Saturday, April 15, 2006

Marley and Me

My husband and I, when we were just newly married purchased a pure-bred Bichon Frise who we named Leo. Leo was a horrible puppy. Why did we complicate our lives with this white cotton ball of a dog? He peed under the couch, pooped by the bedroom door if it was closed, chewed his way through a baby gate, humped everything in sight especially corduroy clad legs and enjoyed eating many of my shoes. He took off running like a wild stallion through the neighborhood while I chased after him, barefoot, pregnant and livid. We called him Houdini for his ability to get through our homemade barricades of coffee tables, chairs, rope, and laundry baskets. He would climb, bite, twist and contort his little body in order to get free.

Leo happily settled into middle age, thank goodness, as a much calmer, sweeter dog who was content to be alone and nap all day with tiny bouts of playfulness. In other words, he was perfect!

Last fall an eight week old Great Dane puppy came into our lives, how could we refuse a helpless pup who needed a home? He was even smaller than our Leo. Surely having this dog would be easier than the hell that was Leo when he was a puppy. Plus, since we had been through it once before, wouldn’t the second time be easier? And Leo would be like a father to this puppy! He could help us teach her. And Lola was so small, surely she would not become one of those beastly, enormous Great Danes the size of a donkey. Right!

Of course Lola had other plans none of them involved peeing outside, listening, or not chewing things that did not belong to her. In no time, Lola had driven me to the brink of insanity prompting me to proclaim, “Really, this time I mean it, no more puppies…ever!” That has become my daily mantra.

At seven months old she has more than quadrupled her body size and weight, she has chewed slippers and shoes, finds it a great fun to run from me when she has stolen a toy or game piece or napkin or her beloved dryer sheets from a stack of fresh laundry. Lola has bitten the end of our wooden banister to a nub and enjoys putting her paws on the counter and leaning into the sink for a treat of dirty dishes piled high enough for her snout to reach. Bathtub water, especially with bubbles, is a delicacy that rivals Snausages. In other words, I have a Marley too.

I got my hands on a copy of Marley and Me, finishing it in record time hoping for some pointers dealing with my own troublesome dog. Last night, I knocked the da Vinci Code (which I have still yet to read) out of my husband's hands, thrusted the book at him said, “You have to read this! It's so good!” And he replied, “If it’s so good, why are you crying?” It is a book that will make you laugh and sob, especially if you have lived with a naughty canine, one filled with equal parts mischievousness and love.

By the end of the book I felt like I knew Marley personally. I highly recommend this best seller if you are a dog lover or not. It's nice to know I'm not alone with a pet who stirs up trouble while at the same time, looking so darn cute.

The author has a great website with photos of Marley as well as an interview. Check it out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
We have a Havenese, name Moof. He is my best friend. While not that bright, he gets me... knows when I need to get out and when I need to stay in. He is the biggest slut and is madly in love with "belle' a bischon mix that lives a few houses down from us. He isn't very naughty...with my stuff. Although, my husband's stuff is fair game. Like, he would pee in his shoes or once out of nowhere pee'd on my husband's pillow. Hence, Moof is def. "my dog". @ 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Gotta love a good dog book! Thanks for the tip! @ 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Ru'sMom said...
I definitely have the best dog ever! She's a bitty little Pom with a huge personality. She's like a little snapping turtle. I brush her, she bites me. I clean the gunk out of her eyes in the morning, she bites me. I clip her nails, she bites me. She also wakes me up in the morning by lying on my chest and kissing my face, she curls up and snuggles so close at night, knocking anyone and anything else out of her way in the process. She's the boss of the family and keeps everyone in line. Best. Dog. Ever. My Ru! If you love a dog that's full of personality, consider a Pom. I am definitely headed to Amazon to look for this book. Thanks! @ 5:17 PM  
Blogger kari said...
I couldn't agree more. This book is FANTASTIC...especially for a pet lover. I had an absolutely HEINOUS chocolate Lab so I could relate to each page. And I sobbed like a baby, while I laughed. It's great. @ 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I found Grogan's treatment of Marley in the later years unaccepted. He stood by and would just watch him wipe out on the stairs covered in ice. There were other incidents that I think merit him as typically thoughtless dog owner. So many people are ready to have dogs and enjoy them while they are young but have no idea what it is like to live with an older dog. I have one (11.5 years) and she is loved and adored every bit as much, if not more than the day I first got her. Dump Marley and Me and pick up a copy of Pam Houston's Sight Hound...that is much better book that deals with our relationships with our canine companions. @ 3:57 PM  
Blogger mominAZ said...
As a dog mom of 2 dogs,but well over 250 lbs of dogs, my pack is the smallest it has been in years. All danes or a mix of dane. I get called when someone has a dane with "issues" you know eating sofas, tunneling to China, selective hearing of commands. Of course my pack is small because I have kids now too. My newest rescue ( a lab dane mix to replace my beloved dog that died last year) has soooo many issues. I too run down the block yelling after him. I have the added joy of terrifing the kids that our crazy new dog is running away forever. So they howl in our front yard as I bolt down the street.

I just started the book and really identify with Marley's dad the mud caked, lumbering, olf bursting out of the woods. @ 1:13 PM  
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