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Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog    by John Grogan order for
Marley & Me
by John Grogan
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

When Jenny Grogan killed a plant, she took it as a sign that she wouldn't make a very good mother after she and her husband John decided to have children. John came up with the brilliant plan of buying a dog so they could practice their nurturing. It was a decent plan, but John and Jenny didn't go about it the right way. They didn't research breeds, or do their homework on what to look for. When they saw the yellow Lab puppies at the breeder's home, the two fell instantly in love and never looked back.

Big mistake. John and Jenny came home with Marley, an adorable puppy with a myriad of problems. Marley flunked out of obedience school for being too boisterous. He wreaked havoc in their home, especially when there was thunder or even the threat of a storm. Over the following years, Marley would cause more damage to the Grogan's home than they ever could have imagined. But he also provided more love and loyalty than they could ever have anticipated.

I cannot say enough good things about this memoir. It's written with so much heart that readers cannot help but fall in love with the whirlwind that is Marley. It's intensely funny, so that I found myself gasping with laughter more times that I could count. There is also a great deal of humanity and reality in the account. Even months after I read it for the first time (yes, it's a book you will want to read more than once) I giggled again at a memory of a funny portion and had a tight throat remembering a sad part.

This is a fantastic book for dog and animal lovers. Although it's subtitled 'life and love with the world's worst dog,' you will find many of Marley's antics mirrored in your own pets. Hopefully not quite to the extent of Marley, but if so, it will be helpful to know others have experienced the same things. John Grogan is a newspaper/magazine writer and his ability to convey emotion is unparalleled. After you pick up Marley & Me for yourself, you'll want to get a few additional copies for those on your gift list.

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