Item description for Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan...
Overview Follows the life story of an exuberant Labrador retriever who gets into perpetual trouble and experiences a range of inspiring adventures, from shutting down an entire beach to guarding a seventeen-year-old neighbor after a stabbing attack.
The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.
Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women's undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. Obedience school did no good—Marley was expelled. Neither did the tranquilizers the veterinarian prescribed for him with the admonishment, "Don't hesitate to use these."
And yet Marley's heart was pure. Just as he joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley shared the couple's joy at their first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over the miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived and when the screams of a seventeen-year-old stabbing victim pierced the night. Marley shut down a public beach and managed to land a role in a feature-length movie, always winning hearts as he made a mess of things. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.
Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.
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Studio: William Morrow
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2005
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 0060817089 ISBN13 9780060817084
Availability 0 units.
More About John Grogan
I was born in the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, on March 20, 1957. My very Catholic parents were hoping for a St. Patrick's Day baby. Then for a St. Joseph's Day baby. I was having no part of it. Instead, I arrived on the first day of spring, the youngest of four. Not long after, our family moved from the city to the sleepy village of Orchard Lake, Michigan. My neighborhood was called Harbor Hills, and it is the setting for much of my new memoir, The Longest Trip Home.
The church was just three doors down -- no coincidence -- and my earliest memories are steeped in the fragrances of devotion: incense and sacramental wine, beeswax and musty pews. I was an altar server and later the office boy at the church rectory, where I earned a dollar an hour answering phones and doorbells.
Like just about every other dad in the neighborhood, my father worked with cars, as an engineer for General Motors. Mom was a full-time mother and housewife, and proud of it. When not cooking big meals or ironing our blue Catholic-school uniform shirts, she worried about our moral fabric and prayed a priestly vocation would be in the future for at least one of us. (Sorry on all counts, Mom.) She had a sharp sense of humor and a wonderful, effortless gift for storytelling, some of which she concedes wore off on me.
I got into writing by default because I was so bad at everything else. Algebra, geometry, French, chemistry, physics -- they all escaped me. But writing, now there was a subject I could have some fun with. By eighth grade I was penning parodies of the nuns, and in high school, besides writing for the school newspaper, I started an underground tabloid, which earned me a celebrated trip to the principal's office. From there it was on to Central Michigan University, where I earned the princely sum of twenty-five cents per column inch writing for the campus newspaper while slugging away at a double major in journalism and English.
My first full-time writing job came immediately upon graduation in 1979 when I was hired as a police reporter for the small and lackluster Herald-Palladium in the Michigan harbor town of St. Joseph. I rode all night with cops, photographed murder victims, picked my way through smoldering house fires and sat over coffee with grieving parents. I also summoned the courage to ask out a willowy and tart-tongued reporter on the staff whose name was Jenny.
In 1985, I won a fellowship into the Kiplinger Mid-Career Program in Public Affairs Reporting at Ohio State University, which would become my ticket out of small-town journalism. After earning my master's degree at OSU, I had the good fortune of landing a second fellowship, this one at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I gained a keen appreciation for an aptly named local rum concoction known as The Hurricane. Faced with the prospect of returning to unemployment and freezing temperatures in Michigan, I took a job at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. Jenny quickly followed, landing a position as a feature writer at The Palm Beach Post. I bumped my way up from a bureau reporter to metropolitan columnist, a job I found suited me better than I ever imagined any job could. Not long after arriving in steamy South Florida, Jenny and I married, bought a little bungalow together a block off the water, and brought home a wildly neurotic Labrador retriever that we named after a certain famous reggae star. At the time I had no idea our loopy, attention-deficit dog would someday provide me the inspiration to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a book. Nor that that book, Marley & Me, would go on to become an international bestseller with some 5 million copies sold and be made into a motion picture.
But before there was the phenomenon known as Marley, there was a career move, which took me from South Florida to rural eastern Pennsylvania to become editor of Rodale's Organic Gardening magazine. What can I say? I had this crazy dream of making my hobby my job and my job my hobby. It didn't take me long to realize how much I missed daily newspapers and, even more, writing in the first person. A little more than three years later, I jumped back into my beloved newspaper vocation, joining the Philadelphia Inquirer as the paper's three-times-a-week Pennsylvania columnist, where I happily remained for more than four years.
