John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


books

A story from Njoki about Sonny
posted

A story from McKenna about Marley and Me
posted 02/25/2003

Hi, I have writen on here before about me dog Malichi. I am sorry about the spelling mastaks, but I can't lie. I was crying to much to notice. A friend brought it up to me when I e-mailed them the site. I just wanted to add that we just(January 16) got Malichi's ashes back today. It may seem crule to "burn" them, but Malichi's body stays under my bed. It helps me when I am sad to know that he is really still here. I could not burry him because we will be taking Bella out of town. And not coming back. I could not dare part with Malichi. Also, I had to add that John's book has really helped me. Many people could not ever put their loss into words. Here is diferent. I feel confurt in talking about him. I don't know how john may have felt after writing Marley and Me, but I know that I fell better. I never wanted to beleive that Malichi had really died. That dogs could not really die. Thought I still beleived it when I read the book, I now know other wise. I now know that every one who owns or has owned a dog will or has gone through this unbeleivable pain. Still Marley and Me has almost as if healed me from my loss. After losing Malichi, I did not want to get another dog. But after all. I don't think that Bella can go another day with out a friend. We are considering a shar pei. Boy of coarse. He is a shelter dog, about Bella's age. He is cute and sweet, but nothing like Malichi. john, I just wanted to thank you so so so much for your book marley and Me. Also, to all you daog owners, I want to tell you that it is okay to miss something. To know that nothing can change what you thought about it. And mostly, that we all say nothing can replace a lost pet. But deep down, 10, 20 years from now, we will all find another perfect pet. We will all soon meet our lost pets again. Thank you all so much. Love you all.

A story from Sandy about Marley and Me
posted 10/28/2008

I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your book Marley and Me. I have to this date bought 20 copies to give to everyone I know to uplift their day. My sister at age 55 has a lung disease and is on oxygen. I sent her the book and she called laughing and asked if I was trying to kill her. She said she starts laughing so hard she has to take a break from reading and take a treatment. She said she would not take anything for her book. After having a lab for 13 years, he was so much a part of our life and brought so much joy. Thank you for your book.

A story from Kathy about The longest Trip Home
posted 10/29/2008

John,

I stayed up until after midnight last night to finish reading your latest book, 'The Longest Trip Home'. I had started it only 2 days earlier, but found it hard to put down.

After reading 'Marley & Me' and buying it as gifts for friends, I knew that your new book would be written in the style I enjoy reading.

We lived in Parkland, FL for 10 years and loved to read your columns in the Sun-Sentinel in the '90's. So I was glad to see your name as an author of these books.

I also grew up Catholic and was laughing out loud at some of your religious experiences. I called my sister this morning to give her the name of your new book. She plans on purchasing it immediately.

Keep writing and we'll keep reading. Thank you for helping me remember some of the Catholic practices we used to partake in, and the experiences we had ourselves as our parents got older. You had loving, caring parents and were lucky to be part of their family.

We are looking forward to seeing the movie 'Marley and Me' when it opens. We are not dog lovers ourselves and have not owned a dog, but that book was a hoot! You have a gift for writing.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.

A story from Lisa about Insomnia of a 10 year old
posted 10/29/2008

Hi John. I've owned Golden Retievers all my life and could totally relate to your nightmare stories of chewing and such. I put my last Golden Retriever to sleep about 2 years ago. He was 16. I now have another who is almost 2 and let me just say....he's still in the crate. Don't know if he's ever getting out :-) What I wanted to share with you is that I have a 10 year old son who has somehow developed insomnia. We've tried everything from certain teas before bed to nice, soothing sounds playing on a CD. I told him that maybe reading before bed would help. He started that and it has helped. I contimplated giving him my copy of Marley and Me to read. He is an advanced child so I thought he would be able to handle the reading. Well, he has finished almost half of the book and is really enjoying it. I read in the paper this past weekend that you would be in our area doing a book signing. I showed him the article and he was so excited to be able to meet you. We plan to be at your book signing on Nov 13 at the Telford Library. I wonder if you would be so kind and sign our copy of Marley and Me? I know you are promoting your new book and wasn't sure if you would be signing all books you have written. Take care and thanks for a great book. (I've attached some photo's of our current Golden Retriever, Dakota.

A story from Christy From NC about Reading your book and our dog
posted 11/02/2008

My daughter had a book report project due and picked, Marley A Dog Like No Other to read. We ended up reading it together, since I love dogs. We have two dogs, one a rescue and the other a Golden Retriever. They both have great stories, but your book really hit home with one in particular! My Daughter and I were crying so hard we could hardly finish the book! Unlike you, I did not want my Golden, named Shadow after the movie, because we had just had a baby in June and I was not ready. Well ready or not, my Mother In Law surprised me with a 9 week old dog on my daugther's 9 week birthday. Yes, I had two babies; one with two legs and one with four! I was furious at my Mother in Law! How could she do this to me? I thought she really must hate me, because my older daughter was instantly in love, so there was no returning this gift! My husband promised to care for the dog, but needless to say, it all became my duty! Between a crying baby and a crying dog both in my bedroom, one in a box similar to your story, I was losing it! Sadly, I would whisper to the dog nightly how I never would love him. It was more than I could take! Through all of my dismay, this dog brought me unconditional love and I have grown to love him as one of my children. He is now 11, white in the face, hips failing as well as vision. I shutter to think of the day he passes. This book hit heavily home and my have somewhat prepared us for that day, but has especially given us time to reflect on enjoying every minute we can of him now! Thanks for opening our eyes. Your book is priceless! I am glad we had to do a book report!

A story from Melanie about Marley and Me
posted 11/03/2008

Dear John, The antics of Marley and the genuine love he had for the Grogan family have truly touched my soul. I have thorughly enjoyed this book and wish I could have had the pleasure of knowing Marley. He was the epitomy of a free spirit who loved unconditionally. Although you considered Marley mentally incapcitated to a degree I believe that any other dog with a different personality would not have made such a lasting impression on you and your family and you would never have written this heartwarming book. Marley made enough of an impression on you that you captured it in a loving memoir...Marley and Me.

I am an animal lover and and the proud mother of Smokey and Panda (aka Double Stuff). My two affectionate furballs are one of the greatest joys in my life and supply me with love and laughter everyday. Smokey, a grey and white male is afraid of his own shadow, but a more affectionate cat you'll never find. He hugs and perchs on my shoulder like a parrot. Other times he cries at my feet until I finally pick him up and he snuggles into my arms for the long haul. I'm always saying I'm going to get one of those baby carriers that I can put on the front of me to carry him around in. He races me up to bed at night and insists on being part of my shower ritual. He believes every bag, box, laundry basket and piece of paper is his toy to bat around or hide in.Toilet paper is never safe either. On many occasions I have come into to the bathroom to find an entire roll completely obliterated and for days afterward I will keep finding small pieces all over the house.

Panda, she's the ear nuzzler, chow hound, get in your face tabby. She's a black and white tuxedo whose greatest pleasure in life besides eating, is nosing her way under the blankets at night and nuzzling up to me as close as she can get. She's such a girlie girl, right in the midst of the housework. She loves chasing the dust rag around, supervising me while I wash the kitchen floor and watching the soap wash down the sink. She's also the household barf-o-matic. I can depend on her daily surpises like going to the sink for a glass of water. I can also count on her to be my window greeter upon my return from work in the evening. She's on the kitchen counter without fail, a no no but she does it anyway. Like you and Marley, my life wouldn't be the same without these two goofballs. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story.

A story from Tracy Osborne about Marley and Me
posted 11/04/2008

I would like to say how much I enjoyed reading Marley and Me . I found it so hard to put the book down , I laughed and I cried but most of all I understood exactly where you where coming from . Dogs can be such a pain at times but at the end of the day there is no greater companion in life and no one who can give such love and loyalty . Congratulations on such a great book .

A story from Terrence Power about Longest Trip Home
posted 11/05/2008

Hi John,

Just wanted to say thanks for bringing back so many memories for me. I lived on Pembroke, the same street you said your folks bought their first home on, from my birth in 1954 until I graduated from U of D High in 1972.

I was literally stunned, over and over again, by the similarities of our lives. The wax on the cassocks, the smells of the church and convent, the water and sand on those warm Michigan summer days, even the visits to the shut-ins (!) all had an intimate familiarity to me. It was as if I was back in my childhood.

Thanks so much for keeping the memories and even more so for sharing them. Your book definitely touched a part of me that has been hidden for far too long. Great job.

A story from April about Marley & Me book
posted 11/06/2008

Hi John, I just finished reading your book, Marley & Me. I've never laughed so hard in my laugh when reading about the antics of Marely. He reminded me of my darling Chloe, a yellow lab who is 10 yrs old. She still has a lot of puppy in her. She does so many things like what you described that Marley did! I've also had the joy of having 2 other labs mixes - Lab and Chessies - one chocolate - my mellow child and a fox red - my hyper child. They were different as night and day. My chocolate lab, Lady, just wanted to be loved, petted and fed! My fox red, Sable, was my hyper child. Always had to be on the go! Even at the age of 10 she didn't slow down. However at the age of 12 I had to put both of them down. They both had significant health problems and I couldn't let them suffer anymore. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I buried them together in our valley by a cedar tree. I raised them from the time that they were 10 wks old and I loved them so much. I still miss them a lot. Thank-you for writing your book about Marley. It is the best book that I have read in such a long time. I look forward to seeing the movie. I've seen the trailer and it looks great! May all of our dogs come together and get to know each other in Doggie Heaven! April B.

A story from pbjax235 about Dagny the alien dog
posted 11/07/2008

It was dark and a UFO was coming to earth to find humans to drink they're blood. They sent down a doog named Dagny to search for a human. But he had no luck on finding a human but, he did find other dogs to join his alien group and then it happened they lived happily ever after. (just kiding)they had them become real aliens and they still haunt the earth to this day.

A story from Lynn Brad about Harley Opposite of Marley
posted 11/09/2008

I picked this book up because I enjoy reading when I have some spare time. I could not put it down til I finishd it which I "just" did this Saturday night. Cried my self to sleep.

I had a Rottweiler that stole my heart. My husband and I decided that we needed a dog in our new life together and got "Harely" (No! Really!! that was his name when we got him) from a coworker who could no longer take care of him because she could not walk him on his leash after she had back surgery.

He was a big "Rotty". Weighed in at 145lbs but he was the sweetest dog you could ever meet. He had a head the size of a small bear and his heart was even bigger. He was our shadow for 12 years until he contracted cancer. The vet said this occurs frequently in pure-breds. We buried him on our property and have an Eagle Statue looking over him as a headstone. The statue reminds us of how he made us feel like soaring with eagles when he was around. No matter what trials our life had, he could always pick up our spirits just by being with us. Our time with him will never be forgotten and he is sorely missed.

Your book helped heal some of the emptiness his leaving had left in our lives.

Oh! Side note you could not have picked a better neighbor than Digger Dan. Great guy does pig roasts now I understand. Have you been to one of his?

A story from Karen Durski about To Run With It
posted 11/09/2008

I have been meaning to read this book for awhile. But, for some reason I picked it up a week ago and started reading. My husband just lost his job of 37 years on Nov. 6, 2008. The reason the Acting President told him was that "You Did Not Take This Job and Run with It"??????? What does that mean. It meant for 37 years he worked for Halton Hills Hydro in Acton, Ontario. He would get hundreds of calls during the middle of the night when people lost their hydro. He would drive in snow storms, freezing rain and wind storms to get the men out to restore power. He sat on many weekends at the kitchen table doing budgets, proposals and just catching up... Is this Not Running with it. They took his Dignity, Loyalty and Heart on November 6th. As I am reading Marley and Me, I realize all the things they took from my husband that day are things that we get from our 2 year old Labradoodle-Jak every day. He gives us that Unconditional Loyalty every day. Something my husband gave to his job. Our dog Jak is also afraid of Loud Noises, especially thunderstorms. This 95 pound of fear jumps on us and burrows his head shaking uncontrollably when he hears a loud crash. He is afraid to walk across the hard wood floor, stopping and ever so gingerly edging away with his nails clanging on wood. Asking for permission to leave one room and join us in the next. I look into his eyes and can't understand how people can be so mean to each other. No warnings, no explanations, but can rip a man's heart and soul out with the signing on a piece of paper, "Terminated". I have now just realized that Loyalty, Selflessness, and Dignity are in a Dog's eyes. If we could all just take a moment and look them in their eyes, maybe, the world would not be so cruel. Thanks Marley and Thanks Jak our Labradoodle for showing us where it really matters in this world. Marley "You Ran With It".

A story from joyce about my mother
posted 11/09/2008

Mr. Grogan,

First let me tell you I am an avid reader and this is the first time I ever went on a website to comment. A few years ago I read Marley and me, actually my whole family did. What a wonderful book. So when I saw that you had written another one I couldnt wait to read it. My dear mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 2 days after last thanksgiving and died on Dec. 19th. My sisters and I were raised catholic but of the varity you were. Your book made me laugh out loud and sob just as loud. And question so many things. I miss my mother with all my heart and so many feelings that I feel you voiced so elequently. Thank you sir, for some relief in my grieving and to know there are good things and people of substance out there. I bet your father was truly a rare breed. Joyce

P.S. hurry and write us something else to enjoy

A story from Maureen Flynn Mansky about Our Lady of Refuge/Erie Dr.
posted 11/11/2008

Contrary to the downward spiral in Deroit, O.L.R. is going stong and needs you! We are having our 14th annual auction and are dreaming of you doing an auction item for our school. I am the youngest of Pat and Shirley Flynns kids. We dont remember each other but do have a past connection. I have enjoyed all of your books so much. One of my Refuge friends asked if I knew you and if I would try to contact you. Just wondering if you would help our school out at this years auction? My email is henrymansky@yahoo.com. Please let me know. Thanks, Maureen

A story from Paula about I feel a part of Marley belongs to me!
posted 11/11/2008

Dear Mr. Grogan, I bought Marley & Me some time ago but I couldn't bear to read it because I lost my beloved Keiko - also a yellow lab in June. I finally read your book today. I cried tears of joy and sorrow & was moved beyond words. Marley encapsulates Keiko in spirit at the end of his life. She too lost control of her hind legs but struggled to stay near us despite her discomfort. She was a great girl who didn't leave my side when I suffered through the most excruciating migraines. She was a dog who never found a food group she didn't like, nor did she miss a meal, but when I was sick she was vigilant. Marley in his young days is my akita, Akaela no doubt. The crazy wacky 80+pound behemoth who has no concept of personal space, commands, what is inedible or indestructible - is Marley incarnate. It gave me so much enjoyment to read your beautiful words and I received a gift- reassurance that dogs teach us to live in the moment, appreciate simple and guilty pleasures and that it's o.k. to be smelly from time to time. Thank you for such a wonderful memoir as a dog lover - your willingness to stand by Marley helps me face the crazy dog in my house with a little more love and patience and yes, pride.

A story from Carlos Aguirre about The Longest Trip Home
posted 11/11/2008

John, thank you for The Lonest Trip Home. I devoured it the three days. Normally, a book that size would have taken me about two weeks. I relived my growing up years with you coming from a Catholic family, having attended catholic schools all my life. I didn't have an option as you did in high school, but I think that saved me. I wasn't much of anything, but in trouble quite often. The Brothers of St Patrick kept me on the right track, I've got the scars to prove it. I must admit I deserved every ruler, slug, and paddle I received.

I grew up in LA, now living in Colorado Springs and one of our five children spent a year in Pontiac in the JVC, volunteering at Lighthouse Community Development on Woodward Ave. I knew exactly where Lake Orchard Road and the hospital your dad died was. This weekend I will make a journey home to help with my parents. My dad has ALS and my mom recently decided to stop further treatment for cirrhosis of the liver. After five weeks in a hospital and nursing home she has decided to come home and spent her last days in the home she has known for the last 49 years with my dad. Your book has given me an avenue to burst out in laughter at the funny and happy menories, and weep openly about knowing what's around the corner. I've learned through a death and dying class I recently took that there is life in the dying process. I've cared for my parents like never before, cried in front of them, discussed the unthinkable openly, not worrying so much about when and how they die. But, how am I going to live today?

While living in Colorado, I only hope that I can be there when my mom takes her last breaths, slipping from this world into the next. Thank you for touching my heart with your words. Carlos Aguirre

A story from rachel about marley
posted 11/12/2008

Dear Mr.Grogan first i would like to tell you i really enjoyed your book Marley & Me.This book was very touching to me because i too have a lab named Marley.I am 20 and live on the Mississippi gulf coast,a great place to have a lab,.But up until a year ago a lab had never crosses my mind.November6,2007 my dog was hit by a car and killed. thats the day i recieved marley from a friend and as a big surprise.i named him marley after bob marley,i am a big fan, and thats where it all started.two weeks ago my mom found this book for me and to be quite honest i really do not read much but i jumped write into it as i read i thought "if i wrote a book about my marley this would be it".i was shocked about the marley mambo because i made up a song the lyrics are marley mo mambo, when i sing it to him he wiggles around and i have always called it the marley mambo.Marley is also a big fan of putting things in his mouth he is not supposed to have and his favorite is pencils.He does the same exact thing you said your marley did when he had something that was not his. Despite how aggravating Marley can be at times he is a big part of my heart,he is my baby, and i love him.Thank you for writing this book it helps to know someone else went through tough times with there marley. Sincerely, Rachel

A story from megan about our lab marley
posted 11/13/2008

thank you john for having a marley in your life too. my parents and i were lucky enough to have a yellow lab named marley. your book was a gift to my mother and it brand tears to her eyes. our family as well, have lost our friend marley. i enjoyed reading your book but i could not finish it i did not want to go through the loss of another marley. our marley was the best dog and a best friend. it was so refreshing to know that another marley was out there and that he was just as wonderful in good and bad nature. thank you for writing the book and sharing your experience with the almighty yellow lab named marley.

A story from Sandy about Longest Trip Home
posted 11/14/2008

Okay, okay, I didn't really want to read "Marley & Me". I'd seen it on the shelf in the library where I work and even picked it up a few times and looked at the pictures, then I returned it to the shelf. Do I really want to read a book about a guy and his goofy dog {I'm sorry, Marley) and the answer was always, no, even through I friend told me what a good book it was. Then I read someplace ab out "The Longest Trip Home" which I read and really, really liked. My mother died last January after a long illness and my dad died suddenly this summer at 86. The way you said goodbye to your dad really touched me since I did not have a chance to said good bye to mine in the same way. In fact, I'm crying right now as I write this. I think your parting words to your dad helped me because I'd like to think that I'd have said the same words to my dad. I miss him very much-he was my father and also my good friend. I liked that book so much that now I had to read the Marley book. We were going away and I HAD to have the book but knew that our library's copy was out and luckily for me, picked one up at the yard sale the morning before we left. I paid $1.00 for it which is a lot for me since I borrow most of my reading material from work or pay 25 or 50 cents for books at yard sales, thrift stores and rummage sales. I enjoyed the Marley book very much and can't wait to see the movies. I saw some of the previews and laughed out loud at them just like I did reading many parts of your book. Your patience and perserverance with Marley was very loving and accepting. I meant so say at the beginning that I'm basically a cat person and like small dogs, having been raised with a dachshund. Please find something else to write about since I'm looking forward to your next book.

A story from Hunter Gilkerson about english assignment =)
posted 11/15/2008

HUNTER GILKERSON 1215 Ashland Drive Temperance 734-847-0213 Bedfordchic07@aim.com

November 15, 2008

John Grogan c/o John Grogan mail, 7th Floor HarperCollins Publishers 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 (212) 207-7000

Dear Mr. Grogan, I am a 13 year old, I attend Bedford Junior High School in Michigan and I have just recently read your book Marley and Me for an English project. For this English project we had to pick out a book that was suitable for our reading, and Marley and Me really grabbed my attention. This book was spectacular and I really enjoyed reading about the bond between you and Marley.

Marley and me was one of the best books I’ve ever read, and to be honest with you I don’t like reading but this book just kept me raving for more. On one hand this book was very enjoyable to read about the bond between you and Marley, on the other hand it was heart wrenching to read how Marley died. This story made me think about my life because I have two dogs of my own at home, and I love them with all of my heart. One of my dogs is a golden retriever/lab mix named daisy who is a very kind and loving dog like Marley, and my other dog is a borderline collie named Trista who is an enjoyable calm dog. I share the same bond with my two dogs that you did with Marley and I am really curious on how you dealt with the death of Marley because I once had a yellow Labrador and when he got sick like Marley we had to get him put to sleep and I was sad for weeks and it has been three years since he died, and it still makes me get teary eyed to think about him.

Mr. Grogan I really would like to thank you for writing this book because it really has been an honor to read about your life beginning and read about family growing. Your an amazing author and I am truly inspired by your writing I hope you keep writing because I can tell you now I will be one of the first people to read it because I just loved Marley and Me. I never would have had the honor to read this book if I wouldn’t have asked my mother for book selections for my eighth grade English project assigned by my English teacher Mrs. Pilewski.. I will mthat is just one of the many things I loved about your book Marley and Me. Sincerely, Hunter Gilkerson

A story from Robin about My puppy dawgs
posted 11/16/2008

I grew up with my best friend "Lady" who was a miniature collie, welsh corgi mix. She was the funniest little dog ever! She would take off for days on end but always come back - PREGNANT! My parents didn't have the money to get her fixed. She had 6 litters of puppies in her lifespan. My siblings and I watched Lady give birth to each litter and she always allowed us to touch her babies right from birth. We would play with the puppies in the backyard, until the last one went to a home, which always ended with us crying as we watched the cute little furballs go. Lady was MY dog. When she disappeared, I would get off the bus from school to find her sitting waiting for me. She always snuck down to my bedroom (which was always in the basement) and sleep with me and steal the heat that came from a vent above us. Like Marley, she would be at my feet and get all snuggled in, only to have to move and follow me as I puttered around. I was 20 when my parents had to put her to sleep after 17 years and still to this day, I cannot look at a picture without letting a few teardrops roll down my cheeks.

Now that I am married with 2 children, life without a dog just wasn't the same.

When my girls were away one weekend, I went "dog shopping". I have always been a fan of small dogs and thought a pug would best suit our lifestyle as my husband and I work shift work. I found a litter near our home that was 3/4 pug and 1/4 jack russell mix. She was a character from the moment I laid eyes on her. She ran to me and jumped in my arms as if to say "take me home now"! When I researched pugs, I knew I wanted to name her an asian name, as that is where the breed came from. I thought about Ming Le, but she was too goofy and it just didn't suit her. I watched her for 2 days before settling on "Ping" with one of the meanings "fair". She is a great dog who is gentle and cuddly! She has a lot of energy and jumps approx. 4' high. My girls love her and couldn't wait to get "Pong". Unfortantely, Pete wanted a bigger dog and we ended up deciding on "Kita". She is our 8 mth old german shepherd who is a perfect dog. She is gentle, smart and loyal who loves to run everyday off leash. I can't believe how we lucked out with 2 loving, loyal dogs who remind us each day of the simple things in life we take for granted.

I bought your book for my girls last Christmas and just got around to reading it this past week. I am a fan of true stories and couldn't put your book down, but feared finishing, knowing how it would end.

I laughed and cried and truly understood what your family went through making the painful decision to let Marley rest.

One of my favourite movies is "My Dog Skip". Again, another true story about a boy and his relationship with his dog. These movies/stories always move me as these animals seem to put everything in perspective as they go through life without a care in the world. Only waiting for you to come with the utmost joy and happiness!

Thank you for sharing your story. My girls and I can't wait to go see Marley & Me and know it will be a favourite that we will add to our collection.

Thank you for reminding us all how life is short and sometimes we rush through it taking things for granted. Reading your book reminded me to slow down and enjoy the simple things!!!

I have included a picture of Ping with Kita. This was the first day we brought Kita home. Of course, she is now 70lbs at 8 mths old and LOVES Ping!

A story from Amber Curtin about Lucy the Lab
posted 11/18/2008

John, As the owner of a 'spirited' lab puppy named Lucy, I have to tell you how much your book has touched me. Lucy was a dog I got on a whim and has caused me more rage, stress, and sheer happiness in the last 7 months than I have ever experienced. She was for sale on the streets of Baltimore outside of the hospital I work at as a nurse. The seller had her stuffed in kennel too small and she stinked of urine. How could I not save her? Within the first three days I had her she was hospitalized with a life-threatening intestinal infection. A dog I had bought out of sympathy had now cost me 1500 dollars in the first week! She was better after a couple of weeks of feeding her chicken and rice and pedialyte. Soon her personality started shining through. She was knocking my 2 year old on his bottom everytime she was near, she chewed EVERYTHING and I couldn't keep her in the yard to save my life. My carpet is destroyed, my dining room table has gnawed legs and every single opening in my house is babygated. Currently, Lucy has seen me through a divorce, job changes and all the heartache life has to bring. 95 percent of the day I want to strangle her or put her on ebay but there is that 5 percent of the time when she looks at me with those yellow lab eyes and gives me a lab-lick. The shredded masters degree diploma, chewed 150 dollar nursing shoes and countless (unintentional) scratches on my 3 year old all dissolve. A couple of weeks ago I couldn't find her (she had dug out of the yard yet again) and she was swimming in a pool 2 streets over! Lucy is a 65 lb 7 month old now and I know I still have A LOT more screaming left but these dogs are truly amazing when they find owners who can deal with their 'quirks'!

A story from Linda Godfrey about Marley & Me
posted 11/19/2008

I just finished your book Marley & Me. I have had a few labs in my lifetime and I could relate to Marley's antics! We had a Redbone Lab who ate everything in sight, was deathly afraid of thunder and very nervous and highstrung. But he was a lovable dog and very loyal. I now have a chocolate lab named Boomer who is 10 years old. He is a very large dog and was as a puppy. Some of the things that you wrote about the Marley Mambo and other expressions is so true. Thank goodness Boomer has never chewed anything except his dog toys (and eats the cat food when I leave home). Labs are the best dogs. I truly enjoyed your story - thank you.

A story from James Q about Remembering Echo my yellow lab
posted 11/20/2008

November 20, 2008

Dear Mr. Grogan:

I just had to write you this note about your book “Marley and Me.” I began to read your book over a year ago but as I got towards the end as Marley was aging and becoming frail I had to close the book and put it away in a draw out of sight without completing it. The reason why was because I saw a mirror image of what I was beginning to go thru with my beloved companion and loyal friend Echo also a seventy-five pound female yellow lab which I had since she was eight weeks old born on Christmas Day 1994. She had turned twelve with many of those signs of aging.

Being alone and only having Echo I was finding it very difficult to face the inevitable. There were times during the last year that I literally carried her up and down the stairs and towards the end I tried everything from special vitamins, minerals and medication to acupuncture treatments, Echo was my life. She was a great dog even visiting nursing homes in her youth as a therapy dog.

Then the evening of September 23rd came just two days after my fifty-eighth birthday when she just was unable to stand on her back legs any longer. As much as I didn't want to admit it I just couldn't allow this suffering to continue for my beloved Echo and so with the help of two friends we took her for her last car ride to our vets office for my most painful task to end her suffering.

Someone once told me that when that time had come it would be as if the ground was pulled out form under me and it sure was as well as the sky opening up and the weight of everything above falling upon my shoulders.

The following day I found it necessary to write a letter to friends and family which I found helped me cope with the pain.

Dec.25,1994~ Echo Noelle ~Sept.23,2008

To the friends of Echo:

Last night at 10:00 PM Echo passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. Walter and I had to put our dear beloved Echo to sleep. It wasn't because she had been bad or injured. She was just very old (14) and tormented physically in pain and unable to walk any longer and appealing to me to set her free. We held her and watched her as her breathing became labored and until our Vet said her heart beat no more. Today we are feeling so low and missing her terribly. With every creak of the floor, we think she is walking towards us; every dark shadow makes me believe she is still napping on the carpet, and for days we will expect her greeting which won’t be there any longer when we come home. We looked at photos of her as a puppy, as a mature dog, and in her gray old age. They reminded us of how loved she was all during her life. And we surrounded her with our love during her passage into death. Echo goes on to a better world where she can leap to catch her favorite Frisbee once again, unfettered by hind legs that move so stiffly, a world where dog biscuits come even more frequently then in her latter days with us; and where smells reveled by the melting snow of early spring will be eternally in her senses. We will always remember Echo’s last moments, but we will take heart in what we said to her and how we hugged and held her as she slipped away. Perhaps that's the most any of us can ask – that we’re loved during life and that there will be someone there to hold us as we die, as we did for our beloved Echo last night. Echo until we meet you again at the Rainbow Bridge and cross over together we will always remember and love you. You have left your paw prints on our hearts.

Daddy, Uncle Walter & Uncle Artur

In the days and weeks following I received many letters and cards with people expressing there condolences and sympathy Echo had truly been an ambassador of love on our block and all the children got to know her and love her. All the cards, letters and emails were comforting however one stood out from all the rest which I will share with you.

Dear Jim I hope it’s comforting to remember the kindness you gave Echo and all the love, loyalty and companionship that was yours in return. And she goes on to say remember Jim that the kindest act of love is to end the pain and suffering of someone who you so dearly loved. Echo knew how much you loved her - she was truly lucky to have such a wonderful friend. God is watching her – she is pain free and happy, waiting for us all.

Well, about two weeks after having gone thru this I opened the draw took out the book I had placed there to prolong that journey and finished reading all about Marley going thru another box of Kleenex tissues.

I am now looking forward to December and the arrival of the movie Marley & Me which is how I will probably celebrate the first Christmas in fourteen years without my Echo on her birthday.

I was able to write this letter to you knowing that you would fully understand the pain of this loss having gone thru it yourself. So many people who never had the privilege to own a pet and have that unconditional love and affection showered upon them have said to me she was only a dog you will get over it you can always get another one. My response to them is: “To know them is to love them those pets who have become part of our life are just like our child.” Something those people will never ever understand.

I find it so difficult being without Echo and think of having another dog but don't know how I could ever get thru another loss like that again.

A job well done with Marley and Me.I wish you and your family the best of luck, peace and happiness always.

Respectfully yours: James Q.

A story from dennis sherlock about marley-trip home
posted 11/20/2008

john, after reading both books, I find alot of simularities. I was born in 1957 like you,(july 30). raised in the catholic faith,( i share the same feelings as you toward the religion). I also own a beautiful yellow lab, named bambi. I cant wait till you write your next best seller, (soon i hope), RIP richard joseph grogan. take care, dennny sherlock

A story from lily about Marley
posted 11/20/2008

i read marley and it really touched me. it is my favorite book. it was soo funny and at the end i couldnt stop crying. marley has changed my emotions in ways. i really enjoyed this book. marley will always be a great dog

A story from anne banks about all gods creatures
posted 11/21/2008

hi there all. yes we are all gods creatures, man or dog, cat or rodent or otherwise.i have two dogs and nine hamsters. i love them all equally. i have had my two dogs around a year and what a year it has been. i think we have learned to live them. They have devoured the furniture, ripped up their beds, dumped in the waiting room in front of everyone at the vets, eaten at least three pairs of slippers pulled over the christmas tree but to name but a few of the constant hi jinks they get up to. but i wouldnt swop them for anything. As for my hamsters lest we not forget the little ones and how profound the effect can be of losing one. George my two and a half year old hamster died in his sleep last july. he had a good long life. I am thirty six. I had tended and cared for him through a stroke in later life, talked to and interacted with that little face all his life we had an understanding. Those black inquisitive eyes that delicate pink nose his teddy bear stance and above all his independant attitude I admired. I found him one afternoon in his cage he had been asleep in one corner in the morning, not where he would normally sleep, but must have mustered the strength to walk into two joined cubes in the cage where he loved to be. he had chosen. he wanted to pass away in his favourite place his teddy bear stance and above all his independant attitude I admired. I found him one afternoon in his cage he had been asleep in one corner in the morning, not where he would normally sleep, but must have mustered the strength to walk into two joined cubes in the cage where he loved to be. he had chosen. he wanted to pass away in his favourite place. I kneeled on the floor with my beloved pet in front of me. I put my head in my hands and sobbed like a child, and I dont mind admitting it. So profound and final. I know he is happy now though. Thats what i l love about this book, It says it all the effect an animal can have on you as a person they become part of you. i am enjoying my dogs and relishing every moment with them. we are all part of this universe and marley seemed to appreciate the heart of it all. marley loved everything except storms of course god bless him. we have much to learn from him as john has pointed out. As we do from all gods creatures big and small.

A story from Sean about Similarities of life
posted 11/22/2008

Hi Mr. Grogan,

I was going to try to e-mail you but didn't no how. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book The Longest Trip Home. One of the most enjoyable things about reading it were the similarities between your childhood and mine. I moved to West Bloomfield when I was 9. Many of my good friends went OLR. We lived just down the road from your family behind W. Bloomfield HS off Orchard Lk Rd. I was about eleven years behind you (my freshmen year was the last year for Mr. Calvin - I think he had really mellowed by his last year, the times in the late 70's were awe inspiring to my friends and I when we were getting ready to attend, I guess those times wore him down). I spent my summers at Dodge Park (later when I was older, I to was forbidden from hanging out at the beach park) and attending the great fireworks on Pine Lake. However, I caddied at Tam O' Shanter golf course(hard work). Sylvan Lanes and St. Mary's College all brought back great memories. My mom still will stop and say a prayer at the outside alter right by the lake on St. Mary's campus when we are driving by from my sister's house. I've since been moved away for many years and many things have changed, but many things have stayed the same.

I especially enjoyed the fact that you used to write for CM Life. I spent many mornings after class (and during) in the student Union reading that paper. I wished you would have expanded more on your time in Mount Pleasant. You were there in the good old days (End of the World, ring a bell), but it was a great place to go to school even when I attended.

Well, I'm probably rambling at this point. My wife and I really like your books. We read the younger children's version (of Marley & Me) to our 8 yr. old daughter so you have another fan.

Hope your family has a great Thanksgiving.

Most Sincerely, -Sean in NY

A story from cathy about i love marley and me
posted 11/22/2008

i started reading the book marley and me and i love it. i cant wait till the movie comes out. it reminds me of my dog missy which has been gone for 5 yers now. she was my best friend and she was with me threw the good and the bad times. she was my best friend. shes been gone for 5 yers and it seems like yesterday that i lost her. ive adopted other dogs sense then but ive not found a dog quite like her. shes so much like marley 1 of a kind.but im so thankful u worte these books. they bring so enjoyment into my life.

A story from Halli about Chocolate Lab mix
posted 11/22/2008

I recently purchased two books, one of them being Marley and Me. I saved it for last and I am glad I did. I began reading it at around 8:30 am this morning and I finished at 11:45 pm tonight. It made me think of my wonderful dog, Champ. Champ was a chocolate lab/pointer mix. He was brown and had yellow eyes and he was my first dog. I am 25 years old and until three years ago I was a cat person. On 3/31/05 I got my first and only ticket. I had recently told my parents that I wanted a dog for college graduation and as a consolation for getting that ticket they brought home a new puppy. I remember sitting in the bathroom floor, after bathing him, and removing probably 75-100 ticks off his little body. Painful as this was he fell asleep in my arms. That was the moment we bonded. Champ grew into a slobbering, chewing, hyperactive dog. I remember one day I had him on his leash (chain leash because he ate all the others) and my cat came into the yard. I told him no and he settled down until my mom's dog (a standard weiner dog named Rudy) gave chase. It was too much for Champ. He started to run. The leash was in my hand and I belly flopped onto the cold winter ground while my 85 lb dog pulled me behind him. He then realized he was carrying dead weight and turned around to see me on the ground dazed. The leash was wrapped around my wrist and I was screaming for help. I was terrified he would take off again. He thought it was a big game and came to lick my face. After the commotion died down I realized the big monster of a dog had fractured my hand. Another time, Christmas day in fact, I was letting him romp around the yard while I sat outside covered in a blanket. My brother came outside to see if I was ok. Champ saw him and came running. My brother jumped back inside the house and Champ slid across the carport into the wall of the house. He knocked over a ladder and slid my chair about 2 feet. My parents and my brother heard me scream, Champ no stop!!!, but it was too late. After he got up he wobbled and shook his massive head. I'm surprised he didn't have a concussion. Champ had to be chained outside because he ate everything he could get him paws on and them some. In September of 2007 a dog wandered into my yard. She was a beautiful German Sherperd mix. She had the most gorgeous blue eyes (we think she has some Husky in her). I didn't want to keep her because we already had 3 dogs in the yard, but something about her pulled at my heart. It turns out she was abused by her previous owners. We took her in and she reformed my big monster dog. He was abled to get off the chain and joy of joys he didn't eat a single thing off the carport. My monster dog was my friend, protector, guardian, companion, and he could cheer me up better than anything else in the world. On 9/19/08 I returned home from a friend's house and gave him some lovins. The next morning he was nowhere to be found. I'll admit this was not unusual he loved to explore the areas around our home, but he did not return. I later found out that there are had been several dog nappings around our neighborhood. It was hunting season and he was a chocolate lab/pointer mix. I did everything I could to find him, but it was to no avail. I still miss monster dog. I miss sitting outside and him coming to lean against my legs, teaching him tricks, getting kisses. He was the best dog. I now have a new little guy to love. His name is Sammie and I officially adopted him from the animal welfare shelter. He was only 8 weeks old when I got him. He is a Border Collie mix and I love him dearly, but there is a corner of my heart where Champ still resides and truthfully I don't ever want him to leave. Thank you Mr. Grogan for writing Marley and Me. I needed to know that I am not the only one that has suffered physical pain over the loss of a beloved pet. Although I didn't have Champ for 13 years, the two and a half years I did have him hold enough memories to last a lifetime. I would love to get my story out there because dog napping his a horrible crime and it leaves the owner without any closure. I pray that no one will ever have to experience it. Again thank you for the wonerfully witty and amazing story that is Marley and Me.

A story from Leslie Rizzo about According to George
posted 11/23/2008

We just read Marley & Me. I cried, I laughed, I laughed till I cried, and cried till I laughed. Those of us who have the honor of being picked by any of these large, slobberly, lope eared, shedding beings are blessed beyond most souls. Our Bloodhound puppy George, has to be Marley's soul-mate. Slobber flung to just above arms reach on the walls, to socks that returned from the deepest, darkest corners of his insides, this 90 + pound bundle of energy has us in stiches and stymied most of the time. We're glad to share George's happiness with his new brother Tater, and as you can see, they can fill a couch with joy. We wish you and your wonderful family, all the joy these awesome animals can bring.

A story from Patricia about My babies
posted 11/23/2008

I just wanted to say how much I loved Marley & Me. Never have I read a book that made me bawl my eyes out. I know the aweful feeling and pain of have to put down a beloved pet. I had a cat named Willy. I held him in my hand the day he was born. I had him for 16yrs. He was my sweet baby boy. I had to put him down because he had kidney failure. I greaved for him for 3 months and swore I would never get another pet EVER! Well a year later I adopted Phoebe, a 6 month old Min Pin/Jack Russell for the San Diego Humane Society. She is very well mannered and very lady like. A few month later we moved to a small town in Texas because of my husbands job and I got a job at Walmart. We had been thinking about getting Phoebe a friend but never really acted on it. Then back in Feb Phoebe and I drove back to San Diego to visit my daughter and grand daughter. I stayed for about a week. My first day back at work (Mar 1st)there was a page for customer service. Normally it's to help a customer out with something heavy so I wait for one of the guys to help. They paged again and I answered. Sure enough it was something heavy. Has we were walking to their car I happeewed up 2 couches, 2 chairs, some carpet, furniture, the window sill, countless harness's (while they were on him), shoes, clothes, and who knows whatelse. With all the distruction he's caused I wouldn't trade him for anything!!! Just recently I rescued another dog who I found walking down the side of the road. She was caked in mud and skinny. I took her home gave her a bath and named her Lindy. She's a Shepard/Rottie. Like Phoebe, she's very well mannered except when Wally tries to steal her bone or gets near her food. Here is their picture. You can see some of the damaged cause by Wally. I'm sure you can tell who is who,

A story from pjaadm@yahoo.com about Buffy
posted 11/25/2008

Dear John: Today I read Marley and me and having a dog myself,your story touched me so much an tho my Buffy is only five and in good health,I did nonthing but cry reading your story.I know the day will come when I have to do what you did but Marley is a beautiful lab and the joy he gave your family is priceless.Thank you for sharing your story with us. Joyce Morello

A story from Amy about Bailey
posted 11/25/2008

I am almost finished with Marley and Me. I had to stop reading last night because I was crying so hard. ;o) What a touching story.

Bailey is a German Shepherd Dog. She is now about 1 1/2 years old. I rescued her from a life of lonelyness and misery. She was 4 months old, chained up outside a trailer, full of fleas and fly bites, she had demodectic mange, and was pretty hungry. She had NO idea what to do with human companionship and forget being around other dogs. She would tuck tail and run as fast as she could to the nearest escape.

When we first brough her home, I thought she would enjoy some things to chew on, since she was a puppy. I got her some healthy chewie treats, and she went to town. I didn't realize that she had not had anything to chew on before, so all her puppy teeth were still very firmly attached. I never laughed so hard when, the next thing I know, I look over at her and she had nocked every single puppy tooth loose and they were sticking out of her mouth in all different directions. She looked so happy and I am sure she felt better finally being able to chew those puppy teeth loose. Needless to say, she looked pretty funny for many days until they all fell out and were replaced with her beautiful K9's she has now.

She is quite a handful now! She is socialized now and loves everyone and every dog. She loves to go to the dog park and run and run and run and run and run. The days we go to the park are the best days because she comes home and CRASHES for the rest of the day.

She is still young and we still have many memories to make with her, and I know we will still have many challenges with her. She LOVES the Bailey Boogey as we call it. I believe you refer to it in your book as the Marley Mamba. She will steel our daughters stuffed animal and AWAY SHE GOES! Of course it is only fun when we are running after her while she evades us rather skillfully.

I love the book and I can't wait for the movie or to read the next book! God Bless you and your family!

A story from Hillory about Hanklin B.
posted 11/25/2008

Mr. Grogan, I relocated as a solo female to San Antonio Texas now almost 4 years ago. Shortly after I moved I took a job as a vet tech at a veterinary office. We had a call from a man who had a "fat, stupid 2 year old black lab" whom he wanted to put to sleep. We took ownership of the dog- and not two minutes into him being at our clinic he took ownership of me. Dr. Fernandez let me take him home every night, quite the best friend he has become. Alone in Texas I could never be with such a loyal lab by my side. Hank started out at 132lbs and with lots of exercise and care he now weighs in at 84lbs. There is not one day that goes by that I feel so blessed his former owner felt the need to give him away. Hank has stuck with me through it all and has even been chosen over all the shining men I have attempted to date!! I have read your book only to stop at page 252 for I just am not ready to find out what is lurking in the shadows of old age for my loyal friend. I will probably finish the book once my big guy is gone. For now, your book has provided many laughs and later on Im sure will provide lots of tears. Until then- what a wonder book. Thank you for sharing your stories- forever changed by the love of a lab we all are. Hillory

A story from Matt Ladd about Mocha the battery eating queen
posted 11/25/2008

I have to start by telling you how much I enjoyed Marley & Me. I'm going to try to quickly tell you about my families Chocolate Lab Mocha. We have gone through shoes, kids toys, hoses, kennels, our Cocker Spaniels collars, and the most expensive to date, a package of D cell batteries. To our dismay she got ahold of a new package of batteries and decided she needed to bite a hole in them. Well the acid burned her mouth, throat, and stomach; causing a RATHER expensive Vet trip and sensitive stomach dog food for the rest of her life. What she brings to our lives I do not have the skill to put into words, but the best way I can describe it is simple joy. Thank you for your wonder story and showing me that no just my dog enjoys to eat things it isn't supposed to have.

A story from Matt Ladd about Returning home to Michigan
posted 11/25/2008

Mr. Grogan, I just read your blog about returning home to Michigan. I grew up in Big Rapids and quickly moved away the first chance I had by joining the Army. Well after 12 years of being away, the Army taking me around the world and currently landing me in Alaska, I have to admit I miss Central Michigan. The place is a wonderful place to grow up and I did not realize how much it meant to me until I had children of my own. The Mid-West values and the close communities it seems is hard to come by now a days. Yes Michigan has been down on its luck lately but it is a great place to raise a family and I am counting the years until I can call Central Michigan home once again.

A story from Kassie about Marley
posted 11/26/2008

I just finished reading Marley and Me. Never have I read a book that brought me to tears the way Marley and Me did. I cried the last 3 chapters and thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. We have an 8 pound Shih tzu she is kind enough to share her King size bed with me and my husband, she happily dances around the kitchen if you even mention the T word (treat), Her best friend is our 13 pound cat that we got when he was 8 weeks old. They are in love with each other and think we humans are there to wait on them hand and foot no matter what time of the day it is. They lounge around the couch all day and then sleep curled up together in the bed at night. When the cat is out and he comes back in it is as if the 2 of them have not seen each other in weeks. They definatley bring joy to our familys. I am considering a Lab next time but I will be sure to see both Mom and Dad. Your book brought tears it brought laughter. It opened my eyes on life. I fell in love with Marley.

A story from Beka VanSant about My Lil hunter, Dusty
posted 11/26/2008

Hi John, I am currently reading your book and I absolutely love it. I am only in 7th grade and I still enjoy it! Anyways my cocker spaniel, Dusty is devilish and a handful just like Marley. By having Dusty, I really connected with your book. Dusty is such a hunter! She brings little kittens home, neighbors dog's chew toys, mice, and bones. The first couple weeks when we had just gotten her, We had to leave her in the house when everybody else had to go to work and school. Well we now know that wasn't such a good idea. She had pooped everywhere that you could imagine. All one the carpet. Then after the poop mess, we soon figured out that the pillows were chewed up and fluff surrounded the couches. It was a complete mess! Anyway John, I love your book, and I think you did a great job writing it!

A story from Liz about Marley and Me
posted 11/26/2008

I loved your book Marley and Me and my preschool class loves the book Bad Dog Marley. I can't wait to share A very Marley Christmas with them. I have a Golden Retriever I named MArley. My first dog was a Springer Spaniel named Nesta and he reminds me a lot of your MArley. We had an outside rabbit and there was nothing Nesta enjoyed more than eating those rabbit turds. I cried and cried at the end of Marley and Me. It is so amazing how much an animal becomes part of the family.

A story from Katie S about Holly
posted 11/26/2008

Dear John, I just finished Marley and Me about 20 minutes ago. It is one of the best books I have ever read. I had to put my golden retriever/chow mix asleep about a month ago. She would have been 14 this winter. Her name is Holly and she was my childhood pet. My parents got her for me in Christmas of 1994 - I was 8 years old. She had a personality that was all her own. My mom and I still joke to this day how she must have had the brain the size of a peanut. On her first encounter with stairs she didn't know what to do with them. She managed to tear a hole in the screen door leading to the backyard and figured out how to open the screen door to let herself outside but couldn't figure out how to get back in. She would run out the door and down the road every chance she got and every time I would be chasing after her either on foot or by bike or in the car with my mom. But like Marley she loved so unconditionally. When I moved out of my mom's, I unfortunately couldn't take her with me (apartments are not fans of large dogs) so she stayed with my mom. The last couple years of her life I rarely had the chance to see her. She too had the same issues as Marley with her hind legs. It was hard for her to stand at times. Two weeks before she died my mom called me and said she wasn't do too well. She had had a heart attack or stroke or something. My next day off I drove to my mom's to say goodbye to my beloved friend. Even at her age she was still so stupidly happy to see me that last time that she got up and hobbled her way to the front door. My mom had put her too sleep a week later because she had another heart attack. She didn't tell me when she did it. It was my boyfriend's birthday and I was making him a nice dinner and everything and she didn't want to ruin the day. She came down two days later to give me a framed collage of pictures she had of Holly and her collar. Since then I've always felt sad. Part of me feels like I should have done more for her. And I often feel bad for not being there. But there wasn't much I, or anyone could do. My mom came to the same decision you and Jenny did and decided it would be best to not let them suffer instead of trying to keep them around longer for your pleasure. Your book gave me peace. I will still miss Holly immensely, and I will miss Marley too. For the time spent reading your wonderful story I felt like I was apart of your family. Thank you so much for writing this book. I work at a vet clinic and I will be sure to tell everyone to read your book. Thanks again.

A story from Scott Froehle about Katie
posted 11/27/2008

Dear John,

I read your book about a year ago and spent the days reading the book laughing outloud, smiling, and crying. My baby girl Katie in a mixed breed german shepard mix. She came into my life back in August of 1996 during a houseboating trip on Lake Cumberland. My mother was down at there place at the lake and went down a road well known for location to drop off off un-wanted animals. Well, needless to say she came across a tiny white haird puppy that couldn't have been more than two weeks old. Mom decided to come out to the houseboat and brought the little bundle of joy with her. I had recently just moved into my own place and decided I would take when I got back to Cincinnati. My parents condo address at the lake was K-2 and the name Katie just fit. (K-2 - Katie). Some of the things that Marley did reminded me obeen more than two weeks old. Mom decided to come out to the houseboat and brought the little bundle of joy with her. I had recently just moved into my own place and decided I would take when I got back to Cincinnati. My parents condo address at the lake was K-2 and the name Katie just fit. (K-2 - Katie). Some of the things that Marley did reminded me of so many things that my baby girl did in her early years. One story in particular was about 3am in my condo with hardwood floors and hardwood trim. I woke to the sound of carpenters pounding hammers onto the wood trim. Much to my suprise it wasn't carpenters. My baby girl had gotten out of the bathroom and got into my golf bag and managed to get out a half dozen golf balls and smacking then around better than I ever hit them on a golf course. Many other stories like that one come to mind. One of the stories I read talked about having to put the book down because she was crying so hard she couldn't read. Well, I am a 37 year old man and I had to do the same. Heck I have been tearing up reading some of the different stories. I decided to tell my story or Katies story because she is now 11 1/2 years old and showing sighns that her long happy life is getting shorter and shorter. I have often thought what will I do when I lose my baby girl. But, the book and some of the stories make me realze that it will be ok. I will always have the memories and so will the people, and the the other animals in our life. Katie is one of three animal in our home, and also has the company of my 11 year old son, my girlfriend, and ex-wife who still cares and love our katie girl. I just want to thank John for sharing his story and allowing me the opportunity to share my Katie girl with the rest of the world.

A story from don nutting about buddy part lab/part pain in the***
posted 11/27/2008

In the past year and a half we lost tucker and then sophie to cancer.they were the most incredible dogs and i thank god for letting us be a part of their lives for so long!tucker died a little more than a year earlier than sophie.we decided to adopt buddy as a companion for our sweet and aging sophie.from the first day he was a holy terror.from our demolised pit sofa group(for which we are still using but cover with sheets)to our numerous destroyed sheets,rugs,pillows,toys,etc. and his thiefing ways daily.the remote control is his favorite.he loves to play frisbee and has gotten very good at catching them.he finds away everyday to do something to annoy me.but like you john i find something about him that makes me love him more everyday.he's only 14 months old with lifetime of memories to build.he just had is first trip to the beach at fort morgan,al.for which he loved the sand and surf.that is where we bought our copy of marley&me and now cannot wait for december 25th to get here for the movie. sophie past 2 1/2 months ago and buddy was very lonely with her passing so we decided to adopt again.so we are glad to introduce bailey,she is a rescue dog(fox terrier mix and 9 months old)one day away from be put down.her and buddy hit it off instantly and are great together.despite being almost half his size she keeps him in check!well at least as much as anyone of us can anyhow.but we love them very much but will never forget tucker and sophie they all have beenso special!don

A story from Brittany about My dog Lily
posted 11/28/2008

Hi John, I just finished your book and I can't tell you how much it really brought me back to reality with the troubles I've had with my first dog, Lily who is a year and a half year old stafford terrier. I thought Lily was awful with her eating everything she could fit into her mouth, tearing apart pillows, couch cushions, blankets, my underwear and other clothing, shoes, etc. But you can only laugh and think for the best and know this is just the joy of having a dog. Sitting with with Lily on my couch finishing your book brought me to tears. Your story is amazing and really opened my eyes to enjoy every second you have with your dog and have no regrets. I can not wait to see the movie in the theaters.

A story from Lee-Anne Studiman about Bear
posted 11/28/2008

This is the first book to actually capture my heart. It made me laugh, it made me cry. As you can see in the picture, my chocolate lab Bear enjoyed it too! I enjoy reading more of your brilliant writing! Thank you!

A story from Barbara about Cornbread
posted 11/28/2008

I've read your wonderful book twice and have given many as gifts. Our precious Yellow Lab, Cornbread, died 10/19/08 and my husband and I are heartbroken. He was the image of your Marley and your story is our life with him, too! He loved the beach and luckily our part of Vero Beach was dog friendly! He was a 135 lb. bundle of joy and even in his sickest, darkest moments wagged his tail as best he could when he saw us and tried to walk on hips that didn't work anymore. He taught us more life lessons than our parents tried to! We also share our life with our Black Lab, Katie, who is thirteen. We were all at Cornbread's side when he passed. The emptiness and sorrow is overwhelming even though we still have our Katie. I, quite by accident, one day found an ad for a 9-yr. old male, Yellow Lab, who had been given up for adoption because of illness of the owner. I know he grieved at having to give up this wonderful dog. His name is Jake and he has helped to mend our broken hearts and fill at least some of the empty space our Cornbread left behind. They are such perfect creatures even with all their mischief! Cornbread made our lives complete and each crazy memory is a comfort. The two Labs we have now are wonderful, too, but much calmer than our first baby!

A story from Jose about Goldens & Me
posted 11/29/2008

Hello! We (Otto & Me) are from Buenos Aires Argentina. I´m spanish speaker, that the reason, because my English is not very good, sorry) Reading the book was like, bein reading about the first time of Otto at home. Otto now, is 5 and a half years old, he is a Golden Retriever, (something like a "labrador´s cousin") He was crying the first night and he was sleeping on a pillow in the floor, beside my bed (with my finger in his mouth) he was destroyng slowly many many things (walls, doors, chairs, sofas, tables, shoes, socks, books, garden, etc.)but that was Ok because I like pets very much. I´ve learn to walk with a collie called "Pastor" who was my bodyward since my first day at home. After him, I´was always accompanied by a dog, Casimiro, Carla, Bobby, Franco ... When Otto was 3 years old, Cata arrived home (a 3 years old Golden Retriever) a couple of months later arrived the firsts 10 puppies then I keep Ataulfa, 8 months later, once again (this time was an accident) others 4 puppies, then I keep Ofelia. Last September unfortunately we lost Cata, because some tumor. Is an incredible experience sharing house and live with 4 goldens retrievers, they are very intelligents and smarts, they are learning many things by them selves and many others are teaching each others. Is funny to see Otto opening the doors to rescue Ataulfa from some room, or Ofelia in the patio, looking throw the windows for Ataulfa like saying "Sister open to me". Thank you John for Marley & Me, I really enjoyed it very much, and I´m waiting for the movie, I hope can buy the movie to see it with Goldens at home (they love TV shows and movies performed by dogs) Sincerly Jose Domingo

A story from Joanne Puff about Marley & Me
posted 11/29/2008

I have never been a big reader. I purchased your book about 2 years ago and was bound and determined to read it. I recently was laid off from my job of 37 years as an office manager and had minor back surgery so I had some time on my hands. I have read your book in about a week. I have 3 labs, yellow-lab Peaches 11, black-lab husky mix Angel 7, and pure-bred chocolate lab Coco 4. They are the high point of my day. Peaches is getting to that point of slowing down a little and having trouble going up stairs. I have never experienced the death of a family pet but I know when that time comes your book will come to mind and I will cherish it with my heart forever. I have a 2-year old grandson and will buy him a Christmas book for him. I laughed, cried and smiled as I read your book. Thank you for opening my eyes to reading. I never knew how involved with a book you could get.

A story from Jeannine about Sassy Lady
posted 11/29/2008

Dear John, I got Sassy Lady, Maltese, in 1998 at a time when there was much sadness in my life. I had lost someone I loved. She gave me her love and was such a funny puppy that I just couldn't remain sad. She spent the first summer untieing everyone's shoe laces and eating bunny turds on the lawn. Because she was so small(6 lbs.) I never felt she stopped being a puppy. She was mu angel puppy. Many funny stories. Her name suited her and she made an impression on everyone who met her. In Jan. 2007, at the age of 8, the vet discovered a heart murmer. This started the first of 5 cardiac ultrasounds to regulate her meds. Two months later she began behaving strangely. The vet thought it was vestibular disease at first. When I arrived in NH in June for the summer the vet there checked her and thought it was neurological so off we went to Maine to the neurologist. An MRI and spinal tap later I was told it was sterile meningitis. We began monthly treatments with a pill I was not to touch as it was very strong. I also took her to a wonderful holistic vet in Maine who does accupuncture, spinal manipulation and herbal support among other things. By spring of 2008 She seemed to have overcome her problems and we stopped having to have weekly vet appointments. In June I took her to the neurologist for a checkup and we discovered her bone marrow had stopped making red blood cells. She had meds and blood tests weekly and 3 transfusions but to no avail. I lost her Oct. 4, 2008 at about 5:00 PM. All the love and best medical care couldn't save my girl. I have just finished your book and enjoyed it very much but the ending was such a gift to me. Now I understand that the intense grief I still feel is normal. Sassy lived up to her name in every way. She was sneaky, stubborn, opinionated and just right for me. On Good Fri. of 2001 she levitated a female personal product out of the tall trash can and had emergency surgery the next morning. She was too little to pass it. She was always looking for the main chance. One day I had a rotisserie chicken on the table. Someone came to the back door so I took a few steps away from the table, then turned back only to see her already standing in the center of the table chewing on my chicken. She was a very Sassy Lady and interacted with all her special people including the two people at the vet she found most interesting. She would have conversations with them every week. My Sassy can never be replaced but she was so wonderful that I will get another Maltese, or two, very soon. I had her cremated and her ashes will be buried with me when, at some point, I die. There is a wonderful poem "Rainbow Bridge" that anyone who has loved and lost a special dog will surely enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing the story of you and Marley and helping me to realize that this grief is totally normal.

A story from Theresa Sandridge about Maxy & Bear
posted 11/30/2008

John - Thank you for sharing your life and story of Marley. Needless to say I cried, but only because I know of your deep loss. We have had many dogs in our 24 years of marriage, one was even a police K9 dog but they all bonded with my husband. About two years ago when my children were moving out I developed an empty nest syndrome. For 20+ years I took care of someone. I still had that yearning so I went and got me two Chihuahuas. I knew I didn't have the room for a big dog so I went with the smallest one. Maxy & Bear are the joy of my life and definitely my furry little children. I can say now....that I know what true unconditional love is. The loyalty is amazing and without them in my life...I would be empty. I know one day I will go through the heartache of losing them, but for now....my life and heart is full. I can't wait to see the movie next month and again, thank you so much for your book and for Marley. My best wishes to your family.

A story from Rebecca Lambley about Cindy My Best Friend
posted 11/30/2008

Hi John, I just like to say i'm so sorry for your loss, I to have lost my best friend. Cindy was my world, she's an English Springer Spaniel with a big character as a puppy she was into everything and i mean everything! Cindy once ate a whole 24 pk of crisps from our shopping,whilst surrounded by all the packets she still managed to look completely innocent! She wasn't fussed on the postman and got rid of all of our junk mail and sometimes our bills... Cindy was my only friend and meant the world to my family and i, We had lots of fun together, when we walked her she would only come home when she was ready not when she was told so really she walked us! Cindy liked to sing at the cats outside at 3am! She got sick very quickly and deteriorated and wasn't herself for weeks but she never moaned at all she was a real trooper. Anyway in june 2006 we lost her to cancer and it was the most saddest time of our lives, we miss her everyday and wish every minute she could come back to us, she gave the most amazing hugs you could ever imagine. I now have 3 new additions to my family which come in the form of 2 Greyhounds called Jack and Henry and a spaniel/Boarder Collie cross called Ollie (Ollie is exactly like Marley in every way, he is a real handfull) he has shredded and eaten a £20 note, half a dozen shoes, furniture, and the majority of my house, and the list goes on... So i just want to say i hope you have the joy with your dogs as i have had with mine

A story from hannah munro about my best friend
posted 11/30/2008

my dogs name was mojo he was exatly like marley in so so so many ways i loved him so much. when i was in second grade we had to put him down. he was my dads dog and everyone loved him in the whole family. he was a great dog but when he was a puppy he tored stuff up just like marley and when i read this book i reminded me so much of him is was unbelievable to me to find out there was a dog just like mine.

A story from Bella about After Reading Marley; A Dog Like No Other
posted 12/01/2008

After Reading Marley, my opinion on dogs has changed forever!!!! I've always loved dogs but after this my, love has become richer and makes me appreciate everyday with my pooch more and more. The saying "A dog doesn't care whether you're rich or poor, just give him you're heart, and he'll give you his," is soooo true! But I'm not writing to talk about my fuzzy four-legged friend, He's still with me, (only 5 yrs) I just wanted to say that all my (past)favorite books have been knocked down a notch and "made way for Marley" !!!! Great job Mr. Grogan! :) Can't wait to see the movie!!!

A story from Bella about After Reading Marley; A Dog Like No Other
posted 12/01/2008

Hi Mr. Grogan, my name is Bella and i had a little bit to say about "Waddy." After Reading Marley, my opinion on dogs has changed forever!!!! I've always loved dogs but after this my, love has become richer and makes me appreciate everyday with my pooch more and more. The saying "A dog doesn't care whether you're rich or poor, just give him you're heart, and he'll give you his," is soooo true! But I'm not writing to talk about my fuzzy four-legged friend, He's still with me, (only 5 yrs, I'm 11 yrs old) I just wanted to say that all my (past)favorite books have been knocked down a notch and "made way for Marley" !!!! Great job Mr. Grogan! :) Can't wait to see the movie!!!

A story from Linda about My Dogs Biddy and Buddy
posted 12/01/2008

Dear John, I have to commend you on your gift for writing. I enjoyed Marley & Me so much. As all the other stories say, it too reminded me of my dogs, Biddy and Buddy. Buddy is actually my husband's dog--he is a Chow/Lab mix. My Biddy girl is a Lab/Chow mix, and definitely has the personality of a lab. We were blessed with Biddy a year after we got married (in May 1998). My husband was very adamant on not getting another dog, but she did her magic and he fell in love with her. We got her from my brother-in-law, who in turn had taken her from one of his employees--he was going to dump her in the trash bin behind his apartment complex. Greg was not going to allow that to happen, so he brought her to us...and the rest is history. From the day she came home to us, she has been our "princess." My two human daughters can get jealous of her at times, saying "Mom, you love her more than you love us." Of course that is not a true statement, but she is my world. Buddy is also very precious to us, but he has a totally different personality than she does. I could keep going on and on about her, but I did want to share one funny story. I got my oldest daughter a dog back in September of 2002. His name is Kane; he looks to be part golden retriever and yellow lab. He definitely has the personality of Marley--very hyper and active, but oh so lovable. At the time we got him, we lived in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home (less than 1000 sq ft.). My husband did not want him, so he was suppose to stay in my daughter's room AT ALL TIMES. One day I came home and found that my husband's golf shoe had a chunk from the ankle area taken off. There it sat neatly in the shoe. I asked my daughter what happened, of course "she didn't know." I had to come up with a story or for sure Kane would be gone, so I decided I was going to put the golf shoe in our room and say that one of our dogs chewed his shoe. I had the whole thing planned out--I was going to put the shoe on the bed and let my husband find the shoe, knowing I was not going to let my husband scold either of the dogs because he "wouldn't know who did it." Well he didn't find the shoe until the following day as we were getting ready to leave for a graduation ceremony. All the way to Paris he griped about his shoe being chewed up, blaming Buddy, because he just knew Biddy wouldn't do something like that. When we got home that night, there was Buddy chewing on one of my husband's socks!! We joke to Marley:A Dog Like No Other, and I loved it. I have a Yellow Lab named Gabby, and, although it's a she, she can be a lot like Marley. I used to have another dog named Brie, but she got a tumor on one of her kidneys, so they had to remove it, and after that she was suffering, and so, just like Marley, we had to put her to sleep. I wasn't actully there, but my parents were. Yes, I said my parents, I'm only eight years old, but I love dogs dearly. Gabby is, so far, eleven, but I think she'll reach what Marley reached. I have a question, in the book, it says that you went to see the dog named Lucky, did you ever buy him??? Well I have to go now, bye!

A story from AnnaMarie Ke about Our Best Friend :Kirby
posted 12/02/2008

One day in October over 10 years ago; our 2 oldest boys and I went to a farm on the outskirts of town. We were on a mission: to find the family dog. We were overwhelmed at how many cute, cuddly and furry little puppies there were for us to choose from. The farm where we went to pick out our puppy had a large litter that would be ready to go home in 2 weeks. (How would we choose?) I told the boys to just sit back and one would find him. We didn't wait long. After just a few seconds the chubbiest little fella laid right on Logan's foot. We knew this was our "Kirby." Kirby was the star of the family for a long time. He was never a wild dog. He was easily house broken and he always had the best spot-right next to our bed or in the middle of all of the excitement. He has always been a big guy and weighed over 125 pounds. He loved to hang out with all of us and the kids. He was the perfect protector and when 2 more kids joined the family 3 years into his life he loved them too. He never treated anyone like an outsider. He loved mankind and mankind loved him; even tho it took a while. He was so big a few people approached him slowly. We have alot of fond memories of Kirby. My favorites are too hard to pinpoint and I am sad to say that after 10 wonderful years we had to bring Kirby in and have him put down. He had lived a good life, but it was time to let him go. He was full of cancer. He did not suffer and we are gratful for every minute that we had with him. I loved the book Marley & Me, but it took me a long time to finish. I cried with every turn of the page-it really hit home. The only thing that was different between Marley and Kirby is that Kirby never chewed anything in his life. He was afraid of thunderstorms and hated being alone tho. Thank you Mr. Grogan for sharing your story. Dog is really man's best friend and Kirby was ours.

A story from Chris about A questioning catholic
posted 12/02/2008

John, My daughter who lives in Austin TX sent us an article from her local paper about your book signing there. In that article, it talked about your latest book, which to be honest, I haven't read yet. My wife and I read Marley and me and loved it. I also grew up in a very devout catholic family. We went to church several times a week, said the rosary daily kneeling around the living room couch, went to catholic school, etc. I too grew away from the church as I got older. I'm 52. I married a lutheran and joined her church but still felt like something was missing. Several weeks ago, our church, St. James in Coopersburg, started a 21 week series called "living the questions" which has helped me a lot with my faith. It basically questions the stories in the bible as to the authenticity, but not the the message. I'm not sure where you are in your faith journey but if you get a chance to hook into that series somewhere, I think you might find it interesting. Peace, Chris

A story from Rick Harrington about Marley & Me
posted 12/02/2008

Thank you for writing this book. It reminded me of the antics of Marvin, our Golden mix. The shoes he collected over the years (he never retreived a complete pair, just singles), his abrupt trip to the vet for neutering after a 3 week sabitical with his girl friend, the cats and squirrels he hand his cohort in crime (Trevor) chased along with countless other escipades. Marley's story reminds me of the 17 years we all enjoyed having Marvin. He's still with me, physically, though he has been gone for six years. I received his ashes in the divorce. Thanks again for this wonderful story.

A story from Donna Harrison about Saints and Sinners
posted 12/03/2008

I have been blessed to have been adopted by amazing dogs in my life. I have had my "Saint Shawn" - a chow/shepherd mix female; and my "Marley" - a shepherd/who knows what else mix!

Kiska, my little saint, stole my heart the moment I saw her in the animal shelter. She stayed a fairly small dog, dainty, gentle, loving, as well as funny and playful but always well behaved. Kiska always met me at the door with loving dog kisses, sweet as a child. She passed away after 12 years with me. There is still an emptiness in our home even after 2 years.

My "Marley" is Bullet, a stray in a town full of strays. He wandered through my neighborhood for two weeks before I noticed that something didn't look right about his collar. I called him to me (he stopped by often for handouts), and when I checked the collar, it was begining to grown into his neck. I cut it off, and he decided this was where he was going to stay. I posted pictures of him in the neighborhood, but got no responses.

I love how you described Marley's love for life, how he quickly moved on to the next adventure, and never looked back. My Bullet is the same, and after reading your book, I realized that this quality is what I love most about him. He'd certainly had a rough life before I saw him, but once that collar was off, he looked me in the eye and off we went. He runs into fences, trips and falls over his own feet, chases the ball so fast and hard that he will go tumbling over it as he tries to skid to stop, and turns into a big puddle of jello at the very thought of a storm. When I moved into a new house and met the one of my neighbors, a rather proper young man, Bullet simply went to him and climbed up in his lap! Poor guy sat there with all 95 lbs of happy dog in his lap, no way to escape, and Bullet with no intention of moving!

I realized how much both of these dogs have influenced my way of life - one with her gentle spirit and loving manner; the other reminds me daily of all the joys of just being alive.

Here's to dogs! And may we all have a 'Marley' or two in our lives!

A story from tish pasquinelli about book
posted 12/03/2008

I just read your book about Marley and wanted to tell you how I enjoyed it and how hard I cried when he died.I knew I would do that and I know when I go watch the movie I will be crying my eyesout.I adore animals,have had dogs all my life and especially weiner dogs.I have a Shiloh shepard who is so smart and she is blind now but can get around so good.You should see her turn the door knob and go in the house when she wants to.It is hysterical.She is also so good with kids.She was a rescue dog.Everyone should have an animal.The love unconditionally.Thank you again for the wonderful tribute to Marley.I will also read your other books too.thanks again.

A story from Brenna about Just Finished The Book
posted 12/03/2008

I just finished reading "Marley & Me" and am practically still in tears! This book is a joy for anyone who has ever unconditionally loved a dog or any other animal. I was 21 years old when I welcomed the first dog I have ever owned into my life. Teddy, a shih tzu (who thinks he is a big dog!) is the love of my families life. I never knew the true love animals could bring into your life into the day I met him. I have since moved out of my house, into an apartment where I unfortunately cannot have a dog (don't worry my parents couldn't part with Teddy anyways). Nothing beats when I go to visit him every week and it is like I have never left. He practically does back flips when he sees me and then kisses me like crazy. After reading this book, I will truly never take all the little moments with Teddy for granted. I have truly become a dog lover and will recommend "Marley & Me" to everyone I know.

Thank you for sharing your amazing story :)

A story from Beth about The Longest Trip Home
posted 12/03/2008

Just wanted to say, I enjoyed your memoir. I picked it up without even realizing that it was about your upbringing as a Catholic. I live in a very Catholic town and have walked away from the church for many of the same reasons you expressed in your book. It was refreshing to know that there are others with the same thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

A story from Allison Ekstrom about My Furry Teachers
posted 12/04/2008

I have been an animal lover all my life. Growing up with various dogs & cats; I loved them all dearly. At age 19 I moved in with my now ex husband & I was never allowed to get a dog. My ex'x philosophy was that a dog should not be in an apartment. I thought I agreed, but I very much missed my Dalmation Indiana whom I left behind at my mother's home. Well 6 years later & divorced my now husband and I adopted Daisy. A 4 year old Husky/German Sheperd mix. She had a rough background, mostly unknown. But we knew she had at one time been on the streets. And had been adopted 3 times & returned. We don't know why, she is house broken, doesn't mind our cats, is very loyal, & took to us right away. However our sweet girl nips at strangers, goes nuts when it's time to go outside, gets into the garbage, steals the cat food, has seperatin anxiety, & despite being trained is hard headed & stubborn. Seven months later we found ourselves at the same shelter where we got Daisy. My husband spotted a 3 year old golden colored HUGE male Lab standing on his hind legs with a chew toy in it's mouth smiling at us, yes I said smiling. We had to go home & sleep on it. I was getting ready to leave my full time job because of some health & family issues. My husband was a full time student so our income was going to be my 401K. Well the next day we came back & we took Cody home.

Well neither of us had ever owned a lab before. And this one was in the shelter because he kept escaping his previous owner's back yard & running off. His owner considered putting him down for his bad behavior but the shelter staff talked him into just surrending him. Cody is a handful, he pulls when you take him outside, he also gets into the garbage, he jumps up on strangers, he doesn't like certain male dogs, you have to tell him 10 times to lay down & stay, he's run off 5 times, he's destroyed the cat toys, he licks you non-stop, he's constantly by you so he gets accidently kicked & tripped over, he is a 74lb puppy.

However Cody & Daisy are our companions, our teachers, and in their minds our protectors. When I read what I have about Marley I cried. I criend because we've had so many similiar frustrating experiences with our dogs. But we wouldn't trade them for the world. They are part of our family & I love them with my whole heart. Thank you for letting me share my story.

A story from Amanda about My Marley
posted 12/04/2008

We bought our Marley before I even knew about the book or movie, and the book spoke to me before I even read it... I was walking through a store thinking about my 10 week old shih tzu and how I was sure he was going to soil every piece of carpet in our apartment, chew every shoe I own, and if we had made a bad choice in getting a puppy. Then I look to my right at a display of books and there was "Marley and Me". Well I had to pick it up, so I read the back and it was mine and my new husband's life to a T. Minus about 95 lbs of puppy. Needless to say I bought the book and I laughed, I cried, and I was touched by the wonderful life a dog can provide. I just hope that our new puppy can bring as much joy and enlightenment into our newlywed life as it did to yours!

Amanda

A story from Jade Nicole DeCaeny about onyx
posted 12/04/2008

Dear john Grogan, I think i'm your number 1 fan.My name is jade Nicole DeCaeny and I am in second grade.i love the book Marley a dog like no other.It's the best book I ever read!

A story from Anonymous about Our Chocolate Lab, "Sammi-Girl"
posted 12/04/2008

What I love about our Chocolate Lab, Sammi-Girl, is that she was born the same year as our oldest child nine years ago. I love that Sammi ate an entire bar of blue Zest soap one winter night before our daughter was born and proceeded to vomit blue bubbles and foam in my new car on our first of many emergency vet visits. I love that Sammi was tolerant of our second Chocolate Lab, Daisy, when my husband surprised us with her one day when Sammi was nearly a year old and our newborn was 6 months old (can you imagine my response?!).I love that Sammi courageously bolts right through our electric fence to "visit" her friends down the street; our neighbor, Bill, keeps an extra leash on hand for the walks back to our house. I love that I can let her run loose on our five acres of land and know that she will come running when I whistle or call for her. I love that Sammi started her poop-eating career at age three and continued to eat it even after our vet recommended we douse the stuff with the hottest hot sauce on the market. I love that Sammi will sit all of her 85 pounds on my lap anytime we pay a visit to the vet. I love that Sammi is always ready and willing to play catch. I love that Sammi has allowed our oldest daughter to play tea party with her, our son to play Superman with her, and our youngest daughter to yank on her tail and ears endlessly without flinching. I love that Sammi considers me her "Master" and follows me around the house during my daily chores. I love that she enjoys car rides with me and barrels into the car sniffing out any left over "chicken nuggegts". I love that Sammi considers apple cores, broccoli stems and carrot peels a tasty treat. I love that one of Sammi's greatest fears is her own flatulence; you should see the way she simultaneously checks out her rear end and bolts out of the room when she passes her horrid gas! I love that she has proudly brought us many gifts ranging from birds to chipmunks to our neighbor dogs' toys. I love that she loves us. I love that all of the memories I have of her in our lives, and continue to make with her, have helped shape who we are. I love that once I finished reading your book, Mr. Grogan, and wiped away my tears, I have reflected on these cherished memories with laughter. She has enriched our lives in so many wonderful ways. I am proud to be the parent of our very own goofy Sammi-Girl.

