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”.