In February 2007, with Marley & Me winding down from 76 weeks on the bestseller list, twenty-three of them at #1, I decided to take a break from daily newspapers to focus full-time on writing my new book, The Longest Trip Home. It is a story very close to my heart because it is about a family very close to my heart — my own. I finished the manuscript in early 2008 just as Fox 2000 Pictures was gearing up to begin filming Marley & Me. Jenny and I were fortunate to be able to spend several days on the movie set, both in Miami and Philadelphia, and we were thrilled to watch the sensitive, funny, and thoughtful way in which Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston portrayed us. I'm not sure I would have thought to pair them as John and Jenny, but as soon as I saw their on-camera chemistry, I knew that producer Gil Netter and director David Frankel had struck gold.
Frankel, being the nice guy that he is, offered to work us into a scene as extras. I won't say what scene, but I will say that it included, in addition to Wilson and Aniston, one of my all-time favorite actresses, a screen legend whom I had a mad crush on for years. Moviegoers will be relieved to hear that I had no spoken lines and was kept safely in the background where I couldn't muck up anything too badly.
As filming wrapped up, the producers presented me with a most amazing gift: one of the puppies that played Marley in the movie. His name is Woodson and, as I write this, he is lying at my feet along with our other Labrador retriever, Gracie. Both are calm and mellow and get along just fine. We all agree they're no Marley — not that there's anything wrong with that.
SPANISH BIO: John Grogan ha sido un premiado reportero grafico y columnista por mas de veinticinco anos. Vive en Pensilvania con su esposa Jenny y sus tres hijos.
John Grogan currently resides in Mt. Juliet, in the state of Tennessee.
Reviews - What do customers think about Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog?
Truly Heartwarming Story, especially for Dog Owners! Sep 2, 2007
As an animal lover in general and a dog lover specifically, I have no idea why I waited so long to read Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan. Maybe because it's non-fiction, which is a genre I've written off for years as "boring". Or maybe because I have 2 of the "world's worst dogs" myself, and I didn't think I would find anything unusual about this book. But I just now read it, and I'm truly glad did!
John and Jenny Grogan were newlyweds starting their new life together in Florida. Both wrote for local newspapers and everything was good. Then one day, John came home to find Jenny pouring through the classifieds looking for a dog. She had just killed her house plant, and was feeling down. She wanted to prove to both herself and John that she was capable of caring for someone other than herself, knowing that one day, they would want to have children. And what would be a great place to start, but with a dog??
Enter Marley: a little, yellow Labrador, that was fun and full of spunk. Named after the Reggae singer, Marley was anything but mellow. With a fear of thunderstorms and a knack for eating just about anything in sight, Marley brought more drama into their lives than they ever thought possible. All at once, they had this ball of energy and unpredictableness in their home!! After trying to train him themselves, the Grogans decided that Obedience School was the way to go. But Marley had other ideas. "All the other dogs were sitting placidly beside their masters, at tidy ten-foot intervals, awaiting further instructions. Jenny was fighting valiantly to plant her feet and bring Marley to a halt, but he lumbered on unimpeded, tugging her across the parking lot in pursuit of hot-poodle butt-sniffing action. My wife looked amazingly like a water-skier being towed behind a powerboat. Everyone stared. Someone snickered. I covered my eyes. Marley wasn't one for formal introductions. He crashed into the poodle and immediately crammed his nose between her legs. I imagined it was the canine male's way of asking, "So, do you come here often?"
Marley was indeed expelled from Obedience school! And that was just for starters. He made his own doggie-door by barrelling through the screen door. He ingested a gold necklace, paychecks, and many other Grogan family items. He destroyed more shoes than imaginable. But when it came to family, Marley was the best. After a horrible miscarriage, John and Jenny finally had their first child. They were a little leery of what Marley might think, but he handled it with style: "As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, Marley came to accept Patrick as his new best friend. One night early on, as I was turning off the lights to go to bed, I couldn't find Marley anywhere. Finally I thought to look in the nursery, and there he was stretched out on the floor beside Patrick's crib, the two of them snoring away in stereophonic fraternal bliss. Marley, our wild crashing bronco was different around Patrick. He seemed to understand that this was a fragile, defenseless little human, and he moved gingerly whenever he was near him, licking his face and ears delicately. He was a gentle giant around Patrick, and he accepted his second-fiddle status with bonhomie and good-natured resignation."