A story from Jennifer Zajicek about My Dog Sasha
posted 12/05/2008

Hi John:

Just read Marley and Me and I laughed and cried more than I have in a long time as I could completely relate to your Marley adventures.

Sasha is our yellow lab and she is now 8 1/2 years old and just starting to gray but her energy and spirit continues to thrive. I think Sasha is the female version of Marley. Just today, Sasha tore my husbands winter gloves apart and I assume some of the parts are still in her stomach. My husband remarked "The coldest day of the year and the damn dog ate my gloves". Also today, Sasha chewed up 2 rolls of toilet paper and rolled with joy in my bath towel as she pulled it off the rack and trailed it through the house. Underwear among other things are her favorite things to chew up. Speaking of Marely who jumped out of the car window, our dog Sasha jumped out of our boat in the middle of the lake at our cottage. Among fisherman with their poles and bait in the water tying to enjoy the peace and quiet of Nortern Wisconsin, here was our dog splashing in the water and 2 maniacs (my husband and I) screaming to get her to come back to the boat.

Despite all the crimes our Sasha commits every day she is the sweetest, most loving and loyal dog. We shamelessly let her relax on the couch with us to watch TV at night and sleep in our bed. She usually takes the middle between my husband and I with her head on the pillow under the covers. Her snoring keeps me awake most nights and of course passing gas from all the junk she eats every day is standard procedure but we wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.

My husband is a hunter and Sasha is a great water fowl retriever but loves pheasant hunting the most. She is a great swimmer and despite her moments of naughtiness she overall responds well to commands including hand signals.

All I can say is dogs are the best friends and family members in the world. I grew up with dogs and my husband and I got our first dog Raysa at the local Humane Society. Raysa was a mixed breed, part Spaniel and something else. She liked to nip at heels so she must have had some sheep herder in her. Raysa was Sasha's big sister and taught her some of her naughty anitics such as barking at everything no matter what. Raysa herself was a unique and fantastic dog that passed away at age 16. This loss was the most heartbreaking time for my husband and I. As Sasha ages we have that sad ache in the back of our hearts. Like most all dog lovers, we wish they could live forever. The hardest part or your book for me was the last years of Marley's life. Our dog Raysa experienced many of the same problems especially with the back legs but she was a smaller dog that my husband could carry out doors to relieve herself. Sasha on the other hand is bigger at 75 lbs. and we have started having discussions on how we will take care of Sasha in her final years. We hate to talk and think about it but her graying progresses every year. The good news is - Sasha can still run and jump with great enthusiasm and her love for us and life is relentless.

I give prayer every night to our dogs (past and present) and thank god for bringing them into our lives. I have added Marley to my prayers and hope that Raysa meets up with Marley in dog heaven and eventually Sasha will too.

Thank you for writing such an endearing book!

Happy Holidays, Jennifer Zajicek

A story from Chelse Webb about My dogs and me
posted 12/05/2008

I am almost 15 and my parents and I have 17 dogs, 5 cats, and a tarantula. Yes, its a wild world. I am mostly a dog person, but I love all animals. You were so right about how dogs show us what life really is about. A dog gives their whole heart to us human beings and never stop loving us. I have read Marley and Me almost 2 times and I will read it many more times. It made me cry, laugh, and think of some of my dogs. I had a dog named Nicky. My mom got her in a gas station bathroom. Someone just left her in the bathroom. She was just silly! She would do what I called a Nicky - dance. She would hop up and down, sway side to side, bark in this rough, but loving tone and literally smile. I would go in the backyard and she would jump up on me, knock me down, and pin me down and lick my face non-stop. I loved her so much! She was a ''good dog'', but she had spunk. Nicky had joint problems and one day it took over completely. She couldn't get up, so we had to put her to sleep. I cried and mourned for a long time, but time went on. Most of our 17 dogs are rescues from the local humane society or they strayed in. Our dog, Camp, is kind of like Marley. He jumps, barks, freaks out during storms, has ear infections, eats like a hog, and is so loving, I guess hes just good at being ''bad''. He is just wild. All of our dogs except 1, are outside. My dog rudy is a chihuahua. Hes grumpy, peppy, crazed, afrais of rain, wind, and storms, and eats like a big dog. He is my main dog and love him so much. I love all of our dogs and other pets, but I do have my favorites. Thank-you for writing Marley and Me, and thank-you for inspiring me. Marley & Me is one of the best books I have ever read and will be one of my favorites for the rest of my life. This book has emotion! You had one great dog!

A story from Ashley E. Washabaugh about My best dogs, Bumper and Riley
posted 12/06/2008

Dear John Grogan or whoever else is readin this, I'm Ashley E. Washabaugh and i'm 11 years old.I've been through some tough times with my dogs. Bumper and Riley are strays.The mom named Dana and Bumper is the father.Riley is 1 of the 5 puppies Dana brought with her.They are the best dogs you could ever have. At first i had 2 bought dog, Sasha and Sampson. Sampson was born with liver problems and died from disease and pain of it. My mom's mom has this pet cemetary job running. There are cute little and big dog caskets. Since Sampson was a small shih-tzu I got him a medium kasket. My parents buried him in our back yard. He died on 9/15/08 I believe. I understood how he felt and the vets couldn,t let him suffer anymore so we had them put him to sleep :-( I was very sad. Since my parents had to work very often up in the gas well service sites on trucking jobs, we had to give Sasha our other shih-tzu away. My parents didn't tell me until i came home from school and i didnt get to say goodbye to her because my parents didnt tell me they were giving her away then.Then on july 4,2008 my dad and brother johnny were messin around with the pool filter and dana came around sniffing their legs and feet. I didnt know what to do so i went into the kitchen and got a few peices of Salami. She was extra skinny and she looked famished and parched.I put some water out for her xcept she wouldn't come near the porch with the water bowl. I went into the house and watched. I soon realized she gained enough trust to drink. She drank all of it. I came out and filled it up again. She emtied it. I did it the 3rd time and she got full half way in the bowl. I soon got used to her that day and decided to name her dana. After a few days she was still around. Me and my sister and law went out one day to get some pool supplies until we saw her on the side of the road walkin toward our house with a puppy. We came back after the pool place and we started up the drive-way. I heard but didn't c the pup anywhere.......i saw him under the horse trailer. I gave him a bath and soon named him, Lucky. The next day she came back with 3 more. A black boy, A tan boy and also one familiar to lucky with bigger darker brown spots though.The balck one's name is Rex, The tan boy is Caremal, The last boy, Bear. The next day i saw 2 more come. 2 girls.1 looked like rex and dana.I named it Roxy Rose. I named the 1 the 1 that looked like Caremel, Riley. They were the most hansome and beautiful puppys.The mother was still under wait. I fed her very much. The puppies looked very well taken care of. they were looking chubby like all puppies should and there coats were xtra clean. A month later the mother was very healthy and playful. We had the puppies in the outside dog cage with fresh food and water and a big wooden dog house.I always had to move the cage over so it wouldn't get all mucky. I put a tarp on the top so it was like a roof to keep the heat and rain out of the cage since there was nothing keeping it out on the top of the cage it let some sun through.They got heavier through time. 1 day i was swimmin with my brothers girlfriend, Alayna Jennings. My brother had kabbosi on the table on the dack. Dana grabbed a peice of Kabbosi and Andy had a breakdown. He got a fork and threw it at her ribs. We got out of the pool and tried to calm him down. He just wouldn't listen. He got the loaded rifle and stomped his way outside. He yelled at Dana to come to him. I called Dana xcept He told me that if i called her............... He pointed the gun at her neck and yelled at her at the same time. I cried and alayna did too. I was panicked. Andy came back in and he put the rifle back. I went outside and saw dana on the grass playing with the puppy, Riley. I was as pleased as punch when i saw her alive. I was relieved i was still shaking from the incidince that had just happened. our relationship wasn't over yet. A few months later i saw dana and a strange unfamiliar dog. I soon got used to him quickly. My dad couldn't trust him. I fed the pups and mothers food seperately with the fathers food because the father would nip at the puppies and the mom and dad would get into a fight and i'd have to get hurt again trying to break it up. I soon named the dad Rocky. I layed towels on the front porch for the puppies and parents to sleep on.my mom just got a yorkshire terrier and my sister and law got a morkie. the morkie somehow got upstairs and found bella and................ in a few months the yorkie, Bella had 2 adorable pups named dapper and dixie. Sid was a father!!! They were the silliest things in the world. They always played together and wen ever we put sid with the pups he would start shaking and run away from them ha ha ha!!! After awhile i renamed rocky to Bumper. He responded to the name more than Rocky. I soon put a collar on him and bonded with him really good. My parents then sold all the pups but 1. it was Riley. Dixie and Dapper were still here though. After we had sold the pups, Dana soon vanished. I still wonder where she is today right now. I miss her very much and i love her no matter what happens to her. She was the omst beautiful black and brown hound ever. November 6,2008 our house flew into flames from a burning candle in my brothers room. We r not aloud back into the house until february something, 2009. I miss being at my home and i miss my old life. My 2 fish died from no electricity because they lived with and oxygen tank.Mr. Gubby and Maccoroni. :-( Bumper soon thought as me i na wonderful owner and he stayed until November 3,2008 or so. We don't know what happened to him.My aunt lori was thinking about shooting him or giving him to the pound without permission. My aunts friend, Robbie keeps on shooting him with a beebee gun and no one believes me. But he i was quiet waiting in the truck to get on the bus till' robbie doss comes up and talks about that. He says he shot it with beebee gun on the tush and he ran off yelping. I felt so bad. I did the best i could to c if that was illegale. But i still want to find out. I believe he is causing animal creaulty.My brother has anger issues and he can't help it.Don't blam him.Don't blame anyone. Everyone and everything in the world is starting to get messed up around here.Life is hard but you have to get through it somehow.Don't give up yet. You'll have fantasies and they'll be wonderful one too. I hope you understand.Life is hard. Riley is still here. I live up at my parents office and sleep on a couch now. I miss my old life. Like i said everyone has fantasies.

A story from maddie about my crazy dog
posted 12/06/2008

hey john first i want to say my dads name is john lol anyway i used to have a dog but i had to get rid of him and ill tell you why. one day my dad brought home a dog name skuttles. he was the cutest thing bust the very irt night he ran all the way to the park i just live like 2 minutes and later on my brother got hives and skuttles licked them which made it worse. so my aunt she does dog day care she took him and h put him up for adoption that was the worst and the next day my aunt called and ssaid he has been crying all night so she brought over and knowked me down he was so happy and skuttles was like a little tiny thing but everynight he wouldnt stop howling and i read ; marley a dog like no other and i satrted it on thursday and i have a few pages left its awesome and i feel bad because he was scared of thunder that made me sad anyway well ill keep you posted about my crazy dog love maddie

A story from sam about my dog skye
posted 12/06/2008

hey john.i'm sam and i'm 12. anyway, a few years ago, i had a husky/shepherd dog named skye. in a lot of ways, she was like Marley. She chewed everythin you left in the open. she was terrified of gunsthots and fireworks. she puked up stuff i'd been lookin for for days. she had an awesome ability to jump over stuff that i never thought possible. she also loved running. but one day when i was at school the hook on her collar gave out and she got hit by a car. i cried about her for 3 whole days. i know i'll remember her forever like marley

A story from Aislinn Heathcote about Love in the Form of Four Legs
posted 12/06/2008

I stumbled upon Chelsea when I was 14 years old. An animal lover since birth, I begged my mom, to let me "just look at" the animals in our local animal shelter one day. She only let me walk through those doors after making sure I fully understood that "we are NOT coming out with ANY animal, and that is FINAL". I agreed.

Within five minutes, Chelsea, a big, clumsy Rottweiler/Husky mix was on the end of the leash. I just wanted to play with her and that was ALL, I told my mom. And when she turned her back, I whispered into my little brothers ear and bribed him to tell our mother that he wanted this dog. The adorable powers of a seven year old boy are a wonderful thing sometimes :).

And so we left with my new dog Chelsea...who immediatly vomited in our back seat (and on my little brother) which made my brother cry the whole way home. Upon arriving to our house and walking up our porch, we realized Chelsea, for whatever reason, had no clue how to use stairs. Together we hauled her 60 pound butt up those stairs and into the house. And so it began....

We were all, (and our still) convinced that Chelsea was the dumbest, baddest, clumsiest dog in the world. We have COUNTLESS stories about her that make us laugh to this day, the latest being her escape out of our back door where she then proceeded to jump into the Corvette of a very terrified prom queen in a parade outside of our house. :)

But never have I seen a dog more loyal than Chelsea. She was my stepdad's very best friend from the day I brought her home. We would always joke about their relationship and call them "lovers". Chelsea was in love with everyone she met, but never more than she was with my stepdad.

And when he was diagnosed with stage four cancer a little over three years ago, they became even closer. Chelsea was at his side every minute of everyday, right up to the very last minute of his life.

They gave my stepdad only a few months to live...but he ended up fighting cancer for three long years, and there is no doubt in my mind that Chelsea was a huge part of the stregnth he needed to keep going. Even in the most terrifying of times, she was ALWAYS there to make us all laugh, and she was endlessly lovable.

One of the saddest but most touching sights I saw between my stepdad and Chelsea was within the last few hours of his life. Chelsea, still determined to keep his spirits up, grabbed her favorite ball and nuzzled his hand several times. "Not tonight Chelsea" I said. But it didn't dampen her spirits. She simply sat her ball down, gave his hand a good lick, and laid down beside him until his last moment.

Chelsea is seven now. She's slowing down ever so slightly, but is still just as much the puppy she was when I found her years ago. I am 19 years old now and far away from home for college. I major in Zoo Science and interact with many different and amazing animals on a daily basis, but never have I meant an animal that I can love more than I love my big dumb dog. I get to fly back home to Pennsylvania in just a week after 5 VERY long months of being away from home. I very much look forward to seeing my family again and spending a wonderful Christmas with them. But secretly (well I guess not so secretly anymore), one of the things I am most looking forward to is going home again and seeing that big, dumb, but very happy face looking at me through the window (and in the process covering it with slobber). The thing I most look forward to is that big, giant, slobbery welcome home hug from the funniest, most faithful and lovable animal I have ever known.

Thanks for writing Marley and Me. :) It made me appreciate my lovable disaster all the more.

Aislinn Heathcote

A story from brooke hubert about jess my dog
posted 12/07/2008

hey john i'm brooke and i'm just starting to read your book Marley.sometimes it reminds me of my jess.Sometimes she can be a stinker but other times she can really sweet.she loves to gurd me and my family she really is fun and she has a big heart and i think Marley had a big heart too.

A story from Steve about You help avoid a big mess!
posted 12/07/2008

John,

I finished reading Marley and Me last night. I don't need to tell you how moving it was; others have already proved that. Instead, I thought I'd share how the book saved me from a disastrous mess.

Within an hour of finishing the book, my eyes had dried and I was watching TV. My 2 year old mini poodle, Rupert, began to hit his leash, indicating that he wanted to go outside. I knew that my wife had just taken him out and that he definitely did not have to go to the bathroom - he just wanted to play in the new snow, or so I thought. It was cold out and I much preferred to stay in the warm house, but since I just got done reading about how dogs remind us to enjoy the simple things in life, including relaxing during a night walk and the joy of a fresh snowfall, I decided to take Rupert outside.

It was a good thing I did. The instant we hit the grass, he went into his circular crouch and let loose with a load of diarrhea, just like Marley at the saltwater beach!

Thank you for getting me to turn off the TV, put on the coat, and enjoy that night walk. Not only did I feel closer to my dog, but it saved me an awful cleaning job... and Rupert thanks you too!

A story from Cherry about Cookie
posted 12/08/2008

Hi Mr John, I am from Malaysia and I have just finished reading your book. Your book is the only thick English book that I was able to finish reading it in two days because I have a tendency of falling to sleep within first two pages of an English novel. You are lucky considering that you have your last chance to say goodbye to your dog. I too have a dog previously.His name is Cookie but I prefer to call him Cookie Baby. He passed away about two years after Marley,a day after Valentine's Day during one of his morning walk. I was more unfortunate to not being able to even say goodbye to my dog and it really break my heart on that fatefull day. You see, he used to go for morning walk on his own and he would be back home after a walk but on that morning, he just went out and never came back. Cookie and I are very closed, almost like mother and son for I cared and pampered him very much. Well, I believe that he has nine lives, just like cats considering his lots of dangerous adventure like almost ate a meat laced with rat poison, accidently being leashed under the hot sun for a few hours, slept overnight in the drain and wander off to the highway. Although I know that chocolate is not good for dogs, I believe that they too, should enjoy their life and Cookie loves Cadburry chocolate and durian. He would not eat any chocolate other than Cadburry and he loves to eat ice-cream too. His sudden passing was too much for me to bear at that time but I believe that now he is in paradise and maybe, just maybe is playing with Marley.Well, who knows about it? Last year, I have a new dog, rescued from the street name Blackie. This time is a female dog. Hopefully she can live for as long as she can.

A story from Carrie about Marley &Me
posted 12/08/2008

Hi John! I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Marley &Me. I just finished it yesterday, and cried. My 11year old daughter is reading the kid version of it right now and loving it. We do not have a dog right now , but I grew up with a lab mix, Chip, and marley brought back all of the goofiness in Chip. It also brought back the saddest memories of watching your beloved friend age. There are so many more happy memories, however. I was laughing out loud at the "Dog Beach" chapter. When Marley was going to poop in the water and you yelling down the beach!!!! That was hysterical. Thanks again for a sweet story, I truly enjoyed it. Carrie DeGaro

A story from Sandee about Donut
posted 12/08/2008

I adopted my precious maltese and pooodle mix Donut from a shelter when he was four months old. Sixteen years later, after many crazy, happy years spent going to the doggie park, car riding, walking for blocks, playing fetch, I became his caregiver for the last two years of his life. I have had Marley & Me on my bookshelf for about a year. I pulled it down from the shelf (was Donut telling me it was time?). I did not want to read it since on November 3rd of this year, 2008, my precious Donut went to rest in the arms of angels. The last thing I wanted to read about was another dog. Last Friday for some strange reason I opened the book and started reading. Uncontrollable laughter bounded forth as my memory was jogged back to the "puppy days" of Donut. Donut never weighed more than 20 pounds, but that never stopped him from wanting to play with the "big boys". Two days later, I finished the story of Marley. It had dawned on me about half way through that this wasn't going to end in a "good way" so why was I reading about another dog's passing. I kept reading (again, Donut were you pushing me along?) and finished it, sobbing just as hard as when I let Donut go to be with the angels. Thank you for sharing Marley with me.

A story from Dawn Saunders about Abbey
posted 12/08/2008

I have just finished reading your book Marley and Me. While I was reading it I couldn't help but see some similarities between your Marley and my 6month old lab Abbey. My family and I had to put down our beloved lab cross last October and when my husband suggested a new dog, we thought ok. So we found a breeder and my husband picked out a beautiful yellow female lab. When we got her home she was very quiet, but within weeks she was chewing shoes and anything else she could get her mouth on. When she thought that we weren't looking she would take off with shampoo bottles from the bathroom, so we would have to come at her from all sides to get it away from her, because if you tried on your own she would just hitail it the other direction. She also likes to hide things in her mouth and it is a guessing game as to what you will find when you catch her. I am going to tell my daughters to read this book because it so describes my puppy to a tee. I know what it is like to have a friend of 12 or more years get sick and have to be put down. I hope that you get as much joy from Gracie as we are getting from our Abbey.

A story from Kendel about Lexi
posted 12/08/2008

i absoulutely loved marley and me. it was the most touching book ive read. marley reminded me so much of my own bestfriend lexi. she is a german shepard lab mix and is crazy weird and hilarious. she can make me laugh no matter what. she has ripped couches, scratched doors up, eaten our dinner, and did only stuff we agreed the worst behaved dog could do. we call her disabled because she acts mental sometimes. but i love her with all my heart. she has taught me things that no one else, human could teach me. how to enjoy the simplest things in life. i love her to death. she has changed my life from day 1:D

A story from Pam Pedersen about Life with Ellie
posted 12/08/2008

Dear John, I have known of your book for some time but never wanted to read it - feeling it would be too painful after having lost our (I have to pause and laugh because Ellie just did a "Marley", not silentand deadly and she looked at her hind end and moved to the other side of the room)as I was saying, I could never bring myself to check your book out of the library because I thought it would remind me too much of our first two labs. Our first was Ellie, a black ball of fur we got from my husbands brother 10 days before I gave birth to our first child. I treasure the pictures of me holding her on my huge stomach...and there was no way that precious thing was sleeping in a box. I guess I was in the nesting phase..she slept on my side of the bed in her box from the moment we brought her home. Casey was the "perfect dog". She never chewed a thing, never had an accident in the house and was our daughter's constant companion for 12 years. Casey endured clip on earrings, sat patiently to have her nails polished, wore fluffy tu-tus and countless other dress-up costumes through the years. The only "bad" thing she ever did was to poop under our son's crib when we brought him home from the hospital 2 and half years later. She came to love and protect our son as passionatley as she did our daughter. When the kids were 4 and 6 years of age we moved to the country in Virginia. Casey was 6 and we thought it would be good for her to have a comapanion to explore the cow pastures of our neighbors and hopefully watch over our rambunctious son. And then came Java...our chocolate lab. I believe he may have been realated to Marley. Java came to us through a dear friend who could no longer handle this out of control one and half year old ball of terror. My husband and I jumped at the chance and my friend paid to have him flown from New York to Virginia. While the children and I waited at home Daddy drove to the airport in his new/used pick up truck to get Java from the airline. My husband arrived a few minutes after they had unloaded the plane. He had to go to the cargo pickup area. He showed them the papers authorizing him to pick up the dog. He was met with blank stares by several baggage handlers gathered around the huge empty dog crate.....Java had escaped from the crate....they eventually found him at the employee vending machine surrounded by other baggage handlers who were shoving change into the machine purchasing chips, cheetos, etc and watching Java devour all they would give him. "Hey, mister, this dog is hungry!" And Java was hungry to the end of his life. Although we had seen pictures, I think my husband was surprised at his size - at the time he was 85 pounds (our beloved Casey was 55 pounds)-with the hugest head my husband had ever seen. Java would did not ride home from the airport in his crate in the back of the truck - he would have nothing to do with that.....and so, my husband drove severals miles back to our home with Java slobbering eveywhere in the cab of the truck....my husband swears he saw the cars behind him using their windshield wipers as the slobber flew out the window......Java loved that ride to his new home. This was 1993, before everyone had a cell phone so all the kids and I and Casey could do was wait to hear the crunch on the gravel driveway signaling Daddy was home. Our daughter and son had Casey all prepared to meet her new "brother" - she was brushed to perfection and wearing a necklace or two from our dauhter's dress-up trunk. We heard the gravel crunching and ran outside....my husband tried his best to open the driver's side door and keep Java in the truck but Java was having none of that!!! I will never forget seeing that charging blur of brown leaping out, nearly knocking my husband to the ground and heading for the kids, Casey and I. I grabbed our 4 year old son, my husband was trying to get to our 6 year old daughter to pick her up as she proudly stood with her dressed up Casey as we thought Java was going to attack them.....it was pandelerium for a moment or two....I grabbed our son, Dad got to our daughter, Java kept charging forward and then Casey barked like we had never heard her bark before! It was one bark - low and deep - her hair stood up - she never moved - and Java dropped to the ground in a low submissive crouch......he whimpered...she growled in her throat....Casey went over and sniffed him and he never moved...we all stood there, silent, and motionless. I know my husband was thinking the same thing I was - what have we done??? Ever so slowly Java reached up to Casey's neck with his big mouth and I thought this is it....and he bit off her necklace......he held the string in his mouth as if it were a trophy....and Casey just looked at him. Just looked, never barked, just looked.....her look said I am in charge here...and then the two of them took off into the backyard woods. It took Casey all of 3-5 minutes to put him in his place and let him know she was in charge of this family. Java was a trial for us - he was a "wild" soul...but eventually with Casey's guidance he became not a good dog, but a better dog. When Java was 2 years old I was in the shower one morning and our by then 4 and a half year old son let him out withour permission. Soon after there was a knock on our front door, I was in my bathrobe and there was a woman and her car in our front yard - she stated my dog had dented her car. i was frantic asking her where is my dog? She replied that he was laying in the road...I raced down the half acre drive to find Java indeed in the road - as I leaned over him calling his name he lifted his head and gave me a huge sloppy kiss - in a moment he was on his feet, shaking his head as if to say, "wow, what was that I hit?" He lumbered home, the lady and I exchanged information - come to find out - her car insurance had to pay for the dent - you can not hold a 4 year old child or a dog liable.....those were the good old days!! Java did have a gash on the side of his head from hitting the car. We loaded him up and took him to the country vet we came to love as your family loved Dr. Jay. $25.00 to sew Java up - $25.00 to sew him up when the neighbors cow did not want to play with him....he was indestructable...the perfect dog for our growing son......... Our life in the country was perfect! Casey by our daughter's side and Java by our son's. Yes, Casey eventually taught Java manners and he was allowed to come in the house...it was that or keep replacing the molding around the laundry room door into the garage. As wild and crazy as he was outside, he was very well behaved inside except for the tail....long after our children had learned not to mess with the Christmas tree we still had a tree with ornaments only on the top half because of his tail! My husband's job moved us from our beloved Virginia countryside to the "city" in Indiana. Sadly, Casey died of old age at 12 and a half. Our daughter had never know a life without her beloved dog. She lavished her attention on Java and he seemed to know her need. He would go into her room several times a night to check on her. In fact, after Casey died, Java never seemed to have a peaceful night of rest. He was lonely and restless, going from bedroom to bedroom every night checking on everyone. We had a huge dogbed by the fireplace in our family room where he and Casey would lay together. After Casey died Java never layed on that bed again. We coaxed and coaxed...he would lay next to it but not on it. 6 months after we lost Casey, Java was diagnosed with lymphoma. He willed himself to live for our son and family times. We did the surgery but that only bought us time. Despite his illness Java exhibited "Marley" courage. He loved life, he chased his ball, he rested...he slobbered, he continued to clear a coffee table in one fell swoop of the tail. We went to the vet one morning for a checkup and while the vet did by no means prounce him "cured" - he stated he could not believe Java was still "hanging in there." My son and I brought him home from that appointment and had a Java way to go party - playing with his favorite toys - just messing around and loving him. Four hours later I found Java on the hard wood floor of our kitchen and he could not get up. I could see in his eyes something was wrong. There was no way a child and I could wrestle this 105 pound dog into the car. I called my husband - sounding hysterical...our son was home and I could not find any neighbor or friend to watch our son while I dealt with Java - my husband rushed home - we managed to get Java into the car and rush to the vet - the vet was astounded as he had just seen Java a few hours earlier...... Java's tmeperature was very high and it appeared he had a stroke....I cried, the vet cried. I told the doctor we had to bring our son with us and he needed to see Java "before" - Dr. P. told me that was fine but Java would likely not know we were there. I went out to the waiting area and beckoned my husband and 9 year old son to come with me. It was one of the hardest thinks I have ever had to do as a parent. I could not lie, our son was there with us, and there was no fixing this....our son entered the room clinging to his father's arm. As soon as he saw Java laying there he went to his head and bent over to kiss and hug his dog...our son whispered in Java'a ear and to the amazement of the vet, Java wagged that huge, destructive, lovable tail so hard it banged the table. Java opened his eyes, looked at our son as if to say, "I'm sorry buddy, I tried.." and Java licked our son's face..his tail went limp and he was gone, without any medicine....Java was a great dog!! We lived for a few months without a dog..dog people don't do this well....the kids were lost and I was trying to convince myself I was so glad not to have the dog hair, muddy footprints, or slobber...... We had talked about it as a family. Getting another dog, but we were still so caught up in the grief of losing my Mom, the kids beloved Grammy and our 2 dogs within one year we could not think straight. I had told my husband I did not want another dog because I could not go through that pain again nor did I want to have to be the sole trainer and care giver of a dog. No! I did not want another dog! And now we have had Ellie for almost 10 years! My husband-sneaky man-did pwedven ask me!!! He just showed up from work one day, with this basket, with a huge purple bow (our daughter who is 22, in college, still has the bow hanging in her bedroom)with this oboxious yellow lab puppy in it!! He did not even ask me! The kids were so exicted....Before I could even leave the room the dog had done it's business on my carpet, was biting our son and barking to beat the band!!!! I tramped out of the room exclaiming loudly "how dare you" - "you did not even ask" and "you had better plan on taking care of it yourself because I will never love another dog again - it is too painful..." Ellie is now 9 and a half years old and my constant companion. She has seen me through the teenage years with our son and daugher. I think Casey and Java got the best and most fun years with our family. Ellie has been with me thorugh the toughest of times - high school romances gone bad, prom dates, sports competitions, teaching them to drive and crashed cars, sending tham off to college and then the Navy, Dad traveling with his career....and who is here with me now, as I write this........right by my feet, never leaving my side, the dog, Ellie, that I had vowed to my husband when he brought her home I would never love her because it would hurt to much....my Ellie - she tore her ACL 5 months ago as she got out of the pool and decided to give the rabbit who has lived under the blue spruce for 9 years one more run........ Ellie now has a 'bionic' ACL and knee joint. My husband and I joke she is our third child in college as we wish we could deduct her ACL surgery and her ear infection antibiotics on our taxes....we laughed when she was a puppy and the whole doggy insurance thing was just becoming popular.....oh boy, do we ever wish wer Ellie's surgery and we were very lucky we were travelling to my cousin's home in Michigan who welcomed Ellie. We coould not leave her at her favorite "doggie hotel/kennel" lest she run and play with the other dogs and ruin her new bionic leg. By the grace of God it was not an inconvience as my cousin has 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses and 2 goats. Elllie had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! So, I finally read your book this past weekend as I was sick in bed. A friend had loaned it to me - every page Ellie was there with me - sprawled out by my side....I stopped reading often to pet her....and think about all the nutty things she has done - oops - have to go now - Ellie has to go out - we thought her new bioninc leg was still healing but she still managed to get into 3 pounds of Christmas M & M's... steel stomach - never bothered her before - thanks for listening....this has been wonderful for me to express my thoughts...Merry "Marley" Christmas!!!!

A story from Pam Pedersen about Life with Ellie
posted 12/09/2008

Dear John, I have known of your book for some time but never wanted to read it - feeling it would be too painful after having lost our (I have to pause and laugh because Ellie just did a "Marley", not silentand deadly and she looked at her hind end and moved to the other side of the room)as I was saying, I could never bring myself to check your book out of the library because I thought it would remind me too much of our first two labs. Our first was Casey a black ball of fur we got from my husbands brother 10 days before I gave birth to our first child. I treasure the pictures of me holding her on my huge stomach...and there was no way that precious thing was sleeping in a box. I guess I was in the nesting phase..she slept on my side of the bed in her box from the moment we brought her home. Casey was the "perfect dog". She never chewed a thing, never had an accident in the house and was our daughter's constant companion for 12 years. Casey endured clip on earrings, sat patiently to have her nails polished, wore fluffy tu-tus and countless other dress-up costumes through the years. The only "bad" thing she ever did was to poop under our son's crib when we brought him home from the hospital 2 and half years later. She came to love and protect our son as passionatley as she did our daughter. When the kids were 4 and 6 years of age we moved to the country in Virginia. Casey was 6 and we thought it would be good for her to have a comapanion to explore the cow pastures of our neighbors and hopefully watch over our rambunctious son. And then came Java...our chocolate lab. I believe he may have been realated to Marley. Java came to us through a dear friend who could no longer handle this out of control one and half year old ball of terror. My husband and I jumped at the chance and my friend paid to have him flown from New York to Virginia. While the children and I waited at home Daddy drove to the airport in his new/used pick up truck to get Java from the airline. My husband arrived a few minutes after they had unloaded the plane. He had to go to the cargo pickup area. He showed them the papers authorizing him to pick up the dog. He was met with blank stares by several baggage handlers gathered around the huge empty dog crate.....Java had escaped from the crate....they eventually found him at the employee vending machine surrounded by other baggage handlers who were shoving change into the machine purchasing chips, cheetos, etc and watching Java devour all they would give him. "Hey, mister, this dog is hungry!" And Java was hungry to the end of his life. Although we had seen pictures, I think my husband was surprised at his size - at the time he was 85 pounds (our beloved Casey was 55 pounds)-with the hugest head my husband had ever seen. Java would did not ride home from the airport in his crate in the back of the truck - he would have nothing to do with that.....and so, my husband drove severals miles back to our home with Java slobbering eveywhere in the cab of the truck....my husband swears he saw the cars behind him using their windshield wipers as the slobber flew out the window......Java loved that ride to his new home. This was 1993, before everyone had a cell phone so all the kids and I and Casey could do was wait to hear the crunch on the gravel driveway signaling Daddy was home. Our daughter and son had Casey all prepared to meet her new "brother" - she was brushed to perfection and wearing a necklace or two from our dauhter's dress-up trunk. We heard the gravel crunching and ran outside....my husband tried his best to open the driver's side door and keep Java in the truck but Java was having none of that!!! I will never forget seeing that charging blur of brown leaping out, nearly knocking my husband to the ground and heading for the kids, Casey and I. I grabbed our 4 year old son, my husband was trying to get to our 6 year old daughter to pick her up as she proudly stood with her dressed up Casey as we thought Java was going to attack them.....it was pandelerium for a moment or two....I grabbed our son, Dad got to our daughter, Java kept charging forward and then Casey barked like we had never heard her bark before! It was one bark - low and deep - her hair stood up - she never moved - and Java dropped to the ground in a low submissive crouch......he whimpered...she growled in her throat....Casey went over and sniffed him and he never moved...we all stood there, silent, and motionless. I know my husband was thinking the same thing I was - what have we done??? Ever so slowly Java reached up to Casey's neck with his big mouth and I thought this is it....and he bit off her necklace......he held the string in his mouth as if it were a trophy....and Casey just looked at him. Just looked, never barked, just looked.....her look said I am in charge here...and then the two of them took off into the backyard woods. It took Casey all of 3-5 minutes to put him in his place and let him know she was in charge of this family. Java was a trial for us - he was a "wild" soul...but eventually with Casey's guidance he became not a good dog, but a better dog. When Java was 2 years old I was in the shower one morning and our by then 4 and a half year old son let him out withour permission. Soon after there was a knock on our front door, I was in my bathrobe and there was a woman and her car in our front yard - she stated my dog had dented her car. i was frantic asking her where is my dog? She replied that he was laying in the road...I raced down the half acre drive to find Java indeed in the road - as I leaned over him calling his name he lifted his head and gave me a huge sloppy kiss - in a moment he was on his feet, shaking his head as if to say, "wow, what was that I hit?" He lumbered home, the lady and I exchanged information - come to find out - her car insurance had to pay for the dent - you can not hold a 4 year old child or a dog liable.....those were the good old days!! Java did have a gash on the side of his head from hitting the car. We loaded him up and took him to the country vet we came to love as your family loved Dr. Jay. $25.00 to sew Java up - $25.00 to sew him up when the neighbors cow did not want to play with him....he was indestructable...the perfect dog for our growing son......... Our life in the country was perfect! Casey by our daughter's side and Java by our son's. Yes, Casey eventually taught Java manners and he was allowed to come in the house...it was that or keep replacing the molding around the laundry room door into the garage. As wild and crazy as he was outside, he was very well behaved inside except for the tail....long after our children had learned not to mess with the Christmas tree we still had a tree with ornaments only on the top half because of his tail! My husband's job moved us from our beloved Virginia countryside to the "city" in Indiana. Sadly, Casey died of old age at 12 and a half. Our daughter had never know a life without her beloved dog. She lavished her attention on Java and he seemed to know her need. He would go into her room several times a night to check on her. In fact, after Casey died, Java never seemed to have a peaceful night of rest. He was lonely and restless, going from bedroom to bedroom every night checking on everyone. We had a huge dogbed by the fireplace in our family room where he and Casey would lay together. After Casey died Java never layed on that bed again. We coaxed and coaxed...he would lay next to it but not on it. 6 months after we lost Casey, Java was diagnosed with lymphoma. He willed himself to live for our son and family times. We did the surgery but that only bought us time. Despite his illness Java exhibited "Marley" courage. He loved life, he chased his ball, he rested...he slobbered, he continued to clear a coffee table in one fell swoop of the tail. We went to the vet one morning for a checkup and while the vet did by no means prounce him "cured" - he stated he could not believe Java was still "hanging in there." My son and I brought him home from that appointment and had a Java way to go party - playing with his favorite toys - just messing around and loving him. Four hours later I found Java on the hard wood floor of our kitchen and he could not get up. I could see in his eyes something was wrong. There was no way a child and I could wrestle this 105 pound dog into the car. I called my husband - sounding hysterical...our son was home and I could not find any neighbor or friend to watch our son while I dealt with Java - my husband rushed home - we managed to get Java into the car and rush to the vet - the vet was astounded as he had just seen Java a few hours earlier...... Java's tmeperature was very high and it appeared he had a stroke....I cried, the vet cried. I told the doctor we had to bring our son with us and he needed to see Java "before" - Dr. P. told me that was fine but Java would likely not know we were there. I went out to the waiting area and beckoned my husband and 9 year old son to come with me. It was one of the hardest thinks I have ever had to do as a parent. I could not lie, our son was there with us, and there was no fixing this....our son entered the room clinging to his father's arm. As soon as he saw Java laying there he went to his head and bent over to kiss and hug his dog...our son whispered in Java'a ear and to the amazement of the vet, Java wagged that huge, destructive, lovable tail so hard it banged the table. Java opened his eyes, looked at our son as if to say, "I'm sorry buddy, I tried.." and Java licked our son's face..his tail went limp and he was gone, without any medicine....Java was a great dog!! We lived for a few months without a dog..dog people don't do this well....the kids were lost and I was trying to convince myself I was so glad not to have the dog hair, muddy footprints, or slobber...... We had talked about it as a family. Getting another dog, but we were still so caught up in the grief of losing my Mom, the kids beloved Grammy and our 2 dogs within one year we could not think straight. I had told my husband I did not want another dog because I could not go through that pain again nor did I want to have to be the sole trainer and care giver of a dog. No! I did not want another dog! And now we have had Ellie for almost 10 years! My husband-sneaky man-did pwedven ask me!!! He just showed up from work one day, with this basket, with a huge purple bow (our daughter who is 22, in college, still has the bow hanging in her bedroom)with this oboxious yellow lab puppy in it!! He did not even ask me! The kids were so exicted....Before I could even leave the room the dog had done it's business on my carpet, was biting our son and barking to beat the band!!!! I tramped out of the room exclaiming loudly "how dare you" - "you did not even ask" and "you had better plan on taking care of it yourself because I will never love another dog again - it is too painful..." Ellie is now 9 and a half years old and my constant companion. She has seen me through the teenage years with our son and daugher. I think Casey and Java got the best and most fun years with our family. Ellie has been with me thorugh the toughest of times - high school romances gone bad, prom dates, sports competitions, teaching them to drive and crashed cars, sending tham off to college and then the Navy, Dad traveling with his career....and who is here with me now, as I write this........right by my feet, never leaving my side, the dog, Ellie, that I had vowed to my husband when he brought her home I would never love her because it would hurt to much....my Ellie - she tore her ACL 5 months ago as she got out of the pool and decided to give the rabbit who has lived under the blue spruce for 9 years one more run........ Ellie now has a 'bionic' ACL and knee joint. My husband and I joke she is our third child in college as we wish we could deduct her ACL surgery and her ear infection antibiotics on our taxes....we laughed when she was a puppy and the whole doggy insurance thing was just becoming popular.....oh boy, do we ever wish we had signed up!!! Ellie CAN but never should run again due to her ACL surgery. Her lab hips are fine but she has arthritis in both knees and we do not want her other knee to require surgery. The vet was actually thrilled we had an inground pool as that was Ellie's 'therapy' as she was getting back on her feet this summer. Thanksgiving came 5 months after Ellie's surgery and we were very lucky we were travelling to my cousin's home in Michigan who welcomed Ellie. We coould not leave her at her favorite "doggie hotel/kennel" lest she run and play with the other dogs and ruin her new bionic leg. By the grace of God it was not an inconvience as my cousin has 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses and 2 goats. Elllie had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! So, I finally read your book this past weekend as I was sick in bed. A friend had loaned it to me - every page Ellie was there with me - sprawled out by my side....I stopped reading often to pet her....and think about all the nutty things she has done - oops - have to go now - Ellie has to go out - we thought her new bioninc leg was still healing but she still managed to get into 3 pounds of Christmas M & M's... steel stomach - never bothered her before - thanks for listening....this has been wonderful for me to express my thoughts...Merry "Marley" Christmas!!!!

A story from Scott about Marley and Me
posted 12/09/2008

HI John, just wanted to stop in and say how much joy i got from reading your book. I too am an animal lover. my wife and I currently own 1 dog, a german shorthaired pointer. I can certainly relate as most of our friends have labs and they fit the marley bill! so classic. Your book touched me so much, i was struggling to hold back the tears, knowing that at some point down the road, I will have to say goodbye to my wonderful dog "Champ". he means so much to us. One thing that stood out was that dogs are here to teach us something. Champ has tought me patience, love, giving, fun, and to enjoy each and every day possible. So Thanks for this wonderful book.

A story from Justin B about My Black Lab
posted 12/09/2008

Where to begin. It was nearly two years ago. I was a 20 year old college student and was coming off a somewhat nasty break up with a girl that I had been dating for nearly a year. I tried many things to try and help me get over the hurt of losing her, but I couldn't seem to find a remedy. Subtle things started pushing my mind's thoughts towards one thing more than any other and that one thing was of course a dog. Before I go any further let me go back to my first dog.

I got my first dog as a three year old kid. It was an Easter/Birthday present. My aunt and uncle picked me up about a month before my birthday and a couple weeks after Easter and took me to a home nestled neatly in sprawling hillsof a rural home. We pulled up, put the truck in park, and their only words to me were, "go pick out any dog you want". As a three year old I was overflowing with joy and wasn't even able to contain my excitement. When I was able to stop fumbling around with my seat belt and pry the door open, I stumbled out of the pick-up in excitement and my eyes first laid upon a yard full of little black, grey, and white, furballs fumbling around the yard, doing their best to look happy and excited for what they hoped would be their owner. I explored around as any three year old would, blindly, not really sure what I wanted or was looking for. I went form puppy to puppy, each nuzzling their nose into my stomach as I walked/crawled to each one. For some reason or another I finally settled on a dog and before I knew it we were back home with mom and dad and I had my very own six week old Shi Tzu puppy. I didn't care about the breed, or anything else, I just knew I had a best friend to explore with me in the yard and roll around in the dirt and mud with. All of my child hood memories were with this dog, which I eventually named Coco. He was my pal, my best friend. I spent many an hour in the back yard watching him chase around a basketball as I shot countless basket after basket. He never tired and I quickly fell in love with this dog. The years passed, my love and loyalty for this dog exceeded almost that of everyone except my closest family members. Then the worst came. I was 17, a senior in high school, and was only a several months away from graduation and then Coco took a turn for the worse. He was already 14 years old, blind, and walking was a big chore for him. Then he started having seizures and I was starting to fall apart. After a visit to the vet, more than a few tears shed, we decided putting him down would be for the best. I mean he was 14, that would be like a al months away from graduation and then Coco took a turn for the worse. He was already 14 years old, blind, and walking was a big chore for him. Then he started having seizures and I was starting to fall apart. After a visit to the vet, more than a few tears shed, we decided putting him down would be for the best. I mean he was 14, that would be like a human living to 98, so Coco had a full life. I couldn't bare to take him to the vet and had my grandpa do it. He was a bird hunter and had owned numerous dogs over the years and this wasn't his firs time to take a beloved pet to be put down. I still miss Coco and think about him every day.

As I return to the present, where my story began, I now am the proud owner of a black English Labrador. Like I earlier said, for some reason, no matter what I tried, I couldn't seem to kick my heart's yearning for my ex, and then the ingenius idea to buy a puppy entered my mind. My thoughts immediately went back to the countless happy thoughts with Coco exploring every nook and cranny of the backyard of my childhood past. This time, however, I had done some studying and online research, and had decided that I wanted one of two dogs, a Lab or a Beagle. I scoured the classifieds for nearly a month and then I saw the perfect ad. "Labrador puppies, all shots, house trained, $50." I was sold and nothing was going to keep me from getting one of those puppies.

I made the 45 minute drive to the location of the house in high anticipation of what awaited for me. I found the location, an apartment complex neslted on the outskirts of town. I parked my car and walked up to the door, heart pounding on my chest, and knocked with a big smile on my face. Before I knew it, the dad and/or man of the house was coming down the stairs with two armfull's of black and brown puppies, barely six weeks old. I took and held several up and looked them in the eye. I didn't exactly know what I was looking for, but I did know that I would be sure when I found it. I initially took one of the brown labs and my heart melted and I thought that was it. A friend had tagged along with me. I looked back at her as I was holding the first puppy I grabbed and she was paying no attention. She was lost in the eyes of one of the black Labs. She quickly grabbed it and told me I had to get this one. I hesitated at first, and then took him from her. I held him up and looked into his eyes, my heart melted, and I started to realize this was the dog. He had a small defect on his hind paws, he had one extra thumb claw and that made me fall even harder for him. Not even three minutes later I decided this was the dog. I paid the $50 and we were on our way.

Next came the interesting story of how I came up with the unique name for my dog. We were on our way back to my house and passed a gas station called McDoogle. At that time we were discussing possible names, and not even five minutes after passing the said gas station she recommended the name Doogle. I was hesitant about it at first due to the rarity and questions it would bring up when I told people my dog's name. However, over the course of the 45 minute drive we started calling the dog Doogle more and more, and the more we did so he started to squirm and whimper in excitement more and more.

It's been nearly two years now. My mom just recently finished your book and quickly recommended that I read it. It didn't take me long to realize that my Doogle was a Marley of sorts. I not only fell in love with your Marley, but quickly fell in love with my Doogle even more. Doogle isn't a full blood Lab and is a little smaller than your typical American Lab. In fact, his physical stature resembles an English Lab moreso than an American Lab. However, all of his personality and traits resmbled that of an American Lab. He is full of tireless energy. I don't even know if there is a word to describe such, but the excitement and pure joy he goes through each time he sees me goes beyond what any word can explain. He immediately goes into another gear. His entire body and tail begin to not only shake but nearly quake in excitement, and as soon as I begin to pet him, I truthfully start to fear that he may collapse in being overly joyed of the attention. And this isn't something that just happens every few times I greet him when I return home, this happenes every single time he sees me.

Thankfully, he is past most of the troublesome puppy stages but Doogle has cost me probably close to $1,000 in repairs and replacements. As a 21 year old college student that is a significant hit to my bank account. However, I wouldn't trade any of what he's done for anything else in the world. He's chewed threw countless electrical cords to TV's, DVD players, and my XBOX. I've had more than a few electricians tell me that I was lucky he wasn't severly electrocuted and injured. He's eaten/swallowed/chewed up many ink pens only for me to find him with a tounge almost completely covered in blue or black. I still can't leave him alone in the house more than a few minutes, because if I do, I'd only return to find the garbage ransacked, or a pillow chewed up. While my initial reaction was to beat him into submission I never could bring myself to do so. As soon as he would look up at me with those big brown eyes, tounge hanging out of his mouth, my heart would melt, and the most I could do was tell him in a stern voice "NO!" and spank him.

I have a hard time believing there is a more loyal dog than my Doogle. He sleeps in my bed everynight and I wouldn't have it any other way. As soon as I bring him inside around 11:00-11:30 p.m. he acts like it his first adventure into the house. He leaps onto my bed and attacks my face, licking my face until it is drenched in dog slobber. The times when I've been down or sad he can sense it, and will come and lay his head across my chest or even right up on my face and won't move until I command him to do so. He longs for my attention and I truly believe he would give up food or water for a week if I would compromise by staying in my bed with him for that week, doing nothing but petting him and playing with him.

Your book was one that made me appreciate my Lab all over again and made me realize even more that when I eventually do get married and have a family I must have a family dog. And that dog will more than likely have to be a Lab.

A story from Michelle Alspach about My new puppy Cooper
posted 12/09/2008

A month and a half ago, my boyfriend and I decided to get a yellow lab for a pet. We both grew up on farms, and have an overwhelming love for animals. Although we live in an apartment, we thought that the amount of time that we would be home right now was reason enough to take on the responsiblity. When I first got Cooper, I was constantly trying to perfect him. If he was going to live with us in the apartment, he HAD to be well-behaved. Things actually have been going quite well, and I've been amazed at how good of a dog he has been. Considering we are renting an apartment, we are lucky. However, reading your book has made me realize that perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be. Although I will still strive to help Cooper to be a well-behaved companion, your book helped me to see that no matter what, animals touch our hearts in a way that is incredibly unique. I cried very hard hearing of the end of Marley's life, but it was so wonderful to read how much he has touched your family's life throughout his journey. Your book really brought out my curiousity of where the lives of my boyfriend and I will take us. All I can say is that I hope Cooper will be with us for a long part of the way.

A story from Farimah about A chance encounter at a book store
posted 12/10/2008

Dear Mr. Grogan,

Browsing through an aiport book shop recently, I came across Marley & Me, a book which I had never heard of and which sparked my interest due to the cute dog on the cover. As big a dog lover as I am, I must confess that the idea of a book all about a dog didn't particularly appeal to me. Just as I was putting it back down on the shelf, a woman passing behind me told me that Marley was a must-read. When I shared with her my reservations about a whole book dedictaed to the antics of one dog, she gave me an assured, grandmotherly nod and said, 'It isn't JUST about a dog. It's a wonderful book.' So, I bought it. Read it. And now I feel grief-stricken. On a train journey in London today, I finished the last few chapters amid a torrent of tears. Dozens of very reserved British passengers discretely watched me, not knowing whether to interfere and ask if I'm okay or to just ignore me. I sobbed like I have never done with any film or book. Thank you for giving Marley such a fitting tribute by writing your beautiful book and, also, thank you for sharing a slice of your life with so many people. Anyone who has ever lost a pet can fully understand your motivation for writing the book and the love, grief and joy you experienced as a result of having Marley in your life.

All the best to your family.

A story from Cassie Zurawsky about Candy
posted 12/11/2008

Marley & Me reminded me so much of my yellow lab, Candy, who recently passed away. She was a guide dog for the blind for much of her life and she was about as selfless as any animal could be. Although her life was short in comparison to most people, she devoted most of her life to helping people. When she passed away I could not believe the pain that I felt and the hole she had left in my heart. Nor could I believe the compassion and understanding so many dog lovers gave to me during that difficult time. I was so inspired by Candy's selfessness, unconditional love, and constant joy in life that I wrote about her for my college essay. The lessons I learned from her are too numerous to count. I know that I foreve will be able to close my eyes and see her big brown eyes.

A story from Jill about Best story!
posted 12/11/2008

This is my baby. I know she isn't a lab...but I am the biggest dog lover there is. Anytime I am having a bad day, I think of this book, and I look for a movie trailer to watch. I will be one of those people at the movies on Christmas night.

I am a teacher in the Lehigh Valley, and I would love for Mr. Grogan to come in to talk to my English and Reading class to talk. I myself would just enjoy meeting him, but I think he could be a an inspiration to some of the kids learning support students.

Amazing book!!! And would have loved to met Marley!

A story from Tom Owens about The Longest Trip Home
posted 12/11/2008

John, Your great book captured my attention thru the time taken to read it; now I can't get it out of my mind. The best retelling of a life's journey I've read. Such a wonderful, emotional rendition of relationships, their value and influence on others' lives. Well done. I have a semi-estranged 41 year old daughter, who recently became a single parent of my grandson, coming home for Christmas next week. My relationship with her has been rocky for years. I believe her imminent visit may be our last chance to repair it. Much of what I've just read will help me in putting forth my best efforts to effect that much needed repair. Thanks so much.

Tom Owens

A story from Sandra Young about Sheba
posted 12/11/2008

Sheba is my 5 year old Min Pin (the small one in the picture). She gives me so much joy. I am the freaky dog mom who dresses her up and shares her pictures and stories with everyone. I just finished listening to your book on tape. What a great story. It is so wonderful that so many people can relate to your story. I only hope that your story helps soften the hearts on all the people in the world who don't realize how important animals are and how they enrich our lives. Thank you for such a great book!

A story from Tifffany about My Dog Marley
posted 12/11/2008

Hi, I am reading some of the other stories, and laughing, and crying, and realizing that there are tons of "Marley's" out there! I had a blue chihuahua also named Marley, and he was a little stinker too! He was very attached to Mommy, and I was just as attached to him. My boyfriend got him for me when I was 24 and in between jobs. I loved that dog from the minute I saw him in hte pet store window, all 3 pounds of him! I wouldn't leave the store until I had him in my arms. He had such personality! I won't say he is the worst dog ever, but I did see my 8 pound chihuahua push open a window, pop out the screen, jump on the roof, onto a potted plant, and was outside playing when we got home. His only injury was a scraped chin!! What a lucky little fellow!! I lost Marley, a few months before the book came out. It was very hard for me, and I really identified with the Marley from the book, because my dog was so mischevious as well. John Grogan wrote the book beautifully, and I think he reached out to so many people. dogs really do make our lives a happier place. I have since married that boyfriend, and we have 2 lovely little chihuahuas, but there will never be another Marley. I hope everyone is lucky to be blessed with a dog like that! God bless.

A story from Kristy about Sydney
posted 12/11/2008

Dear John and Jenny, As I write this you are both probably at your movie premiere. Good luck to you both. I have just finished your book for the 3rd time and am eagerly awaiting the movie. When I first read your book I was going through a difficult divorce I read it in 3 hours at the book store. I laughed, I cried, and I felt for the 1st time in months. Thank you for bringing me back to the life of laughter. I am living your story- but the main character in my book is Sydney. I should have known when picking up our dog at the breeder that I was in for trouble when they said "goodbye to chewy". That was definately a predictor of future behavior as she has chewed(and swallowed) everthing from drywall, doors, VCR tapes, eye glasses, screws/nails and any variety of clothing. At christmas time I need to put aside extra money each year for the christmas decoration destruction fund. Sydney is the bull in the china shop. She barges though a room and knocks over knick knacs with her head while her tail is clearing another table. She is 8 and still has the exuberance of a puppy- every breakfast and dinner time her eyes light up -it is christmas everyday to her. Sydney, who has survived three cancer surgeries shows me how to live life to the fullest.Just as Marley brought joy to your family - everyday Sydney reminds me how the little things in life(in her life- food)are what bring us happiness. Thank you for your story

A story from Barb Emmett about Your visit to Godfrey's near Reading, PA
posted 12/11/2008

Hi John, I'm sitting here this evening reminiscing about your visit to my shop for a book signing event for "Marley & Me" back in Dec. 2005. Must be the time of year and the fact that your movie will be out soon and I'm seeing the commercials for it on TV. You were so kind to agree to do a book signing for me at pretty short notice and for a new small business like mine. Talk about supporting small business entrepreneurs! THANK YOU. Hearing you read excerpts delighted all of us and you had our customers laughing and crying. Many of my customers this holiday season wanted to chat again with us about how special it was to have you here. Looking back, it was truly a magical day for all of us dog lovers at Godfrey's. And now, we're waiting with eager anticipation for the movie release.

This year my husband and I lost our beautiful, funny, smart golden retriever Tucker to cancer. He was just 4 months shy of his 12th birthday. His passing has been very hard for us; my experience in loving Tucker led me to volunteer work with a local golden retriever rescue group and led me to my passion - creating my business for fellow dog lovers at Godfrey's. Fortunately, we're still going strong at the shop. There are a lot of dog lovers here in eastern PA!

What an incredible journey these last few years have been for you and your family. I would love for you and Jenny and the kids to come out again to us for another book signing, so whenever you get any down time (yeah, right, I'm sure!) maybe you'll consider it? We're not far too far for you to come. I don't know how you handle all those arrangements now; before it all fell into place so easily. Perhaps I should contact your publisher to request a book signing event?

I want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and all the best in the coming year. Enjoy 'Movieland' and your premier. These are huge events to celebrate and 'be in the moment.' All the best, Barb I was going to upload a photo of you standing with our shop's Santa Paws but I wasn't sure you'd sppreciate it!

A story from Amy about Daft dog heidi!
posted 12/12/2008

Hi and i just finished reading your book for the first time last night! I really love your book, the way how you showed that bad dogs maybe aren't as bad as we think they are! They're something special! I'm 12 and i got my dog when i was 11. We live in the middle east and we got heidi from a rescue shelter when she was a couple of months old and still small. In our first week she was a nervous wreck alot of the time. Me, my sister and my friends decieded to take her to the compound tennis court so when we were playing tennis could chase after the balls. Unfortuantley she was terrified of loud noises and a truck whizzed by and heidi charged through the tennis court iron gate- getting her head stuck in it!!! The fire bergade came to saw the bar to free her but they could'nt do it because she was yelping and jumping all over the place because of the horrific loud noise. All the compound had come out to support her, a man who is extremly good with dogs came to try and calm her down- even the police came to report it! But nothing was working. My mums friend said that the only last option was to call the vets to sedate her. So they came and heidi calmed down a little so the men were able to chop the bar open. Poor Heidi had been stuck in the gate for 3 hours! She was put in the newspaper and described as a 'daft mutt'. Heidi had become famous!!!! Heidi has become a very naughty dog. Ripping everything up, stealing food of the table and most of all she never runs out of energy which means she gets extremely hyper! But i love her because she is very funny and is just trying to help us (IN THE WRONG WAY!). Something that still makes me laugh is the classic dog will bring in the newspaper to their owners- heidi rips it up and leaves it scattered round the garden. It's incredibly frustrating! I hope everybody enjoys reading my story. And i absoloutley love Marley and i wish that my dog could of met yours!!! amy :) :-)

A story from Beth about Bear, Cammie and Duchess
posted 12/12/2008

I just finished Marley & Me. Laughed, cried and began to mourn the last 3 beloved dogs that we've had in our family. That's Bear in the picture. He was a mutt, but mostly black lab we think. He lived for 16.5 long years. He was the most calm, loyal, all-around wonderful dog ever. Cammie and Duchess were both pure bred Yellow Labs. Duchess left us in 1991 but was smarter of her counterpart, Cammie. Cammie was the female version of your Marley in many way. We miss them all, but cherish every second we had with them. I wasn't there when Cammie and Duchess departed this life, but I, much like you did with Marley, held my Bear until he was gone. I'll never forget it, but am glad that I got to hold him before he left us. I cried (I'm 36 years old) like a baby at the vet, so much so that my dad was embarassed :(.

Anyway, thanks for that wonderful little book you wrote. I plan to pass it around to my friends and coworkers for their enjoyment, dog lovers or not.

A story from Paula about Living With My Dog
posted 12/12/2008

I remember one time I had a dog named "Lou".He was such a good boy I had him for 16 years!.Awwwwwww he would alaways chew on everything he got.I remember the time we were gonna watch a Christmas movie and when we found the movie Lou had it in his mouth it was pretty funny.Oh and how he would sneak out his cage and we never could figure out how but anyway after he got out of his cage something always seemed wrong.He would hide something somewhere everytime one time i found a very old corndog under his blanket in his cage.Thats the place he would hide everthing its was very funny.He turned out to be a big dog though.But by the time he was 11 years old it was time to say goodbye.From this day I still remember all the funny stories about him and I will never forget them or my dog.We still have his ashes.And thats my story.Enjoy!

A story from Jill about An unlikely Angel
posted 12/12/2008

Here's my Mom in her favorite last pose - a pose for her church directory.

Nearly three years ago, my mother lost her fight with breast cancer a few days before Christmas. The night she died, she told my middle son (with unflappable assurances) that she'd be with Jesus for Christmas and not to worry about her. He was a heartbroken 11 year old and it hurt to see him in such pain - and yet, why was I so mad at my Mother for using her deathbed as another way to 'minister' to my children? She knew I'd never confront her about the one thing we disagreed on - religion.

I could go on and on - the similarities in "The Longest Trip Home" rendered me hysterical one moment, raw with ache the next. I picked up the book as a way to pass the time at an out-of-town hockey tournament, not nearly expecting the 48 hr watershed of emotions I found on each page. I've managed to simmer just above the pain of losing Mom's 'bigger than life' presence until now.

Mom wasn't Catholic (Dad was before Mom converted him. He's been gone nearly 20 years - I got both ends of the spectrum growing up!). But if we swapped stories, she was just as devout in her beliefs and she'd be the 1st one to tell you she was 'slain in the spirit' and moved in all ways spiritual for the Lord. Reading your book, I laughed out loud and found myself desperately aching for my mother, whom I had a love/hate relationship with for my whole adult life.

Thank you for sharing your stories. An unlikely 'non Catholic' Angel is laughing with your Dad tonight - they've both managed to worm their way in again you know, sprinkling their wisdom deep within our souls.

As year 4 approaches for you and year 3 for me, know that your book has done wonders in allowing me to reflect honestly and ever-more objectively on my mother's intentions: securing my soul into heaven. A little lofty maybe, but isn't that a right of a parent?

Thankyou for bringing some of the joy and positive memories back - where only pain and loss were lurking regarding Mom.

A heartfelt Merry Christmas and Peace to you and your entire family. ((jaghockeymom@hotmail.com))

A story from Maria Mendoza about My Shih-Tzu Benny
posted 12/13/2008

Well, may I start off by saying I LOVE Marley & Me. I'm a 17 year old high school junior who plans on being an artist in some area & maybe a writer in some time. In my life, I've ALWAYS wanted a dog - one of my very own. My entire life, my parents had their mutt by the name of Gin Gin, She lived until I was 14 years old. We had a few other dogs in that time, but none of them really mine. They were just for the family. I had plenty of cats - even mice. But a dog was my dream. Now, many teens get cars for their 16th birthday. I begged for a dog. My mother figured she could NOT deny me one considering my parents had split up in May a few months earlier. It was November now & I was done begging. I'd almost given up the good dog fight, but i never stopped secretly desiring one. Well, with $400 dollars & a newspaper classified add, my mother took me on Nov. 12th - 3 days before my birthday, & got me my very own dog. I named him "Benny" after a character in one of my stories. & I doted on this dog then on out...

Perhaps 3 months later

  • around the time this pic was taken actually!

  • my sophmore Language Atrs teacher

  • who i found to be a bit..."odd" put nicely

  • hands out books to our class called "Marley & Me."

    "Well this sounds pretty ok..." says Maria to herself, being the picky reader she is. At this point, I was really not enjoying my pup as much as I should have. He was a menace! So hyper & needy!

  • much like yourself, Mr. Rogan, I hadn't read ANYTHING on the breed before I bought him! So when I read you did the same, I had to laugh out loud! In class, by the way!

  • But, after reading all the junk you needed to go through with your little pooch, it was nice to know my dog wasn't the only one who had pulled those stunts! He did EVERYTHING Marley did!

  • and still kinda does!

  • He knows his basic commands, but only listens if I'M the one giving them! He eats everything, barks, even

  • and get a load of how awkward THIS IS!

  • tries to, erm, "date" both our cats, Violet & Daisy...

  • mega icky stuff

  • Well, I just today finished reading "Marley & Me" for the 3rd time now. it speaks more & more to me every time I do. I take what you say & put it into action. I consider my dogs feelings when he wants a walk.

  • we live in an apartment so they're a frequent thing

  • & hes served as such a loyal loving friend in all my hardships...

    Through 3 boyfriends....6 breakups....countless sick days.....& oh so many lengthy phone calls that bother him because he knows "Mommy isn't talking to ME!!!"

  • hes an attention hog!

  • & even through the rough transition of my father & mother coming back together to work out their marriage.....he sits by my side.

    I want to thank you. your book is a God send. My mom is reading it, & I'm getting my new boyfriend to read it

  • hes a lil bookworm! & yeah I got a good feelin' bout this boy if you were thinkin' "Hmm.....after 3 boyfriends? Is she nuts?"

  • Its taught me so much. I'm going to buy your other book & I plan on buying "Marley & Me" the movie when its released!

    Thank you so much for your time. You have really touched my life with your wise words on how all people should see their animals - not even just dogs. THank you, & God bless.

    - Maria D. Mendoza of PHX, AZ.

    P.S. Give your family my good wishes - including your pets! And I only chose this pictue because it was the first time Benny proved he was a camera hog! He was running around,

  • chasing his tail....yeah i'm rolling my eyes in humiliation

  • and I said "Benny! Look at me for a sec, piggy!" He literally dead stopped, looked at my phone, and gave the cutest smile!!!! Once he heard the camera go CLICK CLICK, he was off again, in hot persuit of his tail, as if it had stolen his dog chow. Then, not 10 seconds later, barreled head first into our mirror wall.......

  • Dont worry! he was on the chase again in about 3.2 seconds.... :)

  • A story from Rachel about Ironic loss
    posted 12/14/2008

    I just got back from Roatan, Honduras. My best friend visited last week and forgot her copy of "Marley and Me", so I brought it with me for some reading on the plane. I finished it in the plane on the way back. As I was coming home on the highway I received a phone call..."We're just confirming Freya's recheck appointment for tomorrow at 10:30." I had no idea what was going on, so I told them I'd be there and hung up. When I called the dog-sitter, she said Freya had collapsed on Monday and had been unable to get up since. She was on steroids to help inflammation and some pain killers. When I arrived and saw her for the first time, I knew it wasn't good. I'm trained as a veterinary technician, and had seen such paralysis before. Her hind legs were cold, and her tail limp. The sitter (a good friend) said she hadn't fallen or anything, a definate possibility since we live in Ontario and it's snowy and icy out. We struggled to get her in the car as my friend cried, and I consoled her, telling her it wasn't her fault. When I got in the car, I lost it...I knew what was going to happen, and I couldn't believe it. She'd been so healthy, and absolutely no sign that this was going to happen. I brought my other dog, Mumford, with us to the veterinary clinic that day. They were nice enough to slip us in ASAP, beacause though she wasn't in pain, she was uncomfortable, and I couldn't let her stay like that. As he injected the Euthansol, I held her front end in my lap and her head in the crook of my left arm. She looked up at me, then to Mumford who was on my right side. Then she was gone. She left very quickly, and without a struggle. As I got to thinking about the whole thing, and the strange fact that I had just finished tearing up while reading "Marley and Me" only a couple hours earlier, I couldn't help but wonder if it might have helped me be strong for her. Knowing I wasn't alone in my loss is helping a lot, and finding out I could come here and read other people's stories has made such a difference. Freya was kind, gentle and loving. Everything an Irish Wolfhound is supposed to be. She may not have been "trick" smart, but she knew what she liked...her soft dog bed, the couch (which I couldn't sit in when she was on it, so I was relegated to the arm), and her puppy treats. The groomers loved her, as did everyone who met her. Sometimes I lost patience with her when she was enjoying the snow and sub-freezing temperatures and Mumford and I were freezing, but I never meant it. I should have cuddled her more. I should have taken more photos, and i should have spoiled her rotten. I miss her more than I can say, and though I know I did the right thing, I wish I would have been there sooner to soothe and comfort her. She was always there when I needed her.

    A story from SPICYJOSE about little peprica
    posted 12/14/2008

    please go on to www.spicyjose.com to check out my website........we have lots of things about marley and the latest mega gossip. Iluv this book............

    A story from Robbin about Saving Josie's Life
    posted 12/14/2008

    I read your book about 3 weeks ago and I loved it. I would be laughing on the train reading it and then it tokk me a half hour to read the last 5 pages due to the fact that I could see through my own tears. But the real reason I am writing to you is because you and your book actually saved my best friend Josie's life. Josie is a 11 year old Rhodesian/Red Boned Hound Mix. On Friday night she became restless which for Josie is abnormal since normally she is a very sedate dog. About 1 am she awoke me crying and yelping in pain. I let her out afew times and then about 2 am realized her stomach was swollen. She had what Marley had known as BLOAT which I had no idea about before reading your story. I called and took her to the 24 hour emergency hospital and they saved her life. Knowing she may not make it through a major surgery I suggested from what I read in your book about the less invasive procedure. They performed the procedure and now 2 days later I have my best friend back. Thank You for saving her life........

    A story from Carmen Bott about My beautiful Sasha girl
    posted 12/15/2008

    I recently had a holiday with my family and my mother gave me Marley and Me to read. I must say I have never been so touched in my life and thoroughly enjoyed reading all about Marley and his antics! I am a real dog lover and enjoyed ever second of the book, reading it in a couple of days. I must say I bawled my eyes out when I got to several parts of the book, not only becuase I could really put myself in your shoes having had a "naughty" St Berdnard called Pete! But also becuase I have an old Kelpie cross called Sasha who is 15 years old now and well and tuly into her twilight years. I cried for hours, becuase I felt for you and your family but also becuase I felt for my impending decision I will have to make in the next 12 months as my lovely girl gets older. She is doing ok at the moment but I fear that I no longer have a great deal of time left with her. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful story, it has really made a huge difference to my life.

    Cheers Carmen

    A story from Lindsey about Getting our baby girl London in our first year of marriage
    posted 12/15/2008

    My husband and I married April of this year and couldn't wait to get a puppy! We began looking at newspapers and the day I went out "just to look" is the day I picked out our baby London and brought her home for us June of this year. My husband was surprised when he called me while I was at one of the breeders and I picked up to tell him "I'm purchasing our new yellow lab puppy, call you right back!" When we brought her home our neighbor brought over "Marley & Me" to my husband and told us that we absolutely had to read it now that we own a new yellow lab puppy. Your book "Marley & Me" touched me deeply. I laughed so much thoughout, thinking of our own memories we're making with London. She's definitely tried to jump out the window before like in the book and scratched my husband's car. Plus she loves to eat anything and everything! Some of her delicacies include broken glass, an entire brillo pad, and a beer bottle cap. We had absolutely no idea how dirty our floors were until we got her because even after vacuuming, she will find SOMETHING to chew on! We've called or visited the emergency vet so many times, they suggested we set up a special savings account for the many "London Instances" we can probably expect throughout her life. She's already had stitches and she's only 8 months old from an accident she had with some hedge trimmers one Sunday afternoon! I just wanted to say thank you for writing this story....the early days of you and Jenny reminded me so much of how precious this time is with my husband so early on in our marriage. It also made me so happy that we have London and how special she is to us. We are already so in love with her and I can't imagine how hard it will be in the end of her life when we will have to make a decision that you and so many others have written about in this blog. And it is true that time passes so fast because she's already 65 pounds and when we picked her up 6 months ago she was only 15 pounds! I loved the quote in your book when Marley can't make it to the church on the hill and you talk about how the journey inbetween is really what matters in life. It is so true and this book will help me to really appreciate the time I have with London and the journey I am beginning with my new husband. I read the last couple of chapters with London in bed and sobbed so hard I could barely read the pages! I think I will look at her in a whole new light now. It's now my husband's turn to read the book and I think he may even shed a tear at the end of this heartwarming, amazing book. I can't wait to see the movie! Congratulations on all of your success!

    A story from Rita about Fofão and me
    posted 12/15/2008

    Hi John and dear readers, The story below is from my aunt, who asked me to translate it into English.

    “The ‘Marley and me’ is a terrific story that I could read in my whole life, besides this book took me the longest time to read it. John, I bought the book in March 2008, but when I was reading it (in the half of the book), a friend of mine told me that Marley would die in a tragic way. I became shocked, and then I stopped the reading, although the book had stayed on my reading’s table. Every day I looked to it, sometimes reading a little bit, always with my heart in an anxious mood, avoiding reaching the book’s ending. Suddenly, today, I took courage and decided to read it without fear. I started at 6 am, breaking the reading from 9:30am until 6pm in order to work, and when I came at home, without at least washing my hands, returned to the book. I smiled, but also cried a lot and at 8:30pm I finished the reading :) By the way, I have a lovely dog, called ‘Fofão’ (7 years old), who is very fop and had in the last year a serious health problem, besides many other innumerous problems caused by ‘his’ foppery. ‘He’ had just 1% of chance to survive. I prayed to all my saints and obtained professional help from the vet. (an excellent professional), and care help form all my relatives (we consider Fofão as a member of our family) and friends, who always asked God to give back health to my dog. Nowadays, ‘Fofo’ (his nickname) is very strong, and thanks to God my dog recovered his health. At my street, Fofão is better known then me. He is strong, full of black fur with white breast, 13kg of weight, short and very sociable. As I told in the beginning, it was difficult to me to read this book, but I learned so much with it, and today brought to my heart how much an unconditional love, between a man and an animal, means. Thank you so much for the reading and I guarantee to you that this book is the best one I have ever read in entire life. Fraternal hugs, Rita Wanzeler Fofão’s mom Belém-Pará, Brazil nov 24th, 2008” I hope this helps my aunt and I wish to all of you enjoy her experience with her ‘son’ Fofão. In case of reply, send it to luwan@hotmail.com (my e-mail).

    A story from Olivia Gallagher about Thunderstorms
    posted 12/15/2008

    We have a five year old black lab, Jack Black. He, like Marley, is terrified of thundestorms, but fortunately is not destructive. He just finds a good place to hide....under the bed, in the shower in one bathroom or in the bathtub. Surprisingly, he is also afraid to go in our pool, but readily runs into the ocean. My son and his friends tried to take him in when he was a pup, but I think he never could figure out how to get up the steps and out of the pool. We are fortunate to have two beaches close by that allow dogs and he visits often. He is truly the family dog and spends time with each family member, although technically he is my son's dog. He has brought so much to our lives and taught us all the meaning of unconditional love. While not quite as exuberant as Marley, I certainly recognized many traits in Jack. I thought you did an excellent job not only telling your story, but also educating the reader about the breed. The story of your family's evolution along with Marley was such a treat. I look forward to reading your next book.

    A story from Heather about Bad Dog, Marley
    posted 12/15/2008

    Tonight we had "family night" making cookies and reading stories. We cut out our cookies and while they were baking and then cooling we read stories. One of the stories I chose was Bad Dog, Marley. Because we have our own "Bad Dog"-Baxter the Beagle, I thought my children would really enjoy this story. Boy did they (they are 5, 4 and 2), but I didn't realize how much until my 4 year old daughter selected her two oookies to eat. She chose a dog shaped oookie and a bone shaped cookie. She then proceeded to act out her favorite parts of the story with her cookies. She soon had the other two helping her retell the story. As I finished cutting cookies I laughed and nearly cried with love watching my children play together and bond over a story. I will never forget the sqeals of "bad, bad Marley" coming from my two year old and the four year old pleading "please, please can we keep Marley." Never again when Baxter is a bad beagle will I ever say "that dog has to go"!!! Thank you for a wonderful evening.

    A story from Ashley Gainey about Marley
    posted 12/16/2008

    Hi john! i just finished marley and me. i have to say, i love the way you write. it speaks to people. ive been up all night finishing it, because when it got to the point where i knew he was getting older, i started crying. im such a sap for animals. anyway, here i am trying my best to read this book through a blurr of tears. and i couldnt put it down until i read the last word of the book. im only 22 and im getting married this sunday coming up, and i can only hope that we find a dog as great as marley. lol. i know he put you through a lot, but i can only hope to have the same thing someday. i had one dog in my life time that touched me the most. she was a pure white jack russell named zoe. she had a rough start from the begining. we owned the mom and dad to her and she was the only one to make it. it was the mothers first litter and we had problems with her taking care of my little zoe. and she was very mean to it. i think if i ever had left her alone she would have killed her. anyway, i held the mom down so zoe could eat everyday and the rest of the day zoe would hang out with me. we did everything together. and she was so funny. when i met the man im about to marry, she wanted nothing to do with him. she would climb on him and pee on his shoulder. lol. i think she was jealous. but anyway she didnt live but about 7 months and was hit by a car. i cried and cried over this dog for months, she was like my little child. but like i said, you book has given me hope to find another great dog out there some day. i just wanted to say thank you and im looking forward to reading your new book.

