodness experience of high-cost care for Marley.

No surprise, I ended up crying towards finishing the book (when Marley reaches old age). ALL DOG STORIES DO THAT.

And of course, if you have a dog, or owned a dog, or just love dogs–this book is grand.

As a newspaper columnist, the author sure knows how to market his dog’s story. There are many many editions of Marley’s story now–a hardcover with photos, a picture book, and a children’s book. And of course, the official site of Marley and Me.

In the UK, bus stops even have this:


it reads, “Every home should have one.”


My favorite part of the book: (and a rather cliche one at that, but hey. I’m a meltie ok??)


“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A water logged 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. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.”


My own Tofu, apart from being a mixed mongrel, was nowhere near like Marley. Sure, he was destructive when he was a puppy, but when he reached maturity (2 years +)

he was the epitome of a civilized dawg. He was a very proper one, with pride and manners–but all that went down the drain with just a whiff of chicken.


Sigh. I miss him so much.


the author. with a new dog, i guess.


Tofu John. My very own better than Marley.



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