Anyone who is a dog owner - or simply a dog lover - should read Marley & Me by John Grogan (and the companion web site). It's a heartwarming story about a man and his dog...or more accurately, a family that includes a dog whose personality and presence are larger than life.
Grogan astutely and comically captures moments that every dog owner will recognize, from shedding and slobbering to unbridled energy and unwavering love. Some of the phrases he used to describe his beloved Yellow Lab could have easily been written for my silly Lulu:
"seemingly warped behavior"
with "the attention span of algae and volitility of nitroglycerin"
"darting left-and-right, sniffing, panting, peeing - coughing like a chain smoker as he strained against the leash"
...and the inclination to "love life with a passion not often seen in this world."
As you can see from these excerpts, Grogan is a clever writer and he tells an engaging story about life with Marley; but more valuable than his walks down memory lane are the life lessons he learned from Marley which he shares with his readers:
Never slow down, never look back, live each day with adolescent verve and spunk and curiousity and playfulness. If you think you're still a young pup, then maybe you are, no matter what the calendar says.
It's such a great quote, and with it all the other qualities dogs possess that we humans so often lose sight of: living in the moment, following your heart, finding joy in the simple things, loyalty and devotion.
Here's to the dogs!