    A story from Pam about Sophie and Me
    posted 12/16/2008

    Sophie... where to begin. I have only had her less than 2 years. I am such a sap when it comes to animals and after having to put two of my dogs down in the last 2 years, I wasn't sure if another dog was for me. But... a girl at work was circulating this picture of this dog that needed a home or else the vet where she was being held was going to put her down because they needed room and no one wanted to her. I fell hook, line and sinker. I mean look at that face. Little did I know that the cute face was there for a reason. For as much love that she has, she has in mischevious, downright bad behavior. Over the past year, she has chewed every piece of furniture in my house, destroyed several pairs of my shoes, one of my Longenberger baskets and every single pair of my gloves has something ripped or torn on it. She has calmed down somewhat, thank goodness, but still has her moments when you just want to beat her to a pulp, but then she looks at you and my heart melts and I can't bring myself to do it. So I make her stay outside a while and clean up the mess and we start all over. I have come to realize that things are replaceable, but the joy and love that comes from a dog is priceless and something I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

    A story from Paula about Marley, Mo & Kitty
    posted 12/17/2008

    I loved your book I read this book some time ago I talk about the book all the time and finally got my husband to read just last weekend he could not put it down I had told him that Marley reminds me of our dog (black lab) Mojo we call Big Mo we love her even if she swallows socks every chance she gets and eats like she hasn't eaten for days. we also have 2 other dogs (Kitty)aka Kid, lab very calm, and then there is Marley (Beagle-Yorkie) 20 lbs of wild he got his name from a company named Marley where my husband found him wired to a fence brought him home and he has ruled every since. one funny story we were walking on the trail and Mo & Marley saw a squirrel game on!! it was funny walking behind my husband as the dogs took off and my husband held on they sent him into flip but still hanging on to the leases. Without our dogs we would be lost they give so much love and keep us going that's for sure Love your book, it was so well writen.

    A story from Meredith about Maggie
    posted 12/17/2008

    I just finished reading Marley & Me and absolutley loved it. However, it should come with a warning label! I was crying and my poor husband just looked at my like I was crazy--he just needs to read it. Our Maggie is nearly 12 years old and like Marley in his later years, is going grey all the way to the ends of her ears. She has been my companion longer than anyone--with me since college--she's been there through dating, marraige and now two beautiful children (who, also like Marley, she loves dearly and is protective of). The book really made me have a new appreciation for my "shadow" and has reminded me to cherish every moment with her. Dogs lives are so fleeting but the joy they bring is worth every tear! Thanks again for a great read.

    A story from Wendi Hamm about The furry kids
    posted 12/17/2008

    In our family we have three skin kids and three furry kids. The furry kids are Owen (left), Shana (middle) and Cotin (right). Like the three skin kids, they are cousins and enjoy getting together for some good play time. This picture actually captured them standing still. My daughter (one of the skin kids) and I read your book together. It was excellent and really captured the true spirit of a great dog! Bravo. There aren't too many books that can make me laugh out loud and/or cry, but Marley and Me managed to do both. We can't wait to see the movie, as the previews had us laughing in rememberance of the stories in the book.

    A story from Jessica about The Past And Present With Dogs
    posted 12/17/2008

    Dear John Grogan,

    I wanted to send this to you letting you know how your book really touched me. I was always a book fanatic. Wether it was Harry Potter Books or Romance Books or Funny tales. But your book Marley And Me seemed to be one of the only ones that has touched me. You see, i once had a dog named eski. He was a wild guy who seemed to get through a lot. We went on vacation and left him at my grandma and grandpa's and he managed to bite their fridge plug out. All of their food went bad. So as you can imagine reading marley and me brought so many memories back to me that i had almost forgotten. Sadly Eski wasnt becomming friendly in his old age. He would only show respect towards me my mom and my brother. Anyone else who was lingering around would get bitten. So eventually we had to make the wise choice and put eski to sleep. I still remember that day. That day i held eski for the last time. I had that feeling that made me want to never let go. Knowing it would be the last time i would snuggle up to my best friend. He died infront of my eyes. Once the vetranarian put him down he callapsed in me and my moms arms. I cried thinking that he was in his usual deep sleep. Feeling that this wasnt the end. But eski was gone. and i had 2 accept that. After that i never thought i could have a dog. Even though it was fun while it lasted in the end it was the worst feeling i could ever imagine. I have moved on since then but i feel that the joy he brought me when i was really young can never be replaced. i am now 12. at that time i was around 3 or 4.

    I just wanted to let you no that i have never honestly been able to relate to a book such as yours. Tears welled in my eyes. I now have a dog sierra. She is the light in my life. Yes i dont want the end to come any time soon...because i am a true animal lover I also have a cat... 18 years old. and I dont want that day to come. every day i spent time with her. Chic Chi ,Sierra,Eski Just Know I Love You Guys From Deep Inside My Heart. FOREVER xoxoxo

    A story from Jenn about Chaos thy name is Bailey.
    posted 12/17/2008

    When I tripped over Marley and Me in the book store every trip in for about six months to a year, I picked it up and perused the cover a couple of times largely because the adorable lab on the cover. As an avid reader, I am embarrassed to say that I didn't decide to actually read it until my favorite actress was slated to play the part of your wife in the movie adaptation. So many parts of the book reminded me of my golden retriever/standard poodle hybrid, Bailey. She's eaten carpeting, cell phones, cameras. She routinely swims in her water bowl (in the kitchen). Before being banned from the bathroom, she took great joy in accompanying me in the shower, licking rivulets of water from the shower walls, the floor, my legs. She is currently walking around the living room with the label of a 20oz bottle of diet Pepsi clinging to the fur of her neck by the miracle that is static energy. She once got a hold of a bottle of spray glitter used for hair on Halloween, punctured it with her little pointy teeth and sent it careening around the room spewing glitter on the floors, couches, walls. The ceiling.

    Marley and Me was a wonderful book and made me appreciate Bailey for her sweetness and loyalty even in light of her more mischievous qualities. Big thumbs up! jswiley@gmail.com

    A story from Vicky Gilman about The likeness
    posted 12/18/2008

    Have to do this in 2 parts. Ricochet who is the pup here is my newest Born Sept 10 2008. It took me from May 08 till now looking at alot of dogs to finally find the right one to replace my Gus(Marley in the later years) I read the book in 24 hours(not all at once but might as well be-I couldnt put it down and repeated parts in my head while i could not read more) I have always has a deep love with yellow labs so always owned them. He is such a funny boy. Of course as any lab owner knows they are not happy if something isnt in their mouths. Same goes for this lil guy. He loves certain t.v shows(kid ones for sure-hannah montana he jumps and plays at the screen) He dont have the tilting of the head like alot of pups got side to side goofy looks. Unless watching kid shows. He loves my girls and kids in general. He worships me and listens to me. Rarely anyone else. I bought him at 8 weeks and 1 day old. There was him and one other brother(Lady told me there was 3 brothers left-Ad stated 8 left ready to go on the 10 of sept- I called the 11) she brought them out to me and the othere brother was shy and kinda shyed away from me but Ricochet almost jumped out of her arms at me. Of course I held both just be sure BUT I went with Ricochet because he showed love to me and attention to me as I did him. That was the point to make sure we both connected. The next day I paid for him and had to go to work for a bit so he joined. The next day I set a vet appt while I was working and LOW AND BEHOLD the company car break down. Of course I have to call the boss and I was busted.lol. I only deliver meds to nursing homes and we all know our elders just love animals brings spirits up so I figured what would it hurt then this happens. Well he catched up woth me at the tow yard and he falls in love.....Not that I knew that then. So I had my friend drive 50 miles to pick him up so didnt get n trouble and then later my boss asks Hey, where did that lil sh

  • t go I loved him.!" Here I thought would get in trouble and dang it if I would be allowed to bring him along... Just the begining of our life... Ricochet has torn off wall paper and shredded the camo(pine shedding filled bed) I made for him. TOYS galore.... Spoiled rotten. He acts great when I am around BUT when my fiancee is around he acts a fool. I say no he stopps. He's so wonderful....PART 2 coming with the reason I again have a yellow lab pup

    He's everything I lost with Gus.

    A story from Kay Clark about Cole
    posted 12/18/2008

    I have two mild versions of Marley, Fred is 4 yrs. old, part Huskey part ?, and looks like a black Lab with a curly tail. Cole was born July 1st. he is part black Lab and part Mammonth. I just bought your book yesterday and read up to chapter twenty when I had to forced myself to put the book down on my end table to get some sleep as I work nights. Needless to say I forgot to put Cole in his crate. I was kinda in that half awake half sleep stage hearing paper being ripped, then it dawned on me that Cole was out of his cage.....I flew out of bed to see Cole with the book 'Marley & Me' hanging out of his mouth. Of course Cole wanted to play keep away then tug of war. But I manage to get it away from him. After wiping off the drool I lost pages 139-144 and the first page of pictures, the front cover is chewed up at the bottom and teeth marks all over. Luck is on my side tho' I can still read it, its just a little stiff. Bad news is my sister wanted to read the book when I was finished. She is an advid book reader.. Guess what she will be getting for Christmas. LOL So far I have really enjoyed this book, I have laughed out loud, not many books can do that. I think Cole did a good job on designing the book cover, it makes it look really authentic.

    A story from James Costa about "The One I Kept"
    posted 12/18/2008

    John, I just finished reading Your HeartWarming story....'Marley & Me'. I enjoyed it very much, and it was The Best Book I read this year. I currently have a Golden Retriver who is 13yrs. old. And I know that His time is coming soon. He's a Great Dog...Warm & Loving. The reason I am writing to You.... I Wrote a Book which I Titled "The One I Kept". It's mostly about My Love for My Wife Susie. How I met Her...and How She Kept Me....All These Years. And Her unwavering Love for Me....even though I probably never deserved such a Love. I was wondering If You would want Me to send You a Copy of My Book. Read it....and if You think it is worthy of publishing. I too was born in 1957, not in March, but in May. and although Writing is not My Main Career....I believe that I wrote a Good Book. Thank You, James Costa - 28493 Aspen Dr. North Olmsted, Ohio 44070

    A story from Tina about Martha and Me
    posted 12/18/2008

    Every day I take a walk during my lunch break. I listen to an audio book and just finished "Marley and Me" today. Wow, how Marley's story touched my heart. Apparently one tissue is not enough for the ending, good thing Starbucks is on my route and loaded with napkins. I really connected with you when you shared your final 'party' with Marley. My daughter Samantha, (pictured) and I knew we would have to put our wonderful pound puppy down the next day, for her sake, at 14. We had asked friends to drop by to say goodbye to her on her last evening (pictured). We laughed and cried and shared all the stories we had. By the morning, we had to steel ourselves, moving like robots to get though the event. To the vet, saying goodbye and staying with her through her final moments...then home to face the weeks and months of grief. Who knew she could touch our lives so? Right now I am looking at her doggy Christmas stocking hanging with the rest...embroidered with the word "spoiled" and a vinyl sleeve for her picture, bow on head of course. Don't all dog owners have that shot? Martha's ashes are nearby in a stone like container. The words "Dogs leave paw prints on your heart forever..." engraved in the stone. Truer words were never spoken.

    Thank you John for sharing your story. Thank you for letting us share our stories. I've laughed and cried and thoroughly enjoyed them. Merry Christmas all.

    Tina from Torrance, CA

    A story from Amber Pine about Jack
    posted 12/19/2008

    Dear John, I just want to thank you for Marley & Me. We had a Chocolate Lab, Jack. He only got to be 8 before he passed in the same awful way your Marley did. I loved that big dumb dog. Our vets here in Indiana were not as clear as yours in Pennsylvania. The same events happened to Jack, it was like you like you were descibing my dog. I found so much joy and closier with your book, and although cannot wait to see the movie, I am sure your words will be better. I just wanted to take a couple minutes to thank you. Your story really touched me. Oh yeah, by the end of the book, I think I was tie with just as many good laughs as I had good hard cries.

    A story from Arlene about Wicket
    posted 12/19/2008

    I just finished reading Marley & Me. Although, I knew I would cry at the end, I did have many good laughs. My Wicket wasn't a Lab, but a Shitz Tzu. As the snow falls outside, I remember how my husband would plow a path across the backyard so that she could do her business in her favorite spot. Snow would be as high as 24 inches above her, but she would still try to plow thru. I had stitches in my side when Marley saw snow for the first time and tried to make a u-turn. Shitz Tzu's have very short snouts and Wicket would bury hers in the snow all the time. As many of your reader's have stated, you haven't had a life unless there has been at least one in yours. I have been blessed to have 5. Two in childhood, and 3 as an adult. Its been two and a half years since we lost Wicket and I still miss her terribly. Maybe some day I will take that path again, but it doesn't seem to be the right time now. From your book, Marley was blessed to have had you and your family in his life and I think he knew that, hense his complete loyalty. Thanks again for such an enjoyable story. From one dog lover to another, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    A story from The Raeder Family about Chester The Worlds BEST yellow LAB
    posted 12/19/2008

    Today at 4:20 I was touched with the saddest news that sank my heart. My beloved friend and my brother (with fur not flesh) will have to be put to sleep and sent off to doggy heaven due to Cancer. His name is Chester and he was an amzing 7 year old yellow lab and did the most amazing things. He was brought into the Raeder house a loving, gentle, and restless joy of life. Chester was supposed to be a fantastic gun-dog but turned out being affraid of everything especially loud noises. So are Grade- A Gun-Dog was no just a ball of golden yellow fur that moped around. One summer the canal that runs through the city and is backed to are home became a play-center for chester. He jumped right in and swam all the way and part walked to a nearby McDonalds. Last summer my friends and I were having a lemonade stand and Chester decided to pee on my friends leg. And last but not least Chester had many run-a-ways and would frolic in the street so one summer day Animal Control caught none-other than Chester Raeder playing in the street and he got picked up by Animal COntrol and rode in the front seat. Though Chester will not be spending Christmas with us he gave us the gift of many great memories. I love Chester and always will no-matter what. The memories I have from him will always be chersished and I will always remember Chester as the Worlds Best Dog. Thank you John Grogan for writing Marley and Me!!! I just so happened to finsih it the day we found out Chester had Cancer and would soon die. Reading about Malrey helped me cope with this time and I greatly thank you. Marley and Me was a great book and since we have to put are dog to sleep due to cancer to I can really relate to it. Chester I am so sad and un-prepared for this time. I wish I could just hug you and say I love you and goodbye. Chester I know you are going to die i just want to let you know that i will always love you and goodbye!

    A story from Kay Windiate Benesi about growing up on Erie Drive
    posted 12/19/2008

    My sister Janet got wind of the fact that the guy who wrote Marley and Me and the Longest Trip Home was one of the four Grogan kids who lived just across the street from our mailbox on Erie Drive. We lived down the long driveway that went past the Penny's driveway. Our house was on the lake. I was born in 1949 so am older than you are. I am not a Catholic, so attended Roosevelt Elementary in Keego Harbor and then went on to the old West Bloomfield High School which at that time was a 7th-12th grade school. I do remember going into your house once or twice to visit your sister Marijo. And I remember all the kids cutting down to the outlot next to the Penny's property rather than walking all the way around. That made perfect sense and it was always fun to watch all the activity. I am currently reading your book "the longest Trip Home and am finding it especially wonderful since I know all the places you are talking about. I had forgotten that we called the boat basin "the Lagoon" so I got a kick out of that. I remember the boys in the neighborhood always pushing the girls into the mucky water. I ice skated many evenings down at the boatbasin and also swam all summer out at the raft. I actually worked at Dandy Drug Store until I got fired for shoplifting some of the merchandise. It happened at the end of the summer and I remember telling my parents that I just decided to quit a little early. So I could relate to a lot of your telling your parents what they wanted to hear. Our Lady Of Refuge was always somewhat of a mysterious place to us protestants. I remember seeing the nuns walking down the streets and thinking that they were really witches in their dark clothes. I remember attending Mass once at Refuge with my friend Roberta Reisler and I found it mysterious as well with the priests speaking in Latin. I was actually scared. Thank you for writing your books and Congratulations on having them be so succesful. I will definitely go see the movie Marley and Me. Sincerely, Kay Windiate Benesi

    A story from Lorraine Hollett about My Cat Boo
    posted 12/19/2008

    I don't have a dog, but if you'd met my pets, you'd know why I was posting this. My cat Boo is almost like Marley in cat form. He claws the furniture, chases me around, steals food of the table, plays a little too rough, and runs away when he goes outsides. He likes wrestling with my 9 year old cat and also with me, even though he's only 1. When he goes in the backyard, he likes to runaway and explore with the stray cats. Once he ran away at 5 o'clock and we couldn't find him until 9 o'clock at night, twenty feet up in a tree in a strangers backyard. My father, my little brother, and me(I'm 16) had to take a ladder and rescue him. Your book, Marley & Me, which I adore, taught me something. It taught me too enjoy each moment with Boo, because he's no longer a two week old baby drinking from a bottle. He won't last as long as I do, and I need to cherish any crazy thing he does, whether it's biting my arm while I rub his belly, or stealing meatloaf right off my plate. Boo and Marley have also taught me to live life to the fullest, and to enjoy every moment, however simple.

    A story from Lauri Lacy about Chloe
    posted 12/19/2008

    My husband turned our lives upside down this January by bringing home a yellow lab puppy. Chloe's development and behaviors mirror Marley's as a pup. The similarities were incredible.

    Last weekend I listened to the audio book of Marley and Me on a road trip. The story made me miss Chloe so much and I could not wait to get home to her. Only I came home to find she had had diarrhea throughout the house. (apparently she chewed through a bottle of liquid soap.)

    Chloe has many interests. She enjoys "helping" in the kitchen, "wrapping" x-mas presents, re-arranging furniture and reorganizing shoes in the closet. This all in addition to swimming, long walks and playing with her "big sis," a chihuahua named Lupita.

    Chloe did see her first snow in Houston,TX last week! It didn't phase her though.

    I woke up from a nap this afternoon to find her eating the box of Marley and Me. Too ironic. Look closely at the photo!

    A story from Angela about Remembrance of our father
    posted 12/20/2008

    John, Our dad, pronounced dead several times throughout his life, living one remarkable life had showed us life was far from over. In 2004 he suffered a triple brain injury, lost his memory, learned how to walk, talk, and eat all over again. He was remarkable at age 68. He was then living with metastatic bladder cancer and trying to understand life as it now was. One eye went one way after the accident and the other another way. He saw with double vision, but he pushed on as always. My sister, a dog lover and owner of a deaf boxer that reads sign language, gave our dad your book so he could pracice reading something fun to to try and get his vision back. He practiced until he was able to finish the book...laughing all the way through it. The separated print allowed him to read the book. After that, he put down 3 books a week and learned how to ride a bike so he could go to the library and get more books since he could no longer drive. He passed away Nov. 10, 2008 from cancer and we thought he was invincible. I just decided to read the book that gave my father such joy in reading. I'm laughing too. Our family is going to spend Christmas day at the movies to see Marley & Me. This one's for dad. Thank you John.

    A story from Muriel about Grogan Books
    posted 12/20/2008

    Having been reared, from age 5 to age 14, in a Catholic orphanage (Sisters of Providence), I can so relate with your remarks about Catholicism. I so enjoyed reading your "Memoir." Your parents were marvelous role models and I consider you very fortunate to have had them. I must also add that I very seldom laugh, cry, etc while reading one book. Marley & Me did just that. What a wonderful book. I'm satisfied after reading the book that I do not have to see the movie. Good Bless You at this Christmas time and keep the good books coming.

    A story from clarissa about barney the labrador
    posted 12/20/2008

    We have laughed and cried listening to your life with Marley. We have our own golden lab called Barney and we live in Bristol, England. He too likes to rummage through the waste bin and likes to rearrange household accessories, pot-purri is a favourite. One day we came home to find potatoes placed on each rung of our stairs (Barney learn't he only likes them cooked. If we are trying to pack anything away he will purposefully go and find a toy to drop into whatever container as if to say "I can do that". Barney had a bad start in life and came to us as a walking skeleton with inflamed ears, digestive problems and epilepsy. Because of this he is very clingy, and needs to be in physical contact with us as much as possible. When he first arrived he could only sleep if I kept my hand on him until he was in deep slumber and he still needs reassurance during the night when he has a nightmare. Even with his bad start, he is the sweetest, loving dog you could wish for. He hardly ever barks and will even let you take his food away mid meal. Talking of which, Barney likes his food very much, and just last week got into the Christmas box of food stored in the spare room and helped himself to a total of eight chocolate and marzipan cakes. Having already had to say goodbye to two very good furry friends, I dread the day when it will be Barney's turn to say goodnight. At least we will know we gave him the best life possible, even only taking holidays that he could come on too. We look forward to seeing Marley the film and assume it will come to England. Enjoy your success and thank you for the enjoyment you have given to dog lovers everywhere.

    A story from Bryan Adam Lloyd about Sierra
    posted 12/20/2008

    hello this is Bryan Lloyd again this is the second time i have did this the last time i talked about Rambo buster and safiar this time we took my dog pudge to to the Adrian Michigan humane society. and a day later we got a new dog she is 4 different breeds she is pit bull, black lab, sheepdog, and collie she has white on her chest and paws she is black and about 7 months old now we got here before the school year started she is cute and here name is sierra. my uncle still has daisy we still don't now what breed she is but we now she mixed with smaller dogs. back to me i don't have a picture of her she is very playful thought i just thought i would wrote to you john grogan to tell you how cool you book is and i cant what to see the movie and thanks for giving me the opportunity to write my dog sierra says hi thanks i will write again very soon

    A story from David about Kenny
    posted 12/21/2008

    Last April I rescued Kenny, a dog who has turned out to have some very Marleyesque behavior. He was a dirty, emaciated, and just down right lovable six-month old runt. He won me over in the first day I had him, which turned out lucky for both of us, because on the third day he fell ill with parvo.

    Six days and one hefty vet bill later, I brought him home to nurse him back to health. He was what the doting ladies at the vet's office referred to as "puppy velcro." He just could never get close enough to me.

    I'll admit I encouraged bad behavior. See, he was just so sweet and pathetic, I had to let him curl up next to me at night. Luckily, at the time, as a builder, I had a series of jobs where I could take him to work almost every day. We bonded fast and strong. In addition, he socialized into a dog who loves everybody and everything he ever met.

    Over the next several months, he left his rough start in the dust and evolved into the fastest, friendliest, and most playful lad at the local dog park. He can draw the most timid or cranky pooch into a friendly game of chase, and boy, does he love to run.

    He's a mutt; a wonderful, handsome, adorable mutt of the kind that everyone can't help but speculate on what he might have in him. The gigantic lolling tongue and the ginormous ears still defy description. More than doubling in size, he hasn't grown into either. The jury is still out, but I've always been pretty sure that a bit of him is lab, so when I saw your story on the shelf, I snatched it up and read it in a single sitting.

    By no means are our dogs identical, but the parallels were enough that you had me in tears by page 49. The wanton chewing of prized property, raiding of trashcans, prospecting on countertops, even though these lunkheads know in advance that Daddy doesn't like! Else why would he be hiding under the kitchen table when Daddy gets home? This is tempered by his uncanny ability to read my moods, his endless devotion to being by my side, and most of all, his incredible, unbelievable, passionate exuberance for life. Seems like a simple idea, but I think you nailed that concept in your book in a very touching way. So, thanks.

    Because, maybe Kenny isn't going to be the perfectly trained heeler. Maybe he'll always tug a bit on the leash. Maybe he'll never learn to roll over, balance a biscuit on his nose before I tell him he can have it, or fetch a ball without playing a bit of keep-away.

    Maybe I'll ease up on him a bit and make some allowances. Maybe he can be my perfect dog without learning to be the perfect dog. Maybe, after his rocky start in life, he deserves to live the life of a rock star. I'll keep working with him, but I'll love my Kenny however he works out.

    A story from Danielle about Marley & Me
    posted 12/21/2008

    Hi John, It is hard to truly convey how mush I enjoyed your story. I am only sixteen years old and have had a dog a black lab in fact that I grew up with she dies a few years back. This story had me laughing and crying as I remembered life with my loving companion and how much I miss her being at my feet and the safety she brought me. Thank you for this wonderful story that I will take many life lessons away with me. And thank you for helping me remember my dog Lucky and all the joy she brought me. You are truly an extraordinary author and Marley & Me has now become my favorite book.

    A story from Lorin about Saved us he did.
    posted 12/21/2008

    I truly believe that my wonderful Dalmatian Buddy saved me, himself and my other two Dalmatians from a potentially tragic event one day. I had placed an overfilled teapot on the stove and turned the burner on high. Figuring I would hear the whistle of the teapot when the water boiled I left the kitchen and returned to my office to continue working. As is the case so often I slipped into 'the zone' and totally lost track of time. All of a sudden Buddy came into the hallway to my office and started barking. Now Buddy was not the type of dog that would bark without reason, but I was focused on my work and found it somewhat annoying. "Buddy, be quiet!!!" I shouted, but his barking continued. Three times I scolded him to no avail. Finally I decided to get up and find out why he was being so 'bad'. As I walked out of the office it hit me like a punch in the stomach, it was the overwhelming smell of natural gas so strong it almost caused me to wretch. Now I've smelled natural gas before, from an extinguished pilot light or the many times I've lit hot water heaters or gas furnaces, but this was overwhelming. "Oh MY GOD!!! I thought as I rushed into the kitchen only to find that the teapot had boiled over and extinguished the flame on the stove. I have no idea how long the burner had been out, but the smell of natural gas was sickly thick in the air. I shut off the stove, rushed my dogs out of the house and proceeded to air out the house. I cannot imagine what would have happened if he had not alerted me of the danger.

    Buddy my boy, how many ways did I love thee, I simply cannot count. We taught each other so much about life and love, patience and understanding... Though you have taken your journey to the 'Bridge', I know in my heart and soul we will meet again. My darling dog-boy mere words cannot express the undying love I will always feel for you.

    A story from Betty O'Keefe about My disabled daugher and our two black labs
    posted 12/21/2008

    Mr. Grogan, I want to thank you for writing such a wonderful book, because I have been able to read and share this book with my daugher , Rebecca who has Huntington's Disease. She is 34 years old and she is the richest blessing that any mom could ask for . We have two beautiful black labs, Mandy and Abbey who are 6 yrs old. They are sisters, and are the most loyal loving dogs that anyone could ask for. Pictured next to Becky is Mandy, she is the alpha, the larger of the two, she weighs about 75 LBS, Abbey, the smaller one is on the chair in the background. Becky is in mid to latter stages of the disease, and these dogs have been with us for 6 of the 10 years that she has been sick, they came to us 5 months after we lost our beloved Maggie, our black lab we had for 13 years...Becky was so lonely at home, and we started out to get one, but decided on two, and they have been a joy and blessing ever since. They hover over her and have been with her throughout most of her illness, they have been there for her when she was still able to walk and play with them, and have watched her disease progress with each day, but thier loyalty remains steadfast...with care givers in the house now full time as both my husband and myself work full time, they are the constant companion and true freind she has always had by her side.,They have even become a little sad at times when she has bad days..They are so intuitve .when she goes to day care 2 days a week to the local nursing home where she will eventually be placed, they cry and wimper to watch her go on that bus...I just want to share this with you and to tell you that your book has been such a source of pleasure to us..I have been reading it to her for 3 weeks, at least 3 times a week before she goes to bed, and I must tell you what it has done for her and for me as well..She looked foward to the nights I was home and could not wait to hear more of Marley's story and his many adventures..and most of all Mr. Grogan, it brought back so many wonderful memories for her...she would smile at some of his many sheninagins and then she would remember her "girls" when they were pups and all of the wonderful times they shared as they grew..and now she just basks in thier attentiveness of her, and she knows how much they love her..I want to thank you so much for that..My husband and I are taking her to the movie after Christmas,Although her cognitive is not so well, we know in our hearts that she will thouroughly enjoy the movie, because just seeing her face and smile as I read her your book tells me she will love every moment...I truly beleive that YOur book has been a blessing in her life, just as Marley was to you and your family, just as Mandy and Abbey are to ours...It has been so difficult to watch our daughter's condition deterioate with each day, I am ever so thankful for this wonderful book and the opportunity that it allowed me to spend such quality happy time with my daughter..it is a memory I will hold deep within my heart always Mr. Grogan, and I look foward to reading your next book. God Bless you and your family. Sincerely Betty O'Keefe Becky Wallace and Mandy and Abbey too!

    A story from Lucy Bates about My adventures with my 3 1/2 Labs
    posted 12/21/2008

    Hello Grogan Family: I just finished reading your book on Friday, 12/19/08. My daughter had read it and passed it on to me. I had the hardest time getting to the end because I knew how the end would be. As I was reading the book, I laughed;I was angry when you were angry and upset and cried, of course. For those of us who are lab lovers it's like having the same dog with different names. My first lab was black, named Nikko. He was my first real dog and was so loyal to me. I also have lots of happy, sad, expensive, etc. stories to share about Nikko. Unlike Marley who was kicked out of obedience school, my Nikko placed second place in his class. Never would I have imagined that he would be trainable. The first day at the park before class, I was walking him around getting him used to the environment and I guess the wide open grassy field became too much excitement for him, that he bolted like a wild horse and literally dragged me through the park until I let go. I know that people around me were dying of laughter and I of embarassement. So when he placed second place, you bet I was standing tall and proud with his diploma and red ribbon in hand. I had the joy of having him around 16 years. When the day finally came to put him down I had a vet come to my house and saw him die peacefully. We buried him on our propterty and even made a small gravestone with his name on it. I don't think he was as bad as your Marley though. Living in Arizona, during monsoon season was the most challenging time to keep him calm due to the lightning and thunder. We tried conditioning him by putting rocks in a 2litre soda bottle and making lots of noise to no avail. He was still scared of storms even the wind made him nervous. To think that this breed is known for hunting birds. A couple of years later, I adopted another dog who was half Chesapeak Bay and lab mix. He was a chocolate beautiful colored dog named Buster Brown. He was also a male dog and people always warned me about having 2 male dogs at the same time. I never encounted any problems but Nikko let him know early in life that he would be the alpha dog. He was so docile and loveable and protective of my girls and I. Buster was part of my life for 15 years and died of colon cancer. That was around six years ago. Knowing how rambunctious my first two labs were you think I would have sense enough to have stayed away from that breed, but I didn't. Four years ago my oldest daughter began whinning and saying she wanted a dog. I told her that maybe what she really wanted was a boyfriend. She was not interested in that idea although being 20 years old. So in November of 2004 we headed out for the address listed in the newspaper advertising Black Labs for sale. You know the rest of the story. We brought this little six week old puppy home and played around with diffrent names as if naming a newborn baby, finally we all agreeed on Rocco". The name fits him to the tee. He is like an Italian gansta bully. Rocco controls everything, everything is about him first. First up the deck, in the pool, out of the gate, the first to eat, to get bones. He is a very selfish dog but I love him nonetheless. Obedience training didn't work for him so we quit the classes after a few weeks. Two years ago my daughter who so wanted a puppy, left town and left me to handle this beast and bully. Rocco is four and I keep hoping that soon he will grow up. Good thing is that he finally quit chewing on everything in sight. Walks with him are very stressful and he only wants to run wild. When we do go walking, there is some vacant land where I let him loose and he runs with such vigor and vim you think I would have him penned up in a 12x12. He has lots of back yard where he roams all day chasing birds and occasinally catching one or two. He's also a soccer dog, he has an indestructable ball and plays soccer until he runs out of breath. The time he chooses to play is early morning when the neighbors I belive are still slepping and the neighborhood is quiet. Not only does the ball make lots of noise but he barks as he chases this ball around which can be very annoying. He loves tennis balls but also loves to take off the green felt and sometimes shredding them to pieces. About a year later after buying Rocco, my neighbor made me an offer I could not resist. Her sister was giving away her yellow lab that was used for bredding by the Sheriffs Department. They bought all her puppies and used them for K-9 dogs. She was getting old and couldn't breed her anymore. The only promise was that I would have her spayed and keep her as healthy as possilbe for the remainder of her life. "Yes", "yes" I said without any hesitation. She came to me with a pedigree and blood championship lines. Her AKC name is Fritz's Tu Tu Chantilly Lace but to us she is Buttercup or Princess, or My Baby. She reminds people of a snobby rich lady waiting to be catered to. Her name also fits her personality. Friends that come over laugh at how exact the names fit our dogs. She will be 11 years old come December 29, 08. It's no wonder she has a hard time getting up and down. She sleeps alot and loves to be inside in the winter time. If she's cold or hungry she has a distinct bark that tells me exactly what she wants. People think I'm crazy when I tell them that. Dog people know when dogs are telling them something and they can even spell, I swear to that. I wanted to read the book before the movie opened X-mas day and am now looking forward to being one of thousands who will also be watching this movie with much enthusiasm.

    A story from Tracy Rectenwald about Riley & the Christmas Tree
    posted 12/22/2008

    I just finished reading your book and cannot wait until the movie comes out on Christmas! I have recommended this book to a few people already. I absolutely loved it. My puppy will be 8 months on Christmas Eve and I have already experienced a lot of the things you have described Marley as with my Riley. There were many parts in the book where she acts so much like Marley. I would catch myself saying, "That's just like Riley!" a lot! She definitely has the nickname 'Drippy' because of how she drinks her water too! I put the picture on here that I did because she decided to get up close with the tree and the next thing I know it's falling straight to the floor in slow motion (after this picture was taken of course). I got her as a birthday present from my fiance. At the time we were looking for a yellow lab with quite the personality! I told him I think we got the right one! She is a great dog and I loved when you said dogs have such short lives and spend a lot of it waiting for you to come home. She gets so excited for that and all dogs are just so special because they have that loyalty and don't ask for much. I am so glad I got to read your book (1) to know more about how this breed acts and all the joys they can bring (2) to be more prepared for her personality (3) to just laugh it off and enjoy all the special moments. Like Marley, Riley has a great personality and there is always something new with her. But even those things that happen where we might call them bad dogs, we will laugh about it later! That makes them who they are and makes them great dogs!

    I am truly sorry for your loss of Marley, but I am so glad you got the chance to have such a great dog and to tell your story to others.

    A story from Andy Clayton about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 12/22/2008

    Thank You John. I laughed so hard in the begining and cried so hard at the end. We would skip Mass and go to the local soda fountain. One of us had to run in the church and grab copys of the The Church Bulliten to prove we were there. My Dad has prostate cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's and Altzimer's. He taught me to sail. He got me my first real job at 16 as a clerk at The American Stock Exchange. Bought me my first suit. Dealing with adults was an eye opener. I soon found marijuana. I was a "stoner". Flunked out of college in 1973. My girlfreind looked like she came from a centerfold of Playboy. Blew that. 35 years later don't have much to show for it. Lived in 20 places and had 20 jobs. Would not trade it for second. The life ewperience was great. The bitch is. 55 years old and how to tell the story? Mom & Dad still beleive in me. "Your ship will come in".

    Joe, Thank you how to deal when death comes. I can now write a tribute to my Dad.

    He was the best.

    Thank You, Andy Clayton

    A story from Kenn Nordstrom about Marley & Me
    posted 12/22/2008

    Dear John,

    I am getting ready to see the Marley & Me movie on December 26. I hope it is as good as the book.

    I bought the book in February 2006 on a flight from Minneapolis - St. Paul to Tokyo and on to Hong Kong.

    On the flight ascent I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes. On our descent into Tokyo, I was crying so hard, I had more tears in my eyes.

    MY wife and I are now on our third GR (Golden Retriever) and we have loved and enjoined each of them. But back to your book and Marley in the shed during a thunderstorm... GR #@ was named Elle. She was the docile of our dogs, except when there was a thunderstorm brewing. I never needed the Weather Channel to tell me a big storm was coming. Elle knew, and she made sure I knew a storm was coming! When we lived in South Carolina during hurricane season, I knew for a week there was a hurricane coming!

    Here is a picture of GR #3 (Emma)! She is the most mischieveous of the bunch. Great dog!

    Best wishes for a great holiday. Regards,

    A story from Laura Nichols about Woodson's Hip Troubles
    posted 12/22/2008

    John, I just read the story about your new pup Woodson. In 1986 we bought a Chow pup and named her Sasha. Same thing happened to us that happened to your family. She started falling and just not acting right for a pup. Same deformity as your Woodson. When contacting the breeded we were told the same thing - bring her back and we will give you a new one. Well that wasn't an option as she was already in our hearts. We worked with her and built up her muscles and cartilage and helped her up and down. She did have both hips operated on - the balls of the femurs were removed - and we had her for an amazing 13 years. She has been gone since June 12, 2000 and I still tear up over that day I put her down. She was my first baby and brought me so much joy. Had I taken her back she would have been put down. So hang in there and love that "Woodsy" like no other. And I'm sure he will bring you much joy.

    Thank you for your stories.

    Laura Nichols Wauconda, IL

    A story from Carolyn about Bailey
    posted 12/22/2008

    Our story with Bailey began after our dear 16 yo golden mix died. My husband had had a stroke years before and the old golden "Butkus" was old and slow enough for Dom to take him for walks. He was a big part of Dom's recovery. Dom had lost his sight from the mid-line to the left in each eye due to the stroke, so we thought it may be a good idea to invest in a dog that could help him as an assistance dog. We contacted all the right breeders, and found one on the opposite side of the state, during an ice storm, we decided to go "look at the pups." Needless to say, with my 33 year old daughter, twin 3 year old grandaughters, and my brain injured husband, we trekked to almost Vermont from the Cape, in Mass. to "look at the pups." Dom fell in love instantly with Bailey. On the way there we were trying to think of names. Dom thought Blue would be a good name....we said no.....your only saying that because you have a blue jacket on. Then Buddy, or Buck, but we called Butkus that so we would have to wait and see. Bailey father's name, as it turned out was Blue. His mother's name was Maley, so...Bailey suited our little darling. We didn't have too many issues with Bailey except for housetraining until he reached just beyond 12 weeks. That's when he started chewing....EVERYTHING. Walls, cardboard turned into confetti in 60 seconds flat. I still find all kinds of things in the backyard. Last Halloween he ate 1/2 a bowl of wrapped candy. I blamed everybody in the house not thinking that Bailey could eat that much chocolate in one sitting....and survive. Then a couple of days later, I had to apologize when I was cleaning the backyard, it seems it was in fact Bailey that ate all that candy. He never did make it as an assistance dog officially. We were canine school drop outs from at least 5 different schools. It wasn't until he was about 5 that we finally got a certificate of completion, not graduation. He just wouldn't to the long down. But he did accomplish his role in a bigger way. He kept Dom going for many years. Dom had someone to take care of, and Bailey took care of him too. Bailey would pull me down the street like a loco, but with Dom he walked gently by his side. Dom pasted away at home a few years ago, and Bailey was with him all day. Bailey was there when the police broke in, and when they took Dom away. Bailey's face has aged since that day. He howls 3 times a night now. I can't imagine what he dreams of. He's only 7 years old, but acts like he's eighty. In one day, he lost his best friend, and his job. We try to get him involved in new jobs, but he still miss the one he was intended to serve. I miss him getting into trouble days. I'll trade them back in a heartbeat if it meant he wasn't so sad. Thanks for your story John....I'm sure our dogs have their stories to tell as well. Carolyn from Mass.

    A story from Barbara Godun Bourgeois about Marley & Me
    posted 12/22/2008

    I finished Marley and Me last week on the train. I commute from Levittown, PA to NY everyday. I loved the book. As many, the tears were rolling down my face when I read about his passing. But the very end when you talk about "Lucky", I thought for sure I would read that you adopted him. I've been wondering what happened with him? Was he already adopted? Did you think it would be too much for you or were you just not ready yet? My family and I adopted what we thought was a lab mix this past April. Chevy was found wandering a highway in Georgia and came up with a shipment of lab puppies. He was the only puppy left when we approached the shelter about adoption. We took him home and within a few weeks, the vet said she thought he was a Pinscher mix, my kids and I though a German Shepherd mix but after reading Marley and Me, I have a feeling he may have some lab in him (even if by osmosis from a week or two amongst those puppies). Like Marley, he picks things up and ignores the "drop it" command and goes into "evader" mode. But he's been a joy. He wakes me most morning - either to go out or just because he doesn't like being the only one awake. He didn't get thrown out of obedience school, but I think they only gave him the diploma out of pity. When the vet first mentioned she thought he was a Pinscher, I was a bit dismayed and she said, "having a lab is like having a child with ADD and no meds." Throughout your book, I was reminded of that comment. I'll be looking for the Marley children's books for my niece's little girl - she turned 2 last month - hopefully, I can find a stuffed "Marley" to go with it. Thank you again for sharing such a wonderful, heartwarming story.

    A story from rachael luton about what i thought about the book
    posted 12/22/2008

    dear john, i am just 12 but, i like to read when i read the book marley not marley and me just marely, i cried last night on my couch i stayed up most of the night reading the book. chapter 19 i didnt really cry, but when you made the decion to put marley to sleep just broke my heart i couldnt stop crying.i love dogs i have 5 dogs and one is very old his name is cozmoe.cozmoe has been my dog for 12 years.when i was just a baby my dad broght cozmoe home.soft and cute.i am thankful to still have cozmoe.it makes me happy to see him run.sometimes he goes back in the woods and chases the deer.i also live by woods.one time just like marley cozmoe ran into the woods when it was raining i was told to stay inside ,but i couldnt bare just standing there waiting for my father to bring him back so i put on my jacket and i got a flashlight and went to find him.back in a little clearing in the woods i found him and my dad.i got in alot of trouble but i loved my dog,and i still do.now i have a little puppy named parker.parker bothers cozmoe so i try to keep him away from cozmoe.anyway i really liked the book and i am sure to see the movie now i am finished with the book.thanks for reading what i thought about the book! p.s. tell ur family i said im sorry for their los and tell marley i said he is a good dog too. rachael luton

    A story from rachael luton about marley
    posted 12/22/2008

    dear john, i am just 12 but, i like to read when i read the book marley not marley and me just marely, i cried last night on my couch i stayed up most of the night reading the book. chapter 19 i didnt really cry, but when you made the decion to put marley to sleep just broke my heart i couldnt stop crying.i love dogs i have 5 dogs and one is very old his name is cozmoe.cozmoe has been my dog for 12 years.when i was just a baby my dad brought cozmoe home.soft and cute.i am thankful to still have cozmoe.it makes me happy to see him run.sometimes he goes back in the woods and chases the deer.i also live by woods.one time just like marley cozmoe ran into the woods when it was raining i was told to stay inside ,but i couldnt bare just standing there waiting for my father to bring him back so i put on my jacket and i got a flashlight and went to find him.back in a little clearing in the woods i found him and my dad.i got in alot of trouble but i loved my dog,and i still do.now i have a little puppy named parker.parker bothers cozmoe so i try to keep him away from cozmoe.anyway i really liked the book and i am sure to see the movie now i am finished with the book.thanks for reading what i thought about the book! p.s. tell ur family i said im sorry for their los and tell marley i said he is a good dog too. rachael luton

    A story from Luke V. about Incredible
    posted 12/22/2008

    Dear Mr. Grogan, I am only 12 years old and i was trully touched by your story. I was wondering how i could contact you when it said i could talk to you on this website on the book. After finishing your book i cried for a very long time. i went downstairs to say goodnight to my parents and my eyes were watering. They looked at eachother but didnt say anything. I have never lost a dog but i really could feel your pain reading the book. i read Marley a dog like no other but im trying to get a copy of the adult version. Thanks you so much for writing that book and im very sorry about marley. By the end of the book i was in love with him. I hope you are enjoying gracie.

    God Bless You, Luke V. Email-vogelfm@aol.com

    A story from Kristin about Me and my girl
    posted 12/22/2008

    I just finished reading Marley & Me... Your story really touched me. On July 3 of this year I had my 13 year old rottweiler put to sleep. I can honestly tell you that is was the hardest day of my life. I knew it was coming but how do you really prepare yourself for the inevitable? I, like your Dr. Jay, have a wonderful vet (whom I tease on I regular basis that I should allow him to take care of my children) we did all we could for her. She went from weighing about 115lbs to a mere 70 in just a few short months. I began cooking meals for her every night and giving her medicine to help ease the pain. But at last a brain tumor took her life. It was not inoperable but I did not have the heart to put my Deliah through that. My husband is over seas and was while she passed, I joked with her before he left that if she could just give me one more year. She gave it all she had. I don't know if she would fit the bill for your "bad dog club", just often misunderstood because of her breed, but there was not a mean bone in her body. She was just big and loud and clumsy... It took a long time for me to get to coming home and not hearing her toe nails clicking on the tile waiting for me. It says a lot about what kind of person you are if you can stick it out with your best friend till the end, through all the ups and downs. Thank you for sharing your story. I am happy to "have met Marley".

    A story from Shawn about Woody and Camo
    posted 12/22/2008

    In Aug of 2006 I had been sucked into, very easily, the ownership of one 12 week old choc lab that we named Woody. I read your "Marley and Me" that fall - great read and I read it every year for Christmas break. Lots of fun stuff and stories about Woody the next two years. Then enter, Camo - Woody's littermate and neighbors dog made his way to our home as part of the divorce of our friends.

    We had to laugh out loud at the trailer where Marley tore through the house and went straight for the pool, as our boys did that exact move in Aug, at a friends pool party. They go for the water holes of all colors and smells, yet hate to get a bath (go figure).

    Our lives are a constant blur, with 3 duaghters and these two goofier than goofy dogs that never cease to entertain.

    Looking forward to Christmas break this year. One day I will get a pic to post out here of my 170 pounds of goofiness (the dogs not me!) for all to enjoy.

    A story from Sarah Dygert about you're heart warming story
    posted 12/22/2008

    Dear Mr. Grogan, I just finished your book , Marley & Me. To be honest, I could not put it down. I've now read it a number of times, and I wish I could lie and say I heard through the word of mouth about your book, however that is not as the story goes. I guess I offically heard of your book the way millions of other die-hard movie-goers heard of it. My favorite part of the movies, the previews. I'm an extreme dog lover myself. I have a 5 year old "puppy" named Brutus, and so when I saw the movie preview, I knew this was right up my alley. Reading the book is always better than the movie no matter what they try to do, so I knew I had to read it. I love to write, and I do it for fun, more as a hobby than anything, I don't think I could come close to ever telling a story the way professionals do, espically the way you told the story of Marley so well. I loved this book from beginning to end. Obviously I knew the inevitable was coming, and that is when I slowed down on my reading. Through the book I grew attached to reading about Marley, as I'm sure many other readers did as well. I quite literally fell in love with your dog. I balled my eyes out at the end, for the last few chapters actually, when you started telling about walking up the hill and Marley couldn't quite make it so you had to sit down for a while, that's when I knew it was going to be a little sad and a little harder to read and accept from then on to the end of the book. Although I have a dog of my own, and of course your story had me thinking of my pup the entire way through, I couldn't help but to love Marley the whole way through. I have to admit although you say he was the worst dog in the world and those are sometimes the bad ones are the best kinds, i almost said a tiny wish that my dog was bad. He's far too small, I think, to be bad. He's a 5 pound chiuahua, and everyone holds a sterio-type to a little guy like him, that he's to be an annoying, yappy, ankle biting, pain in the ass. But in reality, like Marley, he is truely the heart and soul of this family. I bought him for myself as a Christmas Gift to me haha and when I moved to Florida, the same part you lived in when you first got Marley, my mom adopted him as her own. She wouldnt let a little guy like him move down to the "Gator State". So in Ohio my doggie stayed, and he is obviously now my parents. I know that one day the unstoppable will come, but until then I will enjoy and love every second I get with the little guy, and reading your book has made me appericate him that much more, not that I didnt already. I just wanted to say thank you for the touching and heart warming story that you told for all of us to read, enjoy, and simply, fall in love with. Thank you for a book to put at the top of the list with my favorite reads, ever. Sincerely, Sarah

    A story from meg about my dog
    posted 12/22/2008

    Dear john, i loved reading "marley & me". it was very sad when i got to the part where you had to put him down. here is a story about my crazy dog. my dog hunter is a very crazy dog. he eat dryer sheets and, stffed animals. he digs many holes in yard.eh loves people!

    A story from Christy about Me and Winston
    posted 12/23/2008

    I just finished your book and wanted to share with you a little bit about my Jack Russell, Winston. Marley and Winston could be distant cousins, because they are so much alike I thought I was reading a book about my dog. Winston tears up the carpet, eats the wood off of baby gates, eats cat poop, etc. He's even on meds, that don't really work very well! I've even joked about writing my own book titled "Winston and Me". If he wasn't my fur baby I just don't know what I'd do with him! Like you I could never give him up no matter how "bad" he is. My life will never be the same when he's gone. Your book will make me cherish every day I have with him. Thank you.

    A story from Danielle L. about Thank you for this book
    posted 12/23/2008

    I can hardly believe I hadn't read your book sooner. A true piece of literature that captured every emotion I contained. I am young only sixteen years old and yet I feel that your story of life and love was completely real and extraordinary. I myself lost my dog a few years ago. She was to say the least my best friend and a true companion. I found myself crying the same way I did when I lost my Labrador Lucky. When she was a puppy I was a baby. And when she passed at the age of 13 she was an an old lady with her eternal puppy still going strong until the very end. I would most like to thank you Mr. Grogan for not only giving me a book that taught me about life, love, and how to live life to the fullest but you helped me to remember how truly lucky I was to have a loving devoted companion like Lucky. I have already loaned my copy to my best friend who also lost her black lab about two years before me. You are an amazing author and this book is one I will look to as a sense of hope and one I will take the lesson of finding the joys in the simplicity of life. Never again taking things for granted because most times life goes much to quick. Marley & Me is a true inspiration as well as you.

    A story from Tink about Judy Louise
    posted 12/23/2008

    Mr. Crogan, I want to thank you for a most beautiful book ever. We are dog lovers and actually animal lovers. We have had 3 Labs. Two golden and one black. Our recent Lab is 3 yrs now and I thought at one time she wouldn't make it past 1 or we wouldn't. Her name is Judy Louise. Actually on one of your Childrens books there is a picture on the back of you and Gracie. She is identical to Gracie. The lighter eyes and nose, darker ears. Judy has a very strong personality more than the other two. But on the other hand she is the most enjoyable. She reminds me of Marley so much, maybe not quit as distructive as Marley but just her ways. Sometimes I will call her Marley or I will say "listen Miss Judy Louise don't give me that Marley look. Our other Labs lived a nice long life and we are hoping to get the same yrs out of Judy. Your book was so touching, at the end I cried and cried. Your book had so many funny details too. Just the other night Judy got ahold of a close pin and refused to give it to me. Sounds like Marley ah? I have been so anxious for the movie and finally it is here. Thank you agin for a most wonderful book and for keeping the faith of Labs. Tink

    A story from casey w. about endless love
    posted 12/23/2008

    Thank you. I enjoyed every page of Marley and Me. My husband and I also owned a Lab. His name was Buddy but his AKC name was Buddy's Midlight Delight. My husband and I moved to New Orleans after we graduated highschool in 2000, and for his birthday i thought it would be nice to give him a not only a pet but a companion. My daddy was a animal lover so we grew up with dogs mostly just lab's. So i decided that a lab was the best was to go. I shopped around and when I had just about given up hope I saw an add it the paper for an AKC registered black lab for $100.00 that was 10 weeks old. SO i set up a time that afternoon when i got off work to go and look at him. I was introduced to both the parents and then taken to the back where the puppy's were. And then i saw him way in the back of the pet cage. This little black furball that was not fazed at all by me. The other puppy's on the other hand looked as though they were begging me to pick them. We got them all out of the cage and i picked up the smallest one of them all and looked him over really good. The owner said that if i wanted him he would come down off the price $50.00. Well who could pass that up so the new puppy and myself headed home. He wrode in my lap the entire way home. From the day I gave him to my husband he never left his side. They were best friends. We lost our beloved Buddy a little over a year ago but his pictures are still around the house and our children still talk about him. Our hearts were broken after we lost Buddy. He wasn't just a pet he was like our child He was a loyal family member. We know all to well what you mean about the vet bills,food bills the chewed up undergarments,and all the other destructive things he done but it was all worth it. We would not trade our time with Buddy for anything. Our love for this amazing,smart and stubborn dog is endless and true

    A story from Michelle about George
    posted 12/23/2008

    My husband Steve and I were married in April of 1998. February, 1999 found us living in the tiniest 2 bedroom rental and about 15 weeks pregnant with our first child. Valentine's day came, and Steve returned from work as a police officer late in the evening with my present: A 15 week old black lab puppy. This dog was bigger than any "puppy" I'd ever seen before! He gives me the puppy (and my mother a dozen roses). I was going to be a new mom and there was no way I could and wanted to take care of a "baby" who would grow to be about as big as I was. Steve left to go get some supplies and left me to "bond" with our newest family member. When he returned home, he asked if I'd selected a name for the dog and I had. "George" was a fitting name. We'd had a kitten named Gracie and my dad always teased us that we needed to have the "Burns and Allen" duo. Steve's story was that while working his "day" job at a local home improvement store, a man came in looking for boxes as his lab was about to have a liter of pups. Steve gave the man what he wanted and the man promised Steve pick of any males. Steve said that George was the calmest of all his brothers. He came up and just rested his head on Steve's foot and it was "love at first sight". He had dreams of George becoming his "police dog" but the longer we had him, the more we realized that his career to protect and serve was not going to be possible!

    Marley, in many ways, reminds me of George. Since my husband worked two jobs, the majority of the obedience and exercise were my responsibility (me who was growing increasingly large in size as so was George!). Many tears in those first months as the "little" black lab grew into a "big, dumb dog". George chewed up anything he could find (my underwear seemed to be his favorite). He was rowdy and wild! He was meant to sleep in a crate at the foot of our bed but he ended up somehow sleeping in our bed. We moved to a new house in May of 1999 and I gave Steve a choice: me or the dog. George got a cozy little spot in the utility room of our new house. Our house had a nice big yard for him to roam in except George, who should have been named Houdini, was a master escape artist! One day, I was about 8 months pregnant and George got spooked and ran off. I was running up and down the alley behind our house yelling for him. (What a sight! Big pregnant lady yelling, "GEORGE!" up and down the street!). George also had separation anxiety and would get into all kinds of trouble when we were gone.

    The birth of our son brought out the protective instincts in George, however. He was curious about the baby but would spend time sitting nearby. Shortly after our son was born, George became very ill and it was uncertain if he'd make it. That's when I think I realized, no matter how stupid and dumb he seemed, George was a part of our family. He managed to pull through miraculously and maintained his position as the "alpha male", only second to Daddy.

    When George was about 5 years old, we managed to get suckered into taking in another animal--a black lab/greyhound female puppy, Sadie. This was the best thing to ever happen to George! They became fast friends and companions and George did settle down. It as much cured his separation anxiety. Sadie is as mild as George is wild. They cannot be apart (he's even taken her with him on some of his neighborhood wanderings!).

    George just turned 10 years old and he's starting to act a little "old". Reading the book, "Marley and Me", brought me to the realization that we won't have him (or his sister Sadie) forever. George is really the best worst dog!

    A story from johnathan about my dog
    posted 12/23/2008

    A story from johnathan about snowball
    posted 12/23/2008

    A story from Debra Jo Chiapuzio about Emma and I
    posted 12/23/2008

    http://www.debrajo.com/Emma_Chiapuzio.htm

    A story from Monica McKeon about Reading Marley and Me
    posted 12/23/2008

    Hi Mr. Grogan I just finished Marley and Me tonite, I really enjoyed the book. I really enjoyed the story about Marley he seemed like a great dog. My best friend Jackie has a yellow lab named Chloe, mostly Chloe is like a calm version of your Marley and I know she does tend to eat the table scraps as much as Jackie and I are there watching her nieces and nephews,she is a very good dog. I hope your family has a merry christmas.. Monica

    A story from N Hammack about My Wonderful Big Yellow Dog Max
    posted 12/23/2008

    I enjoyed Marley and Me so much. I laughed. I cried. I rejoiced. My wonderful dog Max is so loved and so goofy!! He is now 8 1/2 years old and is still such a baby although he weighs close to 100 pounds. I absolutely adore him. He has chewed up more slippers than I can count, can clear my coffee table in one full swoop with his tail, and eats me out of house and home. He loves dog treats to the point that he will stand and bark at the pantry where he knows they are kept. I make it a point to never, never run out of those things. But the most wonderful thing is that he is a great companion. When I lost my husband to colon cancer 4 1/2 years ago, Max mourned with me. We cried together. He would lick my tears and I was grateful he was there. We would gaze at each other and wonder what we were going to do without him.

    A story from Kim about The Mighty Hogan and Paddy
    posted 12/24/2008

    In August 1997 I brought home my Bouncing Springer Spaniel, given name "Hulk Hogan", he had been raised for his first two years by a little girl who knew just how to spoil a puppy. Thank goodness, because when I got to him it was all down hill from there. Hogan and I were a team from the start. I remember my first night with him, my friend had assured me he was crate trained and that he enjoyed his crate, so I had his crate all set for him in the family room, he had all the wonderful cozy bedding and blankets a dog could ever hope for. I hadnt tucked myself in yet when I heard crying, so I ignored for a few moments having been told "that may happen". But the crying persisted and I knew that neither of us was falling asleep and so began Hogan's life as a spoiled rotten dog. Hogan and I went everywhere together, he was my navigator, best friend, confident, work-out partner, motivator and best box of kleenx you could ask for. I remember nearly poisoning the poor fella, and he just cuddled into my arms, like he was saying "we all make mistakes". I remember the day that I introduced Hogan to my then boyfriend, now husband, Hogan willingly gave up his front seat navigator position to him, I knew we were going to be a family then. I remember the day that my husband called me in a panic telling me that Hogan was frothing at the mouth and that something must be wrong, but then closer examination of the situation lead to my husband's first discovery of a dog's need to attend 'the buffet' as we now affectionately call it;you may know it as the litter box. For my husband that did him in, I didnt think he would ever touch Hogan again, but then, Hogan got cleaned up and immedigately went to cuddle with him and the rest they say is history.

    My husband and I purchased a home with a bit of property, which Hogan loved, he was older when we moved there, so Hogan enjoyed slow walks to survey his yard, but never missing the opportunity to greet his chipmunks and squirrels. Hogan made a new friend Lucky, a large malamute next door, who enjoyed the routine of a daily visit from the Mighty Hoge!!

    Sadness fell upon our perfect trio two years ago when Hogan was diagnosed with a lung tumour which was assessed as inoperable. So, we treated Hogan with love and good medicine which kept him comfortable and happy. We had several months of fun left with Hogan inspite of his brave battle with cancer and on the 11th of February at 0510 hours Hogan moved on to the Rainbow Bridge. I remember my husband crying, (which is the only time I have ever seen him cry), and he said to me 'why am I crying, he's just a dog' and I remember saying he's not just a dog, he's our dog and we loved him.

    So, a few months later, I came home rather excited by an email I had received from a breeder. The email told us that her dog had a litter of puppies and that there were only two, but the several people on her list before us all wanted Black and White Female Springers, and she had this handsome little liver and white male that didnt have a home yet. I remember showing my hssband the email and we knew that it was meant to be, Hogan had given us his blessing to add a new member to our family. So, 9 weeks later we brought our 'Irish' English Springer Spaniel named 'Paddy' home. We had determined that we were going to raise this puppy properly, and well for the most part we have. Paddy gets equally spoiled rotten!!! I would have to say its perhaps a little embarrassing just how spoiled he is. Paddy brings a sense of joy to our lives, free spirit and fun. Paddy charges around our property like its the first time every time. Paddy's instinct for the birds is remarkable, now I wouldnt call him bright, but perhaps keen!! I wouldn't say that Paddy is a watch dog, or even remotely close to that, bless his heart, most of the time he doesnt wake up when we come in the house, he is usually curled up on his favourite couch, he wakes and wipes the sleepers from his eyes. I wouldnt say he is brave either, fearless to a fault as long as you are standing between him and the potential situation. Countless times he would stand at the top of the stairs with a mighty bark, but then stay there until we sought out the cause of the mysterious noise. Paddy is a smart fella, but he can't distingush between tv and reality (not that different from the rest of us I suppose), but the similarity ends there because Paddy will jumpt at the dogs of the televsion screen and then attempt to follow them out the window which is immediately beside the televsion. But what Paddy is, he is delightful and loving and adorable and handsome. He is energetic, sensitive and full of FUN. Paddy cant help but teach us to live every day to the fullest, to love without bounds, to enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

    Hogan and Paddy had different roles in our life, Hogan was my protector, my friend and partner, Paddy teaches us how to live, love and be a great family.

    John Grogan's story Marly and Me, helped me cope with Hogan's illness, celebrate Hogan's life and prepare for Paddy's arrival into our family. I love the story and I read it and share it with everyone who has ever had a wonderful canine family member

    A story from Eileen Greene about The Long Road Home
    posted 12/24/2008

    Christmas Eve 2008

    John, I just finished reading The Long Road Home this morning (in tears). It was moving and beautiful and like reading chapters from my own childhood.

    Your story was so real. Deeply moving. And it isn't lost on me that it is December 23rd and I have just finished reading it. December and Christmastime is a special month and I have said goodbye to many loved ones during the Octave.

    (By the way, I had no idea what the book was about when I bought it. I was just a huge Marley and Me fan (and fellow yellow lab person "times two").

    Reading it was like a deep "Love Tap" from my own life... from my Mom most especially.

    I am one of seven children: Irish-Catholic, raised by faithful and flawed parents. I had a vivid childhood. We grew to be highly individualistic people. Also impacted by the 1960's and the sensibilities of a new generation. And yet, the Irish-Catholic roots there... and no doubt a very strong influence.

    My Mom was deeply spiritual. She never forced her faith on anyone, but was as faithful and trusting in the Lord as anyone I've ever known. She was a truly joyful Catholic in her own low-key way.

    In 1997, at the age of 67, she passed away on December 17th in the ICU surrounded by her seven children, her son-in-law, her daughers-in-law, and my dad (her former husband). The richness of our love for her and the experience of her journey was profound. We were hearbroken, and yet we couldn't just feel the heartache alone because her faith was so palpable.

    Her funeral was two years to the day of her mom's passing (my beloved Gran) at 95 years old. It was a stunning blow and yet the beauty that came from knowing and loving these beautiful women... and from being great friends... is with me still.

    Since then, my dad has passed. And quite suddenly in April of this year, my brother Tommy at age 46. It has been hard... losing a sibling, for me, has been like losing a limb. One of us -- always "seven" -- is no longer here. It doesn't feel right. Tom was youthful and creative and musical and non-conformist. I know his energy swirls in new ways I cannot fully comprehend.

    I wanted to share a piece I wrote for my mom last week on her 11th anniversary (since opening her eyes to Heaven). I thought you might like to read it. And I thank you for your words, John, which are so beautifully expressed and really do hit "home."

    Merry Christmas. And may God bless your dad, and Marley, and your mom, and your family.

    Sincerely, Eileen Greene Bolton, MA

    "Unbroken"

    Today... I looked out my window... the snow blanket was back. The orchard neat and tidy with rows of apple trees and perfect lines of snow cover: the frozen soil showing in between.

    Now, that looks like Christmas.

    Eleven years ago... this day: the moon was full and bright when the darkness came and it was time for you to fly away and join Gran and Grandpa and Teddy.

    We sang to you. We loved you. We let you go, because we knew you couldn't stay... even though you wanted to.

    I remember saying, "I'll never forget what happened in this room." It was faith. It was hope. It was unshakable. Your strength beyond the physical realm.

    Such a dear friend... my compass and example of pure goodness: Undemanding. Always interested. Caring. Doing. Hopeful. Helpful.

    Despite every trial, you stood... graceful... elegant.... easy.

    You told me, "I have to walk through this one." And you did.

    I am blessed in this life: Blessed because you are here, in my heart. You are in my blood. Your example leads me in new ways each day.

    Blessed because you were, and are, here... because I know you are comforted now that Tommy is with you. And Dad. Blessed because I know you are safe in ways I cannot fully understand... yet.

    I miss you, of course. But your presence in me moves beyond date, and time, and place. You are Christmas joy!

    On this day, the 17th of December, I look to the Heavens and remember. Thank-you, Mom. God bless your sweet soul!

    I love you as I always have... just as though your hand was here for me to hold... just as though I could kneel to help you with your boots and take you to Mass... just as though we would be remembering Grandpa, and Gran, and St. Anselms, and Metropolitan Life, and New York, and New Jersey, and Merrimack... just as though we were about to play charades with everyone and you would get those little "oriental eyes" from laughing so much and so well....

    On this day, I thank God because I am blessed beyond measure...

    ...because of you.

    Happy Anniversary, Mom. I sure do love you.

    In loving memory Helen M. Greene 1930 - 1997

    Eileen M. Greene 12-17-08

    A story from Danyle about Memories
    posted 12/24/2008

    I picked up the book Marley and Me and remembered reading it a bit of time ago. Well part of it. I remember I had to drop it due to the birth of my daughter EmmaLynne, and being a single parent to a strong willed infant-now-toddler doesn't bide you a lot of time to sit down and read. So when I picked up Marley and Me from Wal-Mart this last Saturday, I was bent on finishing it this time around. I have a boyfriend and he has two boys, so getting the opportunity to read this story was pretty easy. I didn't want to put the book down and just finished it this Christmas Eve morning in tears.

    In fact, I was crying so hard my 19 month old daughter handed me her "Cubby" (a stuffed bear) and a binky to help soothe me. She didn't understand why Mommy was crying, only that Mommy needed comfort.

    I guess it is safe to say that your story has truly touched me. This is the first book that I have ever read that made me cry and I'm sure it will be the first movie to do the same. This book has brought forth many fond memories of my dog Samantha- a Labrador Retriever mixed with some kind of Terrier. She was the size of a Beagle but looked exactly like a Labrador except for the fact that she had triangular eyes rather than round eyes (a classic terrier trait.)

    We brought her home in the winter of 1989, when I was only a year old. So I grew up with this silly ol' hound. Oh the memories that have surfaced. From eating my mom's favourite old sawdust-stuffed doll to getting car sick on the way to Chincoteague, VA and upchucking in my sand pail during a momentary stroke of brilliance on my behalf. Then there was the time she fell of my Dad's boat and nobody noticed until we were across the Chincoteague channel at the bait shop. Even after that incident, ol' Sammy still loved to ride on the boat, perched precariously on the edge just above the motor. However she lost her passion for swimming soon after. Could it have anything to do with the fact that she was swimming for possibly as long as 45 minutes, lost in that huge channel, looking like a drowned rat?

    Then there was the time she ran away from home just a couple of days before Christmas and returned Christmas Day smelling strongly of cow manure, a dopey grin on her face and her anatomically disproportionately huge tongue flopping out and tossing spittle at everyone. However there is one day I will never forget. It was the day I had to say goodbye to my best friend of 16 years. She was blind, deaf and mute by that time. From 2001 to 2005 we had heard ol' Samantha bark once. How she heard the doorbell we'll never figure out. You could scream her name and she wouldn't give you so much a glance. You could wave a flashlight in her eyes and she wouldn't flinch. However if you dropped a scrap of meat on the floor or poured kibble into her bowl, she came a runnin'. Marley made me think of Sam in that aspect. Labs must have an inborn love for eating. I hate admit that my little Sammy was obese in the end.

    But it was that last day that I remember so well. It was like Samantha knew it was her time to leave us. She had pooped on my mom's lanai and my mom called the vet to have her put down. I was immensely upset but understood it was time for my ol' girl to rest in peace. So we took her to my brother so he could say goodbye, since she was originally his dog. In a parking lot behind the Chinese Buffet on College Pkwy we cried over the dog. It was the only time I'd ever seen my brother cry, and he got that from my Dad. After that we still had some time to kill, so we went to the park near the vet's office. By a stroke of luck there was a flock of Ducks there. Samantha had always loved chasing anything that could make an escape, and I felt this was the best gift I could give her before she went to frolick in that doggy heaven place they talk about in that poem. Sure enough, Sam ran after the ducks who could not have cared less. She got in the water for the first time in nearly 10 years, and had a grand old time.

    When we finally made it to the Vet's office, they let me hold her as she passed. They first gave her the shot that would relax her and she just looked up at me lazily. For the first time in years she could see me. Or I like to believe that. I could just see the sparkle of recognition in those cloudy eyes that were once a wonderful shade of milk chocolate brown. Then they gave her the second shot. She sighed heavily and rested her head on my arm. I cradled her as if she were my baby. Eventually her tongue flopped out and she sighed heavily for the last time. I couldn't stop crying. I held my deceased dog for about 10 minutes. My mother sat behind me crying as well. My mom decided to have her cremated and but didn't want the ashes. I wanted them but my mother wouldn't pay for it. A week later I received a card signed by everyone in the office, and a clump of Sam's hair was taped to the inside of it. With it came her collar with her tags still attached and a poem. That poem about how pets wait for you until you die and then leave for heaven with you. I cried again and to this day I still cry thinking about that day. It's no longer tears of pain, it's tears of joy. I'm joyful that I was blessed with 16 years worth of memories with Samantha. Now I'm even more joyful that a lot of the memories can be relived by your story of Marley.

    Thank you, John. Thank you so much for writing this story and sharing your memories with us. I'm sure there are more than just me who will hold this book dear to their heart.

    A story from KATHY SCHERBNER about GREAT TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN
    posted 12/24/2008

    HELLO JOHN,

    IT IS CHRISTMAS EVE AND ONE OF THE THINGS I WANTED TO DO WAS TO WRITE TO YOU ONCE AGAIN. I'M THE NUT WHO HANDED YOU A HAND WRITTEN LETTER AFTER YOU SIGNED MY BOOK. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL SPRING DAY WHEN YOU SPOKE AT THE DESMOND HOTEL. I WAS JUST SO THRILLED TO MEET YOU AND YOUR WIFE. THE HIGH POINT OF MY LIFE WAS TO RECIEVE A HAND WRITTEN NOTE FROM YOU. MY SON THOUGHT I LOST IT WHEN I WENT JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND ANNOUNCED " I GOT A LETTER FROM THE famous JOHN GROGAN" I take it to school to show the kids that famous people take the time to write. I am really looking forward to seeing your movie. I hope that it is a huge success and will think of you as I watch. I am really enjoying "The longest trip home." great job!!!!!

    FRONDLY, KATHY

    A story from Alicia about Merry Christmas
    posted 12/24/2008

    John, I just wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I received Marley & Me about 2 years ago for Christmas. I began reading it right away. I myself had just lost my yellow lab mix Spud in 2004 and he was 17 years old. We got him as a puppy and he grew up with me. His died the summer I graduated from high school and it was such a sad loss for my family. His death marked the first real time that I had lost something person or dog. I read your book with much joy the christmas I got it. However, I could not bring myself to finish it until about a year later. I stopped reading it at chapter 25 Beating the Odds. Because I knew how his story would end in my heart. My own pup had beat the odds himself and lived on borrowed time. When I finally got around to reading the end, I cried and cried. It was as if I was living your loss and I felt the loss of my Spud all over again. But wow, isn't it amazing how they can touch our lives so much. I now have another Yellow lab, a 4 month old named Dewey! What a pup, a good one so far. On another note, I loved your writing style so much that when I saw in the paper that you had a new book coming out about your life I bought it. The Longest Trip Home. My grandfather is very much the way your father was. He has taken me on many "holy" "know thyself" tours. He is Catholic to the core. Right now he has cancer at 86 years old. He is living here at home with us now and he is on Hospice. I found a great read in your book. Thank you for sharing your life's stories. You truly have an amazing gift for writing.

    A story from Melia Gaskin about Saint Shaun/Marley Mix
    posted 12/24/2008

    It's Christmas Eve, exactly 11:45 p.m. and my snoring husband and five snoring dogs are around me. This afternoon at about 12:30, my husband made the mistake of saying he got another small gift for me. After screaming for several minutes for him to relinquish the coveted gift, he went to his car and returned. Through peeking eyes I saw two books. The one that mattered was, of course, Marley & Me. I have been excited over the movie for weeks. I immediately poured over the pages and finished it five minutes before writing this. I was not blessed with a charming, loving, well-to-do family, but when I saw, who would later be dubbed Raji "Big Guy" Gaskin, on the side of Covington Highway in an Atlanta suburb, I was in love! It was mid-October and uncharacteristically cold and wet. The Big was on the side of a busy street soaked, cold, and starved. We stopped and coaxed him to the car with some tasty bits we had. Once inside, he shivered an wagged with pure joy. I knew I had met the love of my life, my soulmate. Once back at home, he ran and ran...and ran. He chased everything from my mother's many cats, to the vacuum, to me. He chewed everything I owned and relieved himself on his chewed remnants. That was just in the first three weeks. Raji became my running partner, only clothes-lining me a few hundred times chasing...whatever, and was the best friend I could ever ask for. I was 13 when we found him and he was a mere few months, but we were maturing at similar rates. He was with me at all times he could be, but was completely insane while I was away. We only lived a few blocks from my school and as I walked home, I could hear him in the backyard, screaching like a woman being murdered. I can't tell you how many times the police were dispatched to our house with neighbors thinking they were hearing a woman abused or a horrid crime in progress. I began skipping school to stay with him, hiding in my older brother's long-discarded 1981 Mazda 626, only to return once my mother left for work. When the school truent officer knocked on the door, I realized, I might have to explain 37 consecutive missed days. My mother was furious, but I went out on my next skipped school day, got a night job to pay for homeschool and "forced" her to sign me up. At least if I were gone at night, my mom would be home with him. I finished highschool and left home for college, Raji in tow. I was living with my future husband at 20 and Raji joined our new family which included my mother's dog Mikey and my fiance's little Shih Tzu girl, Katie. About a year after living together, I noticed something amiss about my Big, he had to make potty trips A LOT and often went inside in a massive torrent of crystal-clear, colorless urine. To my dismay, he was diagnosed with diabetes, and not the "good" kind. Although Raji wasn't always calm, quiet, and welcoming to others, he was excellent at learning tricks, but apparently my motivation had hurt him, badly. I always used tasty treats to teach him something, often to excess and he paid dearly for it. He was a Border Collie mix and should have been about 40 pounds and at his exam was a hefty 57. 17 pounds for a dog is a lot. His orders were simple, excersice, strict diet, and medication. What started out at a shot a day, turned into four, along with several pills. I felt so bad for him, not only did he have to endure me shoving pills down his throat and needles in his rump, but his "food" had no smell and looked like cardboard. Despite his lack of gourmet food, he was a happy, wacky, barking mess. We moved from a busy suburb in North-metro Atlanta, to a huge house on a large 5 acre lot in central Georgia. Raji had always loved the water so at my first chance we took him to the beautiful High Falls park so he could swim in the river. As he followed me to the water he had obvious trouble navigating over the rocks and was whimpering very lightly. I knew instantly, he was going blind. Over the next several weeks, we saw a white-gray haze come over his eyes as he tripped over shoes and walked into walls. My once agile and bousterous running partner could barely navigate to the back door. On one of the many nights in the first months of having him in my life, while lying with him in my bed, I knew, one day, I would have to do something horrifying that would most certainly break my spirit. I would have to choose what day was his last. As his disease progressed I fretted every single day I would lose my dear, sweet boy. He nursed me through my mother's alcoholic rages and the many days and nights she would be "missing." He gave me the courage to leave a family, that to call dysfunctional would be a beaming compliment. He rode with me, in the middle of the night, in a run-down 1978 Malibu Classic before I had a license. On that same drive, he alerted me to a man approaching the car with a gun. It turned out, that man had robbed a K-Mart and killed two women. He studied with me for my first college exams and licked me happily when I got an "A". This roadside mutt was everything to me. In mid-November 2007, I could see him slow considerably and by the end of the month, it was the end of the road. We were told he had cancer throughout his poor, old body. We took him home to say goodbye and love on him endlessly. We were waiting for the "sign." On December 1, 2008, we took God's sweetest creation to send him home. By this time, he was unable to move and I held him tight in my arms trying to talk to him over my sobbing. The doctor came in and sedated him and then gave him the last shot that would ever invade his sick body. I felt him slip away, but I couldn't let go. I cried on the floor with him for over two hours when I could finally let him go. I put him on his favorite bed and covered him in his tattered puppy blankie and they wheeled him away. His ashes are in a brass urn in our livingroom where his loud sighs will always be heard. Our family has grown considerably. We have Mikey, Katie, Leeloo, Euka, and Siercha - the dogs. We also have Kyma and Samir our large hookbills and the fattest (almost) cat ever, Rico. I have learned limitless, unexplainable lessons from my animals, but Raji was the ultimate teacher. He showed me immovable, unconditional love in an environment generally associated with the makings of a serial killer. I learned empathy and sensitivity from my beloved dog and through him I tought myself how to love people. I believe, because of Raji, I was able to forge a loving, functioning relationship with my husband. Although he was often neurotic, uncontrollable, and downright mean (to strangers), he loved me and I loved him. Thank you for reading about my first love, my Raji. Merry Christmas!

