Thursday, January 8, 2009

Marley & Me (The Movie), Part 2

On Christmas Day, Steve and I saw the movie Marley & Me as mentioned in my previous blog post. We thoroughly enjoyed it, having read the book when it debuted. It made our Christmas extra special. Lucy (pictured below) received lots of heavy petting afterward to show our appreciation of her life and love.

Marley is the story of an “untrainable” family dog. I’ve read some highly critical remarks about the movie, mainly from dog trainers complaining about John Grogan, Marley’s master, not training his beloved pooch.

Marley gets into things which makes the movie hilariously funny. Even if you’ve taken your pooch to training, unexpected things occur in our everyday lives with our pets. (keep reading...) Eventually, Grogan does take Marley to puppy training. Wait ‘til you see the scene with the dog trainer. OMG, you are going to die laughing!

Some of the dog training critics stated they did not nor have no upcoming plans to see the movie based on what they believe is wrong with Grogan’s approach to caring for Marley. I happen to disagree with their thinking. In my opinion, the movie is a worthwhile educational tool while being funny at the same time.

Grogan is what I believe to be the “mainstream” American dog owner. Ask several people in your neighborhood who adopted/rescued their dogs as puppies and I bet most had not taken them to puppy obedience school. Most people I've spoken with haven't heard about the benefits of training or they think the dogs already know how to fit into the family or they can teach their pooches themselves or the price is too costly.

Training helps you bond and communicate with your dog. Also, it socializes your dog with other dogs and people. Dogs that bark uncontrollably or snap at people or other dogs have not been properly socialized.

Training or not, all dogs get into “trouble” at one time or another, just like us. My Lucy, who I took to puppy school and is 7 years old, swallowed a used tampon a few months ago. ( I know, TMI! Thank goodness it WAS saturated. If not, it could have expanded on the way down.) It was the FIRST time she ever did that. Fortunately, she puked it up the next day.

Another point worth mentioning is about the movie's ending. (Everyone I've talked to knows this happens in the movie.) Marley lives a long life and has to be put down. It is a tear-jerking moment every pet owner has to endure. I became educated about the process through the movie. The scene was lovingly and humanely handled with Marley drifting away peacefully while in his owner's arms. I took from the movie I will always be present with my dog when it is time for doggy heaven.

Marley lived a good life. He was fortunate to be adopted by a family who did their best to give him a loving home. Much better than living in a shelter or being abused by a family who “hits” their dog. To the critics, I say, “Go see the movie and give Grogan a break”.


  1. I completely agree with you!! Dogs get into mischief.. it's inevitable and it's what owning a dog comes with. I, for one, would not one of these dogs that acts 100% of the time or I would have lost out on a lot of laughs through the years with my 100 lb. yellow lab. He's clumsy, he eats poop sometimes and doesn't always come when he's called.. but he's my life and I love the big guy.

    Lots of critics have just harped on Grogan and I agree with you. Give the guy a break, settle down and enjoy a movie about a dog who gets more than enough love over the years. It's a great book and I can't wait to see the movie!! :)

    Thanks so much for your opinion.. I was beginning to think I was the only one who liked the story!!!

  2. Yay for you Glenna and thanks for your validation. Your clumsy ole pooch is, indeed, a "lucky" dog!

  3. I agree dogs get into mischief. I had a bad girl who lived life to the fullest, going full speed ahead, always on the move. She was always into something but a happy girl. I wouldn't have changed any of the trouble she got in. We had so many laughs trying to outsmart that girl and watching her mind work to find a way around it was too funny. We lost her last year at 13 years old but she taught me life is short so live it to the fullest. We loved her unconditionally and I think that is what Grogan is trying to say in his book.

  4. Hi Anonymous,

    Yes, I believe Grogan wrote a simple story about the sweetness Marley shed on his family and visa versa. I thought the book and movie were both heart-warming.

    Thank you for sharing about your girl. I'm so happy you both had a wonderful life together--13 years full of beautiful memories.

    With deepest sympathy,