Marley & Me, by John Grogan, published in 2005, is subtitled Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. But Marley is not the worst dog in the world; not even close. Awful, perhaps, or badly trained. But not the worst. He is sweet, lovable, affectionate, loyal, and kind. Destructive? Yes. Difficult? Yes. Disobedient? Yes. But basically an decent canine.
Nonetheless, this memoir of almost fourteen years with a difficult dog by a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist is a romp in the woods with an old and loyal dog. I laughed, I cried. It was certainly better than cats, and yes — I mean the felines, not the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. It is a sentimentally unsentimental look at life with a dog — the expenses, the disappointments, the frustrations, the difficulties, and yes, the love, too. If you have dogs, or are considering getting a dog, you could do worse than to read this book. You probably won’t do a lot better, either, unless you read the Monks of New Skete on being your dog’s best friend.