    A story from Katja Arhar, Slovenia about eternaly greatful
    posted 12/25/2008

    Today I finished reading Marley & Me. Thank you so much for writing this book. Thank you for reminding me of all the great times I spent with my dog over the last 8 years. His name was Mai, and a week ago I had to make the most difficult decision of letting him go. I never in my life felt so much pain and sorrow. Our adventure was over much to quickly. But reading this book helped me overcome the memories of our last day together. It helped me remember all the good stuff. All the love, joy, patience and devotion this golden dog gave me. You and Marley helped more then all the human support I was offered. It was the best christmas present ever. And for that I will be eternally grateful. You saved my soul. I wish you a Merry chistmas!

    A story from Ricky Hartzel about My dog Marley!!!!
    posted 12/25/2008

    This is my lab mix Marley, I've had him for 8 years now and got your book from my mom 2 years ago. I really enjoyed the book and have to say that although your Marley was bad mine is a close second, he's a wonderful pain in the ass. Nothing in the world (besides children) can be so much fun and so much trouble all at once like a dog. I hope he has a good long life and that we can get at least 4 or 5 more years out of him. My wife, daughter, and I are on are wasy to see the movie today and know that we will enjoy it. DOGS RULE!!!!!

    A story from Anna Hamel about Kalli & Maggie
    posted 12/25/2008

    Kalli (r) and Maggie (l) are not related, but inseperable. After purchasing my first house 4 years ago, I decided to get a dog---not just any dog as I had a black labrador, Lori Lee, as a child, and my sister who I had been living with, had 2 labs and 2 rescues. So Christmas of 2004, I drove from Birmingham, AL to GA to get Kalli. She, like Marley, is a very high energy lab loving to play and always "off the wall" when I get home from work. 6 months later, Kalli & I adopted a 7yo yellow lab, Ellie. Unfortunately after having her only a brief 8 weeks, she was diagnosed with an aggressive spleenic hemangioma sarcoma and Kalli and I sent her across the Rainbow Bridge. A short 5 weeks later, we found Maggie through Friends of Cats & Dogs. Maggie is calm and mild mannered except when it comes to playing ball---which is all out until you put the ball away. These 2 yellow labs are definitely my heart and soul, being both pet and companion. I have never gone to the movies on Christmas Day, but knew Marley and Me was the exception. Excellent job. The pain of losing an animal companion is never easy, but the years, few or many, of undeniable/unconditional love, is worth all the grief.....in time the happy memories overcome the sad and we open our lives again!!!!! Thanks for sharing Marley, and the family, with the world!!!!

    A story from Darcy about Bailey & Jersey
    posted 12/25/2008

    I can't believe that I am writing this on Christmas Day. My husband and I are getting ready to take our three young boys to see the movie Marley & Me. I spent most of the afternoon today finishing the book. At one point, my son looked over at me and said, "mommy, why are you crying?" Well..this is only our second Christmas without our Bailey. Bailey was our golden retriever, whom we also brought home 'pre-children". He was with us through so much and was a great dog. Just before he turned 13, we had almost the exact same scenario and decision to make as you did with Marley. I was so anti-euthanasia but I could not watch him suffer any longer. I held him as he took his last breath. It took me a very long time to stop crying. Then, after declaring many times (for over a year)how much easier life was without a pet, I too "just went to have a look" at another golden....ironically Bailey's twin. Although, quite different in personality, Jersey is a good puppy so far (4 months old). It must really be a journey worth taking again. Marley's story touched my heart and made this Christmas special for me...and I am guessing for my entire family after they see the movie.

    A story from Lindsey about My dogs Basil and Dillon
    posted 12/25/2008

    Pam and Gardner met in North Carolina. After Gardner had dropped out of Harverd to do what he thought was going to last him his life. STAY IN HIS ROCK BAND! later on he met my Pam. Otherwise known as my mom, now. She had heard about him from people all around, he was the new star who actually had a record! wow! Also REM was opening for him. He was the lead guitarist. And according to some people (who must be crazy talking about my dad like this) he was a real hot. ugh. hottie. (EWWWW!) Later on they married. Moved to Milwaukee, WI. And got a few pets along the way. Number 1 was Basil. He would chew EVERYTHING in site. And any food dropped on the ground. The one house supply Pam didn't need was a vacuum. She had her own personal one. The couple also got Dillon. A real mellow dog. Nothing like Basil. But seemed to be his best friend! As soon as they settled down in a nice place, they started a family. First out was Kyle. 1994. Next was Lindsey. 1997. By this time they were done for kids. Old enough to be grandparents.. no not really. But old. Dillon was terribly afriad of thunderstorms. Each time he even heard a crack of lightening. Or something sounded like the retched sound of thunder to his ears, he would (sadly) go hide in a basket. Or even better in a closet. Or anywhere where it seemed like satin wasn't coming for him. But Basil didn't mind much. As long as thunderstorm reached an earthquake where all the food came off the table into his tummy. My brother remembers the day where it was so bad outside. Our backyard was a swimming pool. Nothing but water, a picnic table and a swing coming up from the ground. Kyle would throw the tennis ball out into the water. Basil would retrieve and so on. I watched from the window. Later on my family moved into a better house. Better neighborhood. Dad got closer to his job. Mom didn't really. She was still a social worker. Nothing more. Dad ended up being a lawyer. Who would have known? My strongest memory of BAsil was when I was coming in the door. He runs to me. Thinking that he will stop i hold out my arms. Waiting for a lick or a hug. I get him running into me over me and running intp the backyard. While I start screaming he starts running. Even though he was one of the worst dogs ever I still loved him. When I was about 10 we put Basil and Dillon to sleep. Probably one of the saddest days in out lifes. He grew old and grey. Had a problem where the was no end to it. The stomach twist problem. We did all we could. Even got him 2 surgeys. Nothing was working. He couldn't even get up. Going blind. Doesn't even know he is peeing on the freaking couch. We had to put him to sleep. My mom made it seem worse then it was. But in my opinion, she made it seem better then it really was. It was.. I can't put it into words. Maybe Something that makes you so sad. That you might cry over for 3 months. Basil and Dillon were something that were more then just a stinking gold fish. Dogs that made a dent in our hearts. Even though the world doesn't know about them. Doesn't mean the whole world can't know about them. Dogs are something that can only come around once. And only certain people get the good pick. Those people are the people who aren't expecting it. BASIL AND DILLON ARE IN OUR MEMORIES FOREVER. with all my <3, lindsey. There semisister.

    AFTERMATH. We now have a dog Nash. CUTEST THING EVER! almost 2 years old. 3 days. Mut. we only know that he is half border collie. hyper. and nothing like the other dogs we have had. picky. And yes he did hump a hippo once. =

    A story from paula and sherri whitman about our jersey
    posted 12/25/2008

    Dear john, We just came from seeing your movie. We just lost our jersei girl in sept but she acted so much like marley. the movie made us all cried. it helped us in way to know that we are not the only ones that loves our animals unconditionally. Thank you so much for sharing your story bc in a small way your helping other people with their loses of their best friends and loved animals. so i thank you again. we would love to meet you. when are you going to be in pa for another signing?

    A story from M about Awesome
    posted 12/25/2008

    I just finished reading Marley n ME and just loved it! I am both a dog and cat lover and I love to hear pet stories ...I've had a couple of cats and there's hardly a week when I dont think about them and miss them. I know cats dont show their affection as clearly as dogs do...but their affection is still the same. They come running to you when you call them, they nuzzle close to you when you pet them and they even converse with you if you talk to them lovingly. And when they are small, the joy of finding them unexpectedly in your shoe, happily napping, is incomparable. Some people believe that cats just love comfort. Well my last cat, loved my company more than her comfort! If were going to bed late and were working on my computer late at night ,she would prefer to sleep on the computer table, or on my lap, all squished up, rather than just curl into bed with any one else in the family. And if dogs can be naughty and drive you nuts cats can do the same , and can make you feel guilty (if you try to scold them) more , if they just mew at you accusingly! They are capable of more mischeif than a dog is, I bet. My first cat had to be let out everyday for some time early (really early) morning, and if I dared to ignore him, he had his unique ways of making his presence felt. Yes! He would just climb on to the dressing table and gently keep pushing things with one of his front paws, till they crashed onto the floor. And he would continue doing this till one of us would get out of bed cursing and let him out. And then there was my other cat who would just plonk herself in the wash basin and doze off there, just refusing to budge even if we needed to use it. And of course there are those cats who go and bring in dead animals (yuck!) and offer it to you like they were giving you an exquisite gift... The stories are innumerable....but they all are reminders of the wonderful time we spend with our pets and what a special place they occupy in our lives.

    A story from Kevin A. Hailpern about Bo Bear
    posted 12/25/2008

    Dear Mr. Grogan,

    I just saw the movie, Marley & Me, and I must tell you I cried thru half of it once I saw where it was going. Over the last seventeen years my wife and I have had six wonderful dogs and I have had to put down four of them. I had a chocolate lab named Bo Bear who was like Marley in the fact that when thunder and lightning came we couldn’t give him doggy downers fast enough. When each of them passed away a little piece of me went with them. We are consummate dog lovers and the ones we have left, two Great Danes, sleep with us, sit on our furniture and basically control our lives. I know that in the not too distant future I will have to feel the pain and sorrow again. But I know in my heart you have not lived life until you have given your heart and soul to a dog. I enjoyed the movie and anyone that does not shed a tear during this movie has never shared in the joy and heart break of having been in love with a dog. It is a pleasure to realize that even at the4 age of almost 50 I can still lose it during a movie. Great job and terrific story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kevin A. Hailpern

    A story from Debra Vargay about Pure Puppy Exhuberance
    posted 12/25/2008

    I came home from work to a very neatly shredded pillow. Mason (boxer/lab mix adopted from Anchorage Animal Control) had his first unattended foray of the house at four months of age. His potty-training had been a breeze, so we thought it time he have the run of the house while my spouse and I were at work.

    I could imagine that some folks would be highly upset to come home to something like this. I was the polar opposite. The first thought to come to mind was my puppy's joy at dragging the pillow off our bed and dragging it to were it rests in the picture. Mason tore one tiny hole in the pillowcase and methodically removed all the feathers. I imagine my dog was in the center of the pile of feathers and rotated himself as he ran out of space to put the removed feathers. I can only imagine how long it took to remove the feathers. I know it took me five hours to clean it up because any fast movement or breeze from an open window caused feather storms. Imagine the dog that tore up the pillow smugly watching my clean up attempts nearby. It's five years later and I still find rogue feathers from 2003.

    Mason's been expelled from obedience school not once, but four times. Three times during puppyhood and once during adulthood. Like your Marley, Mason has eaten/destroyed things he shouldn't have such as my hardcover books and a digital camera. Mason is such a rambunctious and happy dog. I wouldn't trade my dog for the world.

    A story from Emily Arth about Duke & Me.....12/26/08
    posted 12/25/2008

    I remember the look on Duke's face when i would come home from school each day. It is like it was only yesterday. It all began when i was just 2 years old. My parents decided to load up me, my brother who was 4 in the car and we drove out to the country. We stopped out at a farm on the way out skirts of town. We walked into the farmers barn to find at least 3 litter of puppies....he had 3 female dogs that had given birth pretty much at the same time. My dad had decided that the first dog to walk up to him was the one we would take. All of a sudden......the cutest little yellow lab with a mix of golden retreiver walked up to my father wagging his tail. My dad told the farmer we wanted him and asked how much he was. The farmer replied, "Take him for free. I need to get rid of all these puppies." So this is where our journey began. My dad named after his favorite western actor. John "The Duke" Wayne. Duke was a playful puppy. Since i was only a toddler....i would call him guke. Which before it was embarassing....but now a memory. I look back at the pictures that we have of my good companion....and i come across a picture of his first christmas with us. Mom and dad had gotten him a bone and wrapped it up. My dad was handing it for Duke to sniff it. He sniffed it and started to tear the paper apart. Once he found the bone he took it in his mouth and began to chew. As years went on....i grew older and so did he. I remember one year my dad tied him to his leash and his leash to my little red wagon. My dad then took a dog treat and threw it. Duke then ran to the treat with me behind him. It was the best ride of my life! We then moved to a smaller town in our little state of North Dakota. I remembered my first day of school. It was not a good one. I was made fun of by my classmates because of my weight....i do have to say i was a chubby child. I came home and went out to his kennel....there he was waiting for me and my brother to come home. It was my turn to let him run around the yard for being cooped up all day. I let him out and he came straight toward me knowing that something was wrong. I kneeled down and hugged him....tears running down my face. He looked at me with his big brown eyes.....and licked my face. I then began to smile as i hugged my dog. Every day i would come out to see my friend. He loved when i would bring out a brush to brush his long soft blonde hair. And when i would get to his head....he would stick his tongue out...close his eyes....and had a smile on his face. He also had a little white spot of hair on the top of his forehead that i will always remember. Whenever my feelings would be hurt at school...i would go let Duke out and sit on the deck and just hold him and cry.....and he would lick my face to make me happy...then we would spend hours playing in the sun....the leaves....the snow. I remember one summer...Duke and i were playing and he got hot and tired and laid underneath a tree. I came towards him and laid my head on his belly. He raised his head to see what i was doing...the licked my face and laid his head back on the grass. We both then shut our eyes and fell asleep. That is one of my favorite memories. We then once again moved. And of course he came with us. He was getting older. It was 2005 when we moved. You could tell he was older. He was slower when walking.....losing some of his sight. But was still playful like his old self! When you would call him.....he ran towards you like he was a puppy again. His ears flopping back and forth a big grin on his face and his tongue sticking out. A year later...he was showing his old age for certain. From time to time his hips would give up but he would get back up again. But in October 2006, Duke's hips gave out....and this time he couldn't get back up. We then went out and bought him a warming pad thinking that heat would make him feel better. The next day he still couldn't get up. He tried and he tried...you could see in his eyes that he was tring so hard to stand. We then gave him asprin to see if that would help. Then....the next morning we checked on him....he was trying with all of his might bu could not get up. It got so bad to the point that he was going to the bathroom on himself and you can see in his eyes that he knew he would never walk again. My mother called the vet to make an appointment to put him down. That night.....my dad sat outside in the garage with his hunting dog and companion and held him in his arms and cried. That was the first time i ever saw my dad cry. The next day...my mom woke me up for school and asked if i wanted to go or not. I told her i wanted to stay home. At 9:30 am....my dad packed Duke up in his travel kennel and we drove to the vet with tears in our eyes. We then brought him into the room where he would shut his eyes....for the last time. We had our time to say goodbye. I put my arms around his neck, tears rolling down my face holding on for dear life. My mom and dad then grabbed one arm and dragged me off of him. I was screaming NO!!!!! NO!!!!! DON'T TAKE HIM AWAY!!!!! We then sat out in the truck. The nurse then came out and said......"We gave him the medicine....and....well....he went to sleep." I then held my face in my hands while the tears rolled down my face. We then drove home....with an empty kennel and a collar and leash. That day.......i cried...and cried....as i looked at the pictures of him. I then looked on my shirt....and found a piece of his hair on my shirt. I took that hair and put it in a safe place. Weeks later....we got our precious friend back.....in an urn....where we can take him with us where ever we go. My mom and i recently went to the movie Marley and Me and when Marley was being put down....i remembered when i had to put my best friend down. I cried...all the way home. I then went downstairs and took the urn containing my best friend....and held it in my arms crying.....wishing that he was here for me to hold....but i knew....that he wasn't. I just wanted to share my story of my best friend.....because he ment so much to me. Duke.....I love you with all my heart....and i will love you till the end of time. And when mom and dad are gone....i promise to take your ashes to take care of.....and tell my kids all the good times we had! RIP Duke....September 1992-October 2006

    A story from Cleo about my amazing Buddy
    posted 12/26/2008

    Here I am, a Swedish sixteen year old in a small Swedish town sitting in my bed the day after christmas and have just read the first book I could truly identify myself in (or in this case, my dog) since June 17. This christmas I got book from my grandmother that she thought I'd might enjoy, the book was Marley and Me (in Swedish but still). I have now spent the last couple of hours crying and laughing in recognition, I never thought I would find any other dog that reminded me so much of my best friend. I was eleven when I bought Buddy for my own money, he was an exceptional and beautiful Golden Retriver with a respectable pedigree and his father had won many shows and contests. Like that mattered for Buddy. I quickly trashed the name he had gotten at birth, a fancy one, and named him Buddy after Air-Bud the amazing dog I had seen in the American movies. Buddy was nothing like Air-Bud, they didn't even look the same (Buddy looked waaay better). He was the nicest and most friendliest dog ever, but also the worse. He never came when I called (sometimes he did turn around and gave me a look though), he stole food from the kitchen table, he ate moose-shit and banana peel, there was not an inch of the apartment that was not covered in his hair. But I loved him, I loved him because he was just like me, a kid on the way to become a teenager and in this case a very messy one. Since he was my dog, and my dog alone, I walked him in all weathers, feed him, vacuumed after him, had to forse him into the shower and to yell at him when he ate the cats food. I'm not a yelling person and Buddy knew that so he quickly learned that he could get away with anything if he just looked cute enough, which wasn't very hard for him. People never understood what I saw in him and my friends didn't always get why I couldn't go shopping with them after school, I needed to go home and walk my dog. Why can't your mom do that? they asked. One, because she worked until 6 or 7 and two, because it was my dog, I had begged for him for two years and even if I didn't get the magical dog that played basket and all those other things I had gotten the most incredible friend ever. Our friendship was a constant battle of who had the power, of course in strength he won that one, he was big even for being a male Golden and I'm not really the working out type. Me and Buddy were such a mismatch that we fitted perfectly in our own little way. So the battle between the wills contiued, mostly losses on my side but some wins to, like when I got him to enter a contest and he came fourth of over a hundred dogs (was I proud or what?), he just loved being admired by everone and having people pet him and scratch him behind his ears. Buddy seemed like this big and maybe a bit unpredictable dog but he would never hurt anyone, he could lick you to death but that would probably be the worse. Swimming and running in all honor but the best he knew was just to sit so close to someone that he almost got under their skin and just have his head in that person's lap. I could go on forever about him but I just realized this post is pretty long already so. Last summer my best friend got hit by a car, he was playing one of our games, just at the wrong place. Buddy wasn't stupid, when he came to the road he ran over the crosswalk, it's just that cars stop for humans, not dogs and this car was like a hummer. I've been through a lot not-so-fairytale-like things but that pain was the most horrible thing ever. People felt with me, my friends comforted me and my family felt sorrow too. But when some time had passed people moved on, they thought I would forget and do the same. I did, but inside I started crying every time I thought if him. I moved, started a new school but it didn't matter. Buddy had only been with me for five years but I couldn't remember what life was like without him, and now he was gone. I had all this time that I didn't know what to do with, in the beginning I just grieved, I wished it would have been me, I even wished I could have traded him against someone else, my dad for example. My friends never got that, even the ones that had dogs never got what I meant when I said he was the one, he was mine (not that anyone could really own Buddy, he was his own master until death). So, this book woke up a lot of feelings inside me, feelings I've been working hard on supressing but I don't regret reading it, I could recognize almost everything, except Buddy wasn't afraid of thunder, if anything he tried to eat our fireworks and he chased them! I sort of envy you for getting 13 amazing years with Marley when I only got five with Buddy, but still I hope that all people who has found a soulmate or just a really good friend in a four-legged person get to spend lots of wonderful years together with that someone. This is the end of my post and I just wanted to say thank you and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie that I just found out about :)

    A story from Rachael about Saying Goodbye
    posted 12/26/2008

    Tonight I went and saw the movie Marley and Me. I enjoyed the movie immensely and used several tissues towards the end. However, the ending reminded me of when I was forced to put down my papillon, Riddler, this past July. He was thirteen years old and suffered from an enlarged heart that made it difficult for him to breath. One night the whole family woke up and we just knew it was time. I got through it, but I never really dealt with the pain and what losing Riddler meant to me personally. I am 22 now, but when I was 19 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Riddler spent many long nights curled at my side while I tried to deal with the effects of the chemotherapy and the radiation that followed. I was cured of the lymphoma, and in my heart I know Riddler played no small part in my recovery. At 21 Riddler started showing signs of being quite ill. I was in college, and one semester I went to the hospital with a severe headache. I was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor. When I went to get my brain biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, we had to drive in a van for nine hours get there and to get back. He never left my lap either way. I have a thousand other memories of Riddler. Christmas's where he was just another member of the family. Summer road trips to Florida, where we would have to find a hotel that would take dogs. The time he jumped from my Grandfather's pontoon-boat while the motor was running, and I thought my heart stopped just for a second. Wonderful (and scary) memories that I haven't been able to think of recently because they've been to painful, but standing in front of my bathroom mirror this evening I began to sob. I cried until my chest ached, I couldn't breath, and my eyes had swollen shut. Then I finally said goodbye to the best dog that I have ever known. A little papillon named Riddler who had so much loved to give and who gave it freely to anyone in need and who I loved with all my heart. Thank you for that gift.

    A story from JT Colson about Your Marley/Our Oskar
    posted 12/26/2008

    We just saw "Marley & Me" yesterday morning and I must say we did leave (along with most others) crying! I guess a lot of us share the same experience of living with a Lab. Our Oskar died 2 years ago this coming Jan. and not a day goes by without an "Oskar this or that" mention. He was such a part of our family...even with his early travails! I don't know how true to life the talk Owen Wilson has with Marley at the vet was but it sure brought back some painful memories! We miss our boy so much!!! Though we do have a new Lab (Maggie May) that joined our family withing days of Oskar's passing, and she is truly wonderful...again the unconditional love is there, and I must say the female's are a bit more "calm" than the males, we still miss the old fellow. You story was wonderful! JT Colson

    A story from Burt Hall about Our Dalmations
    posted 12/26/2008

    Dear John and Family: My wife and I spent Christmas Day at the movies. We found the film to be a real tear jerker as was the much better book.

    We have four Dalmations, Noah (Middle name "Radar", he can hear the refrigerator door clear across our 3/4 acre yard)(11), the senior "head of household", Lucy("Licky Lucy" for her constant kisses) (9), the demure little lady and second in command, Oliver (Middle name "Douglas", his name at time of adoption and after Green Acres fame(8), our "Bad Dog" and typical "Middle Child" and Parker (Middle name "Valentine"(7), my special friend who just can't get over himself.

    Our connection in spirit to Marley was our Daisy. We originally got Daisy to be company and companion for Noah, arriving at "Dalmation Acres", our 3/4 acre fence home in Sandia Park, New Mexico, with great fanfare and boundless energy. Daisy was a pack rat, breaking out through the fence daily on some sort of scavenger hunt. She brought home a 25' Stanley tape measure, a hard hat, various yard toys from her neighbor dog friend's house and a wide variety of so many things we have forgotten about. You see, Daisy was the "Real Bad Dog" in her constant forages despite ever attempt to keep her home but when it came to loving and spending her evenings with us, she was the best. We aquired Lucy and Oliver while Daisy was still with us. She acted as their advisor and disciplinarian, and also assisted in caring and raising out cat, Belle. Not long after adopting Oliver, Daisy began acting strange, her sleeping habits changed, her attitude towards everyone changed. At first we thought she was simply upset with the presence of the others.

    One Saturday, we began noticing what seemed to be a discomfort with her walk and how she would lay down. At nearly 4 years of age, the puppy was no longer a puppy. Concerned, we took her to our Vets. A husband and Wife Veterinary team just 2 miles from home, they have been close to our Dalamtions since day one in each of their lives. Our Vets, Rick and Denise, took Daisy in for a couple days to run some tests. These were the worst days of our lives to date. We were not the only ones to suffer. The entire three days that Daisy resided at the vets, Noah, Lucy and Oliver paced the yard, looking for their friend, staring at the front gate where she was last seen and nudging at us for answers as what we had done with her.

    Daisy had been the only one who ever wanted to or allowed to sleep on the bed with us. In fact, we had replaced our queen sized bed with a king just for that reason. She just loved being with us when we were home and we loved having her there. While she could put the rest of the family in their place and did so with perfect assertion, Daisy was a snuggle dog with us.

    3 days into her medical examination came the heart stopping answer. Daisy had a brain tumor. Inoperable, aggresive and painful. Almost 4 years of age and the thought of losing her was unthinkable. Rick and Denise delivered the news to us in tears. After a lengthy explanation and lots of hugs, we brought Daisy home accompanied with some pain medications. Noah, Lucy and Oliver spent their days being close to her, yielding to her every way. They groomed her when Daisy began having trouble turning her head, slept right next at the foot of our bed where she was and watched her every move with obvious caring. Just short of a month after the diagnosis, her suffering was becoming just unbearable to watch. The pain meds had become useless. We spoke with Rick and Denise regarding the unthinkable, the enevitable. I had not and still to this day have not come to terms with making a life decision for her. I became angry with whatever was forcing this on us. I kept hoping for a repreeve, a commutation of sentence, a pardon. I just could not give the approval to take this loving young lady from us, yet I just couldn't watch her suffer another day.

    It was a cold and rainy Wednesday afternoon when we took her to Rick and Denise for her trip to heaven. They had asked us to wait in their private office until all other business for the day was done and everyone else had left. Only an hour left with our girl seemed like just a few minutes. We sat on the floor with her, hugging, kissing and talking with her about all the good and loving times with this precious animal. Just as with Marley, the "Bad Dog", she was the best dog regardless of her bad behavior of the past. Rick and Denise joined us on the floor much too soon for me. We spent another half hour together, all four of us, reminding each other of moments she had affected all of us in ways we will never forget. The final scene in the vets office in the film "Marley & Me" is just exactly how it was for us, every nuance.

    There is a special shelf in our living room. It was installed for Daisy. It contains a special Cedar Box with her ashes, a framed photo and below hangs her Red collar. Occaisionally, Noah sits just below it and looks. Noah and Daisy were friends before the others arrived and somehow he senses her there. There have been a couple times we observed Noah smell the collar, back up a half pace, lay down, curl up and sigh. I suspect he misses her as well. Maybe as much as we miss her.

    Less than a year after Daisy became our greatest memeory, Dal-Savers in Southern California, An organization we have supported for over 10 years e-mailed a photo of Parker, 12 weeks old, found in a San Diego, California shelter. Our friend Gail from Dal-Savers had arranged for Parker to be brought from San Diego to her home in Santa Monica, California. Parker was so cute, inquiring eyes and face, just like Daisy when we adopted her. Daisy had a lot of spots, I mean a lot. So did this young Dalamation. We struggled with the decision for days. Do we go get him and face a constant visual reminder of Daisy? How can we do this and survive the emotional turmoil that was enevitable? On the other hand, how can we NOT!

    I called a retired friend of mine and asked him to make the journey with me. Kay, my wife would have to stay home with the other three. I called Gail to make the arrangements for a weekend to pick up Parker. My friend and I left my office in Albuquerque on a Friday after work. We drove in shifts through the night, 875 miles, and arrived in santa Monica Saturday morning. I had layed the back seats down in our Ford Explorer, covered everything with blankets and placed our large travel kennel in the back, brought a couple of Daisy's toys, food and water for Parker. After spending an hour visiting with Gail and getting paperwork done, I met Parker. Now 13 to 14 weeks old, he was still much smaller than the photos I had looked at it seemed but the feet, huge, almost as big as his head. Holy cripes, how big is this one going to be? I placed a collar and leash on my new buddie, walked him out to the car, opened the rear door for him to enter. Parker jumped right in, rolled over on his back as to say "I love and trust you, here is my little belly, scratch it and let's go"! My friend and I arrived back in Sandia Park around 2 AM on Sunday morning. The day was February 14th, Valentines day,(hence his middle name). I picked Parker up in my arms, a two foot blanket of snow on the ground as we live at nearly 8,000 foot elevation, carried him up the stairs to the house. As I neared the door, a symphony of barking ensued, a light from way upstairs came on and Kay was coming down the bedroom stairs. Noah, who sleeps in my recliner chair near the bedroom stairs did not get up as I opened the door. I placed Parker with his "HUGE FEET" on our livingroom carpet for the first time. He looked right at Lucy and Oliver who were on the small sofa to the right of the door, looked hard left at Noah in the recliner, ran straight at Noah and began to try to "Hump" the alfa dog. Not to be insulted and diminished in his position as the boss of this family, Noah put Parker in his place right then and there. I less than two minutes, the pecking order had been declared, spelled out and signed into law. Parker followed Kay and I upstairs, stood at the foot of the bed and yelped until we brought him up on the bed to sleep with us. He was silent for the rest of the night and spooned up in front of me until I woke that morning. He has been there ever since. I can never nor would I want to let the memory of Daisy fade. In fact, "Marley & Me" has refreshed my most loving of those memories. I must say that Parker is now 90 pounds, I should have suspected as much when I gazed on those feet at 13 weeks. He can never replace Daisy but he sure tries every day to love us as much as she did. And we love all four as much as they do us. Burt Hall, 78 Camino Alto, Sandia Park, New Mexico 87047. hallh@rushenterprises.com. I would have posted photos but our large collection of photos are 35mm prints. To John Grogan and Family, God bless all of you and especially Marley!

    A story from Heather Gardner about Adventures of the Black Sock
    posted 12/26/2008

    John - I have read and re-read your book a couple of times, and was so excited to see it come to life on the big screen - well done! Marley has certainly captured the heart of this country, and I hope you have many more wonderful years with Gracie (if she will stop hunting your livestock!)

    My story is about one dog, a 4 month old Doberman, otherwise known as Arkus, the Dober-dude, and how he managed to throw one household in complete disarray.

    Adventures of the Black Sock!

    I raced home last night to take Arkus to his puppy class and husband was doing laundry. Low & behold, I'm changing clothes in my bedroom and I see Arkus literally dart out of our bedroom and race down the stairs, with what appears to be something hanging from his mouth. Husband says "Oh MY GOD! - I think he got one of your black socks (that I literally just took off). So, we chased after him (1st mistake), and he's in that playful and dangerous point where he takes off running if he sees us walking towards him. He thinks it's a freakin game!

    So, I race to get his cookies so we could "trade" cookie for sock, but by the time I got down the stairs, he's just sitting there with a shi

  • -eating grin - not running, not moving. I'm like "OMG - are you freaking kidding me? He just swallowed my sock!". And, I'm thinking, "No, he couldn't have - he probably just hid it under the couch or behind the couch", but sure enough the sock can't be found and he's too damn proud of himself - he just ate my sock. Damnit!

    So, now panic steps in and I'm racing through the house like a chicken with it's head cut off, but I remembered our vet saying if I ever saw them eat something that they shouldn't eat, grab the hydrogen peroxide and start off with a tablespoon down their throat and wait.

    So, I race back up the stairs, grab the hydrogen peroxide, and we proceed to take Arkus outside for our next life-saving experience. My GAWD! He has the toughest stomach I have ever seen on a puppy. It took 4 tablespoons to get him to throw the sock up, and VOILA! Out comes the black sock. Poor guy looked so pissed and dejected - I wish I had my camera. He literally just ate his supper before this adventure started so he now he has had some yucky stuff cramed down his throat, ears are taped up, and his stomach is empty. I'd venture to say he was not having a good night.

    So, needless to say, puppy class wasn't in the stars for us last night and I'm beginning to second-guess our ability to be good dog parents. (We have 2 other dogs that have had their fair share of "adventures")

    Low and behold, about a month later, the little bugger managed to swallow a sock that we werent' aware of. After a morning of throwing up and not being himself, off to the emergency clinic we went. Yep, Vet confirmed he had a "foreign object" lodged in his small intestine and they needed to perform surgery right away.

    A $.50 sock ended up costing us $2400 and a bottle of Tums.

    Arkus has brought to us color and rays of sunshine that we never thought possible - he is the 3rd of Dobermans that we currently own. I hope you enjoy his pictures!

    A story from MiLissa G.Wiley about My Seeing Recovery Dog
    posted 12/26/2008

    In the winter of 1987 I was coming getting out of my car and saw this little white dog. In the past he was always left out on a porch in the apartments I lived in but what made it different this time was that it was freezing cold out. I saw him running around without a lease or his owner and called to him, "come here little white dog"(yes, I really did). It took some convincing but he came to me and this was the beginning of my life with Sporty. My husband at the time gave him that name because he had a Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycle.

    We took to each other and he outlasted the men in my life and well as staying be my side through thick and thin.

    I had a bad time with drugs and he always kept near me and loved me even when I didn't want him around. He didn't even run away when he could have because he loved me. If it weren't for him staying with me I don't think I could have or would have wanted to change my life.

    In 1992 I got remarried and when my daughter Cydnee Cate came along he loved her, watched over her, and was her best buddy.

    Then we had the worst time I ever knew. It was July of 1996. Sporty had once again outlasted another man (would I ever get this man thing right?). I went in for a simple MRI on July second and the doctor found a brain tumor. I had surgery on the twenty third and had a long recovery ahead of me.

    Sporty, Cydnee and I had the best times together. Going to the park when I could, just laying around and cuddling, and anytime the weather was good in Dallas he went for a car ride (his most favorite thing to do). He even took trips with us to visit my parents in florida. We were on a trip there in 1999 and he got sick. The doctor said it was a tumor that was cancer and even tought we tried treatments, I decided he would not be fair to him to try to keep him alive. You see he had been the best dog I ever had and that was a gift from God. Sporty was always with me and that is why I call him "My Seeing Recovery Dog" It was September of 1999 and my mom gave me time alone at her home with him. Cydnee was at day camp and Daddy was at work. I danced around the house with him in my arms and told him that it was because I loved him that I was taking him to go to "dog heaven" and I was sure they had a place waiting for him because he was so good to me and never let me down like some people can do.

    When mom, Cydnee, and got to the doctor Cydnee picked a daisy for him. We all hugged him and when the doctor gave him the medication he was off to heaven right away. He knew what a great job he did being my special boy! I will always hold him dear in my own heart.

    A story from Leslie Grinnell about Woodsy in the woods
    posted 12/26/2008

    We read your story about Woodson, and wanted to let you know about this option for Woodsy. Not only do we make wheelchairs for dogs with disabilities, we live with a couple of disabled dogs ourselves. A custom cart for Woodsy would relieve the discomfort of full-weightbearing on his malformed hips, and allow him to get enough good exercise to build and maintain muscle mass. You can use exercise in a cart, much like hydrotherapy, for strength-building, so that when he's not in his wheels, he'll have the musculature to support himself. We have made many carts for dogs with severe hip dysplasia and they use their legs for ambulation - the cart serves much like a walker, and as you can see from this photo and the videos on our website, dogs can run and play in wheelchairs. We were featured on the Today Show last May, and you can visit our website, www.eddieswheels.com to learn about the work we do to help special needs dogs. Navaho, the dog in the photo, had a spinal stroke 8 years ago, and was busy chasing down a tennis ball when this photo was taken. He is now pushing 14 years of age and recently came back to see us to have his cart upgraded to a counterbalanced cart to compensate of some arthritis he's developed in his front legs due to his advanced age. Navaho lives in Bass Harbor, Maine, and walks on rocky beaches and in the woods. He once chased a bear up a tree in his wheels - I'm sure the bear was surprised by the sight of a husky on wheels!

    A story from Patricia Jo LaBreck about Brandi and me
    posted 12/26/2008

    My story begins with a tiny little puppy who was the runt of the litter. It was this dog that kept me safe and happy. Born also with hip defects she never was a normal dog. Always disabled and always happy and funny and willing to love. I was told she would not live till 10. Her hip joints were absent but with care and love she made it till 15 years 8 months. I was her legs and she was my support funny how that works.

    A story from Susan Virgilio about Marley and Me, the movie
    posted 12/26/2008

    When Howard Stern (the shock jock)said that he read this book "Marley and Me" on the airplane and he cried towards the end, I knew that this book had to be something. Howard Stern doesn't display his emotions like this. I read the book and I laughed until I hurt and I cried until I could not cry anymore. I immediately joined the "Marley and Me" website because I felt such a connection to John Grogan and his family. I drove an hour to have John Grogan sign a copy of my Marley and Me book. I have been reading John's blogs and keeping tabs on his ad1ventures. When I heard last year that a movie was coming out about the book I anxiously awaited the movie. Well, today I saw the movie! I would have gone on opening day, December 25th, but I had to work. I did not want the movie to end just like I did not want Marley's life to end. The movie was great and of course, I cried my eyes out at the end. One of my favorite Christmas presents this year was a gift from Santa Claus. It is John's newest book, The Long Journey Home. It is my favorite Christmas present. Thank you Santa! Thank you John Grogan.

    A story from Beverly Beauchamp about J. B. and Patches
    posted 12/26/2008

    I just finished reading Marley and Me. What a wonderful story. I laughed and cried. My dog, J. B., was given to me by a coaching friend of mine and my husband of 32 years. J. B. was born the day my husband died, January 19, 1997. She has been my companion for 12 years and is growing old. I am beginning to see her falter-can't hear and sleeps most of the time. Patches is a calico manx cat who made my husband love her. When he died, she hid in the neighbors garage for a week before we found her. They are very old now--Patches is 15 and still looks as she did at two. I cannot stand knowing that their time is very limited. I just love them so much and dread the day that they will be gone. Your story brought so many memories back to me. My husband and I were both in the education business, he a coach/teacher, and I was a business/English teacher. He coached for 30 years and was the "love of my life." I miss him so very much. We had three children--two boys and the girl he had wanted so long. I had one miscarriage and lost a full term little girl between the two boys. I have kept a journal for many years and have wanted to share my story--just very personal and not sure anyone would want to read it even though it was very special. I am now 64 and have been alone for a long time; however, I have been fournate enough to have found someone to love--a widower who lost his wife a few months prior to my losing John. It took me a long time (6 years) before I could really date and be serious again. I met and fell in love with my husband at age 14; never dated anyone else. We married in 1963--I was 19; he was 20. It was a lifetime of love and respect. There were not many dull moments being married to a coach. We raised our children in a small East Texas town until they were in junior high; then moved to Katy, Texas, just west of Houston, Texas. I have lived here now for 20 years and still miss him very much. I now have four grandchildren and have been retired since 2002.

    Thanks for Marley and Me Beverly

    A story from Lora Jones about Miley. our little Marley
    posted 12/26/2008

    I had a dog growing up that came everywhere with me. I use to deliver the newspapers and she came with me on my route. We would run to the park together and while I ran laps around the lake, Fluffy would keep the ducks in the water and meet me on my last round and we would run back home. She died on Oct 3, 1991 at the age of 13, the same year I lost my 20 year old brother in a car accident. That was a very difficult time in my life. I met my husband and a few years later we got married. I always wanted a Golden Retriever and I fell in love with one at the pet shop. My mom said it would be alright if my dad would agree. I went home to see if my dad would let us get her since we were living upstairs from my parents. My dad agreed since they are very smart and good family dogs, so I went back with my mom to get the dog. By the time we got back, the dog was sold. Again I cried because even though I was with this dog for not even half an hour, I already bonded with her. I had to convince myself that it just wasn't meant to be. Besides, like you, we were just beginning our new lives together. My husband and I got married in 1995 and had 4 children. Now that the kids were getting older, I felt it was time to get a dog for them before they get too old and start moving out. Last summer I went back to the pet shop with my children to see how they would react with a dog. They fell in love with a Cock a poo. Now I had to convince my husband but he wasn't thrilled with the idea. My dad passed away in July 2005 and my mom passed away on Oct 3, 2006, the same day Fluffy died and the day after my first born's birthday. I had to do something with my time because I was becoming very depressed. I interviewed for a job and was offered the job. I accepted. The next morning I looked in the local free newspaper. I don't know what made me do it but my eyes went right to an add that said check this out. Pups for sale. I inquired about it and the breeder asked if I would like to come and see them. I had my youngest at home so I decided to take the ride. My daughter fell asleep in the car but I was determined to have her see these puppies. By the way, they were Labs and Golden Retrievers. Even though I always wanted the Golden, I opted for the Lab. We went into the house and there were 2 yellows, 1 black and 1 brown. On the phone I mentioned I would be interested in the female yellow lab. Anyway, we went inside and I fell in love with all of them. I knew I was going to come home with one, but which one. It was November and I thought what a perfect Christmas present for the kids. All the puppies came by us and jumped around and then ran through the house. All of them except for one. One of the yellow labs stayed by me and kept putting her snout under my hand. I knew this was the one. I didn't even ask my husband. I knew my parents were sending me this puppy. Ironically Miley was born Oct 1o, exactly one week after my Mom's 1 year anniversary and Fluffys anniversary. The breeder held her for me until closer to Christmas. We have her 1 year now and even though she drives me crazy by stealing the kids toys and chewing them up, taking table food and hiding it places, chewing up shoes, originally it was only shoe laces, and Miley killed 3 birds, but after all they are bird dogs; I can't imagine life without her. Several people told me that I have my hands full with the kids and should get rid of her, but I know she was sent to us for a reason. I am so happy that I continue to put up with her because she is so affectionate. She knows when she does something wrong and will give her paw. Everyday when I come home from work she wraps her paws aroung me and gives kisses. She gets yelled at like the kids, but I know she is still a puppy. I bought the A Very Marley Christmas book for the kids and I could swear I am reading about Miley. I can't wait to see the movie next week when I'm off from work. I know I'm going to come out crying after reading what others said about it. The Christmas book made me cry. Thank you for sharing your story and making me know I'm not alone. Looking so forward to it. Thank you again.

    A story from Missy about Thoughts on "Marley & Me" - the Movie
    posted 12/26/2008

    The last time I was at the cinema was last Christmas, when I saw "The Waterhorse." It seems to have begun a new holiday tradition. I don't receive many gifts any more, as the economy has tightened so many belts, and when the check from my sister and brother-in-law, who live in PA, arrived in Atlantic Beach, I decided part of my Christmas gift would be treating myself to a holiday movie. So, I chose, after having read the book, to go see "Marley & Me." The film was tender, funny, and heartrending. People laughed at the antics, became silently thoughtful at the serious parts, and more than a few sniffles could be heard at the end. Nobody wanted to lose Marley. Yet, probably most of us in that theatre, have lost their own Marley at some point. I have lost my share, to be sure. Each time that has happened, I question my sanity and trust in the ability of the human heart to heal enough to allow another pet in my life. I know, even as I hold that wriggly little soul in my arms, and smell that puppy breath, that no doubt, my heart will break again at some point. I share my home in Atlantic Beach with Beauregarde, an 11-year-old beagle who began life in our home as my son's dog. Along the way, Elizabeth Luppet, my sweet-natured little white schnauzer joined us. When I moved into this home a little over two years ago, a handsome cat kept turning up, greeting me when I came home from work every day. Eventually, I took him in, and learned afterward that the neighbors all knew him and called him Smokey, because the house he once lived in had burned down and he was left on his own. This past spring, a friend of mine from Chicago, who is an Episcopal priest, rang me up to ask if I might consider becoming the custodial parent to his brand-new Tonkinese kitten, as he'd just learned he was being sent to Mexico. With regular cat support checks promised, I agreed to bring Alfie (aka The Puma) into the family. If there is a feline version of Marley, Alfie would win, paws down. Just the other day, I returned home to find one of the wise men from the creche, standing resolutely on his feet in the center of the hallway, minus his head. The angel, who had been perched on top of the stable, overlooking the manger scene, was discovered lying face-down under the side table. Since the dogs don't manage to get to the top of the table the creche is on, that left only Smokey and Alfie as the potential culprits. In my heart-of-hearts, I knew it was Alfie. He misses nothing with those enormous round sea-green eyes, and is a supreme klutz. As I watched Owen Wilson saying good-bye to Marley, and took in the scene of the children all saying good-bye, I could not help but think of Beauregarde, the 11-year-old beagle waiting with the others for me at home. As I mentioned before, he started out as my son's dog, but when Beau was only 1 year old, my then 14-year-old son was arrested and ultimately sentenced to life without parole. That is another story altogether. Suffice it to say it has been an extremely difficult decade; a decade where not only did I lose my only child to incarceration, but also buried my husband who was killed in a car crash, and six months after that, lost my mother. Through it all, Beau has remained my loving and loveable link to all of these precious people in my life. He was with me when they were, and he is with me now, when they are not. When my house was burglarized one day not too long ago, I returned home to be greeted by only one dog. Beauregarde. The burglar had left open the back door, the screen door, and the gate, and at some point, The Luppet wandered out of the yard. The cats were safely still in the spare bedroom, where they had spent the day snoozing together. Of the two dogs to wander, I would have more expected the beagle to be the wanderer. Instead, he somehow instinctively knew that I needed him when I got home, most especially that day. Luckily, a series of fortunate events reunited the Luppet to us, and I am forever in debt to the lovely young woman who found her wandering and took such excellent care of her until we could be back together. Beau, over the years, was the unseen little soul, snuggled up next to me during each and every television interview I gave over the years in regard to my son's case. He seemed to somehow know I needed his support and his obvious devotion to me endeared him to all of the tv crews who have had the occasion to meet him. I dread the day he does not greet me at the door. But, I am blessed, and grateful, to have the unconditional and honest love that only a dog can give. It is no mistake that dog is God spelled backwards. They are the only two who are able to provide such a love. Thank-you, John, for sharing Marley with the world. There can be no greater tribute.

    A story from Jennifer & Steve about JoJo
    posted 12/29/2008

    Hello John. I'm hoping you get to read this because I feel I have to share the story of my black lab, JoJo. My husband, Steve, and I had only been married for a month and one day, when we were driving in the country, I noticed a sign advertising lab puppies. Steve didn't want to stop but about a mile down the road, I talked him into turning around just so we could look at the puppies. When we got there, the breeder told us there was only 1 left and he was 4 1/2 months old. When we went to see him in the barn, he was hiding in the corner of his cage and he refused to come over to us. His mother, father, and grandmother were in the cages next to him and they were happy to see us. The breeder told us that he was very timid so no one had picked him. Of course that made me love him even more. The breeder told us he had been calling the dog Joe, for no particular reason. He also told us that he had never been walked on a leash and wasn't housebroken. We decided to buy him and we came back a few days later to pick him up. On the way home, he sat in the backseat like a person -- on his butt with his paws flexed out. The first weekend we had him, he was hesitant to come near anything but he went potty outside and didn't chew anything. We decided to name him JoJo. Steve and I said, "Wow, we have the worlds easiest and calmest dog." Well, we were wrong. Over the next 6 months or so, we went through Hell. He began going potty and throwing up all over the house. Come to find out, he had 4 different types of worms that cost an arm and a leg to treat. He barked in his cage and in the garage but we didn't trust him enough to keep him free all night so we put up with the barking and not sleeping. As soon as we put a leash on him, he suctioned himself to the floor and wouldn't move. Needless to say, walks were out of the question. We decided to take him to PetSmart obedience school because we clearly needed some help. Steve had to carry him in since leashing was not an option. The class became centered around JoJo and his countless faults. However, the class did help because JoJo learned how to sit, stay, lay down, and walk on a leash. It was also nice for him to have some interaction with other dogs. I won't go into specific details about when JoJo decided to chew things but I will give you a list: 6 pairs of my shoes (1 of each pair), my brand new Blackberry (which didn't have insurance), gift cards, greeting cards, coasters, a remote control, plants, towels, mail, etc. I screamed at my husband to get rid of him on several occasions. One weekend, we decided to put him a kennel just because we needed a break. As the months passed, we taught JoJo more and more things and he finally started behaving. Needless to say, JoJo is now the most important and special thing in our lives. I know I don't have to explain to you the feeling we get when we're playing with him, when he's sleeping next to us, when he's licking us, and when we are away from him. He has become the world's greatest dog and I am so glad we didn't get rid of him. We took JoJo to a local dog park one day and this guy asked us if we had ever read "Marley and Me." We both said no and the guy said, "What kind of lab owners are you if you've never read 'Marley and Me?'" Then we saw the movie preview. Steve bought me the book for Christmas and we saw the movie this past weekend. There were moments when we were laughing louder than anyone because we were watching JoJo! I also believe we were crying the hardest at the end. I have never seen Steve cry like that before. We were going to stop at the store after the movie but we rushed home to smother JoJo instead. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you enjoyed mine.

    A story from Lindsay about Whitey
    posted 12/29/2008

    Wow, it's amazing how so many people have one thing in common.. and that is we all have our very own stories. My story is just about any ordinary dog to you, but to me the love of my life. Whitey was my best friend. We did everything together. When I would go to school I would day dream about her. Now I'm only 11 years old, so I dont really have one of those stories when you come home from work and you see your dog eating of the table or anything, I have a more heart breaking story. Everyday when I come home from school I walk, my mom is at working untill 4PM everyday, and school ends at 2:40PM. When I put my key into the back door and unlock it I usually wait for Whitey to run to the door.. but... Whitey didn't come! I ran inside and checked everywhere. I felt sick. I had this one question in my head. "What if Whitey was dognapped?!' I run outside to check the front but then I see Whitey, floating in my pool! I bursted into tears. I knew Whitey has just left the earth,I knew Whitey was dead. I jump in the pool to see whitey alive! Wow what a miracle! Then I thought "how did she get out here?" I turn around and I see my brother bursting in laughter. Oh, was I mad! I soon was thankful that this was ONLY a a joke, not real. I would of been heart broken if Whitey really did drown. That concludes my story. I would like to say one more thing, John your book was amazing, I loved it.. but come to think of It I should of gotten the childrens one.... BYE

    A story from Kathy Ritchie about Our General
    posted 12/29/2008

    Ok, this is crazy, I never write on these things, but I have never wanted to. I know that you are probably so sick of dog stories, I'll bet you guys get a ton. After reading about you new little puppy I just wanted to share a story of our "special puppy". We have a basset hound, General, that is 3 now. When we first got him my cat welcomed him by scratching his eyelid. He bleed for hours & we took him to the vet & they had to put a stitch in it and it still bleed for hours. The vet said that it bleed so much because it was so close to his eye. About a month or so later he started teething. He also started bleeding from the mouth a lot. Definately more than the little bit of blood you might see on a dog toy when a puppy is teething. It would flow out of his mouth, it was comming from his gums. There was blood all over my home, I joked that it looked like a horror movie. No vet could seem to figure out what was wrong with him. Finally after he spent a very expensive night at the U of Penn Vet Hosp in Phila, we were told that he had a rare blood disorder. Kind of like a hemophilia and he does not clot correctly. It seemed to take forever and countless visits to the vet but we finally got through teething. We thought all was wonderful until we noticed that he was limping alot. Back to the vet.... they said that his bones were not growing correctly and that the only thing that they could do would be to operate on his little legs. But the vet didn't think it was a good idea because of his blood disorder and he said that it was very expensive and very invasive. The vet gave him pain pills and said that we should just make him comfortable till it got to be too much. I cried so much that day. I thought how can this be? How can he have come so far only to be told that he eventually would not make it? There were times that first year when we thought .... we can't do this, he cost us so much money that we didn't exactly have at the time. We even contacted a rescue and asked them to take him. But when it came down to it, we just couldn't give him up. We made it through teething and after many vet visits and one visit with a blood specialist at U of P we finally found a medicine that helps him clot when he bleeds. It is very expensive for a tiny little bit, but he is worth it. He cannot ever have any hard bones, go to dog parks, (if another dog bit him he could bleed to death), we could not get him neutered, which means he is a little bit of a wild child, and we can never find any boarding for him at the doggie hotels because they do not want to be responsible for him, but we don't care about any of that. Also, it turns out that the vet was so wrong, his little bones look a little strange but he no longer limps at all, he loves to run with his sister in the back yard. He is such a great dog. I work from home and he never leaves my side. He loves to howl with my husband (don't ask) and his sister Dixie (my other basset hound). Believe it or not he still loves the cat who scratched him. He gets away with everything because during that first year we didn't exactly discipline him enough because we were so worried about him all of the time. He is the loudest dog I have ever heard. We went to PetSmart to have his picture taken with Santa (yeah, I know I'm crazy!!!) and the trainer from PetSmart came over to him because he was barking so loud, and kept telling him to "sit" and "no". He responded by barking even louder and jumping up on her and trying to lick her. He is the only doggie I know that has his own gold card for all of his health issues that pop up from time to time. After my husband and I saw your movie, we were talking about how glad we are that we didn't give up on him. Everyone we know thought that we were crazy to spend so much money on him, and didn't think that he would have any kind of life. But he has a great life!!! He is ok for the most part now, and is spoiled rotten!!! He has added so much to our lives. He was and is worth every penny we spent on him. So, good luck with your new little puppy, it may be alot to deal with but as you know, it is so worth it!!! I have 2 dogs. General and Dixie. (General is the one up top in the picture) I love them both so much, they are my "babies" I don't have kids and I am truly one of those crazy dog people. One more thing, I loved the book and the movie!!!!

    A story from Marvel Williamson about Our Chloe "Enjoying" the book "Marley and Me"
    posted 12/29/2008

    We are dog-sitting our son's yellow Labrador retriever while he is going to graduate school in Ireland for a year. Her name is Chloe, and she is one year old, still definitely a puppy. When we saw the ads for "Marley and Me," I read the book right away. Before my husband could finish it, though, Chloe sneaked it off the coffee table and began "enjoying" it herself. He rescued it only after the back cover had been torn off, the pictures in the middle devoured, a large corner of the whole book chewed through, and the book ripped into three sections. Here are the pictures of sweet Chloe with the book for your enjoyment too. P.S. We liked the movie very much, but the ending was so sad! It made us appreciate Chloe so much. Thanks for sharing your story with the world.

    A story from Julie about about Jade
    posted 12/29/2008

    After just reading your book, thinking our Jade was bad, she looks like a saint compared to Marley. Jade, rescued at 6 months, now 5 yrs. was high strung, had separation anxiety, and scared of everyone. She has come along way in spite of a few left over bad habits. But she will continue to hold our hearts hostage for many more years. She and our 4 cats!!

    Not only has Jade brought us through rough trials and tribulations, but so has our son, now 22 and still, we pray for him to settle down as well. As christians, our faith in Christ has gotten us though many of the storms in life. Your book has encouraged me to try to laugh more through all life's ups and downs. Your book, along with God's grace, fortifies that no matter how much family and pets can be a pain, you love them unconditionally!! Thank You for the little light of joy during the reading of your book. I can't wait to share it with other family and friends. I also look forward to the movie with a box of tissue at hand!!!

    A story from Becky Hoffmann about My Marley(Maddie)
    posted 12/29/2008

    I am sitting here reading all of these stories as the tears pour down my face and remembering my beloved black lab, Maddie or Mad Dog as we referred to her often. She was my little girl and my only little girl I have every had. I have two wonderful boys and until recently Maddie my little girl with fur. She was very trying as a puppy and destroyed everything in her path, ate everything and enjoyed the you know what out of socks. She used to take the little tiny socks of of my boys infant feet and walk around with them in her mouth just barely hanging out of the corner of her big jaws. Fascinatingly funny she was and beautifully mischevious. I couldn't stay mad at her for long, not even when we came home from a family outing all hungry for leftover meatloaf sandwiches, only to find that Maddie had eaten every last bit of meatloaf and whatever else side item she could find in the fridge. Entertaining she was and I will never forget her ever. When I had to put her down, because of her severe illness, I held her until the last breath and told her in her ear that "Mommy loves you and she could go and keep a place warm for me because someday I would be with her again. I truly believe that these special creatures are sent to us for reasons that we need at the time and they will be with us again someday. God Bless all of those special creatures in everyones life, Marley and Maddie, because they sure blessed me and my family. Thank you so much for your book and the movie-wow what an awesome adventure. Becky Hoffmann

    A story from Tania Findlay about Otis the black lab
    posted 12/29/2008

    When I was 21 my then fiance 24 we bought a black lab whom we named Otis. That dog like Marley has been a part of our life for 12 and a half years. Today I read the book in one sitting, 29/12/08. It broke my heart because it was all so familiar the naughty whining puppy brought into the bedroom just so we could sleep, raising 3 kids well four if you include the lab! Chewing up shoes, the sofa and pulling a double mattress off of the bed at 6 months old. Now the tired old joints,being able to walk into a room and crash about but otis is still obliviously snoozing deaf as a post moulting fur, a racking cough but still giving unconditional love, always pleased to see us and following us around the house all the time. I cried and cried because I cannot put off the inevitable. I tell my tired old lab I love him every day. I cannot imagine life without him, but know that I must. I love you Otis. Thank you John, for sharing this story in some strange way it will help and bring comfort when the end eventually comes.

    A story from Yvonne about My Roo
    posted 12/29/2008

    My best friend passed on December 19 2008. Arrow was more than a dog and we used to joke he was my daughter's brother from another mother. He was my shadow, constant companion, and a dog with a mind of his own.

    Back in 96 we had a string of misfortunes with dogs. On a whim my daughter and I decided to visit a pet store. There was a litter of pups and the store owner knew he had us. I told him I was going to pick up my husband and be back. When we came back, the owner brought the puppies out on to the floor. I was in love with a female but then something happened. My shoe started to feel wet.Looking down, there was this roly poly male pup peeing on my foot. I put the female down and the male scampered over to my daughter and started chewing on her shoe lace. My husband had him picked because of his unique coloring. He was a shepard, boxer and rotti mix. Legs of a boxer, head of a rotti with the nose and coloring of a shepard. On his back he had a coloring that stood out like a black Arrow head. WE know the owner already had us buying the dog and yes we did.He grew into a huge boy very quickly Arrow was a hand ful and my daughter being 4 at the time, found a new partner in crime. They would wrestle and play and one time the dog yelped. When we asked Saz what happened, she said calmly, he bit me so I bit him back. He was your typical puppy that would chew on anything but his style was not any shoes. He stole underwear, a retainer for my mouth, tools from the workshop, he chewed my hearing aid but spit it out. Over the years, Arrow became my partner because I was out of work. He would snort in my face to be let out,or if I was sitting at the table he would scoot his head between my elbow and table as if to say. pet me now. He used to do what we knick named the Cha cha rumba. He would lay on his back and wiggle. Sometimes he wiggle his way out of a room. He put up with alot from us, painted nails, clothes and a halloween costume of a dalmation. He hated cameras, storms, loved chinese food, easter eggs still in the shell, and we always treated him to left overs. My father would come once a week and we would tell Arrow..Candy man is coming and he would bark and spin.He also started recognizing the scent of different store bags. Two of them meant a bone. If we forgot we would have to grab something quick and pretend we bought it. He had so many knicknames, Roo from me, Buddy from my husband, and wooster from Saz. We had 12 wonderful years from this loving devoted animal. In early November of this year, we noticed what we had feared since his first visit to the vets. The vets said that the breeds of dogs Arrows parents were should not have bred at all. Arrow had hip Dysplcia(?) and it became very bad. In fact reading the end chapter of Marley and me was exactly what we went through. The not coming in, scared of the stairs, crying in pain and the fact that he could not make it up the stairs to our "living" level. We carried him in a blanket on Dec18 night so he could be near us.My husband took him outside before work not thinking that the dog would not go up the stairs. WE made his bed on the landing. Around 8 am Arrow started breathing strange and it had been almost 24 hours with no food and snow that he had eaten. My family had made the decision of taking him that night to the vet so when my daughter was leaving for school she hugged him and cried and also noticed that Arrows tongue had turn a horrible white shade. My daughter and I have a typical teen, mom relationship which always confused Arrow. He would hide so he didn't have to hear the arguing. On Dec 19, My Daughter hugged me and we both cried and said we love each other. This was in Arrows presence. Sarah (Saz) left and I started to spoon little drops of water and snow into his mouth all the while saying that we would be fine and if he had to leave, we would always love him. I actually do not remember much details except that it seemed like his body was stretched and his head arched back. Then he slumped against the door, still breathing but barely. Then the breathing stopped. I cried and cried, called my husband who inturn picked up my daughter from school. During this, I must of went on auto. I cleaned up his urine and soiled blanket. I gathered his favourite blankets, toys, leash and snacks. When my husband came in, Arrow had his eyes closed. My husband and daughter lost it and then all three of us cried. We ended up burying him at home in the middle of a snowstorm. Christmas was just a blur and I still cry. Today, Dec29, my husband finished his shower and said that something freaked him out. He could smell Arrow as if Arrow was in the room. An hour later i went in the bathroom and I could smell it. My nieces and daughter could smell the dog smell from the door. Not unpleasant but our Arrows smell. I feel alot of comfort since this happened. I had been questioning every thing and crying on and off but I now feel a sense of peace. I am thankful to God for allowing Arrow to pass in his bed, around his beloved toys and biscuits, and knowing that we loved him. It is a hard lesson of life, the letting go. Arrow was indeed my son, Sarahs brother and our best friend. The pic is Sarah and Arrow

    A story from Chris Shearer about Jax
    posted 12/29/2008

    Our lovely German Shepherd Jax! I wrote a long narrative about Jax and how he has terrorized us these passed two years but it got erased at the last second. So just enjoy the picture. This is where he like to sit on hot summer days.

    A story from Pat Cawley about Casey - our Chocolate Lab
    posted 12/29/2008

    I just finished reading your fabulous book "Marley&Me" and I had to let you know how deeply this story touched me. I laughed so hard that my tears prevented me from reading and the moments that tugged at my heart were wrenching. You see, you had a clone of our dog, Casey, a dopey, hysterically funny, clumsy lump of love that gave us 14 years of the most precious memories any family could ever dream of. Like you, after years of begging from my son Matthew to get a puppy I had a moment of weakness and said those fatal words "Okay, you win". Through friends, into our lives came this skinny, wiry little runt of a chocolate ball that was supposed to be my son Matthew's dog, but grabbed all of us by the heart and never let go. Casey got into more trouble so often that when I read how Jenny wanted Marley OUT, I knew exactly how she felt. Needless to say, Casey never went anywhere. We could never figure out how a dog could be so stupid, cunning, happy and loveable all at the same time. Matthew loved that dog so much that he allowed Casey to sleep under the covers with his head on his own pillow. What a sight to see that chocolate head sleeping on a pillow burroghed under the covers next to Matthew (actually, kind of spooky). When I walked into "their" room, Casey would lift up his head as if to say "Oh, we're sleeping in today" and go right back to sleep. We had so many embarassing momments with Casey. Our next door neighbor loved Casey and stopped by to pet him on our front lawn - only to have Casey roll over on his back and pee all over her arm. Talk about mortification! He also had a love thing for my best friend - every time she walked in the door, Casey would run up to her and pee on her shoes! Being of black Irish humor, we all thought that was the funniest thing ever and would be spastic singing "You Do Something To Me" to my friend. Somehow, she loved us anyway. We had an almost identical "dog training" incident with Casey as you - only change was Matthew was the mortified "Master" when the dog trainer tried to show him how to control Casey and our darling Lab rolled over and peed all over his shirt. The black Irish humor got me again and I was howling sitting in the bleachers in the gym watching this fiasco. We never went back!! So you see, your book was a wonderful look back at the life we had with Casey for 14 fabulous years. Years that made this family realize what joy a loving dog can bring and how lucky we were to have had this particular, precious animal in our lives. Thanks for the memories -- we'll read your book many, many times. Pat Cawley

    A story from Wanda Lopshire about Puppy Love
    posted 12/29/2008

    Mr. Grogan, I was a late comer as a reader of Marley & Me, somehow passed by on the list of friends who share books, I had not read your book until I received it from my son for Christmas. I wanted to treasure this special edition with the pictures and read it slowly, savoring the story. Alas, Marley had me and I gobbled it up in two days. While I don't, and haven't really ever had, a true Marley, isn't there a little bit of Marley in all of our dogs? I have had the grief of watching a beloved Golden who couldn't keep his hind end up in the snow either, knowing the time was near to do the right thing. I have certainly had the joy of the unconditional love and laughter brought on by crazy antics of several faithful companions. I simply wanted to write to say thank you, I laughed out loud, cried out loud, sometimes at the same time! I look forward to your new book and wish you all the best for 2009.

    A story from Melinda Fishman about Ruby's Time
    posted 12/29/2008

    We laughed and cried remembering our girl, who did some major damage in her time but left us with the most wonderful memories. Two years later, we honor her and you for such a great memoir. We loved the book and the movie. Thank you very much.

    Ruby’s Time

    I learned so much about myself from my dog and now she’s gone. December 19th, three days short of her 15th birthday, the same day my husband turned 51, we put Ruby to sleep. We were not prepared to lose her but when she collapsed and lost control of her bowels, we would not let her suffer. We spent the entire day with her, knowing it was the last time we would look into her eyes, touch her soft fur and feel her love. As I watched her throughout the day, I knew she was done. Her heart didn’t stop beating right away and we doubted the decision for a moment. Was she trying to tell us something? No, our girl just had a big heart. Letting her go was excruciatingly painful. My last few minutes with her are unforgettable and they wash over me as I’m writing now. As hard as it was to witness her leaving us, I knew she knew how much we loved her.

    December 20th, I stay home from work and honestly can’t remember what I did all day, other than come up with a plan for our future: Andy and I would raise a guide dog, which would fail the ultimate test and be returned to us. The emptiness the day after Ruby left our life was offset briefly by a delicate white orchid plant from Ruby’s vet Dr. Chapman.

    December 21st, I go into the office and everyone is thoughtful and very careful when they talk about Ruby. Everyone thinks I’m going to break but I am comforted by my plan. I tell them I’m going to raise a guide dog so that it will fail its mission. They humor my delusion. I don’t realize that I’m just trying to control what I can’t. Even with a plan, I am devastated. I don’t have to rush home to feed and walk Ruby so I walk from Times Square through Central Park, until I find myself inside a pet store on Lexington Avenue. A woman holds a tiny puppy and laughs when it licks her face. I see a Lab in a cage. No need for concern. I can’t imagine replacing Ruby. I continue home and walk in our apartment knowing she won’t be fast asleep on her pillows piled up at the foot of our bed. I am drawn to her portrait and give her a little kiss. It’s crazy but I don’t really care.

    December 25th, Christmas Eve, we participate in the Monday night candle lighting ceremony on Rainbow Bridge, remembering Ruby, her best friend Lucy and all the homeless animals needing families to love them. It’s a wonderful place for support when your guts are hanging out and your heart feels like it’s been crushed in a car crash.

    December 26th, day after Christmas, we pass a Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant and decide to honor her memory by eating lunch there for the first time. On the menu is an unexpected delight, an expensive white wine called Conundrum that we love. It’s a sign. When Andy and I get home, we gather all her photos and put them in the photo album we bought before Christmas. We scrutinize the images, remembering the Christmas Eve we were snowed in with our friends and their two Collies and come across a photo of Ruby from the summer and feel grateful the sailboat owner let her cruise with us up the Hudson River.

    December 27th, it finally stops raining and Andy and I drive to a nature park called Poet’s Walk, Ruby’s favorite place in the world, where she sniffed and strolled every weekend for the last 6 years of her life. We remember how hard it became for her to walk up the last big hill. It feels good to be outdoors but it isn’t the same without her. We stop at the top of the hill, declare it ‘Ruby’s Black Diamond’ and pretend to wait for her. I think about the agreement we made in August to merge Ruby’s ashes with her best friend Lucy’s, who died of cancer, after almost a year of chemo. After spending every day together for the last 10 years, Lucy was gone and Ruby was alone for most of the day. We knew she wouldn’t last very long.

    I ordered grief drops from a New Hampshire farm and started a morning ritual I wish I could experience just one more time. I would lie down next to Ruby, look into her eyes and massage her spine and hind legs. She watched me wondering if I was going to torture her, clean out her ears, blow in her face, annoyingly loving things I did to her. Then when she realized I could be trusted, her eyes would close. I cherished these moments together. They filled me up with love for the entire day. I hope they did the same for her.

    December 28th, nine days after we spent our last day with Ruby, we feel her presence. Wistfully, I sense a shadow sweep past our kitchen window, which sends chills down my spine. It’s unseasonably warm weather for Christmas and Andy feels her sitting next to him while he barbeques lamb chops in the backyard, with that hopeful look on her face, willing some meaty goodness is going to come her way.

    December 29th, I can’t stop weeping as I read and rewrite Ruby’s Time. We’ve just come home from a merry dinner party and she is not waiting for us at the window we built especially for her. We miss her instantly as we unlock the door. I’m trying to let go of the sadness. When we climb into bed, we allow ourselves to imagine that she’s lying between us, waiting for the perfect moment to plant a kiss on my husband’s chin.

    December 30th, I dream about Ruby but she looks like a cross between a Lab and a deer. I am in her body as we come across a deer eating food from our compost. The deer is clearly ill. I’m so grateful to see her again. I experience the happy feeling of coming home from work and seeing her smiling face.

    December 31st, I talk to her portrait. We hired a very expensive photographer to take pictures of her two years ago, when she was 12 going on 13. At the time, we wondered if we were schmucks paying more than I care to admit for a photo session; we knew we were self-indulgent. Now we can’t wait to order more copies from the contact sheets. What I confess to Ruby’s portrait is that I want to let go a little bit, shift from depressive weepy to reflective calm; I want to honor her memory and wonderful life. I can’t control my feelings as much as I try. The void is deep and wide. The hole in my heart reminds me of my mother’s death. The pain is not eased by the white chocolate cake I inhale, while my husband is out of the house recording a song he wrote before Ruby’s illness took us by surprise. “Better Than Words Can Ever Say” is a love song written by a man who was afraid of dogs when he met us. How lucky he was to find us. How lucky were we to be found.

    January 1st is the first day of the New Year without Ruby. I’m feeling sorry for myself, heartbroken and missing her face and optimism. We were together for such a long time and had such great adventures. I have a dialogue with her in my head. I tell her that the day I found her in the pet store changed the course of my life. I didn’t want a dog until she crawled into my lap and rested her head on my thigh. Something felt so right between us.

    January 2nd and I laugh for the first time since her death. I remember how Ruby was indignant when she didn’t get what she wanted. The expression on her face was unmistakable. She let us know she was unhappy and it always made us laugh. Ruby loved like a Lab. She loved dinner parties and licking escargot oil out of the shell. She was also territorial and more than once reared her flawed vicious self to a few of our friend’s dogs, even she and Lucy would occasionally go at it. But most of the time she secured her place under our dining room table, signaling to doggie guests to keep their distance. If scraps fell from above, they were hers.

    January 3rd, we pick up Ruby’s ashes at the vet’s office and while she is with us again, I’m really missing my connection to her. I play back the last 24 hours of her life:

    December 18th – It’s 5pm and I’m at a Town Hall meeting in the office. I have my cell phone with me because I’m worried about Ruby. When I left the apartment earlier today, I sense something is wrong, despite a trip to the vet last week that resulted in mildly elevated levels in her kidney and liver but nothing really unusual for an old dog. When my phone rings, I don’t recognize the phone number but pick it up quickly and quietly say ‘hello.’ Dr. Chapman, Ruby’s vet, tells me she collapsed on the street and that our dog walker carried her to the office. I run to mine, approving the tests she recommends. I hesitate leaving for about 10 seconds, while I’m listening to our vet, who sounds concerned. Then I grab my coat and rush out the door, hoping to find a cab but wind up on the subway. I leave a message for Andy as I run from 86th Street and Lexington Avenue to the vet’s office at 84th and Third. Our dog walker and her boyfriend sit in the waiting room trying to remain calm. I talk to them for a few minutes until the reality hits me, ‘what the hell am I doing out here, I should be with Ruby.’ In the examining room she’s on her back, looking frightened and very vulnerable. When she sees me, she settles a bit as the vet performs the ultrasound; Ruby does not have cancer but the clean bill of health leads our vet to a prognosis, potentially more complicated. Ruby might have a brain tumor, an MRI is recommended, which I don’t realize at the time requires general anesthesia. We’re all concerned Ruby will not be able to walk when we lift her off the table to the ground, but she does. I follow her as she high tails it into the waiting room happy to see Stacey and Jim. They explain what an MRI requires. I’m clear that putting her through this type of test at her age is not going to happen but agree to meet with a neurologist the next morning. We leave the office for our apartment 3 blocks away. Ruby walks very slowly and I see Andy crossing the street to meet us. When we arrive at our building I wonder if she is going to make it down the steps and feel optimistic when she does. Once inside the apartment, she takes a drink, turns her nose up at the food sitting in her bowl since breakfast and lies down in the living room. Her eating habits have been finicky for the past few weeks. We try to make her comfortable. Andy comes back from the supermarket with filet mignon, broils it and Ruby seems engaged in steak for dinner. I hand feed it to her. It’s now 4 hours since she’s been rushed to the vet’s office. She needs to go out for her final walk and I take my cell phone with me. She steps off the curb to do her business and collapses, losing control of her bowels. I call Andy, who rushes down and carries her back inside. I sleep on the floor by her side all night long, not really accepting that it is probably our last night together. I calculate we’ve been together give or take 5,400 days and nights, somewhere near 780 weeks.

    It’s December 19th, Tuesday morning. I call the neurologist, who tells me not to let her suffer, which is what I want to hear. Ruby is lying on the rug when I reach for my cell phone and record her last photograph: her spirit is quiet, vivid and elegant. Her head rests on her fleecy bed and if you look closely, Andy’s hand touches her back, letting her know he is there for her; the warmth of her last sun in life shines in the window. Those last few hours, so beautiful and excruciatingly painful, are illuminated in a halo of gold.

    I’m not in the photo but she is looking at me. I know this is the end and I believe she does too. I can’t breathe thinking about it now. It is impossible to imagine not seeing her again. There is still time to linger. I walk out of the room for a second and when I come back, she’s moved for the first time that day, settled in by Andy’s feet, closer to the sun. Nothing can prepare me for the loss.

    Ruby’s tongue is cold as she kisses me for the last time. She tastes my tears and I feel her enter my heart. I travel back in time, over 14 years; Ruby is a rambunctious 6 month old puppy. Speeding home on the Santa Monica Freeway, hoping to catch a glimpse of the hot pink sunset falling into the ocean; Ruby keeps jumping, squirming out of the passenger seat, insistent on kissing me. I conclude the situation dangerous, and the tape in my mind is judgmental, ‘she’s an excessive kisser, too affectionate.’ Thankfully, the tape in Ruby’s head is only wired to give and receive love. Her gold eyes shine with purpose and she keeps coming at me, until her wet, gentle tongue connects with my nose. She looks at me like she’s won a basket full of biscuits and I learn my first lesson from her – that the concept of excessive kissing and being too affectionate is really my problem, not hers. And it was an awakening that was long overdue.

