Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans!
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 goodMarley 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.
We were young. We were in love. We were rollicking in those sublime early days
of marriage when life seems about as good as life can get. We could not leave
well enough alone. And so on a January evening in 1991, my wife of fifteen
months and I ate a quick dinner together and headed off to answer a classified
ad in the Palm Beach Post.
Why we were doing this, I wasn't quite sure. A few weeks earlier I had awoken just after dawn to find the bed beside me empty. I got up and found Jenny sitting in her bathrobe at the glass table on the screened porch of our little bungalow, bent over the newspaper with a pen in her hand.
There was nothing unusual about the scene. Not only was the Palm Beach Post our local paper, it was also the source of half of our household income. We were a two-newspaper-career couple. Jenny worked as a feature writer in the Post's "Accent" section; I was a news reporter at the competing paper in the area, the South Florida ...
If you liked Marley & Me, try these:
Three broken souls, and one dog: Pax. All three of them need healing. All three of them are lost. And in Susan Wilson's A Man of His Own, Pax, with his unconditional love and unwavering loyalty, may be the only one who can guide them home.
Tender, wry, and ruminative, Ever By My Side is a tribute to the power and beauty of ordinary life and a celebration of how pets make it all the sweeter and richer.
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