Marley and Me by John Gorgan
Barnes and Noble Books, 2002 (196 pages)
Summary: It is often said that bad behavior is the result of bad consequences, but when you add unconditional love to the mix a reckless, but loving lab can be tamed as John Gorgon points out in this novel, Marley and Me. The song “You’re my Best Friend” (Queen) is a very good description of John and Marley’s relationship. The one thing John knows is that he could never stop loving Marley. Even though he can sometimes eat through pillows or swallow a 24 caret gold neck less, at the end of the day they still love him. It’s all of that unconditional love that stops them from hating him. When Marley was young he quickly grew into a barreling, 97-pound steamroller of a labrador retriever. Obedience school did no good. Marley was expelled, and yet his heart was still pure. John decided to train Marley himself because he was the only one that understood how Marley thinks. Just how he refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley shared the couples joy at their first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over their miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived. They kept him through everything they went through. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at wits end. Unconditional love, they learned, came in many forms.
Commentary: John Gorgan made the book’s end a tremendous sad one. “This was our last photo of him before we said our final goodbye’s to him.” (Page 118) That one quote was the saddest I’ve ever read in my life. The quote shows the reader how they felt when their “dog like no other” died.