    January 21st, I wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of Ruby’s bark and conclude it must have been a dream. When Andy wakes up in the morning, he tells me he heard Ruby bark last night. Instead of taking her ashes upstairs with us, we left them downstairs for the first time. Guess she was pissed.

    A story from Andrea about two labs named Raleigh and Cannon
    posted 12/29/2008

    I just wanted to thank you John for the book you wrote. I enjoyed reading it and it brought back a lot of funny times with our dogs. We have two labs named Raleigh and Cannon who have brought us nothing but good times and laughter. While reading the book I could not believe how much Marley and our dog Raleigh(yellow) are alike, I started calling her Marley for a joke. Unfortunately, we are entering the senior years with our dogs and it has become a little sad, our chocolate lab Cannon is going to be 13 and our yellow is going to be 10, we have already had some health issues with the chocolate but she is still full of life. We are trying to remember all the good times over the years we had with the dogs and the children which still make us laugh. There is one story that I love to remember and it was the time when Raleigh was a puppy and we had to go out, we put her into her crate and Cannon was able to be left alone (Raleigh still the bad one after 9 years) when we returned we were greeted by both dogs at the front door, my first response was" OH NO "what has she done? When we entered the house we found that the dogs had pulled over the Christmas tree and proceeded to eat all the wooden and most of the plastic ornaments as well as a box of chocolates still in the wrapping. Still to this day I have kept one of the ornaments that was half eaten to remind us of what those two are capable of with a little time on their hands. Every Christmas we place the ornament on the tree and laugh. That is one of many stories we have involving Raleigh and Cannon, believe me there are many more and some with an outcome more expensive than others. Thanks again for making me remember what an important part these two dogs play in our family.

    A story from Lori Mogill about Django and the love he gave
    posted 12/29/2008

    First I have to admit I was late in joining the MARLEY & ME fan club. It was, however, the one thing that helped get me through rehab this past Thanksgiving. Second: I'm sure I'm not the only one to say that I found so much of myself in your journey with Marley. Not that the following opus deals w/ "the world's worst dog", but that I too, had a dog who taught me what real love was all about. Enter Django, the most beautiful Golden Retriever I have ever seen. Fall '94. At the time I was 34 and married to my husband a little over 2 years. We were assistant house advisors, living in a dorm with 20 plus 11th grade boys on the campus of a very prestigious private school. I had been nagging my husband on a daily basis for a dog; especially when were out and saw one. My dog-dar would activate, I'd rush over to ask said dog owner if I could cop a feel while looking at my husband using my best puppy dog eyes only to have him shake his head. This was a common occurrence until the Fall of '94. Three life changing events happened in August/September: I became pregnant, we bought our first home and we finally bought a puppy. I was overwhelmed with happiness to say the least. A family friend had bred his female Golden (Cassie) and had promised us the pick of the litter. When the puppies were finally weaned we went to pick up our pick. We climbed right into the puppy pen and let "Django" climb all over us. We let him chew our hair, chew the hem of our shorts, nibble our fingers. We, in turn, turned him onto his back and rubbed his belly until his eyes rolled up inside his head and he was gone, gone, gone. After visiting for a while, we collected his AKA registered papers, a cloth diaper reeking of Cassie's scent, said our good-byes and headed home...our "fur-son" in hand; quite literally. Our choice of name, like Marley's was inspired by a musician. We had been listening to Django Reinhardt and really loved how mellow and easy and happy and uncomplicated his music was. We hoped the idea of people emulating the symbolic meaning of their names would hold true for dogs too. For us, at least, it did. Our first night was probably pretty typical for most dog owners, but special for us. Our dorm apartment was all boxed up, ready for the big move to our first house. We put Django in his crate in the living room. In it, we put a blanket and his mama diaper. Then we went to bed and hoped for sleep. Which didn't happen. Django cried. He cried and he cried and he cried. Then he wailed. So my husband dragged the crate into our bedroom and did one of the most sensitive things I ever remember him doing. He laid down on the floor, spooning the crate while rubbing the puppy's head. Soon both were happily snoring in sound sleep. Moving day came and went. So did our first born, Danny followed four years later by sister Anna. So did too many bags of leaves and too many summers throwing sticks in the lake. Through it all Django proved to be an excellent co-parent. When the babies were mobile be became their Jungle- Gym. They crawled over every inch of his tawny body, pulling on his tail and his ears while he would lay patiently still. Truth be told, I'm sure he figured that playing dead was the least he could do considering the babies found it way too fun to check gravity with Cheerios and Kraft Mac and Cheese. Despite the extra pounds, they were HIS children and his job was to watch them. He loved them so. The years passed, the kids grew, and the marriage ended. In all the "agreements" connected to the divorce, it was "agreed" that Django would stay with me. And in one of those terrible moments where you are alone in an empty house, where the silence is deafening, I reached out to hug Django. Just like in MARLEY & ME, I saw my dog with new eyes. Looking back at me wasn't the face of a puppy, or even the face of a young dog. It was the face of an 11 year old. His face was white and a film now covered his once ebony eyes. As I looked at him it hit me hard that here was a marker of my young adult life. He was the only member of the family I made who saw me through every stage a woman holds precious: the loving wife, the pregnant wife, morphing into motherhood (twice), miscarriage, childrearing, divorce...And in this moment I realized that the unconditional love we long for from our spouses or from our children we always find in our pets. Their capacity to attach is deep and their motivation simple: just love and protect me and I'll give it back tenfold. I put my arms around his neck and said,"O.K. I know you're old. And I know you hurt. But I need you to do me a favor. Could you please not go anywhere for a while? I really need you to get me to the other side of this divorce thing. I have to get up on my feet again and I need some help. So could you stick around?". He did. Until March '07. Django was 12 1/2 on Saturday, March 10, 2007. It was 10:30 pm and I let him out to take care of some business. When he didn't come back in the normal amount of time I got this really sinking feeling. Thinking he took off (as he did every so often), I put on my coat and boots, ran outside and started calling his name. Before I got into the car to go looking for him, I thought I'd circle my property. When I got to the darkest side of my house I found Django on his side. I ran to him thinking he had broken something, but he just couldn't get up. I tried to pick him up, but couldn't. I stared to cry and couldn't stop. I don't remember how I got him into the car. I do remember getting to the emergency vet hospital. I remember the vet techs running to my car with the gurney. I remember I had barely finished filling out the forms when Dr. Latra called me back to a room. I remember the X-Ray he put on the light-box and the huge mass in Django's tummy. I remember words like "cancer", "operate", "chemo", "radiation", "maybe 6 months", "or put him down". And in a split second there it was; a decision I had been fearing had been made for me. How could I even entertain the idea to operate on a dog who was 12 and 1/2, who more than likely wouldn't survive the surgery just to put him through horrible treatment to maybe get 6 months? I told Dr. Latra I would be putting Django down, but I would do this with my own doctor and not until my children had a chance to say their good-byes. On Sunday, Danny and Anna came home for the week. I sat them down to tell them the bad news. With Tuesday, March 13 scheduled to be THE day we decided to spend the next few days pampering our beloved dog. Though we had to be careful of being really physical with him for fear of hurting his stomach, spooning, cuddling and kissing received top billing. We journaled our favorite memories and went through old photos. On Monday, March 12, we gave Django his "last supper" which consisted of two plain cheeseburgers from McDonalds and a Puppy Cup from Dairy Queen. And when it came time for bed we all camped out in my room with Django nearby. Thankfully Tuesday morning was hurried. My ex was late in getting to my house to pick the kids up for school. My kids were late in getting up for school as the night before was extremely emotional. So the focus was getting them out the door instead of tearful farewells. Some life experiences are meant to be handled alone. Putting your dog down is not one of them. Thanks to two friends from work and the staff at the vet clinic I was far from that. One friend came to my house for the sole purpose of getting Django into the car. The other came with me to hold my hand through the ordeal. When we walked into the clinic the nurses who knew Django were there and once I saw them the tears began to flow. As we made our way back to THE ROOM my legs began to shake and I couldn't see because by this time I was sobbing. The Room was made as comfortable as it could have been; considering what it was designated for. Aside from the blanket that had been spread on the floor, there was a couch and an overstuffed chair (or two...can't remember) and the same Andrew Wyeth print of the sleeping dog on the 4 poster bed I have hanging in my bedroom. There's some irony for you. The nurse who would be administering the shots came in. I started to shake. She asked us to get Django comfortable and on his side. She prepped him. I petted him. She told me she would leave the room to get the first shot and would return in a moment. As cliche as this sounds, I swear it felt as if I was losing part of myself. My heart was so heavy and as I began to say my words to him I thought it was going to break in two. I told him how much he was loved. I told him how wonderful he was and how better my life was because he had been part of it. I thanked him for being my friend, co-parent, shrink, BFF, and most of all I thanked him for waiting until I was able to stand on my own two feet before leaving this world. Somewhere between the first and second shot I lost my nerve. I started to feel the walls of THE ROOM close in on me. I realized that I just wanted to remember Django with a warm body and a beating heart. I looked over at my friend who was only too glad to stay with Django 'til he fell asleep. I ran/walked out of the clinic into the fresh air. Ironically the weather was amazing. It was unseasonably warm. The sky was blue, blue, blue. No clouds. And there were birds. And they were singing. Welcoming my baby home. Home to the Rainbow Bridge where he will be forever healthy, happy and young.

    First I have to admit I was late in joining the MARLEY & ME fan club. It was, however, the one thing that helped get me through rehab this past Thanksgiving. Second: I'm sure I'm not the only one to say that I found so much of myself in your journey with Marley. Not that the following opus deals w/ "the world's worst dog", but that I too, had a dog who taught me what real love was all about. Enter Django, the most beautiful Golden Retriever I have ever seen. Fall '94. At the time I was 34 and married to my husband a little over 2 years. We were assistant house advisors, living in a dorm with 20 plus 11th grade boys on the campus of a very prestigious private school. I had been nagging my husband on a daily basis for a dog; especially when were out and saw one. My dog-dar would activate, I'd rush over to ask said dog owner if I could cop a feel while looking at my husband using my best puppy dog eyes only to have him shake his head. This was a common occurrence until the Fall of '94. Three life changing events happened in August/September: I became pregnant, we bought our first home and we finally bought a puppy. I was overwhelmed with happiness to say the least. A family friend had bred his female Golden (Cassie) and had promised us the pick of the litter. When the puppies were finally weaned we went to pick up our pick. We climbed right into the puppy pen and let "Django" climb all over us. We let him chew our hair, chew the hem of our shorts, nibble our fingers. We, in turn, turned him onto his back and rubbed his belly until his eyes rolled up inside his head and he was gone, gone, gone. After visiting for a while, we collected his AKA registered papers, a cloth diaper reeking of Cassie's scent, said our good-byes and headed home...our "fur-son" in hand; quite literally. Our choice of name, like Marley's was inspired by a musician. We had been listening to Django Reinhardt and really loved how mellow and easy and happy and uncomplicated his music was. We hoped the idea of people emulating the symbolic meaning of their names would hold true for dogs too. For us, at least, it did. Our first night was probably pretty typical for most dog owners, but special for us. Our dorm apartment was all boxed up, ready for the big move to our first house. We put Django in his crate in the living room. In it, we put a blanket and his mama diaper. Then we went to bed and hoped for sleep. Which didn't happen. Django cried. He cried and he cried and he cried. Then he wailed. So my husband dragged the crate into our bedroom and did one of the most sensitive things I ever remember him doing. He laid down on the floor, spooning the crate while rubbing the puppy's head. Soon both were happily snoring in sound sleep. Moving day came and went. So did our first born, Danny followed four years later by sister Anna. So did too many bags of leaves and too many summers throwing sticks in the lake. Through it all Django proved to be an excellent co-parent. When the babies were mobile be became their Jungle- Gym. They crawled over every inch of his tawny body, pulling on his tail and his ears while he would lay patiently still. Truth be told, I'm sure he figured that playing dead was the least he could do considering the babies found it way too fun to check gravity with Cheerios and Kraft Mac and Cheese. Despite the extra pounds, they were HIS children and his job was to watch them. He loved them so. The years passed, the kids grew, and the marriage ended. In all the "agreements" connected to the divorce, it was "agreed" that Django would stay with me. And in one of those terrible moments where you are alone in an empty house, where the silence is deafening, I reached out to hug Django. Just like in MARLEY & ME, I saw my dog with new eyes. Looking back at me wasn't the face of a puppy, or even the face of a young dog. It was the face of an 11 year old. His face was white and a film now covered his once ebony eyes. As I looked at him it hit me hard that here was a marker of my young adult life. He was the only member of the family I made who saw me through every stage a woman holds precious: the loving wife, the pregnant wife, morphing into motherhood (twice), miscarriage, childrearing, divorce...And in this moment I realized that the unconditional love we long for from our spouses or from our children we always find in our pets. Their capacity to attach is deep and their motivation simple: just love and protect me and I'll give it back tenfold. I put my arms around his neck and said,"O.K. I know you're old. And I know you hurt. But I need you to do me a favor. Could you please not go anywhere for a while? I really need you to get me to the other side of this divorce thing. I have to get up on my feet again and I need some help. So could you stick around?". He did. Until March '07. Django was 12 1/2 on Saturday, March 10, 2007. It was 10:30 pm and I let him out to take care of some business. When he didn't come back in the normal amount of time I got this really sinking feeling. Thinking he took off (as he did every so often), I put on my coat and boots, ran outside and started calling his name. Before I got into the car to go looking for him, I thought I'd circle my property. When I got to the darkest side of my house I found Django on his side. I ran to him thinking he had broken something, but he just couldn't get up. I tried to pick him up, but couldn't. I stared to cry and couldn't stop. I don't remember how I got him into the car. I do remember getting to the emergency vet hospital. I remember the vet techs running to my car with the gurney. I remember I had barely finished filling out the forms when Dr. Latra called me back to a room. I remember the X-Ray he put on the light-box and the huge mass in Django's tummy. I remember words like "cancer", "operate", "chemo", "radiation", "maybe 6 months", "or put him down". And in a split second there it was; a decision I had been fearing had been made for me. How could I even entertain the idea to operate on a dog who was 12 and 1/2, who more than likely wouldn't survive the surgery just to put him through horrible treatment to maybe get 6 months? I told Dr. Latra I would be putting Django down, but I would do this with my own doctor and not until my children had a chance to say their good-byes. On Sunday, Danny and Anna came home for the week. I sat them down to tell them the bad news. With Tuesday, March 13 scheduled to be THE day we decided to spend the next few days pampering our beloved dog. Though we had to be careful of being really physical with him for fear of hurting his stomach, spooning, cuddling and kissing received top billing. We journaled our favorite memories and went through old photos. On Monday, March 12, we gave Django his "last supper" which consisted of two plain cheeseburgers from McDonalds and a Puppy Cup from Dairy Queen. And when it came time for bed we all camped out in my room with Django nearby. Thankfully Tuesday morning was hurried. My ex was late in getting to my house to pick the kids up for school. My kids were late in getting up for school as the night before was extremely emotional. So the focus was getting them out the door instead of tearful farewells. Some life experiences are meant to be handled alone. Putting your dog down is not one of them. Thanks to two friends from work and the staff at the vet clinic I was far from that. One friend came to my house for the sole purpose of getting Django into the car. The other came with me to hold my hand through the ordeal. When we walked into the clinic the nurses who knew Django were there and once I saw them the tears began to flow. As we made our way back to THE ROOM my legs began to shake and I couldn't see because by this time I was sobbing. The Room was made as comfortable as it could have been; considering what it was designated for. Aside from the blanket that had been spread on the floor, there was a couch and an overstuffed chair (or two...can't remember) and the same Andrew Wyeth print of the sleeping dog on the 4 poster bed I have hanging in my bedroom. There's some irony for you. The nurse who would be administering the shots came in. I started to shake. She asked us to get Django comfortable and on his side. She prepped him. I petted him. She told me she would leave the room to get the first shot and would return in a moment. As cliche as this sounds, I swear it felt as if I was losing part of myself. My heart was so heavy and as I began to say my words to him I thought it was going to break in two. I told him how much he was loved. I told him how wonderful he was and how better my life was because he had been part of it. I thanked him for being my friend, co-parent, shrink, BFF, and most of all I thanked him for waiting until I was able to stand on my own two feet. Somewhere between the first and second shot I lost my nerve. I started to feel the walls of THE ROOM close in on me. I realized that I just wanted to have my last feeling of Django be one of a warm body with a beating heart. I looked over at my friend who was only too glad to stay with Django 'til he fell asleep. I ran/walked out of the clinic into the fresh air. Ironically the weather was amazing. It was unseasonably warm. The sky was blue, blue, blue. No clouds. And there were birds. And they were singing. Welcoming my baby home. Home to the Rainbow Bridge where he will be forever healthy, happy and young.

    A story from John Grisik about Disc 9, The Longest Trip Home
    posted 12/29/2008

    We purchased "The Longest Trip Home" for our trip from Ohio to Florida and greatly enjoyed the story through the first 8 discs. When we inserted disc 9 we got 18 tracks of songs from unknown artists. The disappointment in not hearing the final chapters in the story was intense. How can we exchange our "song" disc for the final disc so we can learn the ending of the story we so badly want to hear? Our e-mail address is jgrisik@aol.com.

    A story from Donna R about My Dog Baxter
    posted 12/29/2008

    My husband and I have a 2 year old Yellow Lab named Baxter who is our pride and joy. I never thought I could love an animal so much. When I read your book I found myself laughing hysterically out loud at some of the stories because we have been thru some of the same things ourselves. As a matter of fact, I had to buy a 2nd Marley and Me book because Baxter ate the 1st one.

    Among eating the book, Baxter has destroyed several pair of my shoes, hats, other books, ripped up a 6x12 section of carpet down to the subfloor in our family room, has left scars on my ankles (yes, scars), destroyed 20 X-mas ornaments in the past 3 weeks, ate a $100 bill, has pulled me down on the lawn trying to take off running, chases our cat all over the house, sent me to the emergency room with a cut on my hand, has eaten bars of soap.....and the list goes on. But he is our dog and we wouldn't trade him for anything else in this world.

    He loves to climb all over you when you are trying to watch TV. This 82 lbs dog thinks he is a 7 lb pug.

    Then there is the evening hours when all he wants to do is lay next to you with his head on your lap and snore away. It makes all of his wrong doings worth it.

    The last several chapters of your book were heart wrenching. I could not control my tears. I don't think I ever cried so hard from reading a book. Once I finished the book I just leaned down, gave Baxter a big kiss and layed next to him. And I let him sleep in bed with us that night.

    Baxter is my Marley.

    A story from Leanna about My poofballs of love
    posted 12/29/2008

    I just wanted to say that this book really touched me. I picked it up to rrad and could not put it back down. I happen to live in West Palm Beach, Fl. Not too far from where Marely & his family resided. I have 2 labs of my own. 1 yellow & 1 black lab named Oscar & Casey. My yellow lab Oscar reminds me so much of Marley. So full of love and joy. I have many stories of my labs eating shoes, eating my brand new couch, chewing the chair legs of my kicthen table to little tooth picks. I can go on and on!! They both have mellowed out in the past year!! I have learned so much from my dogs. Like your book says.. Dogs do not judge you or care about what you have and don't have. It's all about uncondional love, being loyal & giving and receiving love . You can't ask for more than that!!! Thank you so much for opening up your heart and soul and allowing us to take a peak into your personal journey with you and your family. You are an amazing writter. God bless. Leanna

    A story from Jeannine about My life with Buddy
    posted 12/29/2008

    John, Like others...I am very late to join the Marley and Me fan club...but better late than never!! Your book brought back many happy memories for me as well as many tears at the end. In fact I must admit I read 3/4 of the book in a day but as I got closer to Marley growing older...I found myself not reading as fast.When I knew what was coming... I put the book down for another day and 1/2. I guess my thoughts were.. if I don't finish the book... it won't end the way it has too. So.. here's a bit about "My Marley" His name was Buddy and he was a brittany spaniel. I don't know if you know about most brittanys ...but they are lively, loveable and full of energy. They always look like they are smiling and are ALWAYS looking for a good time. Well, that was my Buddy too!!He was not too destructive... he was just wacky!!I remember asking my vet if he would ever calm down... and she said "yes" about 2 days before he dies!!" He would run into things, step all over you, slobber all over you and just love you. As he grew older, he had horrible allergies that would make him itch like mad!!And he had this bone chilling scream he would let out ( even in the middle of the night). Then in his golden year, he had most of the arthritic pains that you described. I often looked at him and wondered when it was going to happen. Dear sweet Buddy was with me when I got married, when I too had a miscarriage and when I was going through a terrible divorce. He was my rock and "held" me on many nights when the tears just kept coming. Buddy was lucky though... he stayed with me while I met a new man and Buddy was able to join me in my new life. He hung around for 2 more years, so that my "new love' would learn to love him.He grew older and weaker and I began to tell him "it wasOK...I was Ok".Then 1 morning I woke up and John told me "BUddy was gone". The dear old guy saved me the pain of having to decide. He died in our bedroom peacefully. As crazy as he was, I will never forget that dog and he will always have a special place in my heart. Now.. can I go see the movie?? Or will I be blubbering throughout the movie?? Guess I am going to take the chance!! Thanks from all the dog lovers for writing what we all think and fell about our pets!!

    A story from Emilia about My family of animals
    posted 12/29/2008

    My family has always made fun of the fact that I love my babies so much, but I have never thought twice about it. I had never even heard of Marley and Me until I opened my mailbox one day and there was a big envelope from my uncle Jorge with your book inside. I instintly started reading it. I have to admit I held off on the last few chapters because I knew where it was headed. I have had many animals throughout my life, but none quite like the ones I have now. My 2 yearold boxer-lab mix, Adonis Charger is my love he knows everything about me, when something happens in my life I tell him. Which makes me thankful me can't talk. I had had a pitbull before and he was a great dog but he was abused and had to be put down. My roomate at the time knew my heart couldn't survive without a dog in my life. So we went searching online in the local pounds for a puppy. Of course all we could find were pitbull mixes and I just couldn't put myself through that again so we began searching in South Carolina where her twin sister lived just to see if there was any that caught our eye. Then we saw 2 puppies a girl and a boy and called her sister up to go look at them and see if they were a good match for me. She took there neice with her to make sure they liked children and she called us to say the little girl was shy and skiddish but the boy just came right up to them. He was sweet and followed them without a leash which was important to me. I wanted a dog that could stay with or without a leash just incase he ever got off of it or ran out the front door. My only concern was that I wasn't going to get him for a week so he was gonna be used to her and not me, but all that changed the secong Charger jumped outta the truck and into my arms, from that day on we have been inseperable. Charger was a very small puppy and for a boxer-lab can still be considered very small. I remember when I first got him he couldn't jump up into my truck, but not for his lack of trying. Everytime I opened the door he tried to jump up and again and again he didn't make it, but finally one day about 2 weeks after I got him he did. The first thing he did was to turn around and put his paws up as if to say, "mama I did it, did you see?!!!" Then he nearly fell out again but i caught him. It was amazing how proud he was of himself and then even more amazing how proud I was of him. Then right at about a 1 year old my roomate that helped me find the little butthead brought me a kitten after my own cat had died and I had sworn them off. Of course he looked just like my old cat reincarnaited I could have killed her for it, but at 4 weeks old all I could was heat up a bottle and feed him. After that feeding and my hands being torn up by kitten claws I named him Meeko. Of course Charger was less than impressed he was very content being mommy's one and only. After a few days they were best friends playing and sleeping together like they'd always been best buds. Now Charger is a good dog but he really had no idea that he was one. He was a cat/ human/ dog. So when he was a year and a half I decided we needed one more addition to this little family of ours and oh boy did we get it. And his name, Goliath, a 2 month old pound puppy a Sheppard hound mix. Charger and Goliath really didn't like eachother at first, Charger even went as far as to bite his nose and left one little mark. The strange thing is after that they were fine. Now a year later Goliath is twice the size of Charger but knows he comes second and does what Charger wants. Goliath is 1 now and the 2 of them love eachother so much. They play like ravinous wolves, to the point you would think they were killing eachother. But it is all in good fun as soon as the energy is gone they colapse on the couch on top of eachother and go back to sleep resting up for the next round. The mornings and the evenings are my favorite parts of the day. In the morning Charger and I get outta bed and let Goliath out of his crate which sometimes he would rather we leave the door shut so he could sleep a little while longer. I make coffee while they go and relieve themselves. Then I head outside to join them, this is the peaceful time of the day. They lay on the lawn furniture with me and soak in the mornings and a few good scratches and then I get ready to go to work. Goliath hops in his crate waits for a treat with the door wide open. And Then of course my pathetic little Charger just watches me as I leave. The evenings are the fun times, I feed them and then the reast for a little while and then it is out the doggy door and hours of playing and resting, and that is how it goes until betime. We have come to call Goliath, Frumpy because that is just what he is. He falls over himself if you want him off of you, you have to do it yourself. Your lap is just to cumfy to expect him to want to move off of it all on his own. When He was a baby he couldn't quite get the hang of running, he just kinda hopped around. Charger on the other hand was my little race dog. Slowly but surely he taught Goliath how to run, with Goliath's shoulder against Charger's rear he guided him through it, when Goliath would fall Charger being the expert he is would do a quick U turn and pick him back up and off the 2 of them will go again. When I finally finished reading Marley and Me I was crying and of course my boys were right there to lick up the tears and put there paws on me as if the, "it's okay mommy we are here for you." The two of them have destroyed many things of mine and I will swear up and down that is it I am done with them and then they give me those big puppy eyes and I just can't imagine a life without my boys. My barking, tail that destroy everything little boys that are always willing to give me a laugh or just use me for a back stratch. I dread the idea that I will day have to indure the pain of letting them go. I find I have more pictures in my computer of them than I do of anyone or anything else. My little family is everything to me, so thank you for giving people a space to write about their non human friends. I agree with you, they touch us ways people just don't know how to do. With their unfailing love and willingness to forgive us for anything we do wrong. And their way of knowing when we need them.

    A story from Pam De Klerk about Greece Lightning and Bubbles
    posted 12/30/2008

    First of all, thank you so much for the wonderful book. It really made me realise how blessed my husband and I are to have such well behaved (if rather untrained) dogs!! As you said at the end of the book, we are at one of the further corners of the globe (Zimbabwe in fact). We got Greece and Bubbles about 2 months apart - this ment having double duty on house training and all other aspects of puppy life. They instantly became best friends. Greece is a Great Dane and Bubbles is what we call a dog/cat as we have no idea what her father is and she has the most unusual habbits such as waking us up each morning by jumping on our windowsill and putting her head into the bedroom and openng the curtains for us (this is always accompanied by a series of high pitched squeakes!). They are now both 4 and a half and still behave as they did when we first got them! We joke that the garden is a race track and God forbid anybody get in the way when they are having a race - you are likey to be flattened without appology! Greece is now way too strong on his lead and subsiquently we dont take him out unless it is to the vet which is a joke as we are requested to muzzle him (he's the biggest softie in the world and wouldnt bite anyone)and we are asked to take him through the back room as no one trusts him to play nicely with the resident cat in the surgery! Bubbles on the other hand is plain mad! She does not go on a lead at all and will fake death or run a mile if she even gets a sense of going on it for any reason. Water and bathing her is another story altogether. My husband gets into the doggie bath with her to hold her still and I do the washing of her with Olympic speeds!

    We are expecting our first child in June and are so excited to see the reactions we will get when we bring our new bundle home. Bubbles in particular will now not leave my side (she used to be rather independant)and I'm convinced she will insist on sleeping with the baby at all available chances!

    Thank you once again for the best book I have read in a very long time, I will recomend it to everyone that will listen and will purchase all following books! I hope all people will have the oportunity to share in this story and better still to have a dog or two to love and share all the good times with!

    A story from Jay Gehrke about Ralph the Pom
    posted 12/30/2008

    Why Ralph? Because he looked like a Ralph. We got him at a shelter. He was a faithful friend from the beginning. He always climed in the back window of the car. We always had to spell car because he would get so excited if we said the name.

    We were visiting on a dairy farm in Wisconson two years ago. He got out, ran across the yard and there great big dog chomped him, and killed him.

    Interesting thing is I get all teary eyed when I talk about Ralph. My first wife who died of cancer, I can talk about her without out any problems. I just can't let go of Ralph. I cried uncontrollably at the end of the movie, even though I knew how it would end.

    I have a new Pom now. Casey. He sure ain't Ralph. But he knows the word car. When we are at the kitchen table eating he lies by the door, knowing we won't allow him to beg at the table. We live in a trailer park and just let him go out and relieve himself, and he comes back when he is finished. I got him as a six week old puppy.

    I wish I had the information from Dog Whisperer before I ever got a dog. I knew a little, like a Lab would not be a good dog in and apartment.

    I think most people just get a dog without doing any research, and that is to bad because so many get returned to shelter.

    I hope Gracie enjoys chicken. LOL A few years back A friend had two German Shepards. Male and female. They each had a bowl to eat out of, and they never touched to wrong bowl. It was as though they could read there names. So, I thin there is hope for Gracie. Oh, another thing about the German Shepards, If the mister were gone no one got in the house. They knew who I was, but would not let me in. Almost like a police trained do who has two lives, pet and working.

    A story from Amanda about Touched
    posted 12/30/2008

    Hi Mr Grogan. My name is Amanda and I live in NW Florida. I was so touched reading "Marley and Me." Maybe I'm reaching but I felt some similarities between your story and mine. Very few, but they were there. You see, I am not married, but my boyfriend and I live together and for my birthday this year, he bought me two black labs. They are my first experience with that most popular breed and it has been a wonderful adventure. While I don't share in your membership of in the Secret Brotherhood of Dysfunctional Dog Owners --mine are woefully well-behaved -- your simple and delightful descriptions of Marley struck me in their similarities. From a lab's joyful ability to "wag their bodies" to that tortured quiver of excitement they tremble with when first learning to "stay." "My boys," as we call them, are both around a hundred pounds a piece of pure, unadulterated love. They have touched and changed our lives in the 9 short months we've had them. Thank you for this delightful piece of your family's story. By the time I was reading the final chapters, I was amazed to find that I almost felt like I was losing a friend of thirteen years. Which is a feat because it only took me a day and a half to read your book. I couldn't put it down! I am recomending it to everyone I know and am resolutely going to see the big screen version tomorrow night. And tonight, I feel that a rental of "The Last Home Run" is in order. :)

    A story from april francis about loopy dogs
    posted 12/30/2008

    we have 2 boxers, and they are the joy of our lives! shakira is 5 and the mother of tanner who is 10 months old! tanner is our marley! his mother is loving and would rather do nothing than to lie in bed with you all day if you let her, whereas tanner is always on the go and always into everything! his latest adventure was sneaking into our daughters bedroom and stealing her birth control pills and eating half of them and then carrying them downstairs to show me what he had done ! i immediately called our vet and told him what had happened and his answer to me was not to worry because at least he wouldn't get pregnant!! he seemed to think that it was very funny!!

    A story from Barbara about Scottie
    posted 12/30/2008

    October 9 of this year, 2008, we had to put our faithful dog Scottie to rest. He was nineteen years old. Bought from the pound a day before he was to be put down; we brought home a one year old dog we named Scottie. He was half wire hair terrier and half unknown. We lived in Colorado and he could scale the walls of a 300 foot ravine and charge up the other side in pursuit of a deer, elk, even a mountain lion. Nothing stopped him. For all of those years he was the joy of my three children who were ages 6 and 7 when we adopted him. He moved to Virginia with us in 1999 and then to Florida in January 2008. He had trouble walking and took to exercising by doing laps in our pool. Finally one morning he couldn't stand and it was a sad day for the entire family. Scotie was not like any dog we had ever owned. The morning he couldn't stand I woke at 4 a.m. to the crying of our 8 1/2 year old 1/2 great dane standing next to him. Our other dog, half lab , also 9 1/2 years old, was laying by his side. They knew and were quiet for the next few days when he didn't return home. Saw the movie MARLEY & ME and it brought back memories of our old guy.

    A story from Manuela Schreiber about Petey the little Houdini
    posted 12/30/2008

    Hi,My name is Manuela.I'm 13 years old.And I'm a third degree burn suvior.My family and I moved to Illinios and on the first Saturday I burned my right leg. I went throught surgury,and one day asked my mom if I could have a puupy.She said yes that very moment."We'll get a puppy in the spring.When your leg is better." And we did.I picked a beagle mix.His name was Petey.He was calm and quiet.As the story goes his brothers and him were left in a building without food.When the humane socity found them. We call him Houdini because he could get out of anything. He chewed through 4 inch paly wood,steel,and wire.When you left the key in the lock to the kennel he could unlock it. We went on vaction once and told the neinbor not to leave the key in the lock.But he did and Petey made a huge mess in the garade! One morning Petey got out through a hole he made in the wire but his collar got stuck and he pulled it off.And dad came in and said that Petey was gone and I cryed.Then I went outside and their he was coming around the corner. Once I was on the school bus and mom said he got out again. And their he was, as I got on the bus.In a trash can! He ran away one morning and I never saw him again.He was two years old.He was my best friend.He would get in dads garden and eat,and smash the tomatos.And one day we were having a summer party and Petey drank some beer on the ground.He'd sit on the deck and watch the sunset with me too. Now I have a Golden Reteriver. Her name is Lady and I love her. We asked the humane socity why she was their. But the last owners didn't want to fill out the paper work. I can't dream of how sad it had to be to let her go. She is a very very good dog.I love her,and our journy together is just beginning.

    A story from Jason about Mounty the Golden Retriever
    posted 12/30/2008

    Our family was blessed to know Mounty for 7 eventful years before his time on earth was finished. He spent his early years living with me in my apartment in the city and the latter part of his life living with my parents on the family farm. Mounty represented a huge part of our family but we didn't really know how much a part of the family he was until he was gone. Mounty died in February of cancer. To this day I can't open the door without bracing for impact and can't think about him without fighting a tear. He made me better understand what loyalty was all about and I will forever regret not spending more time with him. The day Mounty was put to sleep was one of the worst days of my life. I am normally an unemotion person but that day was more than I could bare. I held him during those final minutes and would give anything to have had a different ending to our story. I buried him on the family farm near the pond he used to love swimming in. He always had a smile on his face and truly enjoyed life.

    My family and I will be seeing the Marley & Me Movie on New Years Eve, if it comes anywhere near what the book is I don't know if I will be able to see the ending.

    Thank you Mr. Grogan for sharing your story.

    A story from Tracie Macomber about Maxwell Leonard Macomber
    posted 12/30/2008

    Maxwell joined our family in August...at that time he weighed a whopping 17 pounds...today he weighs about 70 pounds and is not done growing..he is a mischievous chocolate lab, adorable, sweet, and chews on and steals everything he can get his mouth on...most recently the outdoor christmas lights....He is always getting into something but then he gives you those adorable sweet eyes and how can you stay angry for long. I just read your book and saw the movie..it was wonderful...they are precious dogs. thanks for sharing your story.

    A story from Andy Campbell about Saw the movie, then the next day...
    posted 12/30/2008

    It is with enormous heavy hearts which Andy and I are currently carrying to let everyone know that with extreme sadness we have "lost" our little "man" Opie. Opie was born on October 10th 2004 in Kula on the beautiful island of Maui. We got him at 8 weeks old. He lived with us and his "bro" Barney, in Kihei. He and Barney accompanied me at least once a week to work at Lahaina Carpet in Lahaina. When he was just over one year old, we all moved to Utah and he and Barney experienced their first flight and the first feeling of snow under their paws. He didn't like snow much as he had very sensitive feet but he loved to play and loved his many walks at the park. His best joy was when you said "car" he would go crazy to sit in the front seat, he loved going for a ride. Opie was an independent soul but equally loving. We will miss him barking when we leave the house for work and the sheer joy in his face and welcome we received when we arrived home, ou r lives and our home will not be the same without our little guy. We dont think that Barney or Dixie have realized yet that he is not around, I am sure they will miss him too.

    Unfortunately, he did something to his spine, the vet and us will never know exactly what happened. We noticed him limping on Friday last and he was unable to get up on the ottoman where he spent time next to me while I read the morning paper. We knew something wasn't right and decided that the next day we would take him to the vets. On Saturday morning, Opie could not use his back end, his legs just hung there and he dragged them along and seemed in great pain. We rushed to the vet and he told us, after x-rays, that he had some sort of nerve and disc damaged. He said he could have surgery but there was no guarantee that nerve damage would reverse. He told us to wait 48 hours and see if there was any improvement. Saturday was not so bad but yesterday he refused any food so we had big trouble trying to get down his medication and we tried everything he loved but could not tempt him. We finally syrenged it down his throat, which of course, he didn't like much, but it did relieve some of his pain and he slept good. It was very distressing for us to see him struggling to move around so we took him back to the vets this morning and told him that Opie was worse not better. He was peeing and pooping in his bed an d didn't seem to have any control of the nether regions. Vet wasn't sure whether that was due to muscle medication or the nerve damage. We asked him honestly to tell us what Opie's chances were if we continued with treatment and he basically told us 1 to 2%. He told us that very few dogs come through the painful spinal surgery and get back to "normal" living. Sometimes, the nerves get so damaged that its impossible. Because we loved this little guy we felt it best to lay him to rest so he did not have to suffer any more. He had lost his dignity and his quality of life, sadly at the age of 4. We could only have been selfish if we had made him stay. We saw him after and he looked peaceful and in no pain, which for him was a relief, not so for us. Opie will be pricately cremated and we will bring him back home in a walnut box and he will stay with us until his "bro" goes and then we will bury them together as they were devoted to each other. For now we have our memories and our photo's and hope in time the tears will stop, the pain of losing him will ease, but for now we grieve.

    Our Opie Born Oct 10, 2004 died Dec 29, 2008.

    A story from Nicola Ostlund about Max
    posted 12/30/2008

    I purchased Marley and Me two years ago, and 2 days ago I saw the movie. I laughed, I cried, and I relived a thousand moments with our dog Max who died two years ago at age 16.

    Like Marley Max was my practice baby, we were newly married when we rescued him from the animal shelter. I figured if I could keep up with a dog, I would be able to manage the baby growing inside of me. Within a few months of having Max, we were starting to realize why he was at the shelter. Max was about 2 years old, they said he was just a stray that was picked up. He was a white fluffy terrier mix and reminded me of my childhood dog with his large brown eyes. Unlike my childhood dog though, he was obnoxious, his small size of around 35lb was fooling, the dog could clear obstacles that were over 3 feet, and he could eat anything and everything. He ate the sofa, the cushions, books, shoes, knocked over chairs, and I swear could have gotten to the trash can if I’d have suspended it from the ceiling. Despite an apartment that was just over 700 sq ft, Max could make the most amazing amount of mess when you left him alone. We finally resorted to placing him in a large crate when we went out.

    He loved to walk, and his favorite spot was the park on the corner, he enjoyed the swings and being pushed in them, he also enjoyed escaping and thought it was great fun to ruin Saturday’s football games on the parks fields. One Saturday as he squeezed around my legs and bolted for the park. There I was attempting to sprint after him when I heard the squeal of tires and brakes. He was in the crosswalk when he was hit, the lady driving the car had fortunately just set off from the stop sign. Needless to say one large vet bill later we came home with a dog in a leg cast of which the vet assured us he would need rest and be out of it for a few days. Yeah right, hours later he bounded around, only now there was a distinct tap tap tap when he ran.

    Max went everywhere with us, when we moved from one state to another, Max endured a plane ride, in his case he barked from the hold below the plane, and the passengers strained their ears to figure out where that noise was coming from. Max for all purposes while horrid, was loved, although one day when I was quite frustrated I gave him away to a lady who came by the house and announced how adorable he was. The next day I felt guilty seeing the sea of pouting faces and went to claim him back, at that point I announced he was my husband’s dog; I was fed up of his antics. When we went on vacation and people came to watch him we always got phone calls in the middle of the vacation of how naughty he was, except once, that was the time he was so bad the person didn't want to tell us what he'd done. It had rained most of the week we were gone, and given we had a dog door so that Max had free roam of the yard, he decided to have fun and dig holes, which became mud puddles, that he laid in. Then, when he was wet and dirty enough, he came in the house and wiped himself clean on our white stripped sofa, all our lovely bedding, cream colored walls, even the ceiling had a few splashes of mud where he shook himself. We came home to a mud hut:)

    Like Marley when Max got older he could not jump and run much anymore, he slowed down and in our case we actually enjoyed it. In his last few years we did rescue another dog, a black lab. Only unlike Max I spent 12 months in training classes with him getting his canine good citizen, I was not having another Max. Unfortunately, one new puppy and one old tired dog didn't mix, thus we rescued another dog, Bonnie. Some of us like punishment. There went Brinkley's training, now I had two larger romping dogs running around like crazy playing tag, but at least Max was left in peace.

    When we moved to a bigger house with a bigger yard to accommodate the furry zoo, Max reverted to the pantry. We placed a bed in there for him, this way he was next to his favorite thing, the trash can. Of which, despite being blind and deaf and failing hips, he still managed to knock over and drag that trash all over the house till the day he died. Max died right after Christmas, he was in the yard and our other dogs that were chasing one another about collided into him, their weight of over 100lbs knocked him flying. He never saw or heard them coming. He could not stand at all and we thought it was cruel to leave him like that because his pride kept making him attempt to stand again and again, finally we sedated him. He was getting older and it wasn't fair. We took him to the vet to have him put to sleep, I held him in my arms and we were all there whispering to him how much we loved him.

    Losing a dog is like losing a part of your soul, for days I cried and just could not get past it, his photos were everywhere. One afternoon I sat down in front of our large trunk of photos and I dug out all the ones of Max. By the time my husband and I emerged out of the closet like two hunchbacks we had laughed and shared good times. I scanned every picture and I wrote a memoir of Max, I also made a decision to do something else.

    The night we brought Max home a large stray dog turned up on our doorstep, we could not find its owner and I had to take it to the animal control shelter. Several days later I checked the animal control website to see if the dog was on there, and while looking I found a picture of a white dog that looked exactly like Max, I knew if he was in the animal control facility he would be put to sleep and I was heart broken. I didn't want to let that happen, but I was not ready for another dog. Then by some miracle I discovered the shelter offered the option of fostering dogs so they would not be euthanized. I ran down there to do paperwork and I got the dog just in time. We called him Baxter, and after just over a week of living with us I found him the perfect home, a retired couple adopted him. The day Baxter left I fostered Gracie, another white terrier mix who was also destined to be euthanized. By then I was hooked and I realized that in rescuing Max we took one dog, but if I could foster a white terrier for each year we had him, I would save many. My goal was 14 by December 31st and I successfully made it. I took the hard luck cases with heart worms, broken legs, missing legs, bladder stones, I spent nights nursing some of them back to health. I even took a yellow lab pup whose leg was badly broken in two places. We called her Molly, she is now over 80lbs, 18 months old, and we stay in touch with her new family who tell me all of her antics, she sounds like a Marley.

    It's funny, in 2 years over 25 foster dogs have gone thru my house and I now am the proud owner of 4 dogs, but despite some of them looking like Max, none of them ever had all Max's antics, but for each one that came, his memory lived on. He was an original and he taught us so much, I look back and regardless of all the ups and downs, I think we were lucky to have found the pure devotion and love that can come from the furry beast known as man's best friend.

    Thank you for such a great book dedicated to all the Marley's of the world, and those of us who love them unconditionally. Of course, since the movie came out I have been using it to let people know of all the labs at the shelter that need homes. I have been photographing the available labs and placing up posters everywhere with the slogan "get your own Marley". Last weekend volunteers at the shelter took 8 labs that were due to be euthanized on Monday to an adoption event at the movie theater, they all found homes.

    Nicola Ostlund

    A story from John Parham about Ava
    posted 12/30/2008

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your book and have not finished it yet because i have never laughed so much. I want to tell you about Ava who is a service dog to a special friend of mine. This dog can tell when Dela is haveing seizures and bring things to her. Ava was her daughter's service dog because of being physically handicapped and when her daughter went into a group home, Ava went with Dela. She is a valuable part of the family and a special friend. She acts as Marley did when Jenny lost the baby. She knew when you were sick and would not leave your side. Great book.

    A story from Jenny Henry about Bo
    posted 12/30/2008

    Hello, my name is Jenny. I am the proud parent of a five year old Chocolate Labador, Bo. I had always wanted a Chocolate Labador, something about those big golden eyes. When I was in collage, my boyfriend and I broke up. I was heartbroken. I decied the best way to mend my broken heart would be to buy the chocolate labador I had always wanted. I found an ad in the paper, Chocolate Lab Puppies $150.00. I was living with my parents at the time. Without discussing too much with my parents, I called the number. A couple of nights later, my sister and I drove out to pick up my new puppy! He was just what I always wanted! My broken heart swelled with love for this new puppy. I had so much fun taking Bo into the pet store, on walks around the pound. It was Febuary when I got Bo. One thing I did not enjoy, having to take him out in the sleet, snow, and freezing rain. Bo stayed with me in my room. Although, he hated sleeping in the bed with me. When he was a puppy, I would put him on my bed. He would only grumble and jump down. Now, at five, he thinks he lap dog! He climbs right on top of me! I call Bo my heartbreak dog because I got him at a time in my life when I was experiencing so much hearkache. Bo helped to mend some of the pain. He was my big, brown, furry shoulder to cry on. Bo has always been my protector. Even now he doesn't take to kindly to my husband being sweet on me. He barks and barks at him! Bo is a barker. We often joke that if he could speak human, he would join right into the conversation. He is an attention hog! I really enjoyed reading Marley and Me. I laughed out loud! I could relate to so many moments. "That's Bo!" I would say. I apperciate my dog so much more after reading and seeing the movie Marley and Me. A dog's love is a precious thing that I am so lucky to receive everyday!

    A story from Michelle Herbst about Love for a pet
    posted 10/31/2009

    I read Marley and Me in the summer of 2006 during my honeymoon. I laughed from all of the antics of Marley and I cried when Marley went to the Rainbow Bridge. Not even a year later, I was faced with helping my eight year old orange and white sidekick, Ed to sleep, as he had a bone marrow deisease that hit him so rapidly that I didn't have time to process the possible loss. I was absolutely devestated. One month later, Ed's brother, Bob, was diagnosed with diabetes and ultimately joined Ed six months later. When the movie came out, I revisited reading Marley and Me, along with watching the movie. We're talking over a year after Ed and Bob had passed away. In the movie, when the decision was made to help Marley to the Rainbow Bridge, I had to leave the room because I was sobbing and I didn't want my clients to see me breaking down. Your book and the movie just sealed how important pets are in people's lives. They may be neurotic or gentle, but they become a huge member of the family. When they go to the rainbow bridge, you will always have the memoris with your pets, but you will also know they are waiting for you on the other side to play (or in Marley's case chew). Thanks for sharing your story about Marley!

    A story from alice tyson about the longest trip home
    posted 11/02/2009

    John, I was sorry not to get a chance to talk with you after the Grand Rapids event. AS a result of reading, the longest trip home, I connected with a High School classmate, Linda Miller Atkinson who was mentioned in your book. I had hoped to see her at our 50th class reunion last May but she was unable to attend. I found her in the UP and have since had lunch with her in Lansing as she is on the DOT board of the State of Michigan. I invited her to attend your GR event as that was the day she was due in Lansing BUT due to a trial in New Mexico or Arizona she was not at the DOT meeting. Anyway she told me to say Hi to you which I was unable to do due to the huge line at your autographing table. I really enjoyed the evening and thanks for putting her name in your book. I can just imagine giving you the 25 dollars!!!

    A story from Melissa about Buster
    posted 11/04/2009

    I initially was going to mention how much this book touched me, and what it has done for me recently, but I decided to scrap it... Instead I am going to tell you about Buster.

    We got him in February of 1999. He was already about a year and a half old. We picked him out at the local Humane Society. We instantly fell in love with him. We were lucky to have him, and he was lucky to find us. Buster was on his last chance at the humane society. He had been there nearly a month, the time limit they were able to keep dogs since they were a busy shelter. There were also signs of abuse. He only weighed a little over half of what he should have (you could see his ribs even through his thick coat). His paw pads were worn and the tip of his tail was missing most of its fur. But I have never seen a dog as cheerful as he was to see us.

    We took him home and he plumped up to the weight he should be. He developed quite the personality. He didn't like men much except for my dad and my sister's and my boyfriends. He looooooooved women though. He also had a spot on the couch that was his. If you would sit in it, he would sit on the floor and bark at you until you moved. He loved to be outside, he loved running around under the bushes. He loved to sit next to you on the couch and lean up against you, as close as he could. He was a handsome devil, and he knew it. He tried so hard to be a lap dog, even though he was too big to be. His personality was so sweet, and he was so devoted to us.

    He always had a few health problems. One time several years ago his kidneys almost shut down. He also had arthritis for half of his life. In the last year or so of his life he developed tumors under his skin, almost everywhere. He also started to get occasional seizures at night. In the last 4 months of his life he developed diabetes and had fluid around his heart. But throughout the whole time he was happy, he never acted like he was in pain. So we just continued the treatments as long he would be comfortable and happy.

    In the last days of his life, he began to have an even harder time walking. He started losing control of his bladder. His insulin shots started to become a struggle. We decided that since he was starting to get uncomfortable that it was time to put him to sleep. We knew life was getting hard on him, and we wanted him to find peace. It was such a hard decision since he was so happy that morning. But we knew if we didn't put him to sleep and he suffered a major stroke the next day we would never forgive ourselves. We wanted his last memories to be happy ones.

    We put him to sleep yesterday morning. He was an amazing dog. He was so much more than a dog. He was a good friend, a shoulder to cry on, warm company on snowy nights, my protector when home alone. He was so much and I will always remember him.

    RIP Buster, 11/3/2009

    A story from Milena (from Brasil) about Honor (in portuguese)
    posted 11/07/2009

    Gostaria de deixar aqui uma homenagem a minha labradora Mel..que nessa semana foi embora...de encontro aos anjos...pra brincar de bola com eles (sua brincadeira preferida !!! - além de fugir de casa, andar afobadamente na frente durante os passeios, derrubar desconhecidos na praça, afim de cumprimentá-los, invadir um grande parque durante a noite, através de um buraco na cerca, roubar cenoura e ossos das outras cachorras, por ser bem mais rápida ...e confundir um mastife de 80 kg com seu pai biológico..um labrador com metade do peso...)rsrs Que Saudade da nossa menininha, que nos trouxe tanta alegria !! Mel, we love you !!!

    A story from geetika about my dogs and me
    posted 11/09/2009

    dear mr.grogan. my family has been blessed with the love of dogs. all four of us love dogs. BROWNNIE (spitz-pom) was the super star of our life. my father found god in him, mom found a child. a soul mate for me and my brother.as children we had lots of dogs but were too young to understand the connections. but later when brown(his short name) came , everything changed.he was the main thing in our lives. brown gave us the strength to overcome all the downs of life. he was naughty but nothing mattered. in the later years (10 yrs.) i felt he talked to us all the time.we knew what he said. it could be magic, a connection or our imagination.bitting had become his habit but that did not stop us from loving him.i got married and went away(indian tradition), knowing the distance could not do any harm to us. he would jump in joy when i came for a visit and sat in my suitcase as i packed to go back. brownnie was struggling for life when i visited in dec'08. he did not move around too much. stopped responding to our calls. it was tough for me to leave him,but i had to go back. that day brown made a move and licked me on my face keeping one paw on my chest. i knew what he was telling me, to take good care of dad and mom. we all knew what was coming. but were we prepared for it. "yes" we were.i cried almost all 6 hrs. of my journey back home. next day mom called and i knew the time came. i picked up the phone. i heard her sobbing. the message was understood. we lost him after a long illness of 4 months. dec'08 we put him in the front yard of our house. the next time i visited my family, it was not the same. we all had tears in our eyes almost all the time. my brother was married. he moved to mumbai. there was too much empty space in dad n mom's lives. the only question i asked them was " how will you both live without smiling?" i went to brown's grave and asked if should leave them sad like this. the answer was in my head immediately. did brown answer me? he did. i believe that. it was then me and my husband decided to get a companion for my family. a month after brown went away, one month old boozo (dalmation) was trying to make place in our hearts with all his sweet acts. a soft furball running all around. happiness filled in the air. it was all about boozo now. he made us smile. now he is one year old and this is mysecond visit with him jumping around me. we miss brownnie but i also thank him for making me get boozo in our lives. this was my story as for your book. it opened the door of understanding human emotions for their dog. no matter what it takes, only a loving dog can give true happiness to their master. your book has changed not only my views for my naughty dog but also for my life. being positive about everything is the lesson you'v taught me. thank you

    A story from mary about Auggie
    posted 11/10/2009

    My dogs name was August Wellington Smith...but don't let that sophisticated sounding name fool you. He was Auggie a black lab who would when talking about him or calling him was followed by Auggie (bad,little doggie). I too thought of writting about him in a children's story but you John, beat me to the punch! I thought that when Auggie opened up the refrigerator not once but twice and emptied it out on the kitchen floor I was alone in my desperation but looking briefly over this I see Auggie wasn't the only one to raid the frig. We are all members in the club of they were sooo bad but they were sooo good and we would take them back in a second if we could. I will never live the rest of my life without a dog in my home. The love, loyalty, companionship, and the connection is on such a spiritual level really, you know there's a God cause he gave us dogs. I won't go on about some of the experiences I had with Auggie on this site you've all been there but you book was lovely and touching and true. I am happy for your success and will enjoy reading these stories to bring back memories of Auggie and smile. I have a golden retriever now too good to be too not an ounce of trouble!

    A story from Tyler about My dog Muffet
    posted 11/14/2009

    Mr. Grogan, My name is Tyler and i love the book that you wrote about Marley. I have a puppy named Muffet and she looks excatly like Marley and behave like him a lot. I love to write and I have all these journals in my bookcases of every kind. One is about all the hilarious moments I can recall about muffet. It is called 'The Muffet Book'. Keep writing, say hi to Gracie for me.

    Your fan,

    Tyler

    A story from Jim Doyle about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 11/16/2009

    I just needed to say how much I enjoyed your memoir. While I grew on the eastside of Det.(City Airport), I also went to catholic schools. Your story of your first confession was GREAT. And your stuggles with religion as an adult sounded so familar. Thanks

    A story from Ted Bonar about Marley and Our Book Club
    posted 11/20/2009

    Dear John,

    I coordinate recreation and education programs for adults with disabilities in Calgary Alberta Canada. Of the 11 programs I oversee, I introduced a new one this time...a book club, and my selection to read aloud to participants was Marley and Me. Today we finished the last pages as we read the book for ten weeks, one hour each day, our small group thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with Marley and your family. Although our group, was small, I truly believe that your book provided a learning opportunity and taught us all life lessons to take away with as we wrapped up for the season.

    Thank you to you!

    Ted

    learn@ilrcc.ab.ca

    A story from dakota about ford thunderbirds
    posted 11/23/2009

    they are amillion of them in the usa they are the most rear cars in the world now today in2009 today they cost alotof money now to you jon grogen

    A story from R.L Arocha about Saqqara (Mama Girl)
    posted 11/30/2009

    First, the picture of Saqqara (pronounced Sa-car-raw) was taken by my roommate moments before the Vet came out to put her to sleep.

    How my roommate and I aquired Saqqara was accidental. We were over at Harold's(thats my roommate)brothers home next door when we heard the yelping of an animal underneath his brothers mobile home. We could tell it was a young puppy and we looked all over the underneath looking for the dog but just couldnt see her.

    Just when we were about to give up and leave we heard the most desperate cry I have ever heard an animal make. It was loud and we just couldn't leave until we found the puppy.

    About an hour passed before we finally found where the sound was coming from. It was coming from a hole underneath the mobile home.

    Where we live it is very rural. No paved roads, have to have satellite tv in order to have some kinda of programs to watch, no city water had to have a well and pump. We also have a plethora of all types of snakes. So when we found where the sound was coming from, first thing we thought about is "there's a copper head in there", but we couldn't just leave it down there.

    Harold as fast as he could crammed his arm into the hole and a few seconds later there was a tan and white dirty puppy in harolds hand. She was no more then 4 weeks old and we found out from his brother later he knew she was in the hole, but he left her there cause he couldnt be bothered about it. His german sheppard and one of the neighbors half wolf were the parents of the tiny little puppy...

    I always believed in giving animals either unique or human names. When came to naming her I had selected Saqqara because first it was egyption and second it just sounded cool. The thing I didnt tell Harold at the time was that the name Saqqara was actually a cemetary outside of Ciaro.

    Although Saqqara was part german sheppard and part wolf, she had a unigue personality that went along with her interesting name. And in certain situations you could see the wolf come out in her when she was running or something had her upset. And though she was just a medium size dog, she had all the strength of a huge dog.

    Saqqara lived with me and my roommate for 14 years. She survived two fires that destroyed my mobile homes, she like Marley hated thunderstorms. I had never seen and animal so scared that she either would go hide under the bed or climb up either on my lap or harolds lap shaking uncontolably.

    She never had any real constant mishappenings, tho she had unusual habits. She would get in the bathroom trash and eat Q-tips. She never begged for human food. What she would do is just sit down right infront of you and stare at you and watch you lift the fork from the plate to your mouth. The way she would look at you was like a small child who was in awe of everything around it. She also had a sweet tooth and too many times did I leave twizlers and Mike and Ikes sitting around and they would disappear constantly. She loved to play also, either chasing something you throw or wrestling with her and she would get all wolfy like cause she wasnt going to let you win.

    The day Saqqara was put to sleep she had full blown diabetes, she was having bowl movement problems and we had to give her soft food with fiber in it and in the last couple weeks of her life she had gone blind in both eyes. Even with all of that, she continued her ritual of sleeping under my bed and making her way to harolds room where she would wait for me to pick her up and set her down on his bed. Harold had set his bed up so that one side of it was against the wall so that Saqqara could be up there and not fall off the bed.

    Putting Saqqara to sleep was the correct choice but was the hardest and saddest thing I have ever had to do. The Vet was kind enough to come out the SUV to give her the shot instead of having us hurting her carrying her in. So there I sat next to Saqqara, patting her and telling her what a great dog she was and how sorry I was this has to happen. I kept calling her Mama Girl because she would respond to that also. I was crying and I wasnt going to let anyone take that away from me. My roommate had to walk away because he was crying also and the vet assitant had to go back in the clinic because she had tears in her eyes.

    As the fluid was slowly administered she slowly laid her down and a minute later the Vet said that was it, she was gone. He also said how sorry he was.

    Wrapping Saqqara up in her favorite blankit we covered her up and quietly drove home with our Mama Girl forever sleeping the sleep of angels.

    We buried her underneath a bunch of trees so that she would always be in the shade. It was also a spot she liked to go and roll over and over on.

    Its been a little over a year since she has been gone, and yet I still think about her. The movie Marley and Me I enjoy watching but the ending is very hard for me to watch without shedding some tears.

    As I write this beside me is Paco, who is 5 years old and my cat Gypsy of 17 years and acts like she is only 2 years old. But I know one day I am going to have to make that choice again and I am sure it will be hard also.

    I hope Saqqara enjoyed life as much and me and my roommate enjoyed having her. And if there is anything like a heaven for dogs. I would like to think Saqqara is up there running around like she did when she was younger. Where there are plenty of twizlers and Mike and Ikes.

    A story from R.L Arocha about Saqqara (Mama Girl)
    posted 11/30/2009

    First, the picture of Saqqara (pronounced Sa-car-raw) was taken by my roommate moments before the Vet came out to put her to sleep.

    How my roommate and I aquired Saqqara was accidental. We were over at Harold's(thats my roommate)brothers home next door when we heard the yelping of an animal underneath his brothers mobile home. We could tell it was a young puppy and we looked all over the underneath looking for the dog but just couldnt see her.

    Just when we were about to give up and leave we heard the most desperate cry I have ever heard an animal make. It was loud and we just couldn't leave until we found the puppy.

    About an hour passed before we finally found where the sound was coming from. It was coming from a hole underneath the mobile home.

    Where we live it is very rural. No paved roads, have to have satellite tv in order to have some kinda of programs to watch, no city water had to have a well and pump. We also have a plethora of all types of snakes. So when we found where the sound was coming from, first thing we thought about is "there's a copper head in there", but we couldn't just leave it down there.

    Harold as fast as he could crammed his arm into the hole and a few seconds later there was a tan and white dirty puppy in harolds hand. She was no more then 4 weeks old and we found out from his brother later he knew she was in the hole, but he left her there cause he couldnt be bothered about it. His german sheppard and one of the neighbors half wolf were the parents of the tiny little puppy...

    I always believed in giving animals either unique or human names. When came to naming her I had selected Saqqara because first it was egyption and second it just sounded cool. The thing I didnt tell Harold at the time was that the name Saqqara was actually a cemetary outside of Ciaro.

    Although Saqqara was part german sheppard and part wolf, she had a unigue personality that went along with her interesting name. And in certain situations you could see the wolf come out in her when she was running or something had her upset. And though she was just a medium size dog, she had all the strength of a huge dog.

    Saqqara lived with me and my roommate for 14 years. She survived two fires that destroyed my mobile homes, she like Marley hated thunderstorms. I had never seen and animal so scared that she either would go hide under the bed or climb up either on my lap or harolds lap shaking uncontolably.

    She never had any real constant mishappenings, tho she had unusual habits. She would get in the bathroom trash and eat Q-tips. She never begged for human food. What she would do is just sit down right infront of you and stare at you and watch you lift the fork from the plate to your mouth. The way she would look at you was like a small child who was in awe of everything around it. She also had a sweet tooth and too many times did I leave twizlers and Mike and Ikes sitting around and they would disappear constantly. She loved to play also, either chasing something you throw or wrestling with her and she would get all wolfy like cause she wasnt going to let you win.

    The day Saqqara was put to sleep she had full blown diabetes, she was having bowl movement problems and we had to give her soft food with fiber in it and in the last couple weeks of her life she had gone blind in both eyes. Even with all of that, she continued her ritual of sleeping under my bed and making her way to harolds room where she would wait for me to pick her up and set her down on his bed. Harold had set his bed up so that one side of it was against the wall so that Saqqara could be up there and not fall off the bed.

    Putting Saqqara to sleep was the correct choice but was the hardest and saddest thing I have ever had to do. The Vet was kind enough to come out the SUV to give her the shot instead of having us hurting her carrying her in. So there I sat next to Saqqara, patting her and telling her what a great dog she was and how sorry I was this has to happen. I kept calling her Mama Girl because she would respond to that also. I was crying and I wasnt going to let anyone take that away from me. My roommate had to walk away because he was crying also and the vet assitant had to go back in the clinic because she had tears in her eyes.

    As the fluid was slowly administered she slowly laid her down and a minute later the Vet said that was it, she was gone. He also said how sorry he was.

    Wrapping Saqqara up in her favorite blankit we covered her up and quietly drove home with our Mama Girl forever sleeping the sleep of angels.

    We buried her underneath a bunch of trees so that she would always be in the shade. It was also a spot she liked to go and roll over and over on.

    Its been a little over a year since she has been gone, and yet I still think about her. The movie Marley and Me I enjoy watching but the ending is very hard for me to watch without shedding some tears.

    As I write this beside me is Paco, who is 5 years old and my cat Gypsy of 17 years and acts like she is only 2 years old. But I know one day I am going to have to make that choice again and I am sure it will be hard also.

    I hope Saqqara enjoyed life as much and me and my roommate enjoyed having her. And if there is anything like a heaven for dogs. I would like to think Saqqara is up there running around like she did when she was younger. Where there are plenty of twizlers and Mike and Ikes.

    As much as it hurts to lose her, I would do it all over again if I could. She made it easy to love her...

    A story from Philip Hamilton about Reading Marley&Me
    posted 12/01/2009

    I was deeply touched by the book's honesty and connection to any and every dog owner. My dog Kujo, a mix Husky & German Shepard, is entering his senior dog years(he will be nine in May2010) and I was really sad and touched by Marley's senior years. I know soon enough, Kujo will go to the big meadow in the sky...

    My memories of Kujo are always great, even if at the time some of them where frustrating...I even threaten him a few times with sending him to the "glue factory". I never really meant it. And actually most time he showed remorse for his actions. But those memories always put a smile on my face & I cherish them.

    I also realized from reading your book that Kujo is not the "Worse dog in the world" actually he is disciplined like a marine compared to Marley(and others that sent you there stories)! You also made me recognized that Kujo has taught me a life lesson: Be awed by the simplicity of life, show your loved ones that you love them every day. Take life one treat at a time.

    3 things keeps him apart from others: He loves to "butt in" on a Kiss, Hug or a tug of war most of the time by humping us or even just humping empty air(I can't seem to correct it and my wife actually encouraged him to do it with the "dance" command) . Howls at the train whistle when the train is going through the village like he is trying to sing a long. He loves to play with his squeaky toys, and he has his "cow"(knows the word) that he had since he was a puppy. It's a destroyed toy but he cherishes it like no other.

    So kujo is showing signs of aging, but like Marley did still has the puppy fire so I think he might have still a few years in him. I am quite sure that the day he does not great me with a parade and fanfare, that he won't be excited by the little things he will be ready for the journey to the Meadow in the sky.

    A story from Melanie about Picaboo
    posted 12/06/2009

    Picaboo was my best friend. I will keep it brief. He was the craziest, silly dog that ever was. I have a ton of stories that would rival anyone. He gave me joy that could only come from unconditional love. Every minute I had with him was a gift, and wouldn't trade it for the world. Every bad thing he did made me laugh sooner or later. I just wanted to celebrate his life for a few minutes.

    A story from Trish about Clio
    posted 12/07/2009

    Dear John and Jenny,

    Thank yo so much, both of you, for telling ye're story and allowing for someone like me to read it. Alan, the love of my life and I discovered we were pregnant with our first child earlier this year. We thought we had it all as we had already begun to expand our family with Clio. Clio is our own little demon dog. She is so full of mischief and trouble but she returns our love ten fold. Alan and I recently discovered that we had miscarried our baby and we were and still are completely devastated. Clio, although she is a handful, she was the first one to make me laugh again. She keeps me smiling and brings joy to my life everyday. I had thought that there was no light at the end of the tunnel when Alan reminded me about 'Marley and Me' - how ye went on to have a beautiful family. This brings me so much hope. For now we have Clio but I know someday we will go on and have our own little family.

    Thank yo for the hope. Trish.

    A story from Glenda about Alex
    posted 12/10/2009

    Dear Mr. Grogan, Thank you so much for writing the most heartwarming and enjoyable story I have ever read. I have been visiting this website on a regular basis for over a year now and am always touched by the heartfelt stories. Being loved by a dog, as you were by Marley, is one of life's greatest joys. I did not grow up with a dog, nor was I able to have one as a young adult. However, as soon as I was able, I got my first puppy, a beautiful chocolate and white cocker spaniel I named Alex. As you can see he has grown into a handsome big boy who has become the center of my life. He has been such a great joy. He enjoys belly rubs, long rides in the car and running free in the park. He is 71/2 years old now and when I bought his first bag of senior food I was saddened by the thought of how short a dog's life is. Alex had cranial cruciate repair sugery on both hind legs at age 5 and 6 respectively. I spent two whole summers nusing him back to health and although I landed in the poor house, when I see him running in the field like a pup, it was worth every cent. I am so happy that you have given all of us who love these wonderful family members a place to celebrate their lives. I am especially grateful to have this opportunity while my best friend is napping by my feet. I know we will both have many more adventures together. Thanks again for writing your family's beautiful story and for keeping this website available for all of us to share our stories.

    A story from Tonjia K Bruns about My Dakota Jane
    posted 12/12/2009

    Just finished Marley and Me this morning. The book was givin to me a few months back, but I was just not up to reading it yet as I had just had to have my 12 1/2 year old Rottie named Angel put down. So, I started reading it about a week ago. Not sure why I started it, as I have a 15 year old female lab. Although she is considered yellow, she is leans more towards the golden red side. Anyway, as you all know at 15,every minute I continue to have her is a blessing. She came into my life as stray tied to a sign in a horrible thunder storm down about 500 ft. from my house. My husband on his way home from work about 3:00 am saw her and stopped. Her extra long leash had been chewed and who ever tied her to the post left enough slack that she could easily get into road, as well as it was just a matter of time before she chewed herself loose again. So, he loaded her up in the car and brought the 500 ft. to our home. He woke me up to see the this young, almost grown dog. We dried her off and inspected her to see if she had any injuries. As we did we could still smell the lingering fragrance of dog shampoo, her nails were well manicured, and she was not under weight as most abandoned animals when found. No she was somebody's dog, so we thought, but why was she left out in a thunderstorm tied on a leash. We had a black lab at the time. We decided that we take her to the local shelter. As with most houeholds we both worked, and the the shelter hours did not coinside with ours until about 4 days later. By that time we had decided to keep her, we understood the exact reason she was tied to the post, however wrong on the humans part that did so. We knew she was unadoptable to most families and would probably be euthanized because she was a uncontrollable. I knew she would need a world of patience and love, and a universe of forgivness. And 14 years later, she has lived up to every second of it. I say 14 years because the vet guessed her age at 8 mos. to 1 year when we got her. We felt that by having the black lab we knew all about the micheviousness, the energy etc. We have a large fenced yard, so we thought lots of ball playing, the 2 dogs playing, and lots of other activites would help to work off her boundless energy, it had always worked with the black lab. WRONG. Cody, my son's black lab was energetic, but much calmer. Dakota Jane was and in many ways still is , my wild child, my ADHD child, my unstable, defective dog. She has managed to do all the same things and many more as Marley. I don't need to go any further with the as all of us who love, care for, and cherish these creatures know. Today, Dakota is only a shadow of her former 90 lb. beautiful, athletic, boundless energetic self. Like elderly humans she has lost down to 65 lbs. her back end is soft, her sight is bad, she to is pretty much deaf, she can no longer hold her bodily fuctions for the amount of time she used to, so the house is littered with puppy training pads when I have to go to work, and I buy Nature's Miracle by the gallon. She is still stable on solid ground, but I have to carry her up and down the steps at potty time. However, she still eats with gusto, is happy and get's up wagging her tail when I wake her after I get home from work. What she still is though, is a never ending well of unconditional love, the dog who always knew and comforted without saying a word. The dog who cuddled with me and let me cry all over her as my marriage fell apart, the dog who layed in bed with me as I recovered and learned how to manage a chronic illness. The dog who knew to behave during this time, she some how knew I was only able to take care of our most basic needs.The dog who has loved me no matter what. Well, now to the point of all this, I did finish the whole book. I read the last couple of chapters I was determined not to, knowing that sooner than later I will have to one more time help a loved companion over the rainbow bridge. And for those of you out there who have not had to make that decision yet, these creature know, and will let you know when it is time. Mine always have. This is the consolation they give you even in death, they help you understand this decision is the only right, humane,unconditionaly loving decision, no matter how heart wrenching it may be. These creature have trusted us with their lives, their care, their love, and in the end, let us know they trust us with their end. They let us know when it's time to let go, and that it is ok to let go. It does not mean you won't grieve, your heart won't be broken, you won't miss them. It means that, as John pointed out, this grief, as time goes on becomes loving memories of lessons they taught us, that the bad things they did, in the grand scheme of things is pretty trivial,although sometimes very expensive,and should be celebrated in our memories just as their most stellar moments are. The last few chapters once again forced me, and helped me to remember that even when she is gone, she will continue to be a part of my heart and soul. She will join all of my other past companions that have crossed the rainbow bridge. And there will always be something that will trigger a memory forcing them to the front of my mind making me smile, making me remember an impotant life lesson they taught me and many times just a loving comforting memory when I'm down. I now realize this book was here because I needed reminding of all the things John covered, even though I have known it all long.

    Thank you, John, Jenny and Family. Tonjia

    A story from Carol about Max
    posted 12/16/2009

    Hi John I finished "Marley and Me" this morning and that last chapter is what prompted me to go onto your website to see if I could relate my story to you....so, here I am! I had to put my beautiful little boy Max to sleep in March this year just one month short of his 10th birthday! He was a boxer (I have tried to include a photo, but I am not sure if I was successful!!)and he was the child my husband and I never had. The sheer joy and love our little hoodie (as we affectionately called him) gave us is way beyond what any human is capable of giving. He had his moments when he was young getting up to naughty things, but he didn't rate alongside Marley in the destruction stakes. As he aged he matured with a grace that saw him still have his "puppy moments" from time to time, but he essentially became my most loved and loyal companion. We walked every day, sometimes several times a day and it was our time. He would always have to be at my feet, whether I was gardening, cleaning the house (mainly of dog hair), eating, reading, whatever, he was there. His beautiful little face told me a story every time he looked at me and the devastation in losing someone as special is beyond belief and I continue to grieve for him. He like Marley and thousands of other dogs was terrified of thunder and lightning and would just sit at my feet looking up at me with his big brown eyes whenever it occurred. We lived our lives around Max and both of us miss him in so many ways. I can't walk the route I used to take him on because it just makes me so sad. He befriended everyone who would pat him on his walks and to this day I still have people stopping me to ask where he is, as they haven't seen us for so long!! I am now just getting to the stage where I can tell them without getting upset!I will finish now as I think I have painted enough of a picture for you to know what my little hoodie was to me! Thankyou for Marley and Me...it was funny, interesting, brought back lots of memories and sad. Carol

    A story from Susan about Loved both your books
    posted 02/11/2010

    Enjoyed your new book and found we have so much in common. My brother was the same age as you, and I recommended the book to him. I still have my mom, and she read the book too. We both cried at the end. Please continue to write such good books.

    A story from Melissa Miceli about Barney and Me!
    posted 02/12/2010

    Dear John & Jenny,

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your incredible story. Marley and Me has touched my life so deeply. I was 4 years old when my mom brought home Barney, the most loveable, loyal, incredible black mutt on Earth. (Ok, well I know everyone says that about their dog, but you all know what I mean). Barney was there for me through everything. When I was happy, he was happy, and when I was sad he could tell, and would mope with me. And even when I did something he knew I shouldn't be doing, it was like he was giving me a dirty look (example - having some drinks when I wasn't old enough!) Barney was there through so much, a death in the family, a cross-province move, my parents divorce, etc. Whenever I needed a friend I always had him to cuddle up to and talk to and play with. And although he loved my whole family, I always knew he really had a special place in his heart for me. If strangers would hug me, he would bark and growl – sometimes even when my dad would hug me!! He would sleep in my room at night, and when I started sleeping with my door closed he would sleep outside of it (but then I felt bad, so I started leaving it open a crack). Barney was with me for so much of my life, and he was truly kind and loving. He lived to be 15 years old, only a few months shy of his 16th birthday. In February 2008, while I was on vacation in England, my dad finally had to make the decision to put him to sleep. He had all the Marley symptoms - accidents in the house, arthritis, he couldn't walk up the stairs and could barely even lie down without pain. I had gone off to university and my brother was moved out with his family, so it was just my dad and Barney at home, and I know it was especially hard for him to say goodbye. But I was so crushed that I was out of the country and I didn't get to say goodbye to my beloved mutt. I cried so much for so long when I found out. And still, not a day passes that I don't think of Barney and feel a little bit sad. I try to think of all the happy memories, but a little part of me is gone forever. Anyways, when I first read Marley and Me it touched my life. There were sooo many Marley details that were so similar to Barney! "Old Wet Vac" for example - we used to call Barney "Vacuum Cleaner Face". And I thought Barney was the only dog who used the couch as a napkin!! Our cushions were permanently stained a tinge of brown, never to be clean again! We had to get a new couch after he died! I have taken to reading Marley and Me to feel connected to Barney. I watch the movie over and over. I cry uncontrollably every time. I once watched it on a plane and the person beside me must have thought I was crazy because I was literally sobbing. I just finished reading Marley and Me again tonight, and I cried hysterically. People ask me why I torture myself and why I'd want to watch a movie/read a book that upsets me so much. But you see, I read it to feel that connection to Barney - it reminds me of how much I love him (not that I could ever forget) and of all the incredible gifts he gave to me. The crying is just something that comes along with the memories, and to be honest, it feels good to let it out. I got Barney when I was 4, he died when I was 20. We shared 15 incredible years of happiness, and I know he lived the most loved and amazing life. I am 22 years old now and in a few weeks it will be 2 years since Barney left me. I know in my heart I will never love another dog the same way I loved Barney. He came into my life when I was just a little girl and grew with me to adulthood, and I couldn’t have asked for a better companion for the journey. There is nothing more I could have asked for in my life. The experience that was “Barney” was the most precious gift God could have given me.

