Earlier this week I finally made it to the end of John Grogan's, Marley and Me. It wasn't that the book required much time to get through, it's basically written at a middle school reading level (not a knock); it's that I found the book to be funny, honest, sweet, and very close to my heart--which was why getting through the inevitable ending was so difficult.
I realize this book was published in 2007, that I am probably the last person to read it and people care even less now that it's a movie starring Jennifer Aniston (why do people hate her so much?), but I just have to give a shout out to this book. Read it if you are a dog fan, if you've lost a pet, and if you know what it feels like to appreciate the little canine friend who waits patiently for you to come home from work every night just to get some belly rubs.
Yes, I am giving a shout-out to my little four-legged family member, Shorty (and my only other lifetime family dog--Scruffy [RIP], and my parents current dog--Penney, who both are/were great dogs). Back to Shorty: he's awesome. Sure he's got some naughty (typical) dog habits, like he chases squirrels, he barks at any door bell on TV (well he barks at a lot of things), he lays across the top of the sofa like a cat would do, he steals my spot every time I get up, he tries to bite almost anyone that comes into our house, and he lays by his food bowl begging for more even after he's just been fed.
But he also has the best qualities any dog owner could ask for: he gets so excited when we get home that he basically has a panic attack (wheezes), he loves being cuddly and snuggles with us on the couch, he's a good protector, he's extremely loyal, he's hilarious and he loves us unconditionally.
Which is exactly why dog people are dog people: emotional intelligence. The other night while I was laying in bed, finishing the end of Marley and crying uncontrollably, a little black fuzz-ball appeared at the side of my bed. Shorty was trying to comfort me because he knew I was sad. I lifed him up on my bed and he layed on my stomach wondering what was wrong and what he could do to help (I read it in his eyes). I don't even think my boyfriend is as intuitive as Shorty is when it comes to emotions. He hides when he knows I'm mad and he comes to comfort me when he knows I'm sad (OK--well maybe they are about equal).
Having a dog is amazing--yes they are a lot of work, and can be stressful, but in the end it's so worth it. You begin to realize how what you give them seems so little compared to what they give you in return. Reading the book made me think about all this and made me a little sad to know that there will be a day when Shorty won't be there to greet me at the door when I come home. (Although I'll have an awesome book to turn to when that day comes--which hopefully won't be for MANY MANY MANY years.)
For now I will enjoy every little bastard thing he does, and know that one day I will be looking back and laughing about it.
One more Shorty picture, just because:
Current music: clue to kalo + lily perdida (2009, mush) [this album is amazing!]