Marley was never mean-spirited. But when a neighbor was attacked, and danger was in the air, Marley was there: "When I looked up, there he stood, ten feet from us, facing the street, in a determined bull-like crouch I had never seen before. It was a fighter's stance. His muscles bulged at the neck; his jaw was clinched; the fur behind his shoulder blades bristled. He was intensely focused on the street and appeared poised to lunge. I realized in that instant Jenny had been right. If the armed assailant returned, he would have to get past my dog first. I knew -- I absolutely knew without a doubt -- that Marley would fight him to the death before he would let him at us."
I absolutely loved this book! Having a 3 year old St. Bernard, I know all about pain-in-the-butt dogs! But I also know the love that a person can have for a pet, and just how loyal they can be. This love radiates from Grogan's book. It shows just how special this dog was.....a dog that many had written off as bad and untrainable. Through it all, Marley was there. He indeed was a member of the family. I laughed at his antics, and I had tears rolling down my cheeks at the end. If you have ever had a pet that was special to you, please read this book!
Perfect Timing... Aug 30, 2007
I received this book as a Christmas gift last year, 6 months after adopting my very first dog, a 4 year-old beagle mix named Chester. It was also after 3 escape attempts, 2 broken screens, a completely eaten kennel floor and a few pooped-in pairs of shoes. My parents thought the book was very appropriate. It turned out that the gift also came only 2 weeks before I learned that Chester had canine lymphoma--a cancer with a less than 2% cure rate.
I read the book aloud to my husband while Chester was being treated with chemotherapy. It made us laugh and cry and we identified so much. We discovered very early that Chester, a stray, had serious seperation anxiety so after a few failed attempts at crating for short periods of time, we made sure he always had someone with him specifically so we could avoid a lot of the destruction Mr. Grogan and his family experienced. Both this book and our experiences with our own dog taught everyone in my family that dogs have their own personalities and quirks and they need to be treated like you would treat a human.
I couldn't bring myself to read the final three chapters until a few weeks ago. We were able to put Chester into remission for a little over 5 months, but the cancer is now back and after a second attempt at chemo failed, he is now home and we are managing the disease here. So I decided to pick the book up again and finish it. This time I didn't read it aloud--there is no way I could've done it as I could barely see the page as I was crying so hard. I appreciate Mr. Grogan speaking frankly about euthanizing Marley as I know it is something that I will be facing. But I was also happy that the story didn't simply end there. I loved hearing the e-mails and voice mails. Dog owners are many, but true dog lovers are all too few.
One of my favorite books of all time... Aug 29, 2007
This book is one of my favorites. I could totally relate to this book, I laughed out loud, I cried, and it really reminded me to be more understanding of my dog. I have a 2 year old Rottweiler that I had since she was born and the book accurately reflected the ups and downs that you share with your dog. This book helped me appreciate the humor in having a dog in your life. I absolutely loved it and recommend it to everyone.
Great book! Aug 26, 2007
I've never laughed so hard nor cried so much while reading a book. It's wonderful....one of the best I've ever read!
A must read for dog owners! Aug 21, 2007
About a year and a half ago we purchased a 6-week old labrador retriever puppy. A friend recommended this book to me, which I quickly purchased and started reading. What I didn't realize at the time is that the book was giving me an almost exact 2 year plan for what to expect from my new puppy.
I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud while reading this book. Each story I read seemed to be exactly what we were going through with our new puppy...chewed pillows, irrational fears, appetite for anything...all of it hit home in a most unique way. Even when the author takes an occasional serious side-story, it continued to relate almost perfectly to our situations.
This is a book you can read over and over and laugh the same every time. If you've ever owned a crazy dog, especially a lab, there is no other book I can recommend more than "Marley and Me"