    A story from cody about thanks
    posted 02/12/2010

    thank you for making the book john i was really into it im not don yet but almost im doing it on a school class for reading nonefiction it is good

    A story from sheila about marley and me
    posted 02/13/2010

    dear john and jenny,

    thanks for writing a splendid book. i began reading it yesterday and finished reading it today, weeks after buying it from a local bookstore. it was priced to P 127, about $3 when converted. I laughed so much and cried profusely while reading the book, and it was an experience, to say the least.although the book is far greater than the film version, i still intend to get a copy of the film. my dog, cotton,a golden brown dude,is a saint compared to marley, but reading your book made me appreciate him more.

    thank you so much, and i'm looking forward to reading your other books. God bless you and your family!

    Mabuhay! (that's a Philippine greeting for long live ) ;-)

    A story from Ruth about Marley
    posted 02/14/2010

    I picked up a copy of Marley & Me at the library before the big snow fall and have been reading it all weekend. Yesterday I attended a memorial service for a longtime family friend who died recently after a long illness. I couldn't bring myself to cry for this man who brought so much joy into the lives of everyone he met. After the service, we reminisced about my father who passed away less than a year ago. As I read about Marleys death I cried and cried as it reminded me of all the love and loss that we experience on this rollercoaster ride that is life. I thank you for putting into words that almost indescribable love that exists between humans and their pets,who seem to love us always, not matter what we do, just for being.

    A story from johna about eddy and buster in the house fire
    posted 02/15/2010

    I was 3 years old when we first got my dog eddy. i loved him very much.well one day we were coming home from wendys and we were going down the road and i happen to see orange flames. i said daddy? whos house is that on fire. THAT LOOKS LIKE OURS. my mom sped down the country road i was 8 then and we pulled in there was our house in flames. I started shaking crying and puking, everybody in the neighborhood started handing over blankets,money,then firetrucks were coming down the road. i started looking at my house and thinking of my 2 dogs my rattier who i had for 9 years and my collie who is just a puppy. it was to late. eddy was gone. my collie lived for 3 days and i cried so much then we had to go to a hotel and the red cross. I miss you eddy and buster r.i.p. my babys i cant wait to see you even though im 11 years old. i will never forget that day and i miss them so much i cry everyday i look up at the stars every nite and pray my house burnt down at 718 wash road frankfort kentucky. R.I.P i love you

    A story from Alex about Similarities
    posted 02/15/2010

    When I first read Marley and Me, I was simply enjoying the book. Now when I reread it, I am surprised to see all the similarities between my dog Will and your Marley. When I read about Marley's billowing jowls, how he played submarine in his water bowl, how he trapped water in his mouth, I laughed out loud. That sounds exactly like Will. There are also habits like loving water, finding cunning ways into food or the trash, being ecstatic to meet anyone, being uncontrollably hyper. Will even steals small items and hides them under his bed. He does a little wiggle dance every time! :) But I was especially able to understand some of Marley's health problems. Will is a rescue, now five years old, and in winter it sometimes hurts his back to get up. He has hip problems, and he is at risk for his stomach flipping. I'm glad that Marley was able to make such a difference in your lives, like Will does in mine. I am almost fifteen and I hope Will can see me through the rest of my school. The best to you, your family, and your four legged companions.

    A story from Carly Porter about My "Marley"
    posted 02/19/2010

    I so loved Marley and Me, I sat in the morning and didnt stop till Id finished (quite a job with 3 kids). Marley reminds me so much of our lovely Poppy. I should have known i was in trouble the day we brought her home from the pound (they was just me and husband then) and she insisted on sitting in the front seat with me in the back! Since then she has eaten coutless sofas, books and anything else she could get her hands on. She has worked out how to open the fridge and the cooker so that every time we leave more baby proofing is need then we ever had to do with the kids. Like Marley she greets any new visitor with a customary snout up the bum and walking her is more like being dragged along for the ride. She is however, incredibley gentle and loving. She too slept under my sons moses basket and has never complained when they pulled or poked or sat on her. When a lady we saw everyday on our walks bent to greet my newborn son in his pushchair she growled and barked as if she had never met her before. Weve had her for 8 years now and she was 3 when she came to us, so is starting to slow down. She can no longer jump the stair gates with ease and requires a running jump and is virtually blind and going deaf. Life with poppy has never been easy, she has sometimes been more work than the babies but would I be without her ? Not a chance :)

    A story from Shannon about Monster Butts
    posted 02/22/2010

    I just got finished reading Marley and Me for the first time. Thank you so much for sharing your family and nutty dog with us. My mom has a boxer named Bear and I have a beagle named Gumbo. Both are young dogs at 1 and 2 years old, and they fill our lives with more joy that we ever would have believed possible before we got them, even though they have both earned the pet name "Monster" or "Monster Butt" for some of their antics. There is an important lesson that I want you to know that I am taking away from your book. To enjoy their antics and find the humor in seeing Gumbo rummage through the dirty clothes and getting there just in time to see him come up with a pair of women's underwear, or Bear knock my 31 year old military Sgt. brother over and sit on his chest giving his face a tounge bath. I'm so glad that they are in our lives, and I am so glad that Marley was in yours so that so many would have the lessons that he left behind. Thank you so much.

    A story from beatrice pamela maglinte about marley and me
    posted 02/23/2010

    hi john,the story of your dog marley was great! it made me laugh in the way you describe him and made me cried when he died..tnx to your story,now i have realize to love my pet tobi and alfie(terrier).before, i just dont give them attention when i get home,even though they kept on jumping up at me.now, i make sure that i can play with them and walk with them every morning..ti realize that now that they are still with me, i must make most of our time together.now i love them even more!i cant afford to lose one of them...i love marley too!im loking forward to see the movie of the story..thank you so much john,im sure every dog lover in the world will be touch in your story...

    A story from Renata Meira about My Marley
    posted 02/28/2010

    Hi John. I'm Renata, from Brasil. I've just finished your book Marley and me and I'm really excited. Like you, I had a great friend and "he" call Fred, who was with me for 2 years. He was my friend, my companion, he was a part of my family. When I get married, I moved to other city and I didn't know anyone. I was far from my parents and family. So, my husband and I decided to get a pet to be with me while I get some job. My mother found Fred and she fell in love for him. When we saw him it was love at first sight. He was a black and white cocker and he was so lovely. But, like any other dog, he also made some terrible things, for example, he ate washing machine cable. But, above all the things, he was the only friend/companion I have in that moment, because I felt so lonely here. When he was 2 years and half, he get ill, with faillure renal. Unforntunately, there aren't nothing that we could do. There's no cure to thhis kind of disease. I lost Fred in May, 2006,and I never firget the pain. Until now I miss him a lot. In order to help me, my mother-in-law gave us Lola, Fred's daughter (who's in the picture). Lola's been with me since them. She help me with the pain of loosing Fred. She's like Fred, but in the female version and I love her so much. So, when I read your book I can agree with you, a dog is much more from a animal, he was a friend, a family. He's loyalty is undeniable. I treat my dogs like a human being and I don't think exaggerated. On the contrary, she deserves all the best I can do for her. Is it too much asking for your return? I really appreciate if, when you have a available time, you send me an e-mail. Please! My addres is meira.renata@hotmail.com. Sorry for my English.. :)

    A story from Carol Negro about Book Marley and Me
    posted 03/03/2010

    Hi, my husband and I recently read your book, Marley and Me. What an absolute delight it was. We both laughed and cried and enjoyed it so much. We have a beautiful golden labrador called Reggie who is our world. He is 3 years old and such a wonderful dog who loves us to bits as we love him. He also has some very peculiar habits which make us laugh and sometimes cry, but we wouldn't be without him. Your book showed the love of a dog to its owners and the love of the owners to their dogs. Keep writing your beautiful words and keep us all laughing as we all need laughter in our lives. Congratulations on a wonderful book, and we look forward to reading more of them in the future. Regards from Australia

    A story from Mika about My Very Own "Marley."
    posted 03/04/2010

    July of last year, I met a man who only somewhat captured my attention. He was a quiet, reserved, Theology major at a local college. He was quite the opposite of my pierced, tattooed, Agnostic self. After getting to know him; however, I found that he was the Yin to my Yang. My birthday is December 20th, and after going on and on about how much I wanted a dog, he was convinced that he would get me one for my birthday. What a decision that was. We adopted Dottie from our local Humane Society, and after a little deliberation, determined she was a "Labradinger", a mix of the Labrador Retriever and Springer Spaniel. We have had her for about 4 months now, and after seeing the movie "Marley & Me", I have admitted that I have my own "Marley." Dottie eats food wrappers, chews up electrical cords, and knocks over the trash can in the kitchen whenever the opportunity presents itself. She tears the stuffing out of any toy we give her other than Ducks. I suppose that's her way of saying "I do not like this. It is not a duck." She has even gone so far as completely decimating my son's DVD player and a fan that was in his room. We keep her kennel in there, and when we leave for work, she destroys anything she can get her mouth on out of spite. We have tried everything to get her to stop this behavior. We have finally given up, and figured if that is who she is, then so be it. We love her anyway. Blake and I have been together for 8 months now, and Dottie has been part of our family for almost half that time. We will continue to chase, scold, complain, and love her, though. Dottie is in our home and our hearts to stay.

    Thanks for the great story,

    Mika

    A story from Krystal about My Story
    posted 03/05/2010

    John and Jenny,

    I just finished the movie for the umpteenth time, and had to find out more about this family whose lives nearly parallel mine. First off, I am so glad to know there are more planners out there Jenny! We are only on step 1 of our journey, which I pray turns out, as well as yours. My husband, James, and I are 26 and 27 years old, we were married nearly two years ago, I am almost done with my bachelor’s in education (step 1), then we want to move some place prettier (step 2), buy a house with room to grow (step 3), and start our own family (step 4). Therefore, as you can see I can totally relate to Jenny, what brought me to watch your movie again is because it helps me deal with my dog Kyzer’s passing about 3 weeks ago. He was a boxer and only 5 years old, but he had cancer, and I miss him dearly. However, the last few lines that Owen Wilson says in the movie about “who else makes you feel so rare, pure, and extraordinary” always helps me get through the day. Because even though I am taking Kyzer’s passing so hard, I have two other dogs to think of, and who always love me even on the days I feel useless. Which brings me to Cash, who is one of Kyzer’s puppies, and he is so much like Marley. He chewed on nearly everything we owned when he was a pup, but he has calmed down a lot. The part were Marley tries to comfort Jenny after she miscarried is exactly how Cash gets when I am crying about Kyzer, because he was a part of our family. Anyway, thought you find it interesting that our lives are similar. By the way, my minor is English and I too am not good at any other subject! Anyway, I hope you and your family continue to lead blessed lives!

    A story from C. BANNER about Part of my Life Story
    posted 03/06/2010

    I'm sitting on my couch in the living room all alone. I just got done watching Marley and Me and am actually watching Moulin Rouge now. I noticed though while I was watching Marley and Me in the opening credits it said the movie was based on a book by John Grogan. Ok, wait a minute! The character in the movie is named John Grogan...I didn't think that was a coincidence. Ha. So I looked up John Grogan on google and stumbled across this website. I did not know when I first saw Marley and Me it was based on a book and now I really want to read the book. Anyway, I noticed a majority of the posts made by the people so far are about their own dogs or animals, but I noticed the description said you could post a story about your life. That sounds more like the category my story will fall under. It's kind of a long story so brace yourself for something that will be more like a confession by the time it's over. Or rather a therapy session. Hmm...I'm thinking but I don't know where to begin. I guess in order for you to fully understand the tale I would have to take you back to when I was a child. I am five years old sitting on a pool table watching my mother frantically take clothes in her hands that had been sitting beside me in a large heap. She walks out the front door and I am pleading to her and asking her what is going on. She shakes her head even as she comes back in the house she does not answer. This is the earliest memory I have of my parents divorce. I can't remember anything else. The next thing I can tell you is my parents are living in seperate homes. I'm living with my mom on the weeks and the weekends I am living with my dad. He is living in the house we all used to live in together and I remember it being empty most of the time. I know it was my favorite house and I can't remember what my dad must have told me when he lost it. Nor can I tell you what my reaction was. Next he is living with my aunt and his family. I like going to their house on the weekends because I like visiting my cousins. It is short lived none the less. He's working at U-haul and living with a family friend by the time I am around ten. My mother on the other hand has lived in one other home. Which is short lived as well. She meets a new lover and we move in with her. Around thirteen my oldest brother moves in with my father against his will. Around the same time my mother makes a big decision and we move across the country. On the way there we stop at a friends house in Texas. Hurricane Katrina happens and the house in Mississippi we were going to move into is caught in the middle. Although the house was not destroyed my mother still decides to move us some place else. Tennessee was a place we liked before so we head that way. We live in hotels for the first couple of months before we settle in a house in a small town. Months pass. I am attending school in the seventh grade. By the end of the grade my brother and I are sent back across the country to live with my father. My mother wasn't having luck finding a job. It is eigth grade and we are living with my dad who is married. He has a new wife and she seems really friendly. Friendliness is short lived. Our mother rescues us and we move back to Tennesse. My father doesn't talk to me for two years. Finally I pick up the phone and call him. Our conversation is awkward but it starts us on a new path. My brother is angry. He does not talk to my dad. Ever. Today, I am sixteen almost seventeen and I'm staying in one spot until I graduate high school. After I graduate I am going to the USN. The picture above is a picture of the family I have today. They're amazing and kind of crazy. I'm just as crazy as they are though.

    A story from Vickie Willmuth about Max
    posted 03/08/2010

    Dear Mr. Grogan, I just fininshed your wonderful book, Marley and Me. I had put off reading it because I KNEW it would make me cry. We lost our rottie, Max, on 5 November 2008, after 12 years. We had to make the same decision you had to make for Marley. Only now, am I able to read your book, and I still went through two boxes of Kleneex. My eyes are still a bit red. I have had dogs all my life, my first one came into my life when I was still in diapers. But to this day, when I think of them, my eyes get a bit misty, and the paw prints they left on my heart throb with a bittersweet ache. I cherish every memory of each one. King. my first dog, would "babysit" while my mother hung the wash out or when ever she and I were outstide. She would tell him, "King watch Vicke." And I would not be allowed to crawl two inches from him, frogs were herded away, and he would not let me near a hedge that was full of wasp nests. I learned to walk by taking hold of his ear, pulling up and tottering by his side. King's breed has never been clear, but he was a big dog, when he sat beside me when I sat on my tricycle, he was just as tall as me. Through the years, I was priviledged to be loved by some amazing dogs. Big ones and small. Each one leaving a special paw print on my life. When my husband and I married, we got a little dog from my grandparents, a "whodoneit". We called her Pug. She was our firts child. When our daughter was an infant, I would lay her on the couch for a nap, Pug would get up beside her, between her and the edge, stretch out as far as she could and lay there, until my daughter woke. We lost Pug after 16 years. It took us a little time, but in 1996, Max joined our family. Max loved to have his picture taken. When he saw a camera, he would pose, and was not happy until he heard the shutter click. We always put out a display in the fall in our yard, and as soon as the bales of hay arrived, he got excited. I belive he thought we did this just so he could have his photo taken. Max made several people back away from the door when I opened it, 124 lbs and change of rottweiler meeting you at the door can be --ah--disconcerting? But as we say here in the south, he wouldn't bite a biscuit hard. Of course, Max was never put in the position to feel that we were in danger, had that happened, I believe he would have fought to the death. Max was a gentle giant. He played with kittens and never hurt them, letting them crawl all over him. Of course, afterwards, they needed to be toweled dry. Max loved to ride. I have a Dodge Ram Quad cab. Half of the back seat is out. We removed it and my husband built a platform and we padded it to fit there for Max to ride, those tiny seats just don't fit the contours of a Rottie. My husband even built a set of portable stairs for him, because it became difficult for him to jump up into the truck. Max loved to ride. We made two trips with him to Lansing MI, to see our daughter while she was in grad school. A fourteen hour drive was right up his alley. When my husband called me at work, he had just arrived home, and let Max out, and told me that Max was down and couldn't get up---I left work. When I pulled into the driveway, there was Max on the ground, lying down, head up, he tried so hard to get up and greet me, but could not. We knew. I truly enjoyed the book, laughing and crying all the way. I read your article in Parade about bringing Marley home. I saved it, it has special meaning to me, our Pug is buried elsewhere and even though I have a stone next to Max with her name on it, home isn't complete until we can bring her and place her beside Max. We are sans dog at present, but we knew even as we laid Max to rest that in time we would have another dog, and it will be a large breed. No other dog ever replaces the ones we have lost, they come into our lives and they make their own special place, somehow they fill the huge paw prints we fisrt think can not be filled, then we realize that those prints really are the same size, just filled in a different and very special way by each one.

    A story from Paul Mellerowicz about Hello from your old Hood
    posted 03/11/2010

    Hello from WestBloomfield, MI

    Paul Mellerowicz here (born in 1954). My parents bought a house on Hammond Lake (Middle Belt and Sq. Lk. Rd.) in 1975. Louis and Irene were members of Refuge Parish and knew your parents very well. My dad died in 2000 at the age of 82. Mother is still alive at the age of 91 and still drives... mostly to church (Refuge) and back. Lent at Refuge features "Stations and Soup" Friday evenings. We just viewed the movie Marley and Me for the first time yesterday. Really enjoyed it. Hope all is going well. especially in your writing endeavors.

    Paul Mellerowicz West Bloomfield, MIpaulmellerowicz@yahoo.com

    A story from macy about my dog king
    posted 03/14/2010

    dear John Grogan my name is macy i have a black lab name king he is very special to me and my family my grandpa is in a weel chair and our dog king is bye him every step of the way king is very pertective and he is friendley to everyone we love him so much we have had him for a good while he is the best dog ever king enjoys marley and me alot thats the book that i read to him everyday marley and me is my favorite book too write back

    A story from Paula Peters about Kodi - Our Golden Retriever
    posted 03/16/2010

    I have a very heart warming story about my 13 year old, blind and partially deaf Golden Retriever. I'm not very good with the uploading of a photo so there is not one here. But he is a beautiful very light blond and obviously very healthy Golden. Kodi was the first dog I myself had ever had. My husband and I have been married 15 years and Kodi was 13 on February 15, 2010. I bought all the Golden Retriever books so I would do everything right, we cage trained him, went to Obedience School, the whole works. He never chewed anything, went to the bathroom in the house or anything really bad when he was a puppy. At six months of age we realized he was too big for the cage and it was time for him to join us - which he did in bed every night from thereon until a few years ago - as he can't get up in the bed anymore. Kodi did everything but talk. He knew all the tricks, he was never really bad, housetrained from day 1 - don't know what else I can say about him. We now have a total of three Goldens - Harley is 5, Sammy is 10 months and Kodi is still with us. But he almost wasn't. This past Friday he somehow got his collar caught on the gate off of our porch, pulled it off and ventured out. That was at 4:30 p.m. At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday we found him - ALIVE. Which I never would have believed. It was quite chilly, we live in Ohio, it was raining, all night long and into Saturday morning. We looked for him for hours - with lights after dark. We live in a rural area with woods on the outskirts. Someone about 1/4 a mile from our house had seen him right at 4:30 heading up a hill. We so concentrated on that area. With him being blind and his age we didn't think he would be able to go too far and the weather was a problem too. We went to bed that night unable to sleep getting up every hour looking out the window. We also live on a road where he could have been hit and having never been exposed to moving vehicles, he wouldn't have known what to do. No one saw him again other than the one time. We were out at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and spent the entire day with the help of wonderful neighbors, some I didn't even know before but I sure do now. My stepson's grandmother had passed away and he even came and helped us. We looked until dark that night. We were exhausted, hadn't eaten anything, muddy and dirty - so we went in the house both of us crying - not giving up but deciding we had to wait until morning. At 10:0 that night my husband decided to ride up and down the road again with a big spotlite. He looked down into a ravine that was again about 1/4 a mile from house and thought he saw eyes, but thinking they were a deer, he continued on until he came home. After another sleepless night we got up on Sunday morning, with it raining once again, and I said we can't give up. So we drove up and down the hill to make sure no one had hit him. We then stopped in the same area, I went one direction and he went the other which was down into the ravine off to the right of the side of the road. It wasn't five minutes that my husband came up to the road yelling for me. I said "Did you find him?" and he asid "Yes". I asked if he was dead and he shook his head, crying once again. I ran down the hill when he told me to go home and get a blanket so he could carry him out - you could not see him from the road at all. I said no, I had to see him and asked if he was marked up - but he said no. I was screaming and crying at this point and when I did finally see him, and he heard my voice, he lifted his head and opened his eyes. Joe, my husband, yelled "HE'S ALIVE". Those were the best words I had ever heard. He was soaking wet and terribly muddy. We think he had been there since Friday night and it's now Sunday morning, in the rain, laying halfway in a stream and just couldn't go anymore. He never barked because he couldn't or either he did and we couldn't hear him. He would always bark at my voice. It was a major chore getting him out of there but we did manage and took him immediately to an emergency vet's office within 5 miles. They went to work on him immediately. We surely weren't going to let him die in the car after all he had been through. I talked to him all the way there. He was such a horrible mess and so weak that he couldn't stand. They did a great job on him. His body temp was okay and his lab work was not all that bad. He was bathed in warm water and actually walked out to the scales, a little shaky but still walking. To us it was a miracle. I had cried so much I couldn't cry anymore. And my husband was almost as much a basket case as I was. I brought him home yesterday afternoon, Monday. He's on some medicines after having had IV's and has to eat gradually but he is doing great He's pretty exhausted and sleeping a lot but just to see him there makes my day. My point to the story, which I don't know if anyone will even read, is that it's amazing how much an animal especially a dog becomes a part of your life and how much you can love them. I couldn't imagine life without Kodi even though I know he's pushing it at age 13. He's always been so well taken care of and fed only the best food. With his being pretty much blind, I was always so careful with him, never taking him anywhere he wasn't familiar with. The friends and neighbors that helped us were wonderful - I couldn't say enough about them and how dedicated they were. Life would have gone on without Kodi but for the time being it doesn't have to. We so love him and are so happy he is home and safe. My e-mail is peterspoo2@stratuswave.net in case anyone is interested. Best words I have ever heard are "He's ALIVE!"

    A story from Jim Grabowski about Good memories
    posted 03/17/2010

    A year ago when Marley & ME came out on DVD I had a lingering sense that I know this story. From the wedding in the snow storm, the cathlaholic family,to the move to suburban Philly. I made the connections, Googled John Grogan and read The Longest Trip Home. The book triggered many similar memories. I also grew up in West Bloomfield, was a caddy for years at another country club and went to Our Lady Of Refuge in the early years.I also skipped church with my siblings, our proof of attendance was to pick up a program i.e. bulletin witch we conspicuously placed on the kitchen desk when we arrived home from some foray to the Cranbrook nature center on the south shore of Orchard Lake or down the railroad tracks to explore the swamps.Some of my most favorite memories were of the forts we built around West Bloomfield. Some were tree forts, some were cabins, some were underground, all were ambitious and gave my teen years some great sense of purpose.As the forts were "discovered" we would pick up our tools usually hid at some distance and move further into the woods or another mile down the rail road tracks where we would begin another fort. Growing up in West Bloomfield at that time was both exhilarating and transforming. The sites of these forts even after almost forty years is still evident. Some sense of destiny made three places nature preserves. I have made pilgrimages to them with my sons on family down state visits. The longest trip home is that journey in our lives to find one place at least to call home. For myself its that time when I roamed the fields and woods of West Bloomfield.

    A story from Joan Ruff about Two Good Stories
    posted 03/18/2010

    I just finished reading your second book The Longest Trip Home. The last part of the book where you where detailing your Dad's passing was both wonderful and heartbreaking. It brought back to me my own father's passing in 2002. He was 93 years old and had been such a wonderful, loving, supporting man all of my life. He was active up until about 6 months before his death. My son David had died in December 2000 and my Dad loved him so, I'm sure that had something to do with his passing a year later. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job expressing how you handled the situation and your own grief a year later. I read Marley & Me just a few months ago and found it too a wonderful retelling of the life of a special family pet. There were times I was "falling on the floor" laughing at some of his antics and others "crying like a baby" as he came to the end of his life. Pets become family members too and they give and receive love so abundantly. Thank you again. I shall treasure these books and pass them on to family members to enjoy also.

    A story from Claire Schneider about Inspiring and Creating
    posted 03/18/2010

    Mr, Grogan, First of all, I want to say that I really enjoyed your book, Marley and Me. Your book really made me connect with my dog, a beagle and age fourteen and still going strong. You and your stories helped me create a relationship with my dog, Chip and you inspiried me to take on my dream, to be a columnist for a real newspaper. I have always loved writing. In my Language Arts class, I really despise my teacher and don't like the way he teaches it. So, naturally being 13, I went home and created my own writer's notebook. I even have a small pocket notebook that is with me at all times. In those books, I write down events or notes I see and then I try to format them in a report,column, or feature report. It is really fun and that is definately what I want to be when I grow up. Most of these stories(reports) are about my beagle. He is a Marley in the making,(even though he is 14). He likes to eat bird-seed and toilet paper(that can't taste good) and he likes every inch of the flour if you drop a crumb so small, a mouse couldn't sniff it out. He knocks everything over with his tail, even though he is small, and he drools all over the place. He has escaped from many crates(which involve a plastic fence and a wooden board around the perimeter of the kitchen.) But, over all he is a sweet and good-natured dog who loves interaction. I would really like him to live forever, but he is fourteen and i know its coming. He walks up the stairs like it hurts him, and hardly ever jumps up on a high bed, but you should see him run when you mention the t word(treat) or the w word(walk). Anyway, i was just writing to say i really loved your book Marley and Me and maybe one day you'll be reading my columns in the newspaper.

    A story from Liz McCormick about My dear Newman
    posted 03/19/2010

    Hi John,

    Just saw the movie for the 1st time "Marley & Me". I was deeply moved...cried and laughed a lot. As a young girl I loved anamils, especially dogs and have enjoyed my great companions dearly. My funny, sweet loveable Newman a white cockapoo, with a stubborn streak lives with me now. When he wants something he doesn't give up or forget until he gets it,even as a tiny pup he was determined.

    Newman's 1st great escape was when he was only 2 months old, weighing 2 1/2 lbs. I had 3 days off after I brought him home for us to get acquainted before I had to go back to work. The 1st day at work, I left him in the kitchen using a 3 ft doggy gate to keep him contained. I left him with plenty of food, water, toys and potty paper and when I returned returned home he greeted me at the front door. The house was a mess! Potty and poops everywhere.

    Newman always loves to make a game out of everything like: pulling your socks off and throwing them in the air, and digging on the carpet, then rolling on his side waving his paws and then turning on his stomach and dragging himself forward using his front legs. I have never seen such behavior and he amuses us every night with his antics.

    Even though he hasn't been raised with children, he is so sweet and gentle with them and loves to give plenty of kisses and brings out his toys to play with them. Newman is 9 years old now and I can't think how it would be without him. We moved to southeastern PA 6 years ago and I'm also Irish Catholic so I'm sure I'll enjoy reading your memoir "The longest Trip Home" I think you're a wonderful story teller.

    The Parade article "Bringing Marley Home" brought me to tears, again demonstrates how much you and Jen loved this very special guy and I think it was the perfect thing to do, knowing that he is still with you.

    I went out today and bought the book Marley & Me.

    I'm a big fan, keep up the heartfelt stories.

    Liz

    A story from Alicia Herzog about Toby...i will never forget him......
    posted 03/24/2010

    I have written a few stories before about Toby, my old yellow lab, but never before have I written about something like this. yesterday, I got home from school, and everything was normal, except that I could not find Toby. when my sister got home, my mom told us... that he was at the vet's with my dad. I lost it, screaming NO! over and over again, hard jagged sobs wrenching from my chest. I knew. we arrived at the vet, where I stayed with Toby until the very end, stroking him and telling him that I loved more than anything else in the entire universe, that I was sorry, and goodbye. My dad tried to get me to go out to the car before the vet gave Toby the injection. "No, I want to stay here." I said several times before he would let me stay. I had made a secret vow to myself that I wanted to be the last thing Toby saw before he left. I never thought I would see the day that my dad cried, as he is a retired special forces soldier. But he did. the vet came and told us some things about the shot, that he might whine or move around a little bit, but that it wasn't painful to him. I covered my eyes and buried my head in my mom's arm. And the last thing i heard Toby make was a whine and a small amout of gas. My baby was gone by the time the vet was done giving him the injection. It kills me to think of him, and today at school, i soent the entire day trying to hold back tears, until I finally went into the bathroom and cried. My math teacher asked why i didn't have my homework. and i told her why. within two hours, all my teachers, plus my guidance counseler knew. I barely ate my lunch today. Everybody was sympathetic for me, even the bullies. Toby had to be put to sleep because of kidney failure. he started bleeding out of his bottom. Before he left, my dad took him for a long walk in the park, until he couldn't walk anymore. We're getting two dogs next, a chocolate and a yellow lab, but not for about a year and a few monthes. I'm crying as i type this, and i want to write a book about Toby. My mom's friend sent us flowers, my neighbor got us a card. We're taking Toby down to N.C. next week to bury him on my cousin's farm, and my aunt Pam is going to take the ashes of her german shepherd, Shelbie, who died of cancer, and put them in with Toby, so that they will always be together. Toby was a brother, a friend, someone to talk to, who would listen when no one else would. Toby was the perfect dog, I loved him, and I prayed every night for him, but I'll never see him again, until I die and go to heaven, in about eighty or so years, as i am only 13. I love you forever Toby, and i will never forget you. Ever. Thanks, i feel a little bit lighter now, and, john, i now know what it feels like to lose a beloved best friend.

    A story from Mevlija about My Ben
    posted 04/06/2010

    Dear Mr Grogan, I finished reading your book 'Marley and me' all in tears. At the moment I felt that someone was sensing my emotions, touched my soul and felt my pain. In your book I found the same thoughts, premonitions, absolutely same feelings that have been overwhelming me for eight months. I envy you for one thing, you buried your Marley but my Ben has been stolen and I've never heard anything ever since. I live in a small country, in which war finished a few years ago, in which 200000 people died. In one day several thousand people were killed. Many children became orphans, many mothers lost remain sons, husbands, brothers. You are a journalist, you have maybe heard of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And how should I even cry for a dog in such a country with many other more painful disasters? How? I don't ask myself that question, I just cry every day. In my country they steal dogs for sale not for sordid, they sell them and take to Italy, Bulgaria, Krit (Greece). I also have a son and a husband. They ask me who I love more - my dogs or them? My Ben was 10 years old, vital and strong German Spaniel, excellent hunting dog. He was a second child to us, with all his vices and virtues of spoilt dog. I write to you because I will feel better for a moment if I share my thoughts with someone who knows the feeling.

    Thank you for your wonderful book!

    A story from Karli about Marley: A Dog Like No Other
    posted 04/08/2010

    Dear Mr.Grogan, I think you are a awsome author!I think Marley;A Dog Like No Other is the best book I've ever read.I love yellow labs.I think Marley was a very funny dog.I also sent you a picture of my dog Bailey.She is a yellow lab.We sometimes call her Marley Jr. because sometimes she doesn't listen very well.Well enjoy the picture!Please write back! from,Karli

    A story from Jade, Marie and Anne about Cairns Appreciation Club
    posted 04/11/2010

    John,

    We thought you might enjoy this photo of us enjoying your books.

    Although we hail from a long way away, we still appreciate good literature.

    So here we all are having a good time devouring your words of wisdom and wit.

    Note: Our Marley Mascot (middle front).

    The books are upside down because we are from down under. Groan.

    Anyway enjoy the pic as we three unashamedly attempt to encourage others to enjoy your writings.

    Regards,

    Jade, Marie, Mascot Marley and Anne (left to right) Cairns, Qld, Australia

    A story from Meaghan Hechter about Bruno
    posted 04/15/2010

    I have never lost a pet. I got my first dog on my 13th birthday. It was probably one of the happiest moments of my life. We had this special connection. From the first moment we met Bruno loved me. To be honest I didn't want a dachshund. I wanted a lab, one of the classic big and beautiful puppies I always saw in the magazines. You see, my mom knew someone who was leaving the coutry and needed to sell some last minute dachshund pups. She had to talk me into even going and seeing, what I refered to as wiener dogs. At that point I decided that if I was going to get a dachshund it would have to be a black and tan. So, when we came to the office where this woman worked, I had my mind set, either a black and tan, or nothing. There were only two puppies left, and to my joy, one of them was a black and tan. I ran to the crate, completely ignoring the "boring" brown dachshund, and told myself that whoever came and licked my hand first would be the one who I took home. Both puppies were whining and as I opened the crate, you won't believe what happened, the black and tan shrunk away and the brown dachshund ran forward, covering my hand and arm in kisses. I was dissapointed to say the least. I was young,and for me, color was the way to go. However, it seemed this little brown dog had made up his mind for the both of us. He wanted me, and slowly but surely, as the times passed, I realized I wanted him too. He was beautiful, and such a love. He couldn't get enough licks, and I couldn't either. So, after two hours of fun, my mother and I left, knowing that this little dog was the one for us. I knew his name before I even met him, and it just so happened to be a perfect fit, "Bruno". I am 18 years old now, about to be 19 this july, which is Bruno and my aniversary. Bruno just truned 6 this April, and I reakized that I don't have much more time left to spend with this barking maniac. Your book, Marley and Me, brought tears down my checks. It made me laugh. It plain made me happy, but it also made me sad. I just hope, that when Bruno's time comes, I can look back and see everything the same way you did. Bruno isn't perfect. He never stops barking and, like Marley, hates thunder storms. I could go on and on about the crazy and misbehaving aspects of Bruno's personality, but I won't. What I am trying to say, is that you really touched me, and my family with your book. There will never be another Bruno, but thanks to you, I know that just because he will eventually be gone, doesn't mean he will ever leave my heart!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world, and with me!

    A story from Tia about My Immortal Chewy and Lovable Shanti
    posted 04/16/2010

    Dear John, I literally just finished reading Marley and Me about twenty minutes ago. I started it a week ago after watching the movie for the twentieth time and figured it was time to get the real story. After reading the book, I began to appreciate my dogs more than I used to. My family has two dogs, Shanti who is a four-year-old black lab-collie mix, and Chewy who is a sixteen-year-old Maltepoo. Chewy surprisingly still has a lot of energy and can run around like there is no tomorrow. He is almost completely deaf and has been gradually growing blind over the past few years. We have had Chewy since I was two (I'm now almost eighteen) so he has been a part of most of my life. He has been a bit neglected over the past couple of years mainly that if he is in the house, he is in his cage and if he is outside, he is on his leash. He used to roam around the house all the time being the kitchen vacuum cleaner and when he was tired, he would curl up and snooze under the coffee table. A couple years ago, Chewy started going to the bathroom inside the house again. Not because he couldn't hold it (because he would have just gone minutes before outside), but because he felt the need to start marking his territory in the house. That is when he became confined to his cage and Shanti along with him. Shanti was always so big and she sheds terribly which is why she is also in kennel confinement. Winter is always hard for Chewy because he doesn't grow a winter coat so he is inside most of the time. He has arthritis so he gets sore and we put him in Shanti's kennel for a few minutes so he can stretch his legs. But then he feels the need to mark his territory in Shanti's cage so his time in there never lasts that long. Over the past couple of years, both the dogs have become an household accessory that we let out every few hours and keep them in there cages the rest of the time except during the summer when they spend most of the day outside on the leash. After reading the book, I began to realize how little time I spend with my dogs. Recently we have been joking around that Chewy is immortal since he is sixteen and still has much energy even thought most dogs his breeds usually live about nine to twelve years. One of my cousins even said, "Of course Chewy will still be around in five years! Lord knows he'll never die!" But obviously no dog is immortal and I am beginning to realize that maybe I don't have as much time with him as I thought. Since reading the book I am beginning to realize that I would take it really hard if Chewy were to go anytime soon. I think that I would feel guilty for neglecting him in his final years and for not appreciating him for the gentle sweetheart that he is. So thank you for helping me realize that I don't have the time that I thought I had. I need to start appreciating both my dogs. Shanti is technically still young which gives me a lot more time to spend with her. I don't know how much more time Chewy has but I know now that I need to be with him in his final moments and show him the love and care that he deserves. So thank you again for showing me that dogs are more that just another household accessory, but that they are our teachers and our companions who are there when we need them most. :)

    A story from Marcella Ferreira e Cruz about In the longest trip home
    posted 04/20/2010

    Hi john,

    I just wanna say a few words...

    First of all, sorry about my english, but I'm from Brazil and was the first time that I felt the need to write to a writer.

    I literally just finished to read In the Longest Trip Home, and felt like I was part of your family, seems that a know you better than any other person so, that's why i'm writting.

    You touched my heart and made me think about many parts os my life and my family's life.

    I want to say "thank you" and I will never forget your history!

    And I wish I could have a father like yours, you're very, very lucky and I know that you know that!

    My e-mail: marcellaferreirac@hotmail.com

    P.S: I wish you could speak Portuguese, Has many other things that I wanted to say... =(

    Photo: your book in Brazil!

    Marcella Cruz

    A story from jennifer hughes about bouncer
    posted 04/27/2010

    this picture was taken last week, the week before she passed away. bouncer was a part of our famliy for nearly seventeen years, she will be sadly missed by myself, my three children and the rest of my family and neighbours. i miss her deeply and just want her to welcome me home when i arrive home from work or cry to go out i the morning etc. the house is so empty without her. she had a long good life and she loved us all unconditionally, she was so loyal and playful. your book marley and me was absolutely brilliant, i read it last year and cried my eyes out the first time he went to the vet with a twisted stomach. when he was growing older and suffering with his joints, sight and hearing it reminded me so much of my labrador. i am so happy she lasted so long, however i still cry as i miss her so much. i have been advised to get another dog but i dont want to,just dont feel up to it. my little angel whom brought so much happiness and love to all of our lives from playing football with the kids to sniffing and moaning when she seen any of us upset as if she was asking us to cheer up. she was with us throught hick and thin, happy and sad times. it didnt take much to keep her happy as long as she was fed, played with and loved she was happy. xxx R.I.P bouncer love you always and thanks john for allowing people like myself write proudly of our loved ones.

    A story from edalyn levy about marley and me part 2
    posted 04/30/2010

    hello john, when is the book or movie comeing out i been try to find the book in the book store and cant find it please email me poohloves28@msn.com i am big fan of your

    A story from Sarah about Zip and Brooke
    posted 04/30/2010

    Mr. Grogan, I just finished reading Marley & Me a few days ago, and it was my 3rd time reading it, but after reading other people's comments, I want to read it again. Marley & Me is a fantastic story! I've seen the movie, but like another commentor said earlier, it doesn't have the feel and insight as the book. I am only 11 and I got my dogs, the first dogs I've ever had,Brooke and Zip, just last year. They lived in a puppy mill for years. Brooke is a girl, and she had many litters of puppies. Zip is a boy. Zip and Brooke were rescued by this man who rescues these kinds of dog. It was sad because they had never seen grass before, probably never been outside, before this man took them out of the puppy mill. We adopted from the man and took them to our home. It was so funny because at first, they would walk side by side throughout the whole yard, and even though they each had their own crates, they would sit together in one crate. They are now about 7 & 8. They are mini aussies. They practically have no tail! So they wag their "stump" where their tail is supposed to be and it looks like they are shaking their butts. Zip and Brooke are shy, sweet, not very playful; in other words, not at all like Marley. I was hoping for a dog that would play with me. I learned to love my dogs, but honestly, I don't know how I can interact with them more since they don't...I don't know how to put it. They like going on walks, and we do walk them, but they don't play. I pet them and teach them tricks (sit, speak, paw, and that's it), but that's about it. I love them a lot. I know I should, and I do, enjoy every second I have with Zip and Brook. I could go on and on. Brooke especially has a lot of funny little quirks. The main thing is, Marley & Me has taught me a lot. It is hilarious, yet sad. I cried in the end. To me, the book was sadder than Old Yeller. I like how you put all those comments that people sent you in the end. They are cheering, so when you finish the book, you feel content in a way. Yes sad, but you feel like you are wiser than you were before. Marley & Me touches you in a deep way. I plan on getting a Labrador when I can own one myself. Thank you for writing such a wonderful, entertaining book!

    A story from Taylor about Marley&Me
    posted 05/01/2010

    john, i am a huge fan of yours and would just like to say how much your book marley & me inspired me. i have seen the movie more than i can count and i am in the process of doing a book report on your book. my aunt and uncle had a dog named jazmine. she passed back in october and her story was great one. my aunt and uncle pretty mch lived a life exactly like yours and jenny's. they have 2 boys and one of them even looks like the oldest one from the movie. jazmine was there through everything. i barley remember my life without her in it. jazmine died the same way as marley and will forever hold a place in our harts. a couple months ago my aunt and uncle got a new dog. they named it marley. not after the book but after Bob Marley. Marley is exactly like your marley, she is fun and playfull and full of love and life! i wish you could meet her to see for yourself. thanks again, taylor :)

    A story from Taylor about Marley&Me
    posted 05/01/2010

    john, i am a huge fan of yours and would just like to say how much your book marley & me inspired me. i have seen the movie more than i can count and i am in the process of doing a book report on your book. my aunt and uncle had a dog named jazmine. she passed back in october and her story was great one. my aunt and uncle pretty mch lived a life exactly like yours and jenny's. they have 2 boys and one of them even looks like the oldest one from the movie. jazmine was there through everything. i barley remember my life without her in it. jazmine died the same way as marley and will forever hold a place in our harts. a couple months ago my aunt and uncle got a new dog. they named it marley. not after the book but after Bob Marley. Marley is exactly like your marley, she is fun and playfull and full of love and life! i wish you could meet her to see for yourself. thanks again, taylor :)

    A story from MARION about HONEY
    posted 05/08/2010

    We bought Honey in February 2010, she was eleven weeks old. It was the first time I had ever had a dog and I fell in love with this life loving puppy as soon as we had our first cuddle. Whatever sort of day I had at work, she was always there when I came in, excited to see me and making me feel good. Yesterday, she was playing in the park with my son's two year old dog, when a larger dog came up to play too. They were all playing nicely when Honey lay down on the ground and didn't get up again. My husband rushed her straight to the vet, but she had died. The vet seemed to think that she must have had some underlying heart condition. She was just five moths old and I it seems unbelievable. She was such a joy to have around and we miss her desperately even though we only had her for such a short time.

    A story from Amber.H about Stryker
    posted 05/09/2010

    For my Birthday my boyfriend bought me a puppy,it was my job to pick him out and to go get him. After Months of searching I found an ad and It read. "Purebred golden retriever puppy needs to go now, free too good home." How could I say no? Ten minutes into the ride home. I gave into his cries and let hime out of the kennel. He curled up into the passenger seat of my car and fell asleep while I rubbed his soft ear, ever since then he has been my trusted companion,but not it has not been the smoothest ride. He has adopted the nickname "marley" from my family for his exuberant behaviour and stomach of steel. But I wouldn't trade him for the world

    A story from Vickie about my Olive
    posted 05/18/2010

    Over the years I have had several special dogs that I considered lucky to share my life with. Bubbleface was my childhood buddy who explored the country side with me, played tag, and hide & seek. He died at the age of 8 yrs.

    in my young adulthood when first on my own, I rescued a stray pup, Lit'l Bit. He had a gentle loving disposition and was a great pet. Years later after I had married and had my first son, he just vanished from our yard one day. There had been a string of dog nappers and the authority thought it was a men raising fighting dogs that were stealing pets to use as opponents for training. It breaks my heart to think of what Lit'l Bit's last days may have been. I loved both these dogs with all my heart.

    But my biggest love came in the form of another four legged kind. Never a big fan of cats, this kitten.. whos mother had died while still caring for her litter of kittens stole my heart at first site. My boys had rescued the cats at their dads house and had nursed them and tried to save the entire litter, but only a few survived. Olive had nearly died from exposure to the cold and rain.

    When my boys were visiting at their dads I would hear stories about these kittens who were very skittish and had taken up residence under the front porch. Except one. the small fuzzy black one that my son had nursed from the brink of death. This guy knew no fear, and would walk into their house as if he owned it.

    When I went to pick my boys up the kitten ran up to my feet and followed my every step. It was love! An aunt had told my boys this was a girl kitten and since 'she' had large beautiful green eyes, we named her Olive.

    It wasnt until several weeks later, when Olive had grown we discovered our Olive was indeed a boy! by that time it was too late to make a name change, so Olive stayed Olive.

    Olive stays at my side all the time and is the best friend I have ever had. He doesnt meow... we always say his meower broke the night he nearly froze. Instead he gives out a horsely "mech"

    I never knew a pet could bring this much joy into my life!

    Thank you for Marley & Me. your story touched me so much and made me fall in love with your 'bad' pet.

    A story from joey elliott about my dog is just like marley
    posted 05/20/2010

    Hey Mr. Grogan! My name is Joey Elliott,and im seventeen. I've been reading your book as a school project. I'm so far on the 9th chapter, and its only getting better! My dog's name is porsha. She's a lab great dane mix. Like Marley, she loves to act out, and chase anything that moves! When she got fixed it calmed her down for about a day, than she was right back to it. Mr. Grogan you are such a great author, and i love your book so much. I can tell you truly love animals, and have a passion for writing. I love animals too. But im still growing into the writing part. You have my vote for the best writer ever! This picture underneath is me and my dog this christmas! You are #1 Grogan!!! jleonard456@yahoo.com i'd love to hear reply from you. Your book has really inspired me to keep my head up. Thank you so much.

    A story from Frances Kaplan about Clyde
    posted 06/08/2010

    Hi Mr. Grogan, I read your book, Marley & Me, loved it. I both cried and laughed out loud. We had a black lab named Clyde. He was almost 100 lbs., big square head. His favorite outing was going to the vet to visit all the other dogs. People would ask me if he was a great dane, since he was so large. Unfortunately Clyde liked to eat rocks. He had four major operations to remove the rocks from his intestins. He was only 7 years old when he had the last surgery. He barely made it through the surgery but when my husband went into the room to say his goodbyes, his tail was wagging. We had a 20' x 40' in-ground pool that Clyde used more than anyone. He even jumped off the diving board. To get your attention Clyde would regularly pull a towel from the bathroom and run with it until you caught him. My daughter's new shoes for kindergarten were so nice, except Clyde chewed one before she could wear them. After a hard day at work, my husband slept on his recliner in the family room, Clyde ever so gently chewed the socks off his feet, exposing only the toes, he liked to lick his feet. Once a group of teenage boys came into my fenced backyard and threw rocks into the pool. When I asked them what they were doing, they ran. I caught up with them, Clyde at my side. They were being very disrespectful. I told them that one word from me and my dog would make mince-meat out of them. Clyde sensed the confirtation and was circling the three boys. The boys were so scared and said they would not do this again. He acted like the best trained dog....not!. Your book really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing your story.

    A story from Anne-lise about My Lab Nixe
    posted 06/12/2010

    We got my dog Nixe on December 1997 as a puppy. She was an English Lab, a lovely sandy color. In our village in France, there was this farm were a female Lab would give a litter a year. We also chose our dog because she was brave and happy-looking. I was 11 years old and my brother 8 and it was our first dog. She was not as crazy as Marley, maybe because she was an English Lab, and not that strong but she had her crazy bits. We always said she was a great tragedian because whenever we had a meal in the dining room, she would sit next to the sliding windows and look out the garden while shoting reproachful glances because we wouldn't share our meal. She would ask to go out, and then sit or settle down on the terrasse sphinx-like and watch for cats and rabbits. Every time we closed the windows (we live in Normandy, almost always fresh outside), she would come back and bark just once so that we opened again and stay outside and look at us like we were the last dummies on earth. Whenever she was in the front garden, looking out in the street, we could ring the bell, she would run like a bullet right back inside and greet the first person she met, even if nobody had crossed the front garden. She hates white small poodles and gradually any white and small dogs, and any females. She loved to eat apple and carrots, too. She was a specialist of bringing back wooden stick 3 times her size with a look saying: see, i'm the real master here!! Her name in German means water fairy. She was no fairy for sure but she loved water. At first, she was afraid of the waves but this fareway stick or ball we had just thrown were just too interesting. She loved getting sick after eating small crabs and her mouth smelled soooo bad. The first time she encountered snow, she was only a year old and she loved it, going submarine like in the water. She would goat jump and look for small animals hidden for the winter. She loved to open christmas presents, or any presents. Every night at 10, she just had to go out and have a little chat with all the dogs in the neighborhood and better not interrupt her, she would take no notice anyway. When we finally sold our house two years ago to move in a smaller one (my father had died in 2004 and it was just too much work for my mum), she was older, partly depth, kinda blind, her hinder legs were slower to get up and quicker to get down, and she couldn't remember were she was. At the end of September, I left for Ireland to be a teaching assistant. We had just found out during the summer that my dog was likely to be sick with a brain tumor or maybe some kind of nerves attack. We decided not to waste money on radios and stuff. It was difficult to give her food as whe wouldn't eat anything because she couldn't smell it. We said as a joke it was because she didn't like the fishy smell of her new oldies dogs food. So we fed her rice with gravy and dog meat from the butcher. But then she couldn't find her water bowl anymore either. Two weeks after I had arrived in Ireland, my brother got back from uni and found her entangled between the chairs under the dinner table and poop all over the carpet. My mum took her to the vet and he put her to sleep. My mum told me that he had cried too, as he knew us for almost 11 years. As we now live in the city, it's forbidden to burry your pets in the garden so we left it at the vet who would take care of it. My mum can't take a new dog now as the whole house has been under heavy remodeling and she is working all day. She is thinking of taking a cat when the works are done (and so my gran doesn't come and stay 3 whole weeks in our now tiny home as she's allergic to cats). But I'll definitly take a dog, maybe from a center, whenever I've the right flat for it. I hope Gracie and the kittens are alright and thank you for sharing your ordinary/extraordinary story with us! My mum couldn't bear to even watch the movie yet, I think she's still grieving.

    A story from Alicia McClain about Sky
    posted 06/13/2010

    John, I would like to share my story of Sky my beautiful Black Labrador. Sky is now seven and has been through a great ordeal.Until about a month ago Sky loved to run and enjoyed the company of anybody she came in contact with. Sky developed a tooth infection which seemed to settle in her back legs. The doctors that she has seen can't figure out what is wrong with her and have given her different medicines to help her feel better. Everyday I have to work with her to get up and move around. The doctors have speculated but haven't been able to come up with a real answer. I would give anything to have my precious active girl back. Sky has seen to have lost her zest for life. I will continue to try and bring her back at whatever it takes. I just needed to share this with you since you are such a dog lover. I will let you know how she is doing.

    Alicia McClain 1297 Creech School Rd. Troy, Missouri 63379 amcclain63@yahoo.com

    A story from Arlene about Enjoyed your book
    posted 06/14/2010

    Hi Mr Grogan I just had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed reading Marey and Me. I am a west coast Floridan senior citizen and can relate to many of your experinces, your book touched my heart as no other I've read. I've relived as you the good and bad times as we owned a "mutt" as they say, and have never been able to get another to replace her. I wonder do you still have Gracie? Sincerely Arlene Kelly

    A story from Alex about Ginger
    posted 06/25/2010

    Gingers bath:

    Ginger was actually a cat but he behaved like a dog I always noticed at the end of the day he would cuddle up with my own dog dipsy (whom I have left a story about) Ginger also rarley left my side and to be honest he was my best friend but on with the story. I had ran my self a bath it was not deep as I just wanted a quick bath but as I switched the taps of I went down stairs for a drink I did notice Ginger had sat with me while I ran the bath but I just thought he was in a clingy mood so I went down stairs, had my drink and when I arrived bck up Ginger was just sitting in my bath water as if nothing unusual had happened and he seemed to enjoy it.

    the end

    I have decided to write a childrens book series about a magic cat based on Ginger, I tried to write his Biography too but to other readers a cat who spent his life hugging dogs and following me around might not be very interesting but I know all his stories and so to me he's facinating

    A story from Pat about Bunsen and the Thanksiving turkey
    posted 07/03/2010

    Bunsen is a black lab mix who is highly spirited and forever hungry. One Thanksgiving evening, after all the guests had left, I took the remaining flesh off the turkey carcass and left it in the roasting pan on the back of the stove.I left the kitchen for a few seconds to put some aluminum foil in the trash to prevent Bunsen from getting it form the kitchen trash and consuming it. As i return to the kitchen, I see Bunsen running toward the doggie door, turkey carcass in mouth,with Petrie, my shepherd mix in hot pursuit. Unfortunately or fortunatley,The turkey carcass would not fit through the opening in the doggie door. In fear that Petrie would attempt to enjoy the leftovers, Bunsen then bolted upstairs to my bedroom where he proceeded to enjoy the carcass in the middle of my dry-clean-only comforter that was on my bed since guests had been invited for the holiday. This little escapade resulted in a trip to the emergency pet hospital as well as a vain attempt by the dry cleaners to salvage the comforter. Bunsen is n o 12 years old and can no longer reach the back of the kitchen stove. I miss these crazy things he used to do and am ever aware that his days with me are coming to a close.I just finished reading Marley and Me and wept because too love my slightly crazy, nearly human, best friend

    A story from Bolero~S about My Simple Story
    posted 07/10/2010

    Greetings to readers and Mr. Grogan. The stories here are more interesting than mine but nevertheless, this story I'm going to share means a lot to me.

    He was only a pup when my parents brought him home. He has drooping ears but those ears soon became erect when he grew older. Rocky's his name. The book came out after I lost Rocky and I couldn't help but compare Marley with Rockey while I was reading it. Much to my surprise, he shared many similar traits with Marley. He ate anything from stones to faeces. He even drank the sewage water!!!

    Rocky was living with his momma and siblings at a construction site located just beside a park. They would sometimes come rushing out eagerly at the joggers or cars.

    I've got an old grandma dog at home but it wasn't enough. My parents decided to catch one and bring it home. They stood outside of the fenced construction site while making squeaky noises at them, just to lure a pup out. Luckily, momma was not there and a dopey-looking, adrenalin-pumped pup came dashing out towards my parents, while his siblings cowered and whimpered, as if they were warning him not to go. My parents prepared a gunny sack and when the time was right, they tossed the sack over Rocky who managed to break in time before crashing at their legs. My parents bagged him and quickly drove away.

    At home, he was no more like the pup my parents got him from the construction site. His tail was between his legs and his head dropped so low to the ground while eyeing at my parents warily. He was not weaned from his mother's milk and I fed him with milk using a baby bottle. It was his first day home. At night, with his siblings and momma gone, he whined and yelped for hours, driving the whole neighbourhood within ten square miles crazy. My dad was a violent man and he got up and whipped Rocky until he kept quiet. I didn't dare to stop my dad or else I'll get whipped too. Despite the harsh and brutal beatings he took, his loyalty to my dad was unwavering. Wherever my dad went, he followed while waiting to be pat.

    Soon, he gained confidence and became the alpha dog. He strained on his leash like Marley with his tongue hanging out and eyes bulging, dragging me behind. In fact, I had to wear skateboarding gloves while holing on to his metal leash. He chugged on happily and leapt at any stray dogs or cats, almost tearing my arms out of its sockets.

    He's super friendly with strangers and other dogs. Like Marley, he kept jumping up to kiss the guests at home. I had no idea how to break him of that habit, so I had him locked up in a very large "cage", made by tying both ends of thick wire mesh to the wall at a corner behind my house. Luckily, he didn't have Marley's phobia of thunderstorms, so the cage was pretty much in good condition.

    Once, I played soccer with him using an upturned plastic bowl. Unfortunately, he doesn't know what the yellow and red cards mean and he kept crashing into me to get the "ball". He would chase it all over the house and crash into a pillar. After that he just shook himself and walked away nonchalantly, having no more interest in chasing the dome-shaped thing.

    My dad who is suffering from hypertension used to go cycling with Rocky running faithfully beside him. Surprisingly, he ignored strangers and stray dogs and cats for the first time as he ran pass them. Due to the daily long runs, his nails became short. It saved me the time to trim them.

    Rocky had a very good memory. My dad made a lot of turns in many streets and cycled eight kilometres away from my house. Rocky decided to take a shortcut so he could run side by side with him. However, there's a very large drain ahead and I was glad he didn't attempt to clear it. He got left behind while my dad continued. When my dad got home, he was surprised to see Rocky sitting at the gate waiting for him.

    One day, my dad muzzled him and let him roam outside the house to relieve himself while my dad readied his bike to get some medicines from the hospital. My dad didn't notice that Rocky followed him all the way to the hospital. When my dad got there, the security guard stopped my dad and asked him about Rocky. My dad denied ownership and went in. After he came out, the dog was gone. When he reached home, Rocky wasn't there as always if he couldn't catch up with my dad.

    From that day onwards, I never see him again. Every night, when I go to bed, I can hear him barking happily at a distance as he races back to his cosy home. But again, he didn't appear at the gate... for a long long time...

    This story happened a very long time ago. By now, he must be gone from the face of the earth...

    I love you, Rocky. You're the best "soccer" player, ever...

    A story from Raine Aird Langer about My Marley
    posted 07/12/2010

    I moved to Madrid to be with my boyfriend (now, my husband) and almost immediately, I wanted us to get a puppy. We´re both dog people and our initial delay was just due to our living situation … we didn´t think a small, cramped apartment would be fair to a dog – we, ourselves, were already growing out of our studio! After 3 years in Spain, we got engaged and then married in the summer of 2008. Then in 2009, after nearly a year of marital bliss and a new home, I started on my campaign for a “puppers”, insisting that our work schedules wouldn´t prevent us from caring for one and that they would adjust – and so they did. I woke up early one Saturday morning in May 2009, to find my husband scouting out breeders online – and he found an ad from a breeder who´d just had the cutest litter of golden retriever puppies. And he gave me a look and asked if I really wanted a puppy, and I of course said yes … and he said, “You better get dressed then. It´s gonna be a long drive.” When we arrived at the breeding farm in a small town in the Sierra of Madrid, I was greeted by the only two puppies left from the litter … both males … but one stood out. He was the cutest ball of ivory fluff yapping and jumping at me. And I picked him and declared him mine … the breeder, said “hmm, not sure if you want that one … he´s missing 1 cm of his tail, but if you really want him, I´ll knock off €100.” So you see, our Marley, was a “clearance puppy” too. The similarities don´t end there … We soon learned that our Marley was mad for food especially mangoes, watermelon and apples. He´s also had many an adventure chewing the wall and furniture in our bedroom, destroying throw cushions, living room furniture and several remote controls and pretty much anything he can get his paws on. One day while I was at work, he chewed the plug off the power cord for our fridge and the control dials for our washer, dryer and oven! We have our vet on speed dial –we´ve had to call him with numerous emergencies. I once came home to find that Marley had found his way into the pantry and helped himself to an entire bag of Muesli which had quite a bit of raisins in it. He didn´t seem to be the least bit affected by them, but it warranted a trip to the vet´s anyway. He also found a bag of stale food that someone had “forgotten” to dispose of properly in the park near our house, and he swallowed the plastic bag and all its contents rather than give in to my desperate pleas of “let go.” So when I took him for his annual check-up the other day, the vet quipped “what´s he eaten this time?” People often ask us when we plan on having babies, and we´ve taken to answering that Marley is all the baby we need. He has brought us so much joy, and despite all his mischief, he´s turning into a fine dog with lots of personality! I´ve also recently discovered that he has the “ability to calm down”. We took him on our first “family” vacation this year, to Portugal, he was on his best behavior ever – I was terrified that he´d thrash numerous hotel rooms, but he didn´t … I think he was just so grateful we didn´t leave him!

    A story from Dawnette about Hoshi the Boxer
    posted 07/15/2010

    My family loves boxers. Boxers have been described as the rodeo clowns of the dog breed. After loosing our 2nd boxer to cancer at the young age of 7 we decided be careful and pick our next boxer pup from a reputable breeder. When we went to the breeder's house to look at the puppies, ask questions about the different personalities, etc., I instantly fell in love with Hoshi! Instead of being level headed, finding a pup that would fit our needs and personality I just choose the one that was the most beautiful. As we were walking out the door with our bundle of joy the breeder said "watch out she's an ankle biter."

    Not only was she an ankle biter she was a destroyer as well. One day my husband came home early from work and let our nine month Hoshi out of her crate. He got busy doing something and forgot about the dog. About 45 minutes later he remembered he had pup loose in the house. He found her in our guest bedroom digging into the matress. Apparently she had found an old bone and thought it needed to be buried. She dug a 6 inch deep 12 inch diameter hole in the foot of the bed. There was shredded material everywhere. Until we could afford to buy a new matress we always had a funny story to tell company right before putting them to bed...reminding them to avoid the hole at the foot of the bed.

    A story from Sister Florence Vales OSC about Our Maggie
    posted 07/21/2010

    2001 I had written you and told you about our puppy, a yellow Lab named Maggie, who was a gift to our Monastery by Brother Richard McFeely, a Franciscan brother. We told you about Maggie how she pulled our veils off our head and ran around the monastery garden so happy as a lark. Maggie gave us so much joy and she was so healing for me but the sad news that I have to tell you is that our dear sweet lady, Maggie, died on June 8th after a short illness that began in March. Maggie had a rapid cancer and one night June 8th while I was sleeping in the basement with her she went into a convulsion and we took her to an all night animal hospital where they put her to sleep and she died. My last words to her were,"Thak you Maggie for giving us so much joy." when the doctor told me she was gone, I said,"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." That was 3:00 AM and I was spaced out but still that remains true. God gave her to us and she was a blessing. She is buried out in our yard under a tree with a staure of a guardian angel because she was that to us. Our vet is going to get a head stone for Maggie. The Sisters at this point do not want anopther dog but I am hoping and Maggie will run up to the Good Shepherd and bug Him until he sends us one. I dream on. thanks for your book. I never read the last part because I feared about our Maggie dying too but one bears up. God is great and always good.

    A story from Cleo Webb about Reading your book
    posted 07/21/2010

    I go to the Friendship Center, which is the Day Care for the elderly, and read on Wednesday afternoons. The latest book is your "The Longest Trip Home." I want you to know that the ladies find your story so fun. It is a great joy for me to hear them laughing so hard that they almost cry. You must have been a real character and great fun as you were growing up. Thank you for putting your story down on paper. I look forward to next Wednesday when we all learn more about you and your family

    A story from Liz Lawton about Bran
    posted 07/22/2010

    Dear John:

    When I bought seven hardback copies of your (then) new and hardly heard of Marley and Me, and read it til I could laugh and cry no more, then the other 6 books went to close friends and family who you managed to upset even more, I thought I would never again be so touched by a story of a dog....UNTIL I flipped thru the channels several years later and came across the movie of the book. So now I'm writing this to admonish you again...you managed to reduce me to a puddle of tears over your beloved Marley.

    All my life I've had dogs, mostly lab mixes to be sure, but always with one common denominator - rescued. And so it was with Bran, whom I did write to you about once. Brandy was the name she came with and I hated it but it's all she knew. So I shortened it...never thinking I'd be asked a million times "oh how did you come up with that name, is it her coloring?" and eventually I realized that with my English accent I could tell a white lie that would be totally believed (don't know why the accent helps but it does - people believe everything I say if I keep a straight face). Anyhow I said "oh, no it's celtic pronounced actually Brahann it means "creature of the wild", and they would nod solemly, the head would tilt back a little, the mouth would open and they'd say "aahhh what a wonderful name". (I secretly wonder if anyone used it for their own pup). Bran came from an abysmal background chained up, teeth broken, scarred face, but oh so like Marley in looks maybe a little more reddish tinge, but the face - oh the face!! You've probably had thousands of people writing to you with "my dog was like Marley" no Marley reminds me of Bran because of that labrador gaze, the bull in a china shop syndrome, the tail that is a lethal child or glass knocking over tool. The labrador enthusiasm, I remember the first time we took her to a state park and she found a little stream with a couple of planks across it was just us and her and she kinda scooted her butt down and galloped around and around in circles around and over the stream over the bridge until she wore herself out. You see she'd always been tied up, she only knew how to run in circles, and this was her idea of freedom. She saw me thru 2 teenagers years of angst, a divorce, a couple of new jobs, a new marriage and finally she had her final days in Bushkill, PA. After she went blind and we realized she had a brain tumor we had her put to sleep and as the vet was injecting her in the back of our car she heard a dog bark in the distance and she raised her head with those sightless eyes and pricked up her ears - ever ready to protect us. So then I suffered a clinical depression and my husband could not console me. Eastertime we went to Ulster County to see where Bran's ashes had been scattered but never actually got to the dog crematorium because we stopped at a shelter and so became Bonnie our black lab. We moved to S. Carolina Jan 09 and suddenly found ourselves with three more dogs - one being a baby great dane advertized by the Georgia pound as a baby border collie (they knew no-one would adopt a thoroughbred mantle great dane (too big). We paid and out loped a gigantic puppy who was to be gassed the next day. Then there's our little pit/mix we lovingly call our pitrador who is only 1 1/2 but has developed a torn ACL which we can't afford to have fixed so we have her on pain meds (also "about to be euthanized" when we got her) and let's not forget Bob "What About Bob" you say - our black retriever boy who ran out into the road in front of my husband's old truck. And back in PA we would sit on our porch at night and my husband would say "no more dogs after Bran" HAHAHAHAHAHA....what happened to that! My husband's business failed in PA, our house went into foreclosure, my husband had triple bypass and I lost my job in a hospital. We moved to SC to start afresh, and look at us know - four four legged friends we never thought we'd have and just a complete joy. Sometimes I could tear my hair out at all the dribbles of water across the floor, the usual accidents dogs have (!), the fur balls that only seem obvious when we have visitors (darn it) and the endless 31 lb bags of food from Sams Club, but omg they are THE best. Thank you John for reminding me that all the furballs and messes aren't importanat, that the adoration and unadulterated love we have from our dogs is priceless. And if the visitors don't like being goosed by the pitrador, or the shoulders being assaulted by two great dane front legs, or Bob's paw being offered a million times a minute or Bran shaking water all over them then tough tough tough - they're our babies and they'll always have a home here. Thanks for making me cry you bugger! Liz

    A story from Carol Pierce about My Angel In fur
    posted 07/28/2010

    Where does one begin. I got Lady in Sept. 1991 at the age of 3 weeks. Marie wanted to get rid of the puppies as soon as possible. Since I am allergic to dogs at times, I couldn't say no when she asked me if I wanted a dog. I told the girls I had a surprise for them. When we got to Marie's home, we were lucky to get the only little girl pup and she fit in the palm of my hand. When Lady came home, my daughter Bonnie would get up and give her the bottle just like you would a baby. She was very goo at that. I remember one putting Lady in her kennel in the hallway. I came down and she was out of it. It was locked. She was so tiny she fit through the opening. I remember Lady's first bark. I couldn't b elieve I had my little girl's voice for the first time. I will say she was quite naughty and a lot to handle she was 2. Everyone enjoyed playing with her, but no one wanted to pick up the poop or take her for walks. I enjoyed every minute with her and took with me every place I could.

    My lady came at a time in my life that I didn't how important and what a major part she would play in my life.

    She was my best friend, constant companion, loyal, caring, loving, my nurse, et. I got more love from her than my ex and children.

    Anyway, after my family left me, I got Lady. She was the one constant joy in my life and gave me a reason to keep living. Friendly, outgoing, loved everyone, including animals. I was so proud of her. All I did was get compliments how good she was. When she died at the age of 17 I was devastated. She actually told me mommy its time for me to go. She gave me a look and really a mile with her teeth showing as if she really was talking. I knew exactly what she meant. I got a bed to fill the void. I call him Marley. It wasn't the same. I talked to Lady every night. I told her if I get another dog, it will be a rescue dog, an older dog I can grow old with. Guess what in Sept. of 2009 I adopted my grand dog. My daughter is a single parent with a little baby and couldn't look after her. Without hesitation I took her. When she arrived in Philadelphia in Sept. of 2009, from Ottawa, Canada I swore I was looking into Lady's eyes. Darlin is ajob. I realize I can't live without a dog. They give you unconditional love which I never ever received from a human and that is the truth. Human race has conditions on their loving.

    Darlin is my service dog and now is a therapy dog. She also was abandoned whe she was 3 years and left at the groomers. They called my daughter and asked her if she wanted her, because she just lost her Dog. The previous owners said she was too needy. She is sweet, very loving,my constant companion and still gives me a reason to get up in the morning and enjoy life. Also in memory of Lady after losing my job last July, I didn't know what I was going to do. I knew I couldn't handle working for anyone again. I decided to become a dog trainer and instructor. I graduated from Penn Foster in May, and Brother of the Wolf in June. I found my calling at the age of 63. I need to work and this is something I am enjoying so much because of my love for dogs and my Lady.

    Carol A. Pierce

    A story from Dechert about Marley and Cruz
    posted 08/10/2010

    I just finished reading Marley and Me, for about the billionth time, and it has made me realize how similar my yellow lab Cruz is to Marley.Cruz is a crazy, sensitive, loving boy. He greets us at the driveway everyday and jumps on us and stares at us with his big brown eyes. He is filled with so much puppy energy and he is a very active dog! We will come home to find trash everywhere, clothes destroyed, helmets chewed up as well as newspapers, mail, and packages. When it is stormy, Cruz goes into panic mode. He loves to stick his whole nose in his water bowl and eat his food without swallowing. Cruz also manages to steal food off our plates and and jump up on the counters and eat anything he can find. He also enjoys eating toys and pooping them out for us. (How kind.) But when you scold him, he looks at you with such pitiful eyes...He is so sensitive some times. He enjoys swimming in the water and playing at the beach. He loves fetch and jumping off the dock. He also loves tug of war. But after a long day of play, Cruz will settle down and love on you and be a very sweet dog. Cruz also has a little pinhead- like a conehead which we all laugh about. Marley and Cruz could've been related for all I know, they are just so similar.

    A story from Heidi about My poodle Strudel
    posted 08/19/2010

    Dear John, meet my poodle Strudel - I love her as much as you and your family loved Marley. She is a standard poodle and allowed to be a happy playful dog, meaning - no facy cuts, no polished nails, just a clean cut. She has selcetive comprehension, when I call her when she is in the fenced yard she comes right away,when she escapes the yard I have to get the car to get her, as he will not miss a ride,and comes zooming to get into the car but will avoid coming if I call her.Sometimes the car ride is just about x 3 car length in distance, but it works. When she was a puppy,(she is now 10 years old) she "ate" the travel alarm clock, no big deal until I could not find the battery. She had (and has) energy to spare and does not need to swallow a battery to charge her up - thank God for Vets and their talents,the battery was retrieved unceremoniously by making her vomit, another time she swallowed a knee high - it came back.... the natural way. I was moved to tears as Marley's journey came to an end - but Marley has had a loving family and household - he had a good life - loved your telling it. Sincerely, Heidi and Strudel (or is it Strudel and Heidi?)

    A story from Tracey about Gizmo
    posted 08/29/2010

    Dear John, I read Marley and Me when it first came out and was so excited about the movie. They were both great. Tragically,my 12 1/2 year old peek-a-poo Gizmo passed away on 8/23/2010. She kept getting infections over and over and so I had to make the awful decision to put her to sleep. I had her cremated so she can be put with me some day and to be honest I feel like that day is sooner than later. My heart is broken all to pieces as for she was my life and I just don't know how people do this. I wish I could get some kind of an answer for I have begged God everyday now to show me a sign of hope for I have lost my job and my apt. in this short time. I can't eat, sleep, and have shut the world out. I have lost almost all of my family over the past 20 years and that was hard but I never felt this kind of pain and I don't understand why.I got Gizmo when she was 5 weeks old and she was the runt of the litter and the best.She understood everything and went everywhere I went. Only boardered her once and cut that trip short.How can love be so great and hurt so much? I want everyone to hold on to there pets and love them with all of there heart for they only want to be loved and don't ask for anything in life.As for me, I don't ever want another pet so I never have to go through this kind of pain and hurt again.Got to try to pick up the pieces here somehow but not sure where to start. Please pray for me. You will never be forgotten for having the best book ever.

    Sincerely, Tracey

    A story from Mark about Charlie and Me
    posted 08/29/2010

    Hi John, Although I have not read the book yet, I just finished watching "Marley and Me". I don't think I live to far from you, we are in Glen Mills PA and recently purchased a new home....and a new pup, Charlie. He chews everything, he barks at everything, he runs around knocking things over non-stop....and drives us crazy! But he lays in my lap, and he licks my face, and he follows me everywhere, and we are best friends. It's amazing how much joy a dog can bring to your life without really even noticing it all the time. We are about to start a family as well...but as it was so eloquently stated in the movie, we already have...with our baby Charlie.

    A story from Eleonora about my fual GRILLUS
    posted 08/30/2010

    Hi everyone my name is Eleonora and I live in Italy. The story of John and Marley makes me think about my love: a horse named GRILLUS. I am writing this message because I can’t wait to tell everybody how wonderful he is and how much I love him. He is 5 years old, practically his is still a foal but he is very big: he is 185 cm high and I think he can weight 700 Kg. 700 Kg of wish to run and eat fresh grass but he is also very affectionate and when I am around he never takes his eyes off of me, he always look for a kiss and a pat. I think that animals are special because you can feel the love they have for you and because they are ready to give you all they have, even their life if you would ask them to. I know that my life with Grillus won’t last forever, though he is so young now, and when I think about our separation I almost cry. But at the same time I know that the happiness he can give me during our journey together will be immensely greater than the sorrow of our split. Even if horses cannot show their love like a dog (I mean that they don’t wag their tail or jump on you to greet you and you cannot take them in your bed to sleep) they use a million of different behaviors and signals to show their feelings which can melt your heart and fill it with joy. Finally, when I give Grillus a bucket full of water he likes to make the submarine with his nose: he is wonderful!! This is my horse and all my love for him!!!

    A story from Ken Copeland about The Longest Trip Home and depression-era fathers
    posted 09/05/2010

    I couldn't put this book down! As another "baby boomer", your memoir brought back a lot of memories. Like your Dad, my father ("Pop" to my brothers and me)was a no-nonsense kind of guy, too. While your Dad was recycling paper towels, mine was serving up desserts of white bread with a light coating of butter and a sprinkling of sugar ("if we couldn't afford butter, we'd sprinkle just enough water to make the sugar stick!"). And try explaining to your new girlfriend that the blank in the dashboard of the family sedan was because a radio was deemed an unnecessary frill (& maybe, at least in my mind, because by the 1960s, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller no longer dominated the airwaves!). Necessity molded our fathers that way, but in the end we "boomers" learned to respect others, be humble, love our families, and not only how to survive the minefields of life itself, but to enjoy the passage along the way to that "last stagecoach stop". I empathize with how you must feel when the Holiday season arrives and memories of your Dad are poignant. My father passed away on December 26, 2007 at age 88. BY the way, having been born in 1949, I was fortunate enough to not have the drug culture to contend with; for me, it was a blue collar "Leave it to Beaver" world. By the time I got to 1967 and drugs finally hit the streets of Delaware, peer pressure was pretty much in my past. Reading your story and how you got through it made me especially glad I missed dealing with that issue. Pimples, no car radio and how to contend with the whole Viet Nam thing were enough for any guy. Happy trails and keep writing!

    A story from Lindy Wilson about Marley and Me
    posted 09/07/2010

    Hi John. Thank you so much for your book, 'Marley and Me'. I am certain that you and your wife have lived almost parallel lives to ours, just a few years difference and on the other side of the world. We are from Queensland, Australia, and started our dog adventures in our early 20's (1992). Our first 'baby' was a red boxer named Chester. We did the puppy school and although he wasn't expelled as Marley was, after each six week increment, the trainer would read out the list of graduands and, more often than not, poor Chester would be back repeating the class. Our first lesson was teaching the dog to be tethered while we walked away, then turning to regain eye contact with our pup. Nine times out of ten, I saw the rear end of Chester - he just had no idea, and was the 'butt' of many dog trainer's jokes! As a pup, he would go to my parent's house when I worked at the local school. On several occasions, he met the milkman at the front gate and promptly preceded to carry the plastic milk cartons all over the yard. Then he made the discovery that those little puppy teeth could make ample holes in the handles of the milk cartons and provide a lovely treat of fresh milk. Hence, a dog proof delivery method had to be employed from that day on. It is amazing how we adapt our most mundane daily routines to fit our new friend's quirks! His most heinous crime while being puppy-sat, however, was the discovery of a magnificent bridal bouquet, painstakingly crafted by my Mum for an upcoming wedding, chewed, slobbered on and beyond repair. I don't know who hid the quickest, Chester or me! We bought Chester a mate when he was around two, another boxer, Gemma. The runt of the litter, and enough love to sink a ship. Definitely blessed with more brains than poor old Chest, but they were truly a team. They had a terrible set on an out of hand Golden Retriever who lived up the road, and one day, Gemma jumped clean out of the passenger window as we drove past the Retriever. She rolled in the gutter, giving us a fright and suspecting fatal injuries, but she simply got up and kept chasing the dog. On another occasion, she ran straight through a stranger's house in hot pursuit of their cat. Who knows what the poor family thought about that. We didn't hang around to find out! Gemma had to be put to sleep in 2002 when she succumbed to lung tumours, and Chester lived until was nearly 13, and died of old age. These two broke our hearts when they died, as did our most recent dog, Banshee the rescue greyhound. He was a mighty dog, so faithful and very smart. He died of the same illness as your Marley. He too was offered surgery, but with the same risks spelt out to us, to which we agreed 'no'. He had a week with us after his diagnosis, perking up on the Saturday morning, as he charged through the house (an interesting sight for a huge greyhound and lots of tight corners). We had to leave him home alone that day, and when we arrived home late that night, he had died in the back yard, his stomach as hard as a rock. The guilt of not being there when our best friend needed us still bothers me today, but our more philosophical friends ensure us that we probably would not have wanted to be there and see him like that anyway. We had him cremated, and his collar hangs above our bed, much like Marley's chain in your drawer. We miss him so much, it is that ache that your wife explains in your book. Along the way of our lives, we have had three children (boy, girl, boy) and one bad experience (a 'missed abortion' as it is so eloquently termed), the same that you experienced. We have lived on the coast, very trendy, not favourable for big, slobbering dogs and moved to the hinterland on two acres, where Chester and Gemma are laid to rest. Currently, we've swapped the coast for a small country town and now have two dog friends, Grace the very old boxer and Ray the nervous whippet. Your book simply made me laugh so much that I cried, and then, of course, it made me cry so much I couldn't sleep. So many of the adventures you described and experienced were like reading my own life story. Memories came flooding back and I have been moved greatly by your story telling honesty and ability. Thank you. Lindy Wilson

    A story from Sven Van der Poel about About Marley &me
    posted 09/09/2010

    Hi John, I just finished your book and i wanted to tell you that i really enjoyed it, cring in the end, as a proud dog owner myself i can find myself in your story, altough my dog is not a bad dog at all but he is my best friend and companion. Last year after a Seven year relationship my partner left me. I was devistated, but the one who pulled me trough was my dog, when lying in my bed heartbroken he didn't move from my side conferting me ,never leaving me out of his sight. last year in november i wanted to change my life, do something exciting, so i moved Joppe and myself from Belgium to Ireland, Cork I too grew up with dogs, but Joppe is my first own dog and i understand the loss of a pet, i can never imagine living without Joppe, altough he is seven years of age now his still full off live and very playfull, but i know he isn't going to be around forever. thx for your story i loved it. Sven

    A story from keeana fort about my crazy pup!
    posted 09/10/2010

    dear john grogan, i've just finished reading your story marley and me and let me say, marley sounds like an outragouse, awesome dog! I have a dog named sapphire a.k.a sapphy, and she is a dumb, playful, funny dog! she never obeyed me unless there was somthing in it for her. every time we went for a walk shed drag me down the street, in search of squirrles. if she found one, she would bolt and try to climb the tree looking for it. she is incredibly clever, one time i had a party and we all went in to one room. i came out and she somehow ate all the cookies!! oh and thats not all, it was thanksgiving and we had spent all night cooking a turkey. we had placed it on the table and i turned away for just a couple of minutes, and when i turned back around the turkey was gone!! all that was left was the carcas! but she knew when she was wrong, she gets realy guilty! one look and she'd run into her kenal. my lab/husky/amarican bulldog mix was off the wall. she had mood swings, as in one day she'd be affectionate, and obey like an amarican bulldog, but the other, she was a lab, bouncing off the wall and runing around and knocking things off the table with her tail. after that she'd be a husky, misbehaving. recently i visited my father in florida, and he lives in naples, s you know is full of swamps. swamps = crocs and crocs = crazy sapphire!! she is dumb enough to get close to one and almost get her head chewed off. when we first arrived, she spotted ducks and chased them into a pond and decided to go for a swim. i was flipping out! she got out and jumped on me, soking me in pond water and slobber. sapphy ate every thing! one time, i got her a "super tuff" kong toy and she ate it hole! im surprised she didnt get sick!

    sapphy may be dumb, but she taught me to enjoy the little things in life. she taught me how to enjoy life, and not to let little things bother me. she is loyal and sweet and never ceases to amaze me. i love her. and thats why i love your book. marley reminds me of sapphy, and i cant imagen to go through losing a best friend. marley will be dearly missed. and when the time comes for my obnoxious pup to "let go of the grass", i'd hopfuly give her a wonderful funeral and make it as butiful and heart felt as marleys. :3

    sincerly, one of your fans, Keeana Fort

    A story from Sarah about The best dogs in the World
    posted 09/11/2010

    Dear John Grogan. I read your book Marley and Me about three/four years ago in April after my sister had got it for christmas and had read it like she had never read and enjoyed a book before. I was deeply touched by the story, and having just got a black labrador puppy a few weeks before, excited for the challenge! I had always wanted a dog, and Bonnie is everything I could have wanted. In some ways, she is very similar to Marley; she does not do what she is told, she eats anything and everything (including a bar of soap, a shoe insole, a chicken carcus, and her blankets!), she knocks things off tables with her tail, most usually my mum and dads glass of wine. She 'sings' along when I play the piano, she has had incidents in the sea similar to Marleys (which she adores- the sea that is, not the incidents!) and she can drive you insane. When she was a puppy, she even chewed a hole through a plaster board wall which my dad had built to keep her safe in the utility room when we were out. Last night, I was coming out of my boyfriends house, and found Bonnie had jumped through from her place in the boot of the car to the drivers seat. She steals shoes, and opens presents before you get the chance. She rips post to pieces, although sometimes she drops it at your feet. She sits on the carpet and squeaks her toys when I am doing homework, and one time even ate it (how ironic) and she jumps up at my bed and licks my face in the morning. She was never going to be allowed on the sofa, or upstairs, but somehow she has ended up with a sofa assigned to her, and upstairs most of the time she is in the house! When Bonnie was one, it was discovered that Bonnies knee cap dislocated and so she had an operation to put it right, but this went wrong and the tendon came away from the bone and snapped. After four weeks in the vets, and 4 weeks caged at home, Bonnie was allowed to walk to the end of the drive, and then the end of the street. Eventually she was back to normal, and loves climbing hills with the family. She also loves eating the sheep muck, and one year decided to throw it up in the tent after we had got back. This is the only time I have ever known Bonnie to refuse food. I write this now because I just watched the film Marley and Me, which reducded my mum, Grandad, sister and me to tears. My dad will not watch the film. Bonnie has put muddy paw prints all over our lives, and everyday I am grateful for her being here. Its a cliche, but dogs really do become a part of the family. Bonnie is not a bad dog; she is the best dog who does naughty, silly things, but also loyal, funny, entertaining things. She licks your face if you cry, she licks the water off your legs after you have been in the bath, she roles around on her back and catches her tail, she is scared of the hoover and right now she is nudging me to play with her, so I best do that. I am sure all dog owners feel the same, and I can relate to how much you loved and cared for Marley. Our dogs are the best dogs in the World! Thankyou for your book, it makes me realise that Bonnie is not the naughtiest dog in the world, but another one to add to the best dogs in the World!

    A story from Allyson Oconnor about My Dog JACK
    posted 09/13/2010

    My Dog Jack is a really well behaved dog. He is 16 now and deaf and partly blind. He has only chewed one shoe in his life, and what do you know it was my WEDDING shoe! I couldn't tell him he was bad because I got to the seen of the crime to late! Another very special story to me is about how he saved my daughter from certain injury. I woke up one morning to find my three month old daught out of her crib. My husband was at work so I knew he couldn't have her. I immediately rushed to the stairs when I couldn't find her in my room. And there she was. She was sitting on the top step and she was leaning on Jack! Jack did not move as if he knew what happened. I was amazed.

    Now Jack spends most of his days sleeping out side, except when its time to play. I have a recent story about Jack that is kind of funny.

    My husband came home from work one afternoon. He saw Jack in the middle of the yard with a crow pecking at him! He immediately thought, 'Oh-No its the end of him!' As he started walking forward, the crow flew away and Jack sat up!!! He just hadent felt or heard or seen the bird!

    Jack is one of the best things in my life. He may not be a bad behaved dog, but he can deiffinately join the worlds best dog club!

    A story from lisa mcdaniel about tiger lilly
    posted 09/16/2010

    i have 2 sweet dobes that are 3 and 6 yrs of age that i love with all my heart, but i would like to tell you about my tiger lilly(my cancer cat). in 2002 i was told i had stage 4 cancer and would more then likely not make it through thanksgiving and christmas but i proved them and did and i had my tiger lilly the whole time. i got tiger lilly in 2000 at the age of 9wks. she came home to my husband, 3 sons and our boxer thor who she did not like at all. she lived in the entertainment center for about a week until i could get her used to the dog. well life went on and she had a couple of litters and we shared them with family and friends and she was a great mommy. so in 2002 she was my best friend and my sleep mate. when my sons were sleeping and my husband at work she was the one that was with me at all times. she let me cry, scream, get mad and never said a word. for 2 years she slept with me on our living room couch and never complained. she was not happy when we got our first dobe and did not care for the second but she warmed up and all was good. this year (2010) in july she started to loose weight and did not eat or drink any water. so after visits to the vet we, as a family decided to let her go. so as i sat and watched me and marley again for about the 20th time i know how john and jen feel. they are your babies, your 4 legged babies, so good , bad, happy or sad its hard when you lose them. so as life goes on i will feel that pain again with my dobes but i will never forget them or ever stop loving them. like marley tiger lilly and my dobes have done crazy and silly things. so i guess thats what makes life good, kids and pets.

    A story from Stacey King about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 09/17/2010

    Dear John: I want to thank you for "The Longest Trip Home." It was such a wonderful story. I lived at Orchard Lake Road and Long Lake Road for several years (my youngest brother attended Andover High School), so I could see what you were talking about in my mind. I too lost my father in a similar situation, so the part of the book where you lost him was heart wrenching for me. You are an awesome writer, and I really enjoy your books. Keep it up.....your loyal readers are waiting for the next one. Sincerely, Stacey

    A story from James C. about My dog Sheba
    posted 09/24/2010

    Dear John, I have just finished reading marley and me and to tell you the truth i loved it. it made me cry. all i could think of was my dog sheba. who was a shepard. her legs started giving out on her too. it broke my heart. she realy was apart of my family. the day i had to say goodbye to her was the worst. your book made me appreciate the days i had with her though. thank you john for this. now i am going to appreciate everything that i do with my dogs. because you have to live for the moment.

    A story from (Ms.) Sydney Trevett about Marley & Me
    posted 10/02/2010

    I found your book yesterday at a favorite store and stayed up till 5:00AM reading. I laughed, cried and enjoyed every paragraph, remembering three dogs my twin sons used to have. Yippy's favorite place to throw up chewed plastic toys was in the middle of my bed!! Anyway, It was interesting to me that your son is named Patrick Grogan, as was my grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather. Grandfather Patrick was born on St. Patricks Day. Do you suppose our families were related someway back in Ireland? Fun to think so. Keep up the good work, I will look for more of your great books.

    A story from Mark Myers about Tyler
    posted 10/06/2010

    When my wife and I got married, we decided we wanted a dog. After all we both had them growing up and, we reasoned, if we could handle a dog they might eventually trust us with children.

    We looked. We wanted the All American Golden Retriever, but our house was small and we felt guilty spending $800 on a purebred when dogs were being euthanized at the local shelter. My wife wanted a puppy, something small, cuddly and cute. The shelter didn’t have any, but they did have a mongrel. He was covered with fleas, had open sores, and his hair was falling out in patches – but when they brought him out to us he immediately came looking for love. Tyler went home with us that night and that $35 pound dog eventually cost us far more than that $800 to clean up. It turned out he was allergic to ragweed, dust, fleas – and believe it or not – cats. Not that he cared. To him, having a cat just meant that you loved animals and you were fair game for him too.

    When we got him from the shelter, he was wearing a bandanna. Somehow he knew it was his. He would patiently wait next to the washing machine, and then the dryer until it came out. He never noticed that over the years he went through 8 or 10 of them.

    With the allergies under control he became a cute, blond collie mix that for his entire life people would guess was 5 years younger then he really was. He went everywhere with us. To work, family gatherings, to the beach, 12 hour car rides to the in-laws. My brother would borrow him to pick up girls, and the next door neighbor would borrow him to visit grandchildren. The dog was even in TV commercials – which amused my family to no end, because they said the only thing he was good for was looking blond and cute.

    Then came child number one. We heard the horror stories. Spoiled dogs – and he certainly was – destroying toys, biting babies, bothering family members. We did all the things the books tell you to avoid problems, but we didn’t need to worry. To him the baby meant more people in the house to pay attention to him. He took to sleeping by the crib. When she learned to walk, he would stand patiently while she grabbed a hand full of hair at the hips, and one at the shoulder and pulled herself upright, then would walk carefully next to her. When she was about 4, we found her one evening carefully painting all of his nails bright yellow. He just wagged his tail. When she was 5 she insisted she could hold the leash. I will never forget the day the duck exploded out of the brush two feet in front of them and into the street. He lunged – then realized who was on the other end of the leash. He stopped and stood trembling before the lead ever got tight.

    He was already 9 years old when child number 2 came along. That’s getting old for a middle sized dog. It was never a problem. The whole walking routine went on again, although this time there were some more groans and moans with the pulling.

    At 10 years old, Molly moved in. “Given” to us by my mother-in-law because her new home wouldn’t take dogs, Molly was a hoodlum. She stole food, picked fights, and took his attention. A Chow, Black Lab and Wolf mix, she was bigger, far more aggressive, and a recipe for disaster. Eventually his calming influence even won her over, and now she’s a pretty nice dog too.

    When Tyler was 13 years old, my brother was killed in an accident, the same summer we found out his kidneys were failing, cataracts were taking his vision and his hearing was slipping away. I prayed for him not to go just yet because I couldn’t bear to loose them both at the same time.

    At 15 he was still walking a mile back and forth to school with the kids almost every day – skipping only the rainy and snowy ones – but on his last trip to the vet, the doctor started listing off all the things that should be done, then stopped, looked at the chart and asked “how old is he?” - as usual guessing him to be 5 years younger than he was. When we said 16, the vet said just take him home and love him, he’s already past the top end of age scale and nothing we can do will change that.

    He still makes that walk but only twice a week now, and still stands patiently while all the special education kids surround him and pet him until the bell rings, then stares pitifully in the door of the school after the kids he desperately wants to follow, just as he’s done for years. His hair is getting thin, and he relies on the leash to guide him down the sidewalk and around the obstacles he can no longer see. Getting up in the morning requires several minutes of stretching, and I know it won’t be long before he has to be carried down the steps. He still occasionally goes to work with me, but the new office is confusing to him. Each night he sighs, and laboriously still climbs up the steps to sleep by the end of my son’s bed – where you still can’t get to either my sleeping children without his approval.

    The other week, my 11 year old daughter stood with tears in her eyes as I told her we need to cherish every moment. He will probably leave us behind soon, and heading down a trail we cannot follow, at least not yet. We will be heartbroken, but I know as he heads over that rainbow bridge, the old joints will loosen up, the gray will fade from his coat, and he will run ahead young and whole to play with my brother and the rest of the family waiting just on the other side. When our time comes, no matter how long it takes; he will be one of those patiently waiting to greet us.

    Tyler left us behind this morning and I will miss him dearly.

    Written June 23, 2007

    A story from nguyen the anh about Pila, I won't forget you
    posted 10/09/2010

    I'm Vietnamese so I very bad in English, but I have a dog and I want talk about it to everybody here. its name is Pila and it is a black dog. It isn't same Marley in the story, it is very obedient and friendly, it always protect me from attack of other one. It is on terms of intimacy with me, it wakes up me every morning to play with it, it always wait for me in the yard when I go to school, it jumbs for joy when I go home and take a walk with it. it is a small dog but with me it is a real friend. It is all with me, it makes me fun when I sad and it is my happyness, it understands me and i understand it. But 3 years ago, a bad man, who I haven't known, catched it and I loss it since that day. Now I don't know where it is and it miss it everyday. I pray for it everyday and I hope I can meet it again no longer.

    A story from Gabriela Murrieta Colorado about Puppy, my 18 year-old dog
    posted 10/21/2010

    Hi John! I’m Gaby Murrieta from a small city in Mexico, named Xalapa, where I was born also on March 20th, but in 1986. I’ve just read “Marley and me” and it is definitely one of my favorites, because I laughed and cried. I think everyone who has had a dog understands you perfectly. My dog is Puppy and he is now 18 years old; I’m 24, so you can imagine that I honestly can’t remember my life without him. We have grown together. My dad, my mom, my sister and all the family loves him so much and we have the greatest stories about him, just as you do with Marley.

    When I was 6 and Puppy was a real puppy, he dragged me through the entire park where we were “walking”. He has also flown several times, the first one was when he missed the stairs of the terrace and fell in our yard, but probably the funniest was when we were on vacations in the Caribbean and rented a house with a pool next to the beach. We were playing with a ball and Puppy was on the shore trying to catch it. Then, when the ball jumped out of the pool towards the beach, Puppy ran after it and he didn’t realize that his floor has finished, so he flew just as the looney tunes’ coyote falls. The last one was when my sister and I were walking him near our house and there was a strainer without the cover. Puppy was so happy running and enjoying life that he missed the floor again and ended down the drainage. Thank god he didn’t hurt and that we can take him out quickly!

    Time has been really kind with him. He is a little bit ill now, because of his age, he walks with a wheelchair and has a small tumor, but despites that, he is great. Veterinarians always get surprised when they see him. Reading Marley and me, has made me remember several moments of Puppy’s life that are also part of mine, and has also made me appreciate how lucky I am to have him. I know Puppy will live us behind probably soon, but I’ve decided to live each moment with him just as we have so far. Thank you for sharing with the world the wonderful Marley story and thank you for let us share our stories with you.

    A story from marion miller midi815@aol.com about john grogan
    posted 10/28/2010

    i loved maeley and me - your "growing up book reminded me of the tv show 2 1/2 men - we didn't need to know all your personal memoirs !!!!! two guestions for john--- 1) how did someone like you growing up with your faithfoul parents and going to catholic school grow so far away from your faith ??? 2) however did you forget the words to the Lord's prayer after your upbringing ?????

    A story from robert connolly about miracle dog!!
    posted 10/28/2010

    my story begins in a small one square mile town in nj within the shadows of giants stadium,a working class neighborhood where it is possible to live across the street from people you have never met or spoken to,i owned a small retail bakery in the next town,i had a black labrador puppy i named shannon,she was less than a year old and with all the romp and frolick a typical lab has,one friday evening as my girlfriend and i were letting shannon out for the last time before bed,we used to let her go on the front lawn where she would sniff and do tight turns finding the perfect place to do you know what! this perticular night the cry of a childs voice playing a few houses away caught her attention and something made me realize we had better leash her from that point on because up to that point she had never displayed any tendency to bolt or be distracted at passers by,so i asked my girlfriend for the good of all of us that we use a leash just in case she should run after something or someone,we lived only 3 blocks from rt 17 a verry busy highway. the next morning i got a call from my girlfriend asking me to come home,shannon had run away,i was puzzled because we had just the night before adressed the risks in not leashing her,why would she not respect my wishes at least for the safety of this wonderfull animal,when i got home i was told not only did shannon run away but she was struck by a car first! i was totally devistated at the prospect this dog i loved so much would be so poorly cared for and with so many verry scary possabilities of bad things happening i was even more sickened! i looked everywhere i could,put up flyers,called 3 police depts. to give her discription and my info, she also had on a verry tough nylon rubberized collar with id info as well.the night came without any sign of her and i had to drink alot of beer just to be able to sleep at all. sunday came and i found myself at the bakery as usual only this day i could barely function as my heart was broken and totally without life,i remember hearing the radio saying the lottery had reached record highs,something like 345 million dollars,i thought if i had that winning ticket i would have given it up in a second to have my dog safe at home licking my face like she loved to do. the door in the back of the bakery was privy to few people,the police,some close friends and relatives,when the door opened that sunday and a friend of mine ,steve,who had helped me train shannon and knew her and loved her almost as much as me walked through with tears in his eyes i figured he had just found out about my unfortunate circomstance,i was wrong,he came to me and put his arms around me,he told me his brother who has breakfast with him every sunday was coming over and had seen a dead black lab on rt 17 about where you would expect her to be had she been unfortunate enough to head in that direction,steve said he went to check in case it was another dog,sadly he said it was shannon and he id'd the info on her collar,it was blaze orange and not easy to miss,i said are you sure,he offered to take me there,i knew seeing her like that would have destroyed me,he then offered to go and take care of it for me and maybe he said i should go home and call it a day which i did. when i arrived home in a daze from the realization that i just lost the most wonderfull dog i ever had,i would never see the puppies i had invisioned her having,the great times hunting i trained her for that she absolutely was amazing at,none of it was ever going to be,my girlfriend was lying on the couch crying,i could not help thinking,why did she do that? why would she just defy my sencible reasonable safe request? the only answer i could come up with was,she was just being defiant and it was some kind of game she played with me and it had cost me a broken heart and my sweet dog her life! i quietly asked her at her earliest convenience to leave my home and that i would never be able to forgive her for the damage her games cost us,then i looked at the celing and i started to yell at god for his hand in my misery,just when i was really picking up steam the phone rang,it was the desk sgt,from the police station calling,figuring he was going to inform me of what i already knew i said sarge i already know what you are going to say,my friend is going to clean it up,he said no bob,i called because there is a black lab stuck on a wall behind the fiesta,a catering and banquet place on rt 17 south,i said no sarge it can't possibly be shannon,my friend knows my dog and he id'd her by her collar,he urged me to go anyway and i thought to myself what do they want ,for me to have a breakdown seeing someone elses dog when mine will never be back!,my girlfriend flew up from the couch and drove us to the fiesta only a few hundred yards from my house, and up on that wall to my amazed tear filled eyes was my dog! the wall was over 8 feet high and with that my phone rang,it was steve,he was hysterical because when he got to where the dead dog was lying in the road there was no dog and no blood,i then told him i had shannon and aside from some cuts and stuff she looked ok,he became even more crazy and met us at the animal hospital where we took her for treatment,he flew through that door where we were fell to his knees and was shaking like a leaf,it was a miracle ,he was crying and like i have never seen him in our years of friendship,an act of god he kept saying and i was overwhelmed with joy,that day i recieved an unbroken heart in the blink of an eye,it was a miracle of god,how else do you explain something like this except this time it happened to me,from feeling so utterly helpless to a joy filled heart! today shannon is 13,she has had 21 puppies in 2 litters,given me more love than i could have ever asked for and more important than anything,she taught me about faith,about god and all his wonders,that in the end we are not the ones who determine the final outcome,that through all the terrifying moments when she was lost i never asked for help i only blamed,this one sweet dog was a true blessing , more than i could ever put into words and she is still doing it! hope you enjoyed my story! robert

    A story from Michaela Smith about Tarzan
    posted 11/02/2010

    Mr. Grogan, I really loved your book. It made me realize that dogs aren't around forever and that you should enjoy every minute you can with them.

    I got Tarzan from our neighbor when he was about eight weeks old. Now he is going on nine years and is still my best friend. Tarzan has been an amazing dog, and I can't imagine life without him. He still amazes me every day. I am thirteen now, so I have worked with him since I was about five, and he now knows 35 tricks. He is about the smartest dog I have ever known.

    Tarzan is an outside dog, so we didn't see any need in housetraining him. One night during the winter, I let him inside to stay the night. I put him in the laundry room and placed cardboard in the exit so he couldn't get out, yet he could still see into the rest of the house. This I will never forget: I remember waking up and seeing him sitting next to me in the bed wide awake. My face was wet because he had licked me awake. I looked at the clock, and it read 4:15. "Really?!?!" I thought. I sat up, and right when I did, Tarzan jumped down and ran into the dining room. I got up and followed him. When I rounded the corner he took off towards the front door, jumped up on it, and whined. I realized that my dog had jumped over the cardboard and came into my room to get me just to let me know he had to go out. What really amazed me was that we had never housetrained him, and yet he refused to relieve himself in the house.

    I really dread the day that I will have to tell my best friend goodbye, but I know that it will come eventually. All I can do is cherish every moment I have with him.

    Your book really touched me in a way that no book has ever touched me before. I am a true animal lover and (of course) love to read books about animals. However, this book is, by far, my favorite.

    Thank you so much John Grogan for writing this book. It has helped me so much.

    Sincerely, Michaela Smith

    A story from Peggy about mixed emotions
    posted 11/10/2010

    Hi John, Just wanted to let you know that in the summer of 2009, I took Marley and Me to the beach where I lay on the hot Florida beach with my newly graduated daughter, my daughter-in-law, and her mother. I had not seen the movie or read the book up to that point. The book was finished in one day, and as expected of dog lovers, the tears were streaming as I closed the back cover. The book had been passed around amoung friends and relatives before it came to rest on a shelf at my eye level. I'd considered reading it again, and this week finally pulled it off the shelf. The back cover has closed again, and right on cue, more tears flowed. I have determined that the book is cathartic. Sadness in losses of friends and family entertwine with the loss of jobs and homes and spouses- and yes, even our pets tug at my heart strings. Thank you for the opportunity to dredge up those emotions that have culminated and festered inside me (and obviously others) and been given a vehicle to course out of me and the rest of us, who are dog lovers, thus life lovers. I appreciate you John and look forward to reading your newest work.

    A story from doug nelson about dog love
    posted 11/17/2010

    Hi, John. Just wanted to thank you for Marley and Me. I've had the book for over two years (on loan from my gf)>correction: my gf just informed me that she gave me the book five years ago as a b'day gift< but needed time to approach reading it being the overly sentimental sap that I am. It took several weeks but I finished it this morning about 6:30 between blubbering, nose blowing,face contorting, heart palpitating (how could you?) trips to the bathroom.

    You really are the bastid I thought you were for putting me through this consciousness expanding trip which made me remember every single dog buddy in my entire 61 years and gave me an overpowering urge to drive 8 hours to see my 88 year old mother before they take her somewhere or she goes to sleep and never wakes up. Of course, my 12 year old JRT will accompany me as usual which tends to limit my travel to driving as she pouts for days if not included in my journeys...I am a sap and you are a sap inciter! Well, here's to Marley, Sport,Valentines,Inga, my current squeeze, Phoebe and all the other millions of short lived companions who tried to show us the path of unconditional love while they were with us. They don't have to live as long as we humans since they already possess the qualities which we lack. God bless them all and may their paths run free and easy because all dogs DO go to heaven. OF this one thing I am sure. Be well, a fellow dog lover still flunking out of obedience school for humans;) Doug

    A story from Laura about Jack
    posted 11/27/2010

    dear,john.i have seen the movie.the end is very sad.i like marley.he makes me think of jack. love.Laura ,Jack.

    A story from Hi John about Thanks for nice book Marley and me
    posted 11/30/2010

    hi John, i am Eduardo, from El Salvador. I just wanted to thank you for writing such a nice book. i had the chance to read this book traveling in Malaysia, and this was my first book that i read in my entire life, i can say that i enjoyed it, i laugh and cry about Marley, i am also about ur age and married to a wonderful woman(Christin), wish i can have a nice dog like him,

    all the best John and thanks again cheers

    Eduardo

    A story from Regina Dear about A little "Marley" in our Boxer "Cooper"
    posted 12/16/2010

    I was so excited when I saw the previews of the "Marley and Me" movie even though at that time I was not familiar with the "true" story. It just appeared to be a cute movie! I spent the final 30 minutes of the movie with tears streaming down my face to the point I feared my body would dehydrate... A few months ago a friend of mine suggested that I read the book. My daughter happened to have a copy, but I balked at even the idea after remembering my reaction to the movie. Well, needless to say, I picked up the book and was amazed at the true story of Marley. What an incredible writer you are Mr. Grogan. When I approached the final two chapters of the book, I found myself cautiously weighing the thought of this being the first book I had ever read where I strongly considered not reading it to the end. After a few more days, I decided to throw caution to the wind and continue on the journey of Marley and your family and I am really happy that I completed it. What an amazing story! I grew up on a dairy farm and was always attached to the animals. I also grew up with black labs who were the most loyal and loving family dogs ever. My daughter and I currently have four dogs in our household. (after losing pets over the years, I always swore that I would 'never do it again' as the bond/attachment to them is so similar to that of a child, but when the time comes to part with them, I mourn for such incredibly long periods of time) We currently live in the hills of Vermont and have two chihuahua's, a poodle mix and now, Cooper, who is currently 9 months and 50 pounds of purebred boxer! There is so much 'Marley' in him that I thought of Cooper throughout much of your book. I cannot begin to explain the enthusiasm for life that this dog has and how many things he has destroyed in our home... stairs, 3 complete sets of bedding, a once beautiful coffee table with chunks removed now on the corners and the list goes on. Many things I cannot afford to replace or repair, but I look at them as reminders of how much I am in love with this dog. All four dogs sleep in my bed with me each night, (full size bed, so once in it, I must find a position and stay put as there is not any other option) The unconditional love these dogs give me is unmatched. Thank you for sharing your story of Marley and your family journey with him through the years. It touched my heart so deeply. I look forward to reading your other work. May God Bless you and your beautiful family now and always. Sincerely, Regina Dear Quechee, VT

    A story from Liz about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 12/17/2010

    As an animal lover, I of course loved Marley and Me. I received autographed copies of both Marley and Me and The Longest Trip Home for Christmas last year and got around to reading both of them this summer. As someone who grew up in Michigan in a catholic family, I really enjoyed The Longest Trip Home! I especially liked the chapter about taking in the kids who were affected by the Detroit Riots. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more!

    A story from Ann Marie about My Family
    posted 12/23/2010

    John, I just finished reading THE LONGEST TRIP HOME. It was amazing...laughter and tears for this girl. I grew up in a family similar to yours...I am the only girl and the oldest in the family (like your sister Marijo) and I have three younger brothers. Our father was an amazing man and my brothers and I still talk about him with love and laughter when we get together for our "siblings only" dinners when we're all in the Chicago area together. My Irish mother Ann Catherine married my Italian father Pasquale Donato ("just call me Pat" he'd say) on the very same date your parents married - August 16th, l947. Thank you for your wonderful book and your humorous stories of growing up Catholic in the 50's and 60's.

    A story from Claire about 3rd Time Reader
    posted 12/23/2010

    My name is Claire. I am 14 years old and I just finished reading Marley and Me for the 3rd time. The story about Marley touches my heart in such a way that I weep every time I reach the ending of the book. Thank you for sharing your joyous adventure with Marley! When I was younger, I had a black Lab named Lincoln who frightened me every single time he popped his head out from behind a wall. My older brother used to use Lincoln as a makeshift pillow in the summertime when he was only a baby. We had some wonderful times with our dog until he passed away the day before my sister and I's birthday. Our family sobbed for days. For my brother, the death of our beloved Lincoln was a tragic event that forced him into a sort of depression. Lincoln used to lick my toes excessively as my dad would carry me indoors. I loved that dog more than anything. Happy Trails Lincoln.

    A story from Ingvild about Norwegian dogs
    posted 01/14/2011

    From age 0 to 12 i had a lovely dog following me all over the place. A lab as well=) Ive got told when i was a newborn that he ALWAYS was outside my door when i was sleeping. And if i made the smallest sound he ran straight in to the livingroom to my parent with a crazy look. "SHE MADE A SOUND! Shes awake people! But why arent you running to het her? HELLO!!" Or one time my brother were outside with Odin and another dog. He fell and hit himself and started to cry, Odin was unsure if he should go to him, but enden up with running in a circle around him so nobody got close to him until my parent came.. Actions like that truly show the love they give to us. They give every bit of their heart and want nothing in return. I really loved you story about your life with Marley, ive read it alot of times and it make laugh and cry every time. We sadly dont got our beloved Odin anymore. But we got a crazy Australian Sheperd now, who have a big and insane personality. Every single time he get his favorite snack. A hotdog he goes around for 10 minutes to find a PERFECT spot for it to eat, and mixes it to show it to us. Then he find the perfect spot and look at it with love in his eyes. Then he take one tiny piece at the time and really enjoys evey bit of it. It takes several minutes before he is finnished with it.

    A story from Shirley Ross about my Dobermans
    posted 01/21/2011

    Just finished reading Marley and Me, and I laughed and cried all through it. There were so many similarities between my Dobermans - I had 6 of them over 25 years. My last one was Samantha,AKA Sam, who lived to be 13 years old. She was a very special dog who went from Tasmanian Devil to loving gentle friend. She was my rock when my first husband died, giving me comfort when I felt like my world had ended. She fell in love with my second husband, and it was Sam who was the one who approved or disapproved of my dates with various gentlemen. If she liked the guy, she would allow him to pet her. Butif she wasn't too crazy about him, she would stand between him and me, letting him know tht I was off-limits. And if she completely disliked him, she would give a low warning growl,which told me that dating this joker would be a mistake. Needless to say, I listened to her wise advice. She was so unique, that I wrote a story about her after she passed away, and enlisted the critique of the high school English class to see if it might be publishable. They liked it so well that they wanted me to expand on all dongs and make it into a book. With my husband's encouragement, I did write the book, titled Doberman Dynasty, published by Cafe Press. My children now have as their legacy the memories of our beloved pets. So I fully understand the bond between Marley and you. They are truly a part of the family.

    A story from Sayte Holland McComb about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 01/21/2011

    I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent during the past isolating winter days, being an observer to your life. I finished the final pages this morning, before I even stepped out of my bed. Tonight I feel a loss, some life losses that we commonly share, but also the loss of having your story and insights continue. Keep writing that which you know best, you have the gift of conveying inspiration in ways you do not realize. Thank you for what your story revealed about my own life.

    A story from Kendra about Shared experience
    posted 01/25/2011

    I Just finished Marley & Me and I understand completely what it is to have to say goodbye to a wonderful, loving dog. we had a golden retriever named shadow who went thru the same ups and downs as marley...the chewing...ugh!!! lol... we lost couches,mattresses...countles pairs of shoes..you name it, but in the end after 11yrs of loyalty and love we had to make the decision to put shadow down and the emptyness we felt just couldn't be described...But these days we have max and Barney a 5yr old golden retriever and a 3yr old black lab....I know... what were we thinking...lol....when I was reading your book, hearing all the stories about Marley I couldn't help but see both of my dogs in him...Barney the dog with the seperation anxiety and Max the ever present under your feet always happy and smiling kind of being. I just wanted to thank you for writing Marley and Me...I try and think about Marley every time I come home and Barney has trash all over the kitchen because we forgot to put it up...or all the chewed up stuff that he somehow can find even tho we "doggy proof" the house before we leave... I know in a few short years we will be facing the same decisions we did with shadow and I know how hard its gonna be...I just try to take everyday in stride and enjoy the special personalties that are Barney and Max...I know one day all the dog hair will be gone and I will miss it...lol... Thanks again, for sharing Marley with us... Kendra

    A story from Sada about Koda the sweet tooth German Shorthair pointer
    posted 02/16/2011

    Koda came into my life about 2 1/2 years ago. He "belongs" to my boyfriend, but the moment I laid eyes on him I instantly adored him. You can't help but not love Koda.

    Koda is a German Shorthair Pointer. Automatically you assume he is a hunting dog... Well, not so much. Koda was rescued in Illinois by my boyfriend. Since then Koda has ventured into more close calls than I can count. In California Koda went over a waterfall and tore a ligament in his knee. My boyfriend took Koda to the vet and they x-rayed him to see what damage had been done. The vet then proceeded to tell my boyfriend that Koda had a buckshot in one leg and a .22 round in the other... This would explain Koda's shyness around guns. We can only imagine the mischief this dog had probably gotten into back in Illinois. We often think maybe he was getting into the neighbor's chickens...? Or maybe someone was so cruel they decided to just shoot him... I hope that's not the case.

    Koda is a sweet and loving dog, but he gets into his share of trouble. He begs constantly while we sit at the table trying to enjoy our meal. I glance under the table and look who it is... Koda waiting for some morsel, crumb, anything to drop down to where he patiently waits.

    A couple winters ago, Koda was staying with my mom and her husband while my boyfriend and I were back in Illinois visiting his family. My mom called me one day to tell me Koda had eaten a dish full of tootsie pops...including the sticks. Then he went on to find a bag of Reeses peanut butter cups... And he devoured them all, foil and everything. That's when I discovered Koda had a serious sweet tooth because the next day my mom called again to tell me he tried to finish off what was left of the tootsie pops... That was the end of my mom and her husband setting out a nice candy dish for visitors. And that was the beginning of very painful bowel movements for Koda, I'm sure. And the beginning of a long battle with him over sweets.

    I recently just finished "Marley & Me" and thought to myself, "wow, this dog is crazy!" But the story is so heart-warming and touching that I cried myself to sleep when I finished reading it... And I made sure Koda was on the bed with me, which is something he never gets to do unless he sneakily jumps up there and jumps down as soon as someone comes home. The truth is, Koda is 9 or 10. We don't know how old he really is since my boyfriend rescued him and the guy that sold him for $75 couldn't even put a whole sentence together. We "guesstimate" that he is around 9 or 10, and that's what the vets all guess too. I read "Marley & Me" and instantly thought of the moment I will have to say good-bye to my precious Koda. He has filled so many gaps in my heart and life that I can't even think about it without tearing up. My boyfriend has an even deeper connection with Koda and I fear for us both when that day comes. I know the day is a long ways away, but after reading "Marley & Me" you can't help but think about your own dog.

    For now, Koda enjoys his days by sleeping on the couch that I always kick him off of. He gets his hair all over everything,(German Shorthairs do shed despite their name). He runs away from me as soon as I let him out the door. He runs straight for the pasture and digs for mice, caking his nose with dirt and tracking in mud as he gallops back into the house. Koda walks in front of me on his leash, not caring that he might choke himself by pulling so hard. He is a mischievous daredevil and never knows when to just take a breath. I love Koda unconditionally and do spoil him often. He is the world's best dog.

    Thank you, John Grogan, for sharing your experience and wonderful story of Marley. I'm sure Marley and Koda would have gotten along great. Marley lives on in other dogs... I can think of one in particular.

    A story from Chris about My Westie
    posted 03/02/2011

    My Westie is 19 years old. He was my roommate starting in medical school. He picked my husband out of a series of bad first dates -- he literally bit one guy and he just loved my Brian fro the moment he met him. They now think at his vet that he has a brain tumor. I am an oncologist and I am just so heartbroken that I cannot help him. I am looking to see if you can help me figure out when is the right time. He is not enjoying anything anymore, although he does eat and drink; he is blind and deaf and has been form almost a year -- and he has made it around until recently when his back legs started to give out. He has two little girls, 6 and 3 who love him so dearly and I can't even bear to have to tell them -- although we have talked that Schroeder will die soon. When do you know?

    A story from Daiane about Bob
    posted 03/08/2011

    Hi john I'm Dai and this photo is my dog Bob, he's a tremendous yob laughs destroys everything he can but does not reach the feet of Marley. laughs We're from Brazil. Bob I have a year or so and he too looooove Adoor also like the dog he has in my father's house, her name is suzi and she is the cutest thing in the world any day send a photo of it. kisses

    A story from dino denunzio about my dog
    posted 03/09/2011

    hi john this is my dog bailey and were from las vegas just recently my mom's friend lost her dog she's very upset about hid death and i just wanted to know how you felt when marley died

    A story from Camila Cides about My story "Marley and Me.
    posted 03/16/2011

    I always had many dogs throughout my life, big, small, black, white, yellow ... Several different breeds. I grew up in an environment where having dog was part of a family's happiness. At age 20 married, very much want to have children, but I believe this will only happen in God's will, because I have trouble conceiving. Then in March 2010, my cousin called me to offer me a dog that she had won but was not needed to take care and give the dog away, and I have always loved animals and would not refuse a gift so special, and was accepted search him. Since then my life and my husband has changed, it is our firstborn, Marley, a name given because of Marley and Me, is the joy of the house, when I met the Marley story and I fell in love and wanted a dog equal to Marley, and my request was held, as the Marley Marley is the same, despite being totally physically reverse the Marley original, but inside, he is also the world's worst dog. But is the dog that I love. I am Brazilian and my English is bad. But I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story, Marley and Me. Thanks

    A story from Dorothy Maloney about Marley
    posted 03/17/2011

    This is coming to you from Roswell, GA, right outside of Atlanta - I thought you might be interested in my story -

    I am a volunteer with a local Hospice/Healthcare organization and each week I am the "Story Lady" at a local Assisted Living facility - most of our patients are elderly and in varying stages of Alzheimer's disease -

    I have read many youth books, but the favorite, by far,are the ones about MARLEY! - many of the patients remember having had a "Marley" wshen they were younger and they remember the little "problems" that Marley had -

    Please know that you have brought much joy to the lives of these patients with your stories about Marley - we all hope there will be more adventure of Marley in the future!

    A story from Laura about Claira <3
    posted 03/23/2011

    Well it all started July 2, 2010 when my beautiful shetland sheepdog entered this home. I remember seeing her for the first time, all scared and confused. She didn't know where she was or where her sister was. I remember holding her for the first time and helping pick out her name. Sophie? No. Rosie? No. Luna? No. Claira? Yes! Now I enjoy holding her and burying my face in her fur. Telling her I love her and calling her baby. There's no love like the love from your dog. The only problem is I can't hold her very long because I'm sadly allergic to her, luckily I have been recently put on allergy meds so I can keep loving my little girl. <3

    A story from Mike Turco about Great Lesson coming to youngsters...
    posted 03/25/2011

    Hi Mr. Grogan, I just wanted to say thank you for your adapted version of Marley and Me for middle school-aged children. I am a fifth grade reading and math teacher in Cortland, Ohio (Lakeview Local Schools) and have ordered a classroom set of it to use for my reading class. I like to use novels for my children that I know they will enjoy. But I always try and use novels that teach valuable lessons in life. My wife and I are the proud owners of three Bichons, one being a rescue from Small Paws Rescue. I was very touched at the end of your novel to see that you and your wife had went to look at a rescue Lab after the passing of Marley. I know that this novel will leave very few dry eyes in my classroom, but I feel it will be valuable to my students in that I know they will learn a little about life and love through the reading of your novel. So, I wanted to thank you in advanced and on the behalf of my students, thank you. I know this novel will be an excellent ending to a great school year.

    A story from John-Sebastian about Our escape artist - Pam the Dachshund
    posted 04/03/2011

    Hi John,

    Thank you for sharing your story of Marley and your family to the world! I've read it in English non-stop over the weekend (I'm Dutch by the way) and was touched by your story, recognising many things our dogs had in common. My dog was a sweet, high-energy, but mischievous wire-haired dachshund called Pam. I grew up with 4 dachshunds from birth, but Pam (our last one) was definitely my favourite and a dog I could proudly call my own. She passed away only two-and-a-half months ago, 19.1.2011, at the respectable age of 14.5.

    Like Marley she would not hurt a fly in the world. Just like you describe in your book, if burglars were to burgle the place she would have greeted them with great gusto and licks. She also never grasped the notion of walking on a leash without pulling and nearly choking herself to death. The few times we did release her from the leash, she'd sprint off, chasing rabbits, pheasants and other game. She was an expert at breaking out of the house too. If someone was answering the door, you had to be very careful to make sure she wouldn't dart out of the house in search for the neighbour's cat(s). One day we actually came late to my uncle's wedding, because she escaped the moment we wanted to get in the car. It was particularly painful as I was the best man on this big day...

    On many occasions I've found myself crawling through bushes, jumping over fences, climbing over fallen trees, into neighbour's backgardens, into the canal, and even on the neighbour's rooftop to try to get her back. On that last occasion she managed to climb the stairs to the second floor, go out the balcony door, and walk over our balcony to the neighbour's roof, to chase some (imaginary) cat on their roof top ... but would she listen to my calls? No, instinct took over, and she only came back to us when she felt she had enough fun for the day (or on those rare occasions I was able to catch her, yelling her name out loud on the top of my lungs, often to much amusement of the neighbours). As Pam grew older, she was easier to catch though, but she never lost that edge. Right up to her 'natural' death (she died overnight in her sleep), she was always on the look-out for another outbreak.

    I still feel very sad about her loss, but I know this is how nature works. She has been the most fantastic and loyal companion since we got her (I was 15 at the time and like you I slept the very first night next to her as she wouldn't stop crying). When I moved out of the house for college, I went back every weekend to my parent's place to check up on her. Later, when my parent's moved to the border of Germany, and I moved abroad for my PhD in Scotland, it became increasingly more difficult to see Pam regularly. Fortunately, cheap airline tickets and Skype made it possible for me to see her often, though in the latter case she could not see me and had no clue where my voice came from. She was, as the family nicknamed her 'het domme blondje' (the dumb blonde), but we loved her for it anyway. She gave us much joy, and I find myself recounting many funny (and not so-funny) incidents more and more often.

    Now, I'm 30 years old and with my girlfriend moving in in two months' time, I think I know what you've felt like when you just married Jenny. We'd both like to start a family, but are scared to death of parenthood. We've discussed this issue many times, but since my girlfriend is only 24 years old, we decided to wait for it a bit more and first try our luck with a dog. I don't know if it will be a dachshund again, or a slightly bigger breed (my parents are now getting a labrador retriever, who was born 3 days ago by the way), but I will make sure to do the necessary research before adopting a new dog.

    Thanks again for your gift to the world! Reading Marley and Me brought back a lot of good memories of my own dog, and certainly did help me in coping with mourning over my own dog.

    Yours truly, John- Sebastian

    P.S. Find attached a picture of Pam in her older days with a pig's ear (doggie treat) in her mouth.

    A story from Elaine Ramos about (Brazil
    posted 04/06/2011

    Olá John como vai?

    Gostaria de parabenizá-lo pelo maravilhoso livro. Estava em pleno carnaval no Rio de Janeiro quando de repente entrando nas "Lojas Americanas" me deparei com um cachorrinho fofinho me olhando de um jeito.... não tive dúvidas, comprei. Sem nenhuma dúvida a sua vida com o Marley foi maravilhosa e muito especial, ele realmente era um cachorro amavél. Tenho um cadela Pastor Alemão ela já está com 8 anos e não me imagino quando chegar aquele triste dia, ela é assim como o Marley super bagunceira, inteligente e adora comer pão. Todos os dias pela manhã ela bate na porta pedindo ou melhor implorando um bom pedaço.Além disso, adora carinho, fica arrastando sua cabeça em minha mão, ela não pode me ver sentada. Desejo a você muita paz e saúde e obrigada em expor para todo o mundo como é maravilhoso a convivência com um Ser tão fiel e compreensível.

    Um grande abraço em você, na Jenny e nos seus três filhos lindos.

    Elaine Ramos

    A story from emma armstrong about marlee and me
    posted 04/07/2011

    Dear John,

    my name is emma and im from newcastle in the u.k. I also have a golden lab called marlee who is nearly two. After watching the film Marley and me it inspired her name given by my daughter jorjie. I must say however i have seen the film and laughed and cried and thought it was brilliant but more recently i have read your book and although i many ways similar to the film i found the book much more heart wrenching when your beloved marley passes away. My Marlee is just as crazy and uncontrolable as yours was and i found myself relating to alot of things when i was reading. I am sorry to hear about the loss of Gracie also, i cannot even begin to imagine how lost i will be if anything should happen to my best friend, even though sometimes amid chewed shoes, ripped wallpaper, broken appliences and soiled beds i could scream i would be lost without her. Thank you for making me realise that she is not a bad dog but just mischevious and full fun and curiosity.

    A story from Lisa Curtis about Super Dog
    posted 04/13/2011

    First off I have to say I LOVED MARLEY AND ME! My dog Tanqueray is beyond amazing. I adopted her a little over 11 years ago. She has always been a tough and smart dog. She and my other dog Baccarat have always been by my side. I survived a medical horror story and they both were truly amazing.

    And now Tanq is going through a terrible time. In February of 2009 I lost my brother David to an accidental prescription overdose. Six weeks later my best (human) friend died of a heart attack. In July of 2009 Tanqueray was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma. Needless to say I was devastated. Now here we are in 2011. Tanq aka Super Dog is still going strong. The tumor in her rib cage is the size of a softball, however she still loves to eat, play fetch and go for walks. I swear she would give Balto a run for his money (or a treat). Yes she has amazed her vet. I know the day will come and it will break my heart. However John your book really opened my eyes on how not to be so depressed and simply enjoy every moment with both of them.

    A story from dino denunzio about sad story
    posted 04/18/2011

    hey john i feel so bad about marley i watched the movie so many times and i still cry thinking about it but im glad he lived a long long life and lived it with a familey who cared about him i know how it feels to lose a dog when i was about 2 years old we had to put our dog down of corse i wasn't there but i knew what happened he was 10 so that's pretty long for a dog but he had to go

    A story from Bridget Provinsal about L.A.P. The Story of my 3 Seeing Eye Dogs
    posted 04/24/2011

    My name is Bridget, and i read Marley and Me my freshman year of high school (im 17 now) and have never loved a book so much (Harry Potter comes in a close second) but this is one book that one can read and never grow tired of it, and find something new in it every time. Then i saw that the movie was coming out! But here is why this book meant even more to me: I raise Seeing Eye puppies for the visually impaired. I foster these dogs for 14-16 months and then they return to the program, and there is a chance i would never get to touch them again. I chose to raise golden retrievers,and when this movie came out i had just started the program, and went to see the movie with my Seeing Eye puppy, Lilac. We both enjoyed it and my dad even started to cry! I remember looking down at the goreous yellow puppy fast asleep at my feet during the movie, and at that moment i knew the bond between Lilac and i was unbreakable, just as it was for John and Marley. Lilac was my first dog and i have never been so attached to any pet in my life. Then, Novemeber i got another Seeing Eye puppy, Alcott, and she and Lilac grew inseperable. I got Alcott knowing taht the time for Lilac to return to the program was very soon. Then January 7th 2010 came around all too quickly. Lilac was to return to the program and continue training. I remember seeing her walk away with the lady that brought her back to the program , and Lilac was excited and happy to go back. I was so torn. I wanted to be happy and proud of what i was doing, but it was like a part of my heart was returning with her. Now in that program there is a 50/50 chance that the dogs will pass the program requirements. Lilac did not pass because she was too timid, so they offered her back, and she came home! January 26th, 2010 she came back! Now i had grown extremely attached to Alcott at this point and she had grown to be a part of the family in a whole different way. This dog was more than just a dog. She was more than just a spunky golden retriever she was the best thing for my dad. My dad always had dogs growing up, but he said she was the greatest he ever had. She had such a fire in her heart that warmed everyone around her, and when the time came around that we knew she was to return, what did we do? It only seems logical that we would set ourselves up for yet another heartbreak, so we got yet ANOTHER golden retriever! Another dog that we would foster for the Seeing Eye. This little fluff joined us on March 7th, 2011. Her name is Patsy and she is by far the CUTEST puppy.ever. Pictured here is all three of them with my, their momma :). Lilac on the right of the picture, Patsy on my lap, and Alcott on the left of the picture :) We had three goldens for 3 days! Alcott returned to the Seeing Eye program on March 9th, 2011. My dad even cried when she left. I had (and still have) such a bond with Alcott, that i still get teary when remembering her. The hardest part is that the program is only 20 minutes away, but i am not allowed to see her. This dog was with me for a year and a half, slept on my bed every night, went for daily runs with me, and was always there when i went to school and returned home. I have heard nothing reguarding how she has been doing in the program, so in one sense i guess no news is good news. Yesterday i bought another copy of Marley and Me, the book, because it was the deluxe edition full of pictures never published before, and i knew at a time like this i would read it for the fifth time :) I was wondering if it would be possible to send it to you, John, to sign. This book gets me crying laughing, closer to my puppies, and just happier every time i read it , or even look at the pictures on the inside. That would be incredible! Thank you for reading this lengthy story of my life with my dogs, aka my best friends! Love, Bridget, Lilac, Alcott, and Patsy. (L.A.P) <3

    A story from Rick Griffith about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 05/10/2011

    Really enjoyed the book as my niece got it for me from you and was autographed as well. Reminded me of my own childhood growing up in Warren in the late 60's. All of the goofing around, exploring our limits, smoking those first cigarettes and all the other great things about the Detroit area at that time. Of course none of us realized how great it was while it was going on.

    It's always emotional going home, treading the same tracks as our young legs took us. The friends houses we remember and the schools, churches and all the things in our little worlds that our lives revolved around.

    Thanks for a great book John and allowing me to remember what a great childhood I had as well.

    A story from Sara M. about My puppy, Shadow the Min Pin
    posted 05/23/2011

    My name is Sara Moslemi, and Im 11 soon to be 12 in august. John Grogan, I think your book, "Marley & Me", was beautiful, let alone the major motion film. I couldnt help myself but cry at the end, since im a dog lover, i could never see Marley die like that.What's even worse-my own dog dying. My puppy, Shadow the Min Pin, is the sweetest, most playful dog ive ever seen, replacing my old dog i gave away,named Addy.Yesterday Shadow didn't feel very well, he vomited quite a few times and had diarrea. Today he is feeling the same way, just a little better. I gave a prayer,and watched the film "Marley & Me". As always, I cried,but it made me feel a little better because all dogs die like we do, but this film will tell you that your best buddy was there with you on those hikes, in the pool, on that journey. But his time will end one day, but the journey wont,because he is up in the heavens looking down at you, as if he was still upon your feet, looking up to you as if you were going to give him a treat. My dog isnt dead- he is only 7 months old, but isnt such a little rascal like Marley.We are still on a journey together, but one day Shadow's time will end, but he is looking down at me, still awaiting for more treats.

    A story from Ruth Burk about boxers
    posted 06/06/2011

    I just finished reading Marley & Me, my boxer is nearing 11 and I know we are in the twilight of his years, as boxers don't live but maybe 8 to ten years. He has cushings disease, losing his hearing and hair from the condition, but he still loves to go to work with me on Weds, where he is the official greeter it makes me sad to know I might lose him in the next year or two, but the joy he gives me everyday is payment for the heartbreak I will feel when he is gone. I'm sure I will have other boxers because to me a home is not a home without at least one boxer in it, two is much better. I also have a girl my Peanut who doesn't like people as much as Champ does, so she goes to play with a friends two boxers when we go to work.

    A story from Scott Froehle about Katie's Life Story 7/15/1996 - 6/162011
    posted 06/20/2011

    MY STORY-KATIE GIRL FROEHLE (AKA TWEETNESS) I was just walking along the road and was feeling of sort of lost. This car stops and a lady gets out and picks me up. She carried me down these long steps and into her house. Well I guess I am going to sleep here. She put me into a room with no windows and I cried. She brought me out and let me sleep with her. Crying works every time. Next day she took me to a boat and there were a lot of boys and girls on that boat, Boy, did I make a hit. Everyone said they wanted me. Sure feels good to be wanted. That’s the beginning of my story, but here’s the rest. She took me home to a house where there was a man and two other dogs. The dogs told me they lived there with the lady that found me, a man and a boy. They called the man Grandpa, the lady Granma and the boy Scott. My new friend’s names were Sundance and Scrubby. Scrubby lived at the house all the time and belong to a boy named Scott. Sundance lived with a girl named Suzanne. I don’t think the man was real happy to have me, but he was nice It wasn’t long before the boy Scott moved out to his own home and took me with him. I think Scrubby was pretty upset. She thought she owned Scott. Anyway we were all family and I got to visit often with Scrubby and Sundance and we became very good friends. This is where my story gets really good. You see Scott and I became such good friends and he took me everywhere. Even to work at times. Granma use to say that he used me as a “chick attraction”. I never knew what that meant. Scott and I had many years together and we took long walks in the park. Sometimes Granma would bring Scrubby over and we would go out to the park and play. I thought my life couldn’t get better. I was wrong. Suddenly there was someone else in Scott’s life. There was a lady named Suzanne (not Sundance’s Suzanne) and a little boy. They called him Devon. I was a little scared. “Maybe, they won’t want me” “Maybe, Scott won’t love me anymore”. “Maybe, I will be too much trouble.” I tell you it was a scary time for me. Well, how dumb I was to be afraid. Now I really had a family. The lady loved me, the boy loved me and Scott was still my friend. In fact I now had the most important job that any dog can have. I had to protect and take care of my family. I then knew that Devon and I would be lifelong friends. He would need me at times and I would be there for him. For several years it was just the four of us and life was good. Soon a cat was added. His name was Jake and for the first week he hid under the chair. All I wanted to do was play with him and welcome him to the family, well eventually he came out and before you knew it we were the best of friends. We would play hard all day and then at night we’d snuggle together and sleep, he was a cool cat as far as cats go. Then one day a new dog came to live with us. She is a cute little thing, but kind of yappy. They gave her the name Shelby. You know how things go in families, Shelby just became one of us and things went on as usual. Isn’t it funny how things just seem to go on as usual, even as things change? After a few years Shelby and I went to live with Scott and Jake went to live with Suzanne. But Devon was still my best friend and I still had the job of looking out for him. I have had many good years sharing with Shelby and the family. Shelby used to get me in trouble sometime. She liked to roam. Yes, I mean she would like to take off and run away from home. Not only did I have to look out for first, Devon, next the family and now Shelby. So, if she ran I had to follow her. After all she needed me to take care of her. She got me in trouble so many times. But we stuck together. Devon is growing up so much. He really doesn’t need me that much anymore. I am glad, because as I am getting older, a little achier and it is getting harder to get around. I am proud of Devon; he has grown up so much. He is very responsible around the house. He is pretty independent. I think I helped make him that way. I can’t play much with Shelby anymore. There is a new friend Cooper who joined the family. I occasionally have an accident and I just hate that I can’t keep up with all my chores. I remember Sundance and Scrubby were like that too before they went over the Rainbow Bridge. Sometimes I think it would be nice not to have this pain or have accidents. Because I want to be remembered as a proud strong beautiful dog who loved and protected my family. I LOVE ALL OF YOU LOVE, KATIE

    Postscript: Two of my favorite people took me out to see Dr. Lori. Another doctor saw me and gave me a shot to help the pain. It was so nice. I fell asleep and when I woke up; guess who was there. There stood Sundance and Scrubby. We all jumped (yes, I could jump) and bossy Sundance said “Come on let’s run.” We ran and ran. Finally we came to a bridge and went across. All I can tell you is that it is beautiful here. I guess this is that Rainbow Bridge I always heard about. I love you and want you to know that I am fine and will never forget you. Katie.

    A story from Tyler about Max
    posted 06/27/2011

    My wife and I had been married about two years when I came home from work one day and there sat the ugliest dog I had ever seen in my living room. Following a few tense stares and questions on my part my wife explained that Max had belonged to one of my fellow soldiers who was getting out of the Army and couldn’t take him with them. Max was a one year old Boxer, we think, although we had no proof and he was surely the runt of the litter if he was a pure bread Boxer. He also had a 10 inch scar on his back that, as the story goes, he received while trying to escape under a fence when he was a few weeks old. According to his previous owners, Max was going to be put down because of the scar by the puppy-breeder where he was born because they couldn’t sell him. Lucky for him (us) that didn’t happen. We learned rather quickly that Max would live up to his reputation as an escape artist. There are probably as many “Max escape” stories as there were Marley chew, but one thing always held true. No matter where we were or where Max escaped from he always came back with the same old guilty, yet satisfied, look on his face. Max’s most often used technique was to wait until someone, usually one of the kids opened the front door or the gate to the fence and before you could say “Max” he was gone. For the better part of 6 years we lived on a military post with a small fenced in yard and strict leash laws. However, Max would have no part in obeying the leash regulations nor would he ever get caught, but he always came home. There was the time when we took Max camping and in the middle of a rain storm he got out of the tent and away he went, like a bullet, only to return in a half hour, drench and pathetic looking, but satisfied. Once we were in Ohio at a family reunion in the middle of nowhere and sure enough he backed out of his collar, one of his favorite tricks, only to return 20 – 30 minutes later to two very worried owners. Like Marley, Max was terrified of thunderstorms and would become a 50lb lap dog when a storm came through. He would also do this low “woooo” howl when he was excited and we started calling him “Mack-a-woo-woo”. During Max’s last few years we moved off of the Army Post and bought a house in the country with 3 acres and no leash laws. He had free reign to run and enjoy. His escape routine pretty much stopped because he could come and go as he pleased and to some extent because of old age. During the last 12 – 18 months Max rarely even left the yard. I only wish we could have lived here all of his life. Max became much more than just our dog, he was my best friend and the best dog anyone could ever want. Sadly, Max passed away late last year at the age of 13 and I was with him to very end, much like in your book. I am not an emotional person, but I cried like a baby on that day and even now after watching Marley and Me and while writing this.

    A story from Karen Schumacher about Bear
    posted 06/27/2011

    My husband and I had a beautiful lab named Millie, who had a beautiful coat called Red Fox. We bought another lab, Cinnamon, to keep her company as she grew older. Cinnamon roamed the streets one day and in a few months gave birth to 7 jet black puppies. I named my favorite, a chunky little male who loved to be held, Bear, and I wanted to keep him. One day my husband left a message for me, Bear was sold, he thought 3 dogs would be too much. Millie passed away not long after that and my husband and I bought Brandi, a chunky chocolate lab with hound dog eyes who felt the same as Bear when I held her. Six months after that my husband passed away. Over the years I was grateful for the solace Brandi gave me as a reminder of the joy my husband and I shared when we brought her home. I dreaded losing her which did eventually come. I was lost without her and within 2 weeks decided to see what labs were at the pound. Up popped a picture of Bear. He was a lab with a Red Fox coat, had droopy hound dog eyes, and his name was Bear. My husband had made up for his selling the little puppy by bringing me a piece of each dog in Bear. He was a faithful and caring companion to my father who lived with me up to his passing. Bear is now 10 1/2 and I am dreading again the day I will have to say goodbye. I watched Marly and Me for the first time this weekend. The movie really showed the love of a family and how a dog is part of that family, they really give their all to their families regardless of the circumstances, as Bear has done for me. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    A story from Theresa about My Rudy
    posted 07/09/2011

    Rudy the Hound May 18, 1997 – January 3, 2011

    My Rudy Rudy Patudy Ru Ru The Rudster Sweetie Sweets Boogaloo My little boy My Ru The best dog ever Sniffer Pecker dog Goof ball

    The world is less bright without my Rudy. He will be sadly missed by his humans, as well as the many hearts and faces he came into contact with.

    He endeared himself to all as he carried Elmo on his walks along the river, his thoughts being, ‘if I get to go for a walk, then Elmo’s going for a walk’. Runners would smile and children would laugh and ask to pet him.

    Rudy was extremely naughty, however he came by it honestly. Being a beagle-x, he had a keen nose for everything and insisted on using it to the full extent inside and outside the boundaries set for him.

    He was very agile and had a love of food, unsurpassed by most food critics. When left unattended he would remind us exactly how much.

    Rudy considered himself a ‘Regal Beagle’, therefore felt that anything left on the kitchen counter was for him.

    One time he jumped onto the counter, walked to the stove and helped himself to a pot of simmering spaghetti sauce. Being the gentleman that he was, he never complained about burning his tongue.

    Another time, probably because his hungries were too dry, he jumped onto the counter and lapped up ½ lb of butter.

    Rudy thought the six donuts left on the counter were for him. When I returned there was one remaining and a very happy bloated little hound, wagging his tail and proud that he had left one for me. How could I scold him, after all he was my little pillsbury dough dog.

    He had separation issues and once when I went riding without him I came home to find he had chewed up my bike gloves. The next morning on his poop break, I saw the remains of my pink leather glove.

    Rudy was concerned about his human’s income and drew attention to it by eating the pay cheque.

    Rudy loved spending time in the mountains. He travelled to K country and BC on several occasions, to enjoy some camping, hiking and mountain biking.

    Because he was a ‘regal beagle’, his idea of camping was in a trailer, in his own bed. No pup tent for this little star.

    When not engaged in heavy hiking or biking Rudy could be seen sniffing, exploring and engaging in activities along the river or parks.

    He loved to run and helped pace me for a race.

    Grasping Elmo, Rudy would watch me put on my rollerblades, barking ‘take me, take me’. He was the best skating buddy you could ask for.

    In winter, Rudy loved to run beside me as I cross-country skied along the river into Edworthy Park. He would bury his little black nose in the snow and happily lick the snow flakes as they fell around him.

    When he heard the words ‘car ride’ he would run to the back door with Elmo or a kong, in anticipation of another adventure.

    Rudy insisted on visiting his first human in Arizona and was able to hike, bike and explore Sedona, thereby considering himself multi-cultural.

    He was extremely smart and could sense when I was not well. He was my radar and would lie beside me, nuzzling the hurt away.

    Rudy had an extensive vocabulary, was fluent in both english and Italian. His favorite italian food (other than spaghetti sugo) was a ‘biscotti’!

    Rudy and I had a morning ritual. When I said ‘good morning, good morning, good morning’, he would beagle howl, I’d laugh, hug him and he’d get a biscotti. He knew he was loved.

    We did our yoga in the morning. His favorite position was downward dog and he would lick my face and howl at me if I didn’t do it correctly.

    When Rudy heard ‘night, night’, he knew it was time to go upstairs and climb into bed. His little snorts, snoring and breathing lulled me into a secure comfortable sleep.

    Sometimes he would roll over on Elmo. We’d hear ‘Elmo loves you’ and I would laugh and respond with ‘mama loves you’.

    I have a million stories about my Rudy.

    Rudy’s vocabulary

    at the door apple bad for dogs ball banana bath be nice bed bike blankey blinking light bring bum bum car ride cheese collar carrot check it out cold out come dog down downstairs drop it drink eat elmo friend gentle gimme five go play go sniff go to your room good morning good dog heal hiney foots house, house hungries it’s raining it’s snowing kitty kong leash look love you mailman mama nice night night no licky chew no licky dicky now okay one hungry orange other side pee pee park play nice poopoo popcorn quiet rabbit river run see sit ski slow smile sorry sweetie squirrel stinky doggie sunshine taj take treat up upstairs vacuum walk wanna what do good dogs get? what do you say what’s up dog? where’s rudy? there he is (snort, snort) wipe foots who’s there you’re so cute

    acqua adesso andiamo bagno bello bicicletta biscotti buon giorno buon notte capisce cara mia darme baci dove sta me cano fame formaggio gatto mangia mio bambino no no mangia poop piano scarpas spaghetti sugo uno venere qui- vene qua

    A story from Donna Alvey about Harleyquinn
    posted 07/10/2011

    Hi John, Let me just say Marley and me was a fantastic read that made me laugh and made me cry.I just had to write to you to share experiences with my dog Harley.

    To begin with my partner and i went to a rescue centre to choose a dog that would be compatable with our six month old dog dusty. The dog we saw just didnt seem right and we were about to go when they asked us to look at a dog that had just come in. When Harley walked out i must say it was love at first sight and we couldnt wait to bring him home. We were on tenderhooks a whole week just hoping, selfish as it may seem that he wouldnt be claimed and he would be ours.

    We have had eight wonderful years with him now and hopefully we will have alot more.

    Harleyquinn as you can see from his picture was named after the clown and boy does he live up to his name.

    From the moment we picked him up and and he tried to sit on my head from the back seat of the car i knew he would be a real character.

    On Harleys first walk my partner and we were feeling quite smug as Harley and Dusty trotted at the side of us like the well behaved dogs we thought they were. Thats until Harley saw a squirrel and pulled my partner down the hill. Seeing a fifteen stone man rolling down a hill was quite funny and i did laugh. But i wasnt laughing a week later when we entered them in a dog show and it was me being dragged along the floor. Needless to say i ended up at the hospital with a badly sprained ankle.

    You always think you know best where leads are concerned and getting them strong leather ones seemed ideal. Thats until we tied them up outside the shop and within two minutes they both came running in the shop to find us. Being the kind hearted dog that he is he not only planned his own great escape but dustys as well. Going outside we found two chewed straps that we had to try and salvage in order to get them home.

    Water is Harleys one great love whether its the sea a pond or river, maybe its the retriever in him i dont know. Many a time he has come running back as black as the patch on his face,or his love of drinking sea water until hes sick and has the runs.But how come a dog that has such a love for water hates to have a bath. I always feel like ive just gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson when ive finally managed to give him a bath.

    So far having Harley has been a great experience with alot of mishaps along the way, but his good qualitys outway the bad tenfold. Hes loyal,loving and has never shown any aggression to anyone or anything. Many a time Harley has run away when being chased by another dog,he shakes whenever he sees my sisters dog.This is quite funny seeing as she is a chiuwawha. He a wimp really for such a big dog.

    Harley will do anything for a treat. He loves me to balance a biscuit on his nose so he can flip it and catch it, or walking through the park he will run and sit on the bench and wait for me so he will get a treat.

    Ive had many experiences with Harley in the eight years he has been with us, there are just too many to mention and i would be here all week. Reading Marley and me just made me realise that there are dogs like Harley out there. As naughty as Harley may be i feel so lucky to have him and Dusty in my life and hope to enjoy many more years with them

    Donnaxx

    A story from Kathy about Comparing Experiences through "The Longest Trip Home"
    posted 07/10/2011

    John- Thank you for sharing your family's story. It had special meaning as my four children, my dgt.-in-law and I flew to GA to visit with my 82yr old mother at Christmastime.... My father began working for Chevrolet (later becoming part of GM Assembly Division) in a southern Wisconsin town in the 1940's. He and my mother married a few yrs later. They provided a Catholic school education (grade school & HS) for myself and my eight younger siblings.(My family moved to CA in 1961.)....I enjoyed comparing and contrasting our experiences as I read your book....My Catholic Faith is a treasure that I appreciate more with time. It has been a source of peace and strength through the sorrows of the deaths of a child, husband and other family members. In the midst of the those trials and following, the joys have been abundant....Peace be with you!

    A story from Evelyn Morris about Rescue ME.
    posted 07/16/2011

    My story began 3 months after losing my beloved Shi-tzu Gizzy..I decided to take on a rescue Shi-tzu..She was a lovely shade of Honey & her name was the same..Honey took an instant liking to me & I was won over..She was 18 months old A gentle lovable bundle of joy..Her presence eased the pain of my earlier loss..& she continues to bring me happiness to this day..& hopefully many more days..Thank You Honey my best friend...

    A story from Carolyn Martin about Buddy L.
    posted 07/20/2011

    Recently finished reading Marley and Me. A wonderful, entertaining, difficult book to put down until one reaches the final years of Marley's life and the tissue box was always close at hand. My husband and I lost Buddy L. on January 10th. One of the most difficult evenings of our life and we were with him till the very end. Bud was a Black Lab / German Shepherd, a wonderful, kind, loving child for 10 1/2 years. He was a gentle soul that loved everyone he met and never barked or snapped at any other dog. Bud was an excellent watch dog for his own home and family as well as the neighbors. He was caring around sick people, loved the children in the neighborhood, and visited a nursing home. Bud went everywhere with us whether to VT, NH, Gettysburg, or on day trips to the beach. He enjoyed life and is deeply missed by all who knew him. Though he was not a destroyer like Marley, the book brought back many memories of our times spent with Bud enjoying all the seasons of New England, especially the snow mounds that my husband made to play king of the mountain with Bud. Thank you, John, for taking the time to share your family's life with Marley.

    A story from Thea Williams about Tripp Trip (AKA A Walk with the Dog)
    posted 07/27/2011

    Tripp Trip Last week I brought my nephew home from an overnight stay with my boys. The family lives in Levittown, about an hour northeast of where I live. Having some time to kill while waiting for my niece to get home so we could visit, I decided to take their "ready whenever you are" Beagle, Tripp, on a ramble. Scott, my protective brother-in-law, wondered aloud if I knew my way around their development. "Of course!" I boasted, eschewing the latex glove he offered me to clean up after Tripp, and off we went. Tripp is an interesting animal. Not wanting to discriminate, he sees every bush, shrub and fire hydrant as a new and exciting "business" opportunity. Scott affectionately refers to him as Mr. Poops and Mr. Piddle, and he lived up to both names that day. I'll bet we made a dozen stops in the first 10 minutes; that's a better average than Hanley Ramirez's 2010 season. Being an equal opportunity "employer", Tripp hit some fence posts and flower beds also. On one such stop, the property owner was outside working on his car when Tripp ambled up to make a deposit. "Come on!" I urged conspiratorially, "We can't do this here! There's a time and a place for everything, and this isn't it!" I guided him to a more desirable location (one with no homeowner lurking about), and he finished the job. "Good boy," I patted him, wishing I'd accepted that glove. I've often said it's a good thing I've never been summoned as a witness in an important court case. Not only would I most likely get lost finding the courthouse because my sense of direction is, well, senseless, but I'm also a poor observer of detail. Both these failings went against me the other day. If it's true pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18), mine pretty much landed me in a chasm on our way home. Although I've made this loop numerous times with my sister JoAnn, (hence my assurance to Scott that I needed no map drawn), I still managed to "mis-navigate" my way back to the house. After much floundering and several check-ins with long-suffering Scott ("Should I just backtrack on Hearthwood? Do you think Tripp would heel along a four lane highway?"), we arrived at their front door. Isn't it wonderful how our heavenly Father directs us, no matter how many missteps we take? Of course, we're much better off if we just follow His divine road map in the first place. The Bible is the map; prayer and the Holy Spirit, the means by which He illuminates it. And He always brings cleaning supplies for any messes along the way. "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.'" (Isaiah 30:21).

    A story from Mary Nicholas about Cooper
    posted 07/27/2011

    Cooper, my beloved Golden Retriever, was born August 24, 2000, one of 13 AKC purebred pups. Our family drove to Elbow Lake, MN to choose a dog for the kids and when we got there it was feeding time. The breeder brought out a stainless steel pan, roughly the size of a small UFO, and filled it with chow for the litter. When the pups scrambled to feed, I noticed one pushing through the crowd. He muscled his way to the front of the food line, planted his front paws into the pan, as though claiming it his personal domain, and gobbled kibble, totally shameless. I was pretty certain he was our guy, so kept an eye on him. After dining, he nosed his way over to my husband (now ex-husband, never much of a dog-lover), sniffed at a shoe, and wagged his tail. Needless to say, that gesture sealed the deal. 'Pushy-Pup' became Reba's Golden Alice Cooper... aka Cooper, Coop-Dog, Super-Cooper, Cooper-Pooper, Cooper-licious, Coop-Buddy, etc., etc., absolutely the best dog I've ever owned. Sadly, Cooper's health has been steadily declining in the past six months, and thinking about his mortality has been very difficult for me. To cope, I created a FaceBook page for Cooper where I can blog for friends and family about his health, daily activities, the humorous things he'd done in the past-such as helping himself to the center of a brand new pumpkin pie-to cute things he does now-like going from room to room to find me when he just wants some ear-scratching. I'm guessing some people, those who don't know me well, think I'm a little off my rocker; to which I say maybe so, but Cooper is the only man who's never broken my heart. I have a small book named 'Golden Rules, Virtues of Canine Character', a compilation of photos and quotations. My favorite quote is by Edward Hoagland, "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." When I was younger, my father used to tease me saying that the man who married me had better love dogs. Ater five years of being single, I'm still thinking I got the best part of the deal.

    A story from John Fletcher about dogs
    posted 08/12/2011

    I watched Marley and Me, a couple of months ago for the first time, and, just finished the book yesterday. John's love for and interaction with Marley, reminded me of my youth and my German Shepherd, named King. Brought him home to Huntsville Alabama, from my home town in Kentucky, when he was 6 weeks old....he rode in a shoe box. King was a typical german Shepherd...fiercely protective of our family and stand offish to strangers....looked intimidating but he was a friendly dog. I was 14 wwhen we got King and 26 when he passed away. I had started my first job out of college, in Cocoa Beach FL, and my parents called me from Huntsville, with the news. My father never showered King with affection like we did, cause he always considered dogs to be on this earth to either use for hunting, or to guard the house. So he wasnt sentimental toward animals. But, he was choking up when he told me of King's passing.

    My daughter has a three year old mixed Lab/Golden retreiver named Bella, and, a 2 year old registered black Lab named Duke. Bella is certifiable nuts. And she wiggles just like Marley did, but my daughter calls it Squiggles. Duke? He is fairly calm, ut loves to chew on things, and always looking for a human hand to pet him.

    My next door neighbors brought home a Lab puppy last week end and I swear its the spitting image of Marley, right down to its huge paws. Absolutely gorgeous animal. The puppy will slobber you to death.

    Mr. Grogan, thanks for writing such a great book for such a great dog.

    A story from Rick Booker about Jellebeanz
    posted 08/16/2011

    Tonight I lost my best friend, JelleBeanz. She was a 12 year old Rottweiler. She was full of love and fun with a really great giving spirit. As I come to grips with my grief, I think back about all the memories I had with my wonderful dog. I remembered reading Marley & Me and also seeing the movie. I remembered the point at which reality set in;that the dog we loved so much would one day leave us. Like most folks I pushed it out of my conscious thoughts and moved on with our life together. That changed today! As I mourn her loss tho, I can't help but look at the blessing she was for 12 years. We laugh with her and at her. We played, we loved we lived! About 10 years ago a beautiful and amazing woman became more than just a friend. We stepped together to a new and exciting new level. My dog became her dog. JelleBeanz was overjoyed with this new undertaking. For her it more love to give and to get. My wife and I lightheartedly challenged each other as to who love her more and whose dog was she really. JelleBeanz would show favor to her, that little traitor! LOL. Whenever my wife and I kissed and hugged, JelleBeanz would show her "disapproval"! She'd bark and run around us letting us know she wanted our undivided attention.Yep, she was the greatest! I have so many memories and right now they all bring tears behind the smiles. But I am thankful for the time we shared and the love she gave. What a wonderful dog! Love you and miss you much, JelleBeanz. RIP

    A story from Alicia about Gracie
    posted 08/27/2011

    Gracie is our beloved Bearded Collie. I had, for years, wanted a beardie, but their daunting price tag deemed it all but impossible until I accepted a great job and we moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I am a teacher, and I was working with at-risk students, aged 16-23. The vast majority of my students, I'd guestimate around 95%, have been horribly wounded in their young lives, and they have serious behavioral and anger issues. These issues have to have an outlet somewhere, and they act out with violence, alcohol and other drug use, sexual promiscuity, and any combination of the above. I began to research therapy dogs and their impact on troubled students, fell in love with the idea, talked it over with my husband and convinced him we should get a dog to train for therapy use. And so our adventure began.

    I spent 3 months searching for a beardie, focusing on those bred for looks and temperament, hoping and praying I'd find one with great intelligence, as well. We wanted a little girl who was beautiful, smart, funny and easy to train. Fortunately, God, in His infinite mercy, gave us exactly what we asked for, and in more ways than one.

    On December 18, 2010, we traveled to a small town just west of Steamboat Springs, CO, to pick up our Gracie. She was 3 months old. We met briefly with her breeder, loaded her into the car and headed back to the Hills. Gracie promptly threw up twice and then settled in for the trip home. I should add here that Gracie was not our first dog; there were others before her who were housebreaking nightmares, and we were concerned that she'd be another in a line of disasters. Again, God was faithful; our furry little bundle of joy was finished with that task in 3 weeks and on to the next thing. I need to insert here that I took Gracie to work with me on December 20, paired her with my most volatile student, and she had him completely chilled out in 3 minutes. A three-month-old puppy, never had a minute's training, and already doing the job we'd "hired" her to do. Amazing!

    As unpleasant events are bound to occur, I lost my job at the end of January 2011. Although it seemed a devastating loss at the time (I was blindsided; had no clue it was coming), it has turned out to be a blessing indeed. I need to share some personal info here to bring this account into context. I, myself, was raised by an angry, abusive father and an enabling mother who just stood by and watched, allowing him to treat me any way he wanted. You can imagine the fear and uncertainty, the physical and emotional trauma, the low self-esteem, rejection, and belief that I was never good enough. Abused at home, bullied at church, bullied at school... I grew up really damaged. But again, God, in His mercy and compassion, led me to a therapist with whom I spent 3 years, undoing the damage that had been done in my childhood and young adulthood. (Which is why I have such great success with wounded and damaged students.)

    I eventually landed and settled in the Chattanooga, TN area, where I stayed for 14 years. I met and married my husband, we raised my 11-year-old, built a house, and went about the business of living. We were attending a church where we were very involved with its activities, especially the music ministry. Although this church was a good fit for awhile, changes began to occur, unpleasant changes where I now found myself rejected, not good enough (too much of this, not enough of that, etc.), and on the outside looking in. This was a very painful time, as other serious health and family issues had arisen, and I found myself without a support system at the time I needed it the most. Again, God showed His love and mercy to us and moved us to South Dakota, rescuing us from the heartache that Chattanooga had become. And when God decided enough was enough and stepped in, He really showed up and showed off! He delivered us from Chattanooga, brought us to the most beautiful place you could imagine, and gave me a job doing what I love. And I did love it; I loved my students and I loved the people I was privileged to work with.

    I did not, however, love where I worked, as it was not a happy place. I was never really heartbroken when I lost my job; I was relieved to have been set free of the stress. And now is when God really stepped in and began a deep and thorough healing of my wounded heart. Who knew that Gracie would be doing her best therapy on me!?!? We take walks together. We romp and play in the house when it's too hot or raining outside, or in her yard when it's not. We both love the snow, and love to roll around and play in it outside. She loves to ride in the car, and I'm sure I am known throughout Rapid City as "that crazy woman who drives around with a goofy dog's head stuck outta her window!" We hang out together every day, sometimes all day long. When I'm in the office on the computer, Gracie is either under the desk, lying on my feet or flopped in front of the fan, hogging all the air. Gracie goes where I go, and she considers it her personal responsibility to accompany me to the bathroom. After we return from a "potty break" walk, she comes inside, walks around and checks all the rooms to be sure all is well, and flops at my feet to await the next part of our day. When I'm sad or don't feel well, she stays by my side (or on my feet) until "Daddy" comes home to take over. Sometimes she'll hop up into my lap and try to lick me to death, as if there's room for all of her in my lap; she's beating me to death with her tail at one end while trying to give me kisses at the other. Gracie regularly just lays her head in my lap or jumps up to put her whole "front end" into my lap for play time. She is a happy girl who smiles all the time. I've not been lonely since I lost my job and get to spend every day with my Gracie; she's always there, just waiting for me to call her name. I talk to her all the time, and she listens. I can tell Gracie anything I need to talk about, and she watches me, her head cocked to one side, listening patiently. Whenever I've had to leave her at home alone, she's always glad to see me return, and greets me at the door, smiling and wagging her tail, shaking all over with happiness to see me. Not even my husband greets me like that! What Gracie has given me is unconditional love and acceptance, almost like "God with fur." Through Gracie, God has shown me that I don't have to be perfect, and that the only standards I have to live up to are His. Just like God, Gracie accepts me in all of my human weakness and loves me in spite of myself. I know I don't deserve it, but I accept it and hold on to it, and spend every day being thankful for such amazing love.

    Lest anyone get the mistaken idea that Gracie is perfect, allow me to enlighten you. Although we have no "potty issues" and she can be trusted to have the run of the house when we're gone for several hours, we do have other problems still to solve. We've had our share of shredded napkins, tissues and paper towels from Gracie's forays into the trash. She currently has the attention span of a gnat, especially when out for a walk; birds, flies, butterflies, horses, grass and trees are all equally fascinating to Gracie and receive her full attention for 5 seconds each. However, when another canine crosses our path, she really goes into idiot-overdrive. It's a miracle she hasn't snapped her own neck, the way she stretches and strains the leash, doing what the neighbors call her "Gracie Dance" upon meeting one of her own. And I have yet to decipher whether or not it's a good thing that every single person who works in Petsmart, even the vet clinic staff who have never treated her, knows who Gracie is. EVERYONE. Yes, she is happy, loving, affectionate and beautiful, but she is also still just a baby. I've been assured by our trainer that she will eventually grow out of these idiot behaviors, although not as soon as we'd like.

    Now that I no longer have to live by the clock, I have time to just take care of me. I no longer have to get up at 5:00 in the morning; I sleep till 6 or 6:30 and get up to have breakfast with my wonderful husband before he goes to work. We sit in our breakfast nook, eating our cereal and looking out at these beautiful Black Hills that God has brought us to. We are happy, we are thankful, and we are loved. Although Gracie doesn't eat at our table or sleeep in our bed, she is a full-fledged member of our family and she loves us much more than we deserve.

    A story from Elaine B about The Longest Trip Home
    posted 09/06/2011

    I really wanted to read this book when it was published in the hardcover edition; but my dad was in the mid stages of Alzheimers illness, and I didn't feel up to the journey at that time. I've just finished reading this memoir, and wanted to thank the author for sharing so much of his life. Your memoir literally took me back in time, to the 1960's in Chicago to Catholic School, ditched masses, questioned faith, and siblings whose love and loyalty was forged in our bonds of deceit. I'm a voracious reader, and have never been moved (or perhaps brave enough) to contact an author, but this book made my soul sing and for that I thank you so very much.

    A story from Anthony Piazza about Bosco
    posted 10/29/2011

    I like to tell you the story of Bosco, my chocolate lab. When I was 29 yrs. old I adopted him at the age of 3 months old. As soon as I laid eyes on him, I wanted him. When the gentlemen at the no kill shelter opened the cage door, he ran right towards me licking me and wagging his tail with joy. I knew then we were meant for each other. My family was so happy as well. My father said as he waited near the door for us to come home with him, we let him out of the car, and he ran up the steps and opened the door with his nose, like to say this is my house now! And it was!! We spent alot of time with each other, for that case the whole family. My mother loved playing hide and seek with him, and singing to him, the song,You Are My Sunshine! That he was! I remember coming home from work or anywhere, and he be waiting for me to take him for a walk, or just sit on the porch, which he loved. All the neighbors and kids around the neighborhood loved him, he was the most loveable dog ever. I also believe that he was somewhat human, I never seen such a obedient and loyal dog like him. Over the years I can recall so many happy times with him, even when there was hard ones he made all of us smile. I myself have recently become ill, and since I been home we have been even closer, than ever. I can always rely on Bosco, to make me feel better, or just having him around, when I was lonely, from being ill. Towards the end of this summer, Bosco now 7 going on 8, I began to notice a change in Bosco's health. I spent lots of money on him, and would pay any price just to keep him around, as would my family. On Monday October 24, 2011, I took Bosco to the vet. I wanted a complete physical and blood work on him, because oddly he was losing weight. The vet said he never saw a dog so well loved and taken care of like him. He was right, Bosco was indeed spoiled, but I enjoyed that, because he was so special. The vet called me Thursday, October 27th, and gave me the horrible news that Bosco had Leukemia, and didn't have much time left. I guess I knew, but didn't want to accept that. Over the 2 days that I waited for the vet to call, I myself and my family saw Bosco was getting worse. And when the call came in, I was forced to make a decision, which was the hardest one I ever had to make. Before making it, I had taken Bosco into my room, where he slept for the past 7 yrs. and as he laid there, not himself.I asked him to give me a sign of what I should do? He looked into my eyes with his weak sad eyes and licked my face, like to say it is time for us to say goodbye! I took him that night to the vet, and stayed with him, as the doctor put him to sleep. The doctor gave me time alone to say my goodbyes. All I could do was flashback to all the happy times he brought me, I said Bosco, You have no idea how much I will miss you??? He looked at me as if to say I will miss you too! But I am suffering and need to be at peace. The vet came in and gave Bosco the injection. As he laid his head on my arm and I rubbed his paw, I watched Bosco slip away. I never experienced so much pain in my life and especially in my heart, which is now broken. Bosco was only 7 yrs. old when he died. I wanted him cremated by himself, money was no object, especially for him. I know he won't be here physically but his ashes will, and that will make me know he is still in my home and heart. I look back on what John said at the end of Marley and Me. " A dog doesn't care if your rich or poor, old or young, fat or small, just give them your heart and they will give you theirs". That is so TRUE! SEE YOU OVER THE RAINBOW PAL! I will never forget you. I pray maybe somewhere, somehow, Bosco will let me get well again, so I can live my life through his short one. IN LOVING MEMORY OF BOSCO PIAZZA 2004-2011

    A story from Katherine Jeanette Shults about malrey and me and went to being my life story to:)
    posted 11/14/2011

    dear john, i want to start by saying i love your ur book on Marley and me. So good and funny and mostly really sad. Sometimes i wish i could have a lab puppy. I couldve had one dis weekend but my dad said no. But my mommy said yes. Either way i cant get him. Hes black and got a tiny white furr on his chest. & weeks old and really cute as can be. He likes to bite on ppl (which is my fault). He reminds me as marley alil bit. Always chewing on everything and always running away and mostly using the areas to use the potty. My friend cant take him anymore bc of that. So instead she is getting a pit bull.But you did do a great jobon writing the story and the movie was great.I didnt like the part when you had to take himt o be put down. because i dnt believe in that. so i guess i see why ppl do it now.( so they dnt have to suffer of the pain that they are going through.I want to be vet but i cnt see myself putting animals down so instaed in rather be an animal cop so i can save them.hehe. i love anilmals with all my heat. my step dad has 4 pit bulls dogs. i not o crazy about them but theyare really cute when they are babies hehe. he has one names kilo. she is so cute but she has skin cancer. I hate to see her pain but he doesnet have the heart to puy her dopwn which is understanderable. bc i she was mine i couldnt put her down either. he has one thati really love and her name is Dot which is KILOs mommy.i think or its the other way around.Doit is really pretty. she got tiger strips on her. but right now she is really hurt.she got in a fight which is not good at all bc now she looks really horriable and my step dad is going threw a hard time right now.But i hope jesus takes care of them for me.

    A story from Elizabeth about Gracie aka "The female Marley"
    posted 11/21/2011

    Dear John, I have wanted to share our story of Gracie for a few months now and after our crazy day with Gracie yesterday i decided that tonight was the night! I have seen Marley and Me on the big screen and loved the truth about labs that so many people never get to see, the mischevious side. I was raised with labs and love them as if they were family. I have shared in your sorrow of having to make that life changing decision to let an animal go in peace. I am sorry for your loss. As i was reading your blog i realized that after Marley you got another lab named Gracie, well i know that they have peacefully left you but don't be too discouraged b/c i am pretty sure that our Gracie's story will parallel Marley and hopefully bring a smile to your face. Gracie is a 6 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the first breed i have ever owned other than labs. Gracie is the love of our lives as we have no children and is proving fast that we may want to rethink having children after raising this little one! In the four months we have had her we have spent close to $800 dolars at the vet trying to figure out why she has horriable bowel problems, but that is the least of our worries. Gracie has a fetish with eating my soxs whole, in fact she has passed 1 and the other two, well they came back to us in the middle of the night! She has eaten my scarf, the corner of my fleece blanket, part of the kitchen sponge, chair stuffing on the regular, ripped out my earing, chewed the trim of the back door, ate a chunk of spakle off the wall and the klincher was last night when she broke through the glass door trying to let herself out to the back yard! My family and i refer to her as "The female Marley", she is a highley inteligent and extreamly headstrong animal that is to smart for her own good. I don't want to miss lead you to think that we are neglectful pet parents, she does all of this so quickly that its all gone before we can catch her. She LOVES LOVES LOVES swiming and dock jumping but hates going to the bathroom outside in the rain, GO FIGURE. Fortunetly she only needed four stiches in her paw and missed a major ligament by a fraction of a hair. We too live in the Lehigh Valley and the Halloween snow fall was Gracie's first experience with the snow...needless to say it was like winter swimming!! She loved it. I hope to keep you posted as our journey with Gracie continues through the years and i look forward to reading your new book. Thank you for all that you have shared about your pets and all the joy they brought to your life. Sincerly, Elizabeth

    A story from Jeff Tandler about My Dog Teddy
    posted 11/25/2011

    John,

    My name is Jeff Tandler-I live in St. Louis, MO. I read Marley and Me in May of 2005-I was inspired because I too had a lab; a chocolate, off the wall, 100 pounds of mischief and exuberance of life, but surrounded by the kindest and gentlest personality. This book has resonated with me very deeply. You were able to do what many have tried before you and failed-personified a dog in the most realistic and honest way-as you stated-not like Rin Tin Tin or Old Yeller.

    And not only that, but Marley's love and devotion to you was the unwavering theme as you lived your life with kids arriving, moving, jobs, change, etc.

    Well, my life has followed your book very closely. We also got Teddy when we were newlyweds. We also had a miscarriage that was very difficult and Teddy was a comfort for us. In a way, I can see a lot of myself and my life in this book.

    I always would joke that Teddy was not Marley, but definetely a second cousin. And even though there were days when my wife and I wanted to strangle him, we loved him with all of our hearts. He was my best friend.

    I am writing tonight because this morning I unexpecetly had to put him to sleep at the young age of 6. This dog loved to eat everything from my 2 years old's toys to cell phones. A personal favorite of his were socks. This past week he began throwing up and upon further investigation by our vet, he developed a severe bowel obstruction.

    I am 30 years old, a husband, a father of a daughter and expecting another in March, and I am absolutely devestated and beside myself right now. There really is only one other person in my entire life who I have felt this type of grief for.

    I have been thinking a lot about your book today-specifically the chapter "under the cherry trees" where you discussed how you would commune with Marley, visiting his grave, touching his collar in your sock drawer, and having the feeling of emptiness. In a way, your book is a comfort to me.

    Thank you for telling your story-in a way it has been a guide for me as adulthood has taken hold and it has definelty helped to console me today.

    A story from Lynda DiMatteo about John Grogan's generous and sage advice!
    posted 12/03/2011

    December 3, 2011

    Dear John,

    How does one pen a letter to a virtual stranger to express how much of an impact they had on their creative life? And how does one possess the audacity to seek, once again, their sage advice? You just put your courageous fingers to the keyboard I suppose!

    So here is the very belated but heartfelt ‘thank you’ to you, John Grogan, from me, Lynda DiMatteo, the former Mrs. Lynda Altmann, former Editor of Parenting Plus, former reporter for Channel 57 Good Morning Florida show, the former Editor of The Observer newspaper and former upper middle class white chick. (I was never fired, there was an economically based layoff of all non-family personnel at PPlus, Channel 57 ultimately could not secure its cable rights and, after decades in existence, The Observer sadly printed its final edition in 2009 when hit hard with the economic downturn). I am officially the Black Widow of small businesses!

    Long ago I subscribed to the Sun Sentinel for virtually one purpose: John Grogan’s column. I related to each one as though talking to a friend over a coffee about life’s idiosyncrasies from the mundane to the comical and the tragic. Being a former Boca housewife/mother (so NOT a Bocahontas, thank you)! I felt we were living and breathing parallel lives raising our children in those white (pink) suburban walls. (That was an obscure reference to a haunting Marianne Faithful circa 1980 song: The Ballad of Lucy Jordan). I am the self proclaimed Rainman of musical references. Give me 60 seconds and I can cite a lyric or song title to match any situation. It’s a kick at gatherings but not a marketable job skill but at least They Can’t Take That Away From Me! (Best song on Rainman soundtrack barring After Midnight)!

    Although my degree (FAU Alumnus) is in Human Resource Management, the only true passion and success I’ve enjoyed is in creating something that touches people through their emotions. Long ago, I penned a commentary published by the Sentinel regarding America’s missing and exploited children and the animals who perpetrate these crimes. I knew the Sentinel was to publish it but didn’t know when until one morning my phone rang at 6 a.m. In my alarmed stupor, I answered. On the other end was a man reciting my editorial. Since that morning’s issue was still sitting in my driveway, I quickly realized it had been published and this was my first ‘fan’ call. Turns out, he was a fanatic, a sick mind who looked up my listed phone number and knew my address and that I had two young children. It was then I realized how a writer exposes themselves in far reaching ways. But as I was still reeling from his frightening diatribe, another call came in a few weeks later. It was Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, thanking me for my article for he had just published a heartbreaking song, Daddy, in which the proceeds would go to an organization founded in the aftermath of a murdered precious little girl in New Jersey. We spoke professionally and it was all I could do not to tell him how surreal it was for me to have him on the other end of my phone as I had owned every album he ever made and probably wore out six vinyl versions of Lucky Man. It was then that I realized there’s good and bad to every action we take and a writer was born.

    The next thing I knew I had composed a collection of quirky articles but did not know what to do with them and I called my local, literary hero to ask his advice. You took my call from your desk at the Sentinel. I recall you were generous with your advice, fabulously dry and wickedly hysterically. As my work was predominantly centered on parenthood I began selling articles across the country to regional parenting publications, eventually landing a position with Parenting Plus of the Palm Beaches and ultimately became Editor. I quite liked being a big fish in a small subtropical pond and quickly learned the power of a silly title and morphed into a reviewer of toys, educational products and, sheer genius…family friendly resorts! All rooted in the sage advice from a kind columnist.

    I remember how sad I was when you penned your last goodbye to South Florida but I silently wished you well. It was a kick when I saw your name pop up years later on Marley & Me and then the movie. I read and watched with a feeling of pride and a “good for you, John Grogan” attitude. Of course you perfectly touched the hearts of all blessed with a Marley in their lives. Mine was Bruno, the naughtiest, obese beagle who terrorized my Christmas tree every year but protected my children and the ‘fridge’ from anyone who dared to venture near either. Congratulations on all your success and your newest book!

    I escaped Boca in ‘02 and built a home in the (then) countrified western communities of Palm Beach County. When we broke ground there was not one Starbucks in Dodge, but, by the time we moved in, there were six within a five mile radius. At least the kids had a little more wide open spaces to play on, and, to this day, virtually no one beeps at you, even if you hesitate to gas it when a light turns green. Small favors!

    What the blissfully, clueless Mrs. Lynda Altmann did not foresee was the divorce of the century that began in ‘03 and was finalized in ‘05. Honest Abe the tax accountant left this mother with massive debts and two shell shocked children. You might enjoy the mix CD I made of that era: Titled it Baker Act… included such tracks as Like a Rolling Stone, Refugee, Freefalling, Comfortably Numb, Everybody Hurts, Closer to Home (I’m Your Captain), Whiter Shade of Pale, Can’t Find My Way Home, Wild World…the list was long and very apropos. It was the first time I’d worked outside of the home and took a reporting job for The Observer and eventually became its editor. I thought my penance was to forever cover ribbon cuttings, charity galas and taking shots of pompous people with those giant prop checks, some savvy enough never to position themselves at the end of the shot for they risked being cropped. But, then The Observer’s doors eventually closed. It felt as though South Florida was the canary in a mine of economic predictors. For the last three years, this mother has done what she had to do, and worked the most brain numbing, mundane job without an iota of creativity involved. My kids each graduated high school, both with two years of college completed before they graduated due to dual enrollment and each earned full academic scholarships. My proudest accomplishment, considering they had all odds stacked against them.

    But for three years of feeling like a ‘lifer’ I have added on to a story I began over a decade ago. The soundtrack, of course, is chock full of stellar tunes from the late 70’s right up to the present day’s lovely Adele. It is a quirky romantic/human connection piece: envision Bridges of Madison County mixed with You’ve Got Mail with a bit of Almost Famous thrown in. It all happened in real life, in real time and I have priceless emails from three people from my past who were part of that piece I began 10+ years ago. Each has tracked the others down through avenues such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc...but ironically all within a few short weeks on each other. It spawned a priceless banter of witty, side-splitting, heart wrenching, brutal truths of who we were then and who each is now…My ‘ghosts’ gave me the ending to my story and they say “Run with it!”

    Technically, the working title, is Dear, Dan Hill (of Sometimes When We Touch fame). I have a bizarre link to Manny Pacquiao, who ironically, just covered and revived Sometimes When We Touch. And what child of the late 70’s didn’t have a slow dance to that gem?

    You and these ‘ghosts’ from my very happy past are part of what I’ve coined The Human Connection Chaos Theory. Every action we make ripples down to unknown places, in unfathomable ways at times. I have been blessed to rekindle these past connections and carry on a rich dialogue of how each has touched the other even though we hadn’t communicated from 25-33 years. We are spread now all over the globe but all rooted to South Florida. Many tell me it is “my time” to revive the writer who went into a ‘coma’ a few years back and has just been on auto-pilot, survival mode to do whatever it takes to provide for my kids. But, now this mom, this former beach girl, has a beautiful, quirky, relatable story, partly written, partly in her brain and too many people telling me I’ve got something here.

    So here it goes again, one of you earliest, most sincere fans is a checker player in your world of chess players. How does one go about presenting her ‘baby’ the safe, sound way to see if it might be a valuable, viable project to move forward with? I am not dreaming of J.K. Rowling-like success. I’m perfectly content to move a little higher up Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs and you are the one soul I hope might still be generous with his advice. Song I’m feeling after all I’ve survived…Steve Winwood’s Back in the High Life! I’m telling you, the soundtrack is killer!

    I’m told my unique divorce would make a story/screenplay…final tab….approximately $400,000 and I was left penniless and in bankruptcy. Theme song: The End of the Innocence. I am the only American who says God Bless the IRS, because although lawyers charge obscene amounts to present the truth, the IRS embraces it and charges nothing! Beginning to smell like J.K.’s story? Mine doesn’t have wizards, or vampires…just ghosts from a beautiful life interrupted.

    Needless to say, I am looking forward to your response. If nothing else, thank you for Marley and great Sentinel memories. Your success couldn’t have happened to a better man.

    Sincerely, Lynda

    A story from Bert DiDonato about Loved "Marley and Me"
    posted 12/12/2011

    Loved you book..."Marley and Me"...but very interested in where you have been.. We are originally from Bethlehem, Pa, a few miles from Emmaus, and had dear friends who worked at Rodale... In fact, I wrote one those people (Grace Paulnack)who worked there and told her to be sure to read your book... I also am a "die hard" Penn State fan (so sorry to hear about the mess they are in... but the situation is their own doing.. and so, so sad that are in that mess, worse than Ohio State!!, your alma mater...another school I follow who are doing pretty well in basketball.. I'm just not convinced that a great football program (like Ohio State) is more important than a great learning experience. I also root for all the Philadelphia sports teams (college and pro)..but I am reluctant to wear my Eagle jerseys this year!!! THEY HAVE NOT HAD A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM SINCE 1960!!!!! I read the Phila. Inquirer almost daily on the internet and l lived and worked in South Phila. (9th and McKean) in my teens many years ago. I do plan to read your other books...but it takes me a long time to do so, since I am enjoying my Florida friends...We live on the west coast of Florida, just off the Gulf of Mexico...but do visit Florida's east coast from time to time. My best to you and your family...and continued success... Sincerely, Bert DiDonato bertdido@earthlink.net

    A story from Pat from West Palm about Dogs
    posted 01/24/2012

    I lost my wild dog recently after putting down moth balls on fence line to keep him from digging under. He (being a little loopy like Marley) ate some and died before I could get him to emergency clinic. I have since read Marley & Me and was touched. I had no idea there was a West Palm connection before I opened the book. I have a friend in the 200 block of Churchill and had no idea of the violence in the area, much of it over chump change. We like to think we are the superior beings but like you said in the last few pages of Marley & Me, dogs love and live joyously in the moment and can teach us A LOT if we pay attention. I have another dog (not as wild) who thankfully I still have and I am able to spend lots of time with. Please consider giving time and $ if available to local animal care and control facilities. I walk dogs at ours a couple of hrs a wk and these dogs are so thankful to get out of cages and need socialization to make adoption easier.

    A story from kellen Daiane Schmitz about N ina and me
    posted 02/06/2012

    olá sou do brasil e adorei o filme, e é claro corri para comprar o livro, e adorei mais ainda bom a história que tenho a compartilhar e a seguinte, desde pequena sempre adorei animais, e um dia minha prima não queria mais o cachorro dela, eu adorava muito aquele pequeno e peludo vira-lata , sabendo disso meus pais fizeram uma surpresa para mim, é claro que adorei, e dali não nos largamos mais ele era muito amavel adorava seus uivos quando o sino da igreja tocava, e claro ele foi ficando velhinho e minha avó adorava ele, foi que decidimos leva-ló para lá, bem no interior ele teria muito chão para correr e explorar. Um dia meu avô trouxe uma cadelinha pretinha para casa muito brincalhona e meu avô teve a brilhante ideia de cruza-los, ela deu a luz a três filhotes lindinhos, um pretinho peludinho, um caramelo de pelo ralinho e uma menina meio mesclada, minha avó ficou com o caramelo, e meu primo com o pretinho, só que a menina ninguem queria só que todo mundo adorava ela, ai tivemos a ideia de ficar com ela, só que ela era pequenina então eu fiz uma caminha no meu quarto, mas é claro ela sempre teve autonomia, e desde o primeiro dia mostrou seu lugar na casa e sua posição na familia,e logo passou a passear de cama em cama de madrugada, heh, eu deixava jornal para suas necessidades e ai precebi não estavam mais molhados, quando me escondi e vi que ela por ci só ia ao banheiro e fazia xixi no ralo, nunca tivemos problemas em casa com ela, nunca mexeu em nada mesmo sozinha em casa a unica fara é no sófa que ela detona (risos), adorada por toda familia ela ja escutava quando meu pai e meu irmão voltavam do serviço e paravam com a caminhonete na esquina de casa, ela ja os esperava na porta aflita, mais um belo dia eu, meu pai, e minha mãe saimos para fazer compras e uma fatalidade aconteceu, sofremos um acidente de carro, e meu pai veio a falecer, e é claro que minha Nina sentiu logo sua falta ela chorava pelos cantos, não comia mais, minha mãe estava muito machucada e não podia lhe dar atenção, ela era o chodó de meu pai, ele adorava ela, dormiam juntos de meio dia e ele sempre dava-lhe uma bala após o almoço,até sentavam juntos no sofá. umas semanas após o acontecido minha mãe a levou junto ao cemitério e ela começou a cherar e a cavar pois queria desesterar meu pai, ai minha mãe a acalmou e de alguma forma ela entendeu, e começou a comer de novo e a viver novamente, até parou de esperar na porta a cada caminhonete que pasava, nos mudamos e tudo melhorou, hoje para mim ela é muito mais que uma companhia, ela sempre estava la nos momentos dificeis, nos superamos tudo juntas, e ela me faz muito feliz mesmo, hoje ela morra comigo e com o meu namorado, eles brinco bastante e ela adora ele, e eu gosto muito de ter ela como despertador de manhã, quando ela pula em cima de nós e fica nos lambendo e quer brincar eu adoro isso, não tem preço que pague o amor de animalzinho.

    kellen d schmitz País: Brasil Estado: rio grande do sul cidade:Dois irmãos dia:06/02/12 hora:12:52 a.m

    A story from Kelly about Marley and Me - 20 readings later
    posted 03/02/2012

    Mr. Grogan, I am listening to your audio recording of Marley and Me and I just wanted to tell you that, even after my twentieth time reading this book, I am enjoying it every bit as much as the first. You are truly a gifted writer and I thank you for sharing your story with the world. I look forward to reading your book yet again, as I know I will laugh and cry just as much as I have this time! Special thanks to Jenny for allowing you to be so candid about your marriage, her post-partum depression, and hills and valleys of your lives together.

    A story from girl about my dogs
    posted 03/04/2012

    i have a yellow lab named hurley..when my mother and i read marley and me,we compared our dogs exact! when hurley was a puppy, he tore up everything!!! but he is now four and he melowed down a bit! im very grateful you made that book and how much of an understatement it is that you have been in our shoes!! the details in your book was great and i think a book is always beter than a movie and that you really made happen. im very sorry of the loss of marley and i hope a new member of the familly has came!! i had to put down my chocolate lab because of a torn leg bone. he was only a couple months old! :( but we have a english mastiff now..moose and he is a delight!! (we still have hurley). but anyway i love your books. i have read both the kid and adult book atleast 3 times!! thanks john!! tell jenny hi for me!!

    A story from carolyn marie about read your book
    posted 03/26/2012

    dear mr. grogan, just a note to thank you for your book, marley and me. my boyfriend really enjoyed my reading the book, as i layed in bed laughing over and over and saying "oh, marley !!". also, 3 nights of happy doggie dreams. your book was pure pleasure and a wonderful diversion from the tediousness of life. iv'e never owned a dog.... but believe there surley must be a doggie heaven.

    A story from Debbie Farrell about what marley means to me
    posted 03/28/2012

    Dear John and Jenny,

    I tried to find an address to write this letter, but couldn't; so I am using the computer at the library. I have no computer of my own. I am reading Marley and me and have seen the movie over and over and I wanted to write you what it means to me. First of all, Marley was also blessed to have your family. Unfortunately too many animals are put down because owners do not want to deal with behavorial issues or they get sick or are too expensive. This is sad but true. When you said Marley loved you unconditionally, you also did. You never gave up on him! You can tell there was a special bond there. Having a pet in your life is a gift from heaven and I also believe when you love a pet and you lose them - you find another dog that is just like them - reincarnated. I know that when you go on that "long journey home", you will be reunited with them. I am 1/2 irish and half french and catholc. I believe pets have souls also; because they are god's creatures too and that they will be there waiting when it is your time. I had my first dog that belonged to me. He was a llaso apso and his name was "Fluffy". I had him for 9 1/2 years and lost him in 2001. He was so loyal and he was so special. He loved me unconditionally as I did him. I took in a couple and they mistreated us. One day I came back and he was gone (Fluffy). Later I found out that this couple took him to the highway and tied him and dragged him to his death. I live with that vision every day; so when you both said you miss him so much it aches - I know! I feel for your grief and mine. What helps me is when you are saying goodbye to Marley - I feel your pain but not to diminish yours - I feel like I am saying goodbye to Fluffy. I never got to and I always wanted to be there for him to the end. I always protected him and he also protected me. We had alot of good memories. I also told Fluffy and Shaq let me know when it your time and help me make that choice. When they are too tired to go on and they can be at peace till you see them again. I got a new dog 7 years ago and feel like he is reincarnated from Fluffy. He was born on Fluffy's birthday (2/28). His name is "Shaq" named after my favorite basketball player at the time. He is so much like "fluffy" so its almost like a second chance. I just read about "Gracie" and I am so sorry about that. I did not find out about the dog you were thinking about getting "Lucky". So you have touched many other lives also. I really enjoy your book and the movie. Thankyou! Take care and God Bless.

    Debbie Farrell 5652 Maple Run Lane Henrico,VA 23228

    Also, I read your article in the Parade about bringing Marley home. That was awesome!

    A story from Loretta Bailey about Your Mom's sense of humor
    posted 04/01/2012

    I'm on my second reading of "The Longest Trip Home" and I think it's appropriate to tell you I'm thinking of your mom & her sense of humor on this April Fool's Day ( which happens to be my mom's birthday , she passed away in '99). Your mom had such a positive effect on everyone she met ( I never met her, but I can tell from your book). Her sense of humor was wonderful. Hope you have a wonderful April Fool's Day, & are able to escape any jokes or pranks. Almost impossible in an Irish family! :) SE MI weather has returned to more March-like conditions-- one day we were wearing t-shirts ; now it's back to winter coats. Just an update for you. :)Good ole MI weather. :-)

    A story from Loretta Bailey about "TLTH"
    posted 04/05/2012

    Happy belated birthday! Only missed by 16 days!:) I'm enjoying my very OWN copy of "TLTH" which I bought for myself a few days ago. After reading the library's copy , I knew I needed to add this book to my personal library Please keep on writing for adults, too. Best wishes to you & your loved ones.:)

    A story from Nick Konarowski about My Wonderful Retriever: May 12, 1997-April 21, 2012
    posted 04/27/2012

    Hello Mr. Grogan, my name is Nick Konarowski from Oshawa, Ontario. Sadly, my family had to say goodbye to our beloved yellow lab Phoenix this past Saturday, shortly after 5pm. She was only a few weeks away from her 15th birthday.

    It seems like only yesterday when I first met her. I was 5 years old and it was the Sunday of the Canada Day weekend. I came home from the cottage with my dad to see this sweet, little pudge-ball of a yellow lab sitting in the kitchen. She looked just like the retriever on the Marley DVD sitting there. I remember taking her into the backyard and playing for hours until my mom came home, who told me she didn't go to the cottage to as she needed to pickup the lab who's name is Phoenix.

    I honestly can't believe that was almost 15 years ago. Letting her go was the hardest thing i've ever had to do. Part of me wanted her to stay, but I knew that would be the selfish thing to do, as her quality of life was not worth living. She began vomiting violently the night before, had a seizure, and could no longer support her own weight. I am so glad though that I was there with her right to the end, she went in peace, and the last two people she saw were my mom and I right by her side. I honestly thought she would live forever after an incident with chocolate eggs on Easter. She somehow managed to knock my chocolate eggs off the living room table and ate them all! Though she had a slightly upset stomach and pooped out gold and purple foil, it really didn’t phase her, I thought she was invincible.

    The last few days have been rough emotionally, but on Monday night, I went to spend the night at my moms house. We started by looking at many old photos, and there were so many pictures of me and my best pal that brought a smile to my face. We then compiled a list of all the great memories we had with her that never seems to end, its page after page of amazing times. Some of the memories were funny, dopey retriever things similar to Marley, like the time on Centre Island where she was eating a frozen pile of horse poo to times of playing in the snow and throwing snowballs to her, she would catch them, they would explode, and she would be so confused as to where they went. I also loved when she tried to eat an orange once, but when she bit into it, the citrus scared her and she would not eat it. I could go on and on with great memories, but I don't think is enough room for me to do so. We also watched Marley and Me, as Marley and Phoenix had so many similarities. I thought the end would bring tears, but it didn't. They both had peaceful ends to their lives, and what made me smile was when the boy playing your son was watching the video of Marley eating the diaper. Though it's painful to let them go, I will always have those funny memories of my silly lab for the rest of my life.

    What I'm going to miss the most though is the little things. When I would come home from school, she was always there either at the top of the steps waiting with love and a big, dopey smile or asleep on her couch (yes she had her own futon), upside-down in total relaxation. If I was sick or feeling blue, she would always be there by my side to cheer me up, she just loved back no matter what. When eating, she was always there looking sad to get the last bite, and I would fall for that face every time. She also brought joy to so many people who didn’t even know her. Both children and adults would ask to pet her and my mom would always say, “Be careful, she might kill you with kisses.” Little kids would love when Phoenix would kiss them; she was such a gentile girl. Didn’t have a mean bone in her, well except for maybe with bugs. She would see them, get this really confused look on her face (with the ears up and head tilted sideways), get down really low, sniff a bit, and then slurp up the bug and carry on with whatever she was doing.

    Though she may have looked sad to gain that last bite, this dog was the complete opposite of sad, oh was she ever spoiled. She was truly the most beloved dog on the planet. It's a shame that something that was so loving, so funny, wonderful, gentile, happy, and kind could only live for close to 15 years. I know I should be very thankful she had such a long life for a retriever. I miss her so much, and as I type this, the tears have begun to flow again. RIP Phoenix, I will always love you <3

    A story from kaitlyn about my dog
    posted 05/11/2012

    Hi john, I'm 9 years old, and I love your books. I have a dog that is almost 15 years old. You inspire me in my writing. Thank you so much!

    A story from Loretta about Herc, a wonderful dog!
    posted 05/16/2012

    Everyone thinks their dog is special, right? Well, Herc is a member of my brother & sister-in-laws' family; not mine! But I love him! He's gentle but he's a good watchdog. He's big but he doesn't jump on people & he's handsome. Also he sympathizes with me when my knees stiffen up if I've been sitting too long & walks slowly--but the other day it looked like his joints were getting a little achy,too. I got a lump in my throat; but I'm sure he still has years left in him. He enjoys his naps in the sun or under a table; and he has a huge yard to play & run in. And of course he gets lots of love, and gives so much in return.:)

    A story from Joy about Thank you!!
    posted 05/21/2012

    Hi Mr. Grogan,

    I really do not have a story to tell. I did have my lab, Gretabear, for 17 years and she was my most faithful friend and confidant.

    I just finished reading your book "Life Is Like A Sailboat." I really enjoyed it and like your style of writing. People do do amazing things with a doubt.

    Keep up the great work!!!

    Joy Swansea, Massachusetts

    A story from kristen calenda about nubiana,a true story about a very special kitty
    posted 05/23/2012

    hi john, my book to be is self published and is on it's way to the layout/design team shortly. i would love to share it w/you now. it is a children's book, w/ 10 illustrations and lots of photos. i am donating half the profits to animal rescue leagues, and plan on doing my book signings at the shelters and their fundraising events.i would love any advise you can offer. you an contact me at www.kristencalenda.com, hope to hear from you. visit Nubiana Calenda on facebook! xo

    A story from Christine Pouch about Can't wait until you visit the Adirondack Museum on August 4, 2012
    posted 06/08/2012

    Dear Mr. Grogan, There are several dog lovers in the Adirondacks - so many that the Adirondack Museum hosts a special event honoring dogs - Dog Days of Summer. There are many of us here that are delighted you will be the featured guest at our Dog Days event this year - Saturday August 4. I look forward to meeting you in person and introducing you to my sweet boy, Bosco. Thanks for making the journey north! Christine Pouch Senior Advancement Offcier/Adirondack Museum

    A story from Debby Fleischer about Enjoying Bad Dog Marley with Grandchildren
    posted 06/16/2012

    This book is the book of choice when my grandchildren visit. The picture tells it all.

    A story from Brad Metge about Our always remembered pet
    posted 06/19/2012

    For sixteen years our family dog Thunder, a sand-colored forty pound mixed breed with a white patch on his neck, gave us the love and devotion his Labrador, Beagle, and Boxer heritage possessed. His deviousness kept us alert when he persisted in digging various holes underneath the split-rail fence to wander off and enjoy his freedom, leaving us worried. One quiet evening, he shocked us with his dexterity and inherent cleverness when a two-pound beef tenderloin roast we had cooked for dinner disappeared in minutes. Tantalized by the aroma, Thunder had thrust his front paws on top of the counter where the roast sat cooling. Using his muzzle he pushed the roast onto the floor where he devoured it quickly. All we saw was Thunder licking his chops as he laid in his cubby-hole underneath the kitchen counter, savoring the taste. Retribution for being left home alone was almost a disaster. He tore three bags of fertilizer to absolute shreds. Sensitivity was one of his greatest virtues. Whenever the family gathered in the living room, he seemed to know which person needed comforting the most. Instinct would him to that very person where he would curl up beside them and rest his head on their lap. His eyes glowed into that person’s soul with genuine warmth, understanding, and concern. And what a sports enthusiast he was too. We could never stop him from bolting for a long run around the athletic field one block from our house. If we dare have him on a leash, he tugged with the force of a horse.

    Aunt Dorothy, in her late seventies at the time, a kind, considerate and a warmhearted person recalled his acts of compassion most of all. Our entire immediate family had gone to Philadelphia to attend a family wedding. Perishing the thoughts of leaving Thunder in a kennel or unattended at home, we invited her to stay at our house for the weekend.

    Around nine o’clock in the evening, Aunt Dorothy, seventy-nine years old at the time, knew how much he loved to run around that athletic field. So she reached for the leash hanging in the closet. “Come on, boy,” she said, “our last walk before bedtime.” Thunder stood right behind her and softly whimpering, pushing his muzzle gently against her thighs. Aunt Dorothy was unaware of the fact he could tug with great force. However, Thunder instinctively knowing her physical capabilities, went very slowly. He looked at her with his brown eyes as if to say, “I know you’re old. We’ll go slow.” The lights in the distance lighting the football stadium were bright, lighting the entire athletic field. The band was loud and the people in the stadium were shouting. Thunder continued to lead Aunt Dorothy slowly down the empty road, past darkened houses. As they approached the athletic field Aunt Dorothy, distracted by the commotion, lost her footing and stumbled, falling flat on her face. She let go of the leash and laid there, stunned. Her glasses had skittered on the pavement. She felt a pain in her right foot. Unable to get up quickly, she was worried about Thunder running away. To her amazement, he was standing right there by her side, looking down at her with a quizzical look, as if asking, “Why are you laying there . . . Are you hurt?” His instinct told him something was wrong. He turned away from the bright lights and the noise, and stood close to her as she struggled to get up. Leading her slowly home, Aunt Dorothy’s sister walked out of the house to meet them. “Why did you take so long?” she asked, “ I was worried?” “I hurt my ankle,” Aunt Dorothy replied in a shaky tone, “Thunder led me home.” “What are those in Thunder’s mouth?” her sister asked. “Oh, my heavens . . . ” Aunt Dorothy said, surprised, “Those are my glasses.” The nest day, Thunder stuck close to Aunt Dorothy as she kept off her ankle. It had swollen to the size of a balloon. We found out later it had been broken.

    The last two months of his life, he became less active due to his arthritic back. However, the temptation to bolt for that athletic field remained. He would run like a puppy and then, upon his return home, start circling in tremendous pain. It broke our hearts to see this. It led us to the difficult decision to end his suffering. During that final day in his life, he must have thought it was Christmas as we fed him his favorite meal, an entire tube of liver sausage. The drive to the veterinarian’s office was peaceful. Thunder laid there, curled in the front seat of the car, knowing something had to be done about his unbearable pain. He never even resisted. In fact, he led us into the waiting room.

    As we lifted him unto the examination table, he licked our faces. He laid there, calmly looking at us with his soft brown eyes as if to say, “ don’t worry . . . I’ll be better soon.” The doctor prepared the shot and slowly injected him. His tongue slipped out of his mouth and his brown eyes closed for the final time. We gently removed his collar and kissed him.

    Three months later, at our Wisconsin lake house, on a cold still night, we carried Thunder’s remains in a glass jar onto a moonlit lake. There we stood in silence as we spread his ashes. Bowing our heads, we heard a chorus of dogs howling in tribute. They knew a comrade had fallen. Thunder left us with much more than fond memories of his character. He left us with traits of his heritage. In the spring of that year we noticed a distinct similarity in some puppies that had sprung up in the area. The spirit of Thunder now roams free and will always be with us.

    A story from Diane Gamache about shaun
    posted 06/19/2012

    John,I just finished reading The Longest trip home and as Marley I laughed and cried. I am 66 and have 2 sons and you made me wonder about all the Truths they told me over the years and like your mom I wanted to believe them.I was disappointed thoug that you didn't mention the death of your dog Shaun who followed you everywher from pyppyhood to adult whan you were ion your teens. The death of that dog Had to have a big impact on your life. I have lost 5 dogs all before they were ready to die-- the youngest at 5 because a neighbor poisoned him for being on his property at the wrong time. The others all died of cancer. Like you we will always have a dog. Now we have Shyla who will be 5 in July. She is a golden retriever who replaced another golden retriever. None of our dogs were like Marley and I have to give you credit that would have ben a trial as we couldn't have afforded to replace all the damage. We also have had to watch while our dog was put to sleep. I think that despite the child you wer uou grew to be a terrific person who I respect. Your parents did a wonderful job on you even though it was without the ChurchI consider myself a lapsed Catholic as I also started out in a strict Catholic home and a stricter Catholic school but unlike you we moved when I was 9 and there were no Catholic schools so I went public until 9th grade and by then I had my own set of values that the nuns couldn't change to their dismay. I have 2 wonderful sons who were actually baptized and received confirmation because I felt they needed the chance but after that they were on their own and that was the end of Church. Thank-you for being the devoted son you wer and I hope your books inspires more children to think of their parents and all that their parents have sacrificed for them and show some appreciation and love. We all need it at some time in our lives. God Bless you

    A story from paula morgan about Rueben my local friend
    posted 08/08/2012

    hello everyone, my name is paula morgan who very well understands the meaning of having a best friend, his name was Rueben, and now i have added two best friend, their names on the pictures are Bailey the yellow male, and Bella the female lab. My love for labs and really all dogs dates to my childhood, i had many dogs growing up, but when Rueben and I met, the love for him and labs was love a first lick. Rueben was our first lab, the best way to decribe him, it perfect. Rueben of course followed just how Marley acted growing up, in-to everything, unknowing just how did he manage to pull of some of the things he did. When is about 4 he had a stroke with left with him of no use of his hind legs. We immediately noticed something was wrong. We took him to vet which was around midnight, the vet told us he could not help him, but if we wanted to see excatly what was wrong, he suggested a neuro clinic for dogs. And what ever Rueben wanted/needed, Rueben got. We drove 1 hr to Memphis TN, there we where told he had a stroke. When a dog has a stoke it accures at the spinal column, not like us humans, which made this time horrible, he (Rueben) did not understand why he could not get up, walk, pee of play, his brain was active and still have these needs that his body would not let him achieve. The neuro MD told us that it would be best to put him down, me and my husband immediately fused. I told him that if human can service and make adjusts, so could my Rueben. So...I checked him out, told him, we will back but to show you that i nor my husband was let him down, when he needed us the most. I had a friend who is PTA, physical assistant who came everyday to show my what kind of excersies to do and strengthing he needed. We worked with hime everyday, did alot praying that God would take him home. My husband made several devices to help with his training. We had to make a hugh sling to carry his hind legs, hold him up so he could pee and do his other bussiness, when needed. we made our Den to our sleeping,eating, and workout area just for him. My husband built handycap ramps, and about 2-3 months he was able to walk, with mild left hip problems. He had foot drop, so we were able to train his body to overcommensinsate for this lost. We give him the command "Rueben pick of your left leg" and he would. He could never run, he tried but you begin to see his left hip to to sway and then he would fall, but a true lab never gives up, so he would drag his-self, the look on his face was heartbreaking, but then i could see a smart little grin, i knew what he thing, "See momma im still here to play", I do not want to mention the cost of the clinic and the fact the did nothing but do a few test and suggested we have him "put down". After Rueben was able to walk, I drove to memphis and Rueben walked into that place to show off to him, I knew he did this on purpose as to say to him, "see my momma told you". The vet specialist was amazed and told us, "I never would beleive this in a thousand years. We put in pool at our home so that he could water exercises which really did him work him, but this helped with the left him, and this helped him not be so sore. Rueben lived another five years, it was around Christmas we begin to notice the changes in him, like not coming to bed with us, not eating or drinking too much water. Then the day this still makes my cry, and feel this unbelievabe loss came. I was in the floor begging him to eating something, anything, i cooked which i know Dogs should have, but when you scared and you know something is wrong, you will try everything, i was holding my once 140lb lab that was losing life he weighed maybe 90, he has lymphnode cancer. As a nurse, i know once the cancer spends to all lymphnodes and he did eat, quit dring water as well, and begain dry heving, the time i dreaded had arrived. I called my husband he came, in the back of my mind i knew this was the time, but the human selfish side was screaming, just let us try...but i looked into his beg brown eyes like i have for 9 wonderful years and he was telling me it was his time. Sorry to be telling you this i have been crying the whold time writing about him. I have children, they are all grown, so Rueben was my other son. We stayed with him all the way till God took him home. The vet that was his regular vet put me and my husband in room and told to stay as long as we wanted. We Rueben left me, i believe a small smile was on his face. You have got to understand one thing, losing a friend like this, someone who no matter if fat, skinny, white, black or what ever, they truely loved you more than than themselves. There is a running joke about him in our family, he is called Milan, TN most expensive dog. We counted all treatments and pool and med which came out to be around 60 to 70 thousand dollars.The money is not i miss, i miss my best friend. He died Feb feb 5 2009. His aches sat on shelf right underneath the oil panting we had done. He did get his good mornings and i hope you day in Heaven is great and a kiss to placed on his urern. Mondy can not buy the love, loyality, and trust that my Rueben gave me. The next day after i lost him, i tried to go to work, don't ever remember the drive, my heart was crumbbing inside, i clinged to his picture, i sent home and to that i needed to see a doctor. My doctor totaly understoon how i was feeling, and said "paula you lost your son,and this is going to take time. I came home gathered all of his toys, blankets, and this food, which we had to spoon feed to him, lied on my living floor on his blankets surrounded my his pictures and cryed for over a week. My husband called my doctor who suggested we get another friend, but i felt like if i did this i am betraying Rueben, then i ran upon a poem or what is called the doys prayer, saying if you want to remember me, help another of my kind to love i was able to recieve. So after a week of phone calls, we were able to find a breader for labs my the AKC foundation who knows the breader and was what is commonly send a puppy mill. We Drove from Milan, TN to right at the Oak State line to find my new friend, his name Bailey, and now we have bella as well. I chairish every moment, even when made to great holes in my drywall, setoff the house alarm by climbing and knocking over some small kitchen appliances, and when he chewed a gaint hole in my floor. People have asked me if i had my head examined to go through these things, i ask them, can you call your best friend no matter time of day and talk and the listen with open ears, i know that no matter what problems come, i do know what it means to have unconditional love and devotion in my life, every single day, can you say that. God bless anyone who truely loves their friend, we need more people like you, my wish, is that people take a lesson from these loving friends on four legs, our whole world would be a much better place. Our dogs eat, sleep, go where go except to work, i hurts me to leave thim each time, but i have to support them not with love, but it does take money, i know they understand that we do this so they will have the best possible home, and care. God bless you Rueben, Bailey, and Bella, you make me a better person love momma

    A story from Sharon about Marley & Me
    posted 08/25/2012

    Probably the best book I can remember reading. Just finished it, and laughed more and cried more than I have in a long time. Thank you for writing it. No dog stories, but cats. Know the joys and pains you expressed.

    A story from Mark Ellis about My Beloved Harry
    posted 08/26/2012

    Hi John, I first read Marley and me when it came out and loved the real stories as a fellow lab owner which I could relate to. My own Marley was Harry and he gave me that special unconditional love which all labs do. He ate a set of kitchen cupboards, several floor coverings and he filled my heart and that of my wife and 4 children with a joy so deep that I cant begin to describe. In Late 2009 Harry- then 8, started to have 'dizzy spells'. The vet wanting to show off his new neuro scanner checked for a brain tumour but as we all know brains can be in short supply in a labs head. I try and be kind about the though beacause this vets mistake nearly cost my beloved dog his life all too early. Harry had a fit and was rushed to an emergency vet who noticed his blood sugars were almost zero. A trip to a wonderful veterinarian hospital called Chestergates in England brought a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Within days they operated and a week later he came home. We had a wonderful 2 more years with him until I came home in February of this year and my wife told me he had had another fit. The cancer was back with a vengeance this time in the liver and within a week he was back under the knife at Chestergates. Against all odds he came through but he wouldnt eat and we had to bring him home 24 hours after the operation as he was depressed causing him not to eat. I hand fed him and slept with him for 2 weeks nursing him back to health. The cancers had left their mark and he had aged rapidly but was still that loving soleful companion and the children and I were glad of our time together. Visits to the vet in coming months brought the news his kidneys were failing so he had a very pampered diet (salmon, chicken, lamb) eating better than any of us. Last Friday August 24th his dizziness returned and I had to take him to the vets for a final time. His blood sugars were down and it was time to say goodbye. I am crying as I write this but wanted to pass on my own story however sad. I could probably have bought another couple of weeks with my beloved friend but the vet and I thought he would be suffering and he didnt deserve that. I am heartbroken and I will always miss my best friend, I wish he was still here and I always will. I feel an emptiness and know the kids (23,19,9,8) all do as the youngest 2 have had him all their lives as their playpal and protector. I hope I havent saddened anyone in writing this but I wanted him to have an epitaph of love for all to see. He was special in so many ways, my very own Marley....Harry

    A story from Martina about Story of Miley
    posted 09/01/2012

    Dear John, I read your book, and I also had a Labrador, was my sister, but at the time she was still living with us, but I have never had any trouble, instead Mileyla with my dog, yes. Miley is a dog of a pound and a half, but with a determination not to follow the commands worthy to command an army. When we brought her home, in fact, when I was a gift, my mother began to spoil and give her the part, so I found myself having to teach the commands to a dog sly and profiteer. In the sense that if he had had enough of me, went to my mom's with the hangdog expression. And I earned a glare. However, for a while he learned to execute the command 'seat!', That is, mind you, when he feels like her. That is almost never. But if the execution of my commands is not his forte, his forte is to understand me with just a glance. I love her in every way. I love when he does everything to rejoice, because in this period are not exactly at the peak of happiness, love when he sleeps and when he hears that I move slowly wakes up and follow me. I always cry when I read your book. And each time, since she is here, when I finish I always look where you and say, 'Look, boss, Marley was not the best of dogs. But you know what tidico? He sometimes carried out his commands. I do not like you! ' and she, in response, he looked at me straight in the eye with a contemptuous glance, as if he hated the fact of being compared to someone. I love her, even though at times I felt like strangle. Took things that Simba, my cat, threw on the ground. He took my socks just fell accidentally from the bed or the couch, and when we carry him around, pulls like a mad and stops every ten seconds to sniff or pee. But it's okay, and I love my mom for what it is, even if it executes commands or does not hear us when we call. One last thing, I wanted to compliment you for the book. E 'in my' playlist 'of favorite books, and I know it by heart. Congratulations, it's a fantastic book and intense, and every time I finish I seem to know more and more Marley. PS: I'm Italian, I'm sorry if there is any error, use the translator; D

    A story from Margie Billig about Cleaning your house
    posted 09/01/2012

    I used to work for two moms and a mop. I did not know who you were when I entered your home all I knew that they told us you were a writer and not to distrub the table where you had your books and paper on. I cleaned your house and met Gracie your dog who was very sweet and gentle. I was reading a book one day about a dog called Marley to my youngest granddaughter Katie when I turned it over and found it was written by John Grogan. I was so surprised and said Katie I cleaned this man's house!!! I have my own cleaning business now and clean for the elderly. I did work for AT&T for 17 years until the company went under. I then worked as a care giver for Home Instead Senior Care along with my cleaning business. I enjoyed your movie and cried and laughed through it. You are an amazing writer and I was glad to have read your book and see your movie and also cleaning your house not knowing that you were a famous writer. God bless you and your family.

    A story from Rita about Girl - Memories
    posted 09/08/2012

    Some where amid the day of sleeping on the couch or under the bed she lies in waiting for her master to arrive. Rising to the occasion when the door makes the slightest of sounds prepared to present a friendly tail wagging, greet. Behold is 'Girl', the family dog. The large ears that stand atop the lady-wolfish head as radars are its trademark. The slightes of sounds will trigger a twitch of the ear, which would make the burglar's job quite the task. A bulky torso which probably weighs at least one hundred and twenty pounds comprise this physique. Would it be prudent to say the dog is big-boned? The long white tail, when cheerful, wags in exuberant exceitment, and will beat you generously if you come within its reach. Outwardly speaking, Girl holds in the rankings of a pedigree of a mutt. Her behavior is what makes her unique. As would any dog. Spoiled, a simple word that could explain her at times. It sleeps most of the time on the couch, which she guards with ire. Along with most anything she conjures to her belonging. One false move toward her could end with a soft bite. A tough love if you will. If one were to test their limits they could be assured blood will arise. Holding sacred a remote control, leash, and numerous toys, nothing gets her more enthused than mentioning a leassh, which sparks comething in the utter bowels of its soul and sends the dog into a burst of jumping, spinning, barking mania. Walking or riding in the car is, by far, the highlight of her day to say the least. The dogs' intelligence ranks somewhere between a highly trained K-9 and a lamp post. Speaking when told to, sitting, lying down is something that happens at random intervals unless taunted with a doggy treat. She has mastered the art of catching a ball from running to lying down. As age increased she seems to do more things lying down, even eating. A game called fetch should be renamed seek, as she runs away from anyone when a toy is in hand, finding areas to maneuver that are only accessible to her in a chase. An obsession with stuffed animals has spawned into a pure hatred. Ripping of eyes, biting, snarling, and jarring side-to-side repeatedly has left many a stuffed toy bewildered, beheaded or mangled. By far the largest house-dog to land on the face of the earth, she has become a member of my family, even with a Christmas stocking bearing her name. Girl has added an element to the household that is purely unique within it and has blessed us with lots of memories and surely more to come. Sadly, 'Girl' had to leave us on March 17, 2003. Her time with us will be treasured as we were blessed with a very special 'Girl'

    A story from Barbara Boudreau about Saved by Marley
    posted 09/29/2012

    Three days ago I had to make a decision: rehome my 13 mo old German Shepherd or try, try again to deal with an incorrigible, over-the-top rambunctious dog who loves people, kids, other dogs, doesn't have an aggressive bone in her body(yet?) and is the smartest dog I've ever had. I could deal with the time she stole a whole stick of butter and the resulting diahrrhea all over the Persian rug. I can deal with having my shoes and boots on top of the fridge. I sigh when I look out on my once beautiful backyard to see it strewn with chewed hoses, pots, uprooted shrubs, grave size holes, shredded chew toys etc. We won't even mention the 3 cats who are now confined to one end of the house. Her favorite dog buddies are labs, and Marley has nothing on Libby in house remodeling. I too have been fired by a trainer who had no idea how to deal with her major flaw: Libby's idea of a fun game is to launch herself at me and grab my arm (think police dog take down). It's not mean or vicious..she's playing, except my arms look I'm a victim of spousal abuse. I'm working with an experienced trainer of protection dogs to de-program this trait...some improvement, but we're not there yet. So 3 days ago, I was in despair, crying in frustration and wondering if it was "throw in the towel" time. (Not the first time I've had misgivings.) I left Libby home and took myself to a quiet place by the water, latte in hand, for a soul searching meditation period. What to do? Next stop was my favorite bookstore for a copy of Marley&Me. How did other people deal with impossible dogs they love? Next stop was an orthopedic rehab where I had them custom make a pair of hard casing forearm protectors. Read M&M in one sitting. Next day, suitably suited, I dared her to do a "take down" as I calmly, quietly refused to engage in my usual screeching, arm flailing, "NO BITE" scolding. Very shortly she stopped in her tracks with a quizzical look on her face and went looking for her ball to bring to me. ("OK how about this game?") Oh, did I mention I've smeared hot sauce on my arms, squirted vinegar into her mouth, banished her to her crate, abruptly left the room when she goes into take down, substituted appropriate chew toys, smacked her on the nose, scruffed her by the neck? You name it I've tried it. Short of murder, aversion doesn't work with her. What came to me in my "meditation" was to take the fun out of her game. Something tells me I'm on the right track. So, thanks to Marley, you and Jenny Libby has a stay of execution.

    A story from Sondra Dankel about One Lucky Pound Puppy
    posted 10/12/2012

    October 12, 2012 Dear Mr. Grogan, I am a little nervous writing this letter. I just read your little book, Bad Dogs Have More Fun. I have the Marley and Me book, the audio of it, plus it was on TV. I still have not brought myself to read, listen, or hear the whole story because I know Marley dies. I will soon complete the story. Let me introduce myself---my name is Sondra and I live in South Jersey, not too far from you. I became an author last year with my first and only book published, so far, entitled One Lucky Pound Puppy. I would very much like to send a copy of my book to you if you have a post office box. I came up with one address on the internet, but do not know for sure if it is yours and do not want to invade anyone’s privacy. Because of health problems this year I was only able to promote my book for a short time, but I am on the road to recovery. I enjoyed the book signings and meeting interesting people. E-mail address---author@sondradankel.com Website----------www.sondradankel.com phone---home---856-228-5527 My book is available through Tate Publishing, Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com and other book stores. It has a 5 star rating and good reviews.

    I guess I would like to hear from a professional; someone who has been at the top of the best seller’s list. I would like to hear exactly what you think of my little book. I have written another book, not published yet, called Blessings. I will try to add something in this email about Blessings. It is not about a dog, but about my fictional family in a fictional town in NH. I truly believe every woman will enjoy it. The mother tells the story of her family and children and how she is thankful and blessed. It has humor mixed with love. It is a larger book. I would like to think that something in this book will reach out and touch another person’s life; perhaps a childhood memory, a song, a kiss, a smile, a baby. I am very excited with both my books and hope to get the second one published and out by mother’s day. I went through Tate before, but they are so expensive so I may go through Book Baby this time. Not sure? Any ideas? Your success with Marley was wonderful. I would love to hear some encouraging words or criticism that will further help me. I would love to do a weekly or monthly newspaper column on pets with pet tips and news. It is funny—me writing books! I used to hate to read as a child. I tell everyone if you want a “forever friend”—adopt a pound puppy. Thank you, Sincerely, Sondra

    Introduction for "Blessings" Blessings is the first in what I hope to be a series of books about the Turner family. I hope Blessings will be an exciting journey. Many of the places in the book are real. Skippack is a fictional town just as they are my fictional family. I believe every woman,whether young or old, will smile and find love and laughter between these pages, even relating to some of the situations. I hope you will invite the Turner's into your home and will enjoy Blessings so much that you will look forward to book #2.

    A story from Jan Whorton about Buffy
    posted 10/19/2012

    I don't know where to start -- I am 58 and this is the first dog I have had as an adult.

    Buffy is a Cocker Spaniel - buff colored and 9.5 years old.

    She has changed my life -- now as a single divorced woman I have a constant companion. She has developed Glaucoma in her eyes and now has some Arthritis. She has been a real trooper when it comes to putting drops in her eyes and taking arthritis medicine.

    She still has a lot of energy and really hasn't slowed down -- gets into the trash, steals food off the table and puts everything into her mouth!!

    She lays by the front door until I get home at lunchtime or at night--only a dog lover knows the joy of walking in the door and she jumps up and wiggles all over glad to see you.

    I enjoyed Marley and Me - read the whole book! Cried, of course, when Marley dies -- I hope it will prepare when my precious Buffy passes away!

    Thanks for writing such a heart warming and amazing book!!

    A story from Nicole about A touching story
    posted 11/19/2012

    I love your story. I have grown up with cats and always wanted a dog that would greet me when I got home. When I finished reading your book for the second time, I had gone to Goodwill and found the movie that Marley was in and I bought it. Marley was such a cute dog. It must have been hard for you and your family to lose him. He was your first child. My cat greets me when I get home everyday almost like a dog, but with not as much enthusiasm. He sometimes is only happy to see me because he wants food. My first cat died when I was five. He had a sister, the runt of the litter, which we had adopted also. I loved him so much and he left my life one day. I don't cry much about him because I can not remember him. His sister was the runt and she lived a long life. My cat, Teddy, feels like a Teddy bear, and is soft like silk. He has fangs that stick out and he has been around for three and a half years. He used to lay at the end of my bed, and I would end up kicking him at night and in the morning when I first got up, but I can not remember the last time he slept with me. Now he just sleeps outside my room. I had never been a popular kid at school, I read on the bus and got picked on for it. Nobody liked to read. They still don't. But I loved to read. I got picked on for getting good grades, and even one day a girl lied to the substitute teacher and said I stole her little sister's pencil sharpener. My best friend is my cousin and she lives about an hour away. I see her often, have a few laughs, and I always leave, wishing I could have a few more hours. Anyway... I love your book so much. It is inspiring. It made me cry and laugh. When I was done the first time, I had to go over and hug my cat. Marley was such a trouble maker! That adorable dog's face! Thanks so much for producing that book so I could read about your life, it brings me joy each time I read it. I am reading it right now, in fact, that is why I got on here! I saw that you could go on marleyandme.com and I had to check it out. It is so nice that you made a place for Marley, to keep him alive. Thanks

    A story from Dina about The story of THOR
    posted 02/06/2013

    An indelible

    It happens sometimes in our life, destiny put us in front of people or animals, they become part of us, with which we find ourselves in sharing a ride of our earthly existence, the story I am about to write of it ' incredible, perhaps many of you readers do not believe that the facts are that I'm about to tell could really happen, but it is the truth the meeting between me and my THOR and what then ensued ... ... ... .. I still remember the day when Thor came into my house was a beautiful late summer day, I was in the garden and looked anxiously at the clock, I preferred to wait in the arrival of this little furry creature, my husband and my son Valter Luke had left early in the morning armed with sleeper, covers and lots of love to give to what must have been for Luke the companion of many years of his life. When Thor came through the gate into the arms of Luke was still asleep, I saw at that moment a light, a hope in the eyes of Luke, who had never seen, had been years since his illness did not give him a moment of serenity and the dog from his arms had been almost a miracle. They spent the first few weeks of games and caresses, it was a joy to be with all of Thor and then seeing Luke was so happy a dream in which I no longer believed. Autumn had already arrived for a while ', now the days had become colder and there was not much time left in the garden one evening as I was about to prepare dinner the phone rang, the call was've all been waiting for so long, receiver at the other end of the transplant center's physician informed me that the search for the donor transplant Luke had finally given positive results, a little larger than my boy Luke from Germany was 100% compatible: The days that followed were a mix of happiness and fear, Thor seemed to perceive these states of mind. It was so radiant in the morning he left for Pavia, the car ran away and left behind him in miles and our lives would never be the same. We arrived at night in our new house was dark and the fog enveloped the entire landscape, it seemed almost surreal atmosphere, it was as if time had stopped there. The early morning began to prepare for the next day, we should have come to the hospital very soon, for the latest analysis routine and then another week at home before the big moment. The next day we went out with Thor, Luke had decided to take it with you, know that he was waiting outside would help him through the tough times. Unfortunately, fate would have it that day was the last when their eyes met Luke he had run away because it was very late, had turned a moment to say "my baby I'll be right here ... wait ... .... "I see him again while I depart and Valter would stay with Thor, the hours passed and I was like a bad omen but I tried to remove my mind from those gloomy thoughts. The voice of the doctor to my shoulders was like a stab in the heart, made me aware that unfortunately there were problems, Luke could not go home. The following days were hell for us, but Luke was always trying not to make us realize how much she was suffering, always asked of his dear Thor, spoke to all about him and how good it was, he wanted to see him back for a moment but the doctors did not permit it, I still remember his last words were ... ... ... .. for his great love for his dad and THOR. The night she went away I told Luke that Thor was not peace, it was as if she sensed what was happening, had managed to calm him down only in the morning when his little master had gone to heaven. Since then many years have passed and we have never seen him act like that night Thor. A lasting memory that will remain forever imprinted in my mind like a branding iron are the eyes that look of Thor which collected the wooden box he had loved and who love you forever, throughout the sad journey home was never disconnected a single moment, even after many hours we could not take him away, his gaze lost in despair I will never forget, he looked at me and his eyes seemed to ask me why ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ....? In my long empty days I often think of the moments spent together, what fate has been cruel, but at the same time I think he took pity on us by giving us someone who to love, something that Luke continues to live. Thor taught me many things and gave me the strength to go forward, thanks to him I realized that you can continue to love even when those we loved more than our own life is no more, I felt his pain but at the same time its strength would continue for me and Walter, I could not throw away everything that Luke had left me, taught me the true meaning of life ... ... ... ... I could not continue to let me go. Now lived with a great pain in my heart but I can also think about the future. Who has never had a dog can not understand, perhaps for many of you have a poor mad at the loss of a child has taken away the light of reason, but people like me who divides her good times and bad with these pure souls I will understand, respect, loyalty, their unconditional love are not bought with some kibble, unlike men know love until death and with no ulterior motives. Together with Thor, I'm trying to carry on the dreams of Luca and his message of love, there are many ways to help others, my son wanted to become a good doctor to go to Africa, I always used to say "mom and there that there are the real doctors, where you can not expect anything in return for what you do, where the reward is a smile of a child who fills your heart. " I hope to be able to do what Luke wanted more ... ... .. to help others and I hope to someday get back together with him and Thor to run together in the Elysian Fields

    UN RICORDO INDELEBILE

    Accade alle volte che nella nostra vita il destino ci metta davanti a persone o animali e che questi entrino a far parte di noi, con i quali ci ritroviamo a dividere un passaggio della nostra esistenza terrena, la storia che mi accingo a scrivere ha dell’incredibile, forse molti di voi lettori non crederanno che i fatti che sto per narrarvi siano potuti accadere davvero, ma è la pura verità l’incontro tra me e il mio THOR e quanto poi nè segui………..

    Ricordo ancora il giorno in cui Thor entrò nella mia casa era una bellissima giornata di fine estate, io ero in giardino e guardavo ansiosa l’orologio, avevo preferito aspettare a casa l’arrivo di questo piccolo esserino peloso, mio marito Valter e mio figlio Luca erano partiti di buon mattino armati di cuccetta, copertine e tantissimo amore da dare a quello che doveva essere per Luca il compagno di molti anni della sua vita. Quando Thor varcò il cancello tra le braccia di Luca era ancora addormentato, vidi in quel momento una luce, una speranza negli occhi di Luca che non avevo mai visto, erano anni che la sua malattia non gli dava un momento di serenità e quel cucciolo tra le sue braccia aveva fatto quasi un miracolo. Passarono le prime settimane tra giochi e carezze, era una gioia per tutti stare con Thor e poi vedere Luca così felice era un sogno al quale non credevo più. L’autunno era già arrivato da un po’, oramai le giornate erano diventate più fredde e non rimanevamo più molto tempo in giardino, una sera mentre mi accingevo a preparare la cena squillò il telefono, era la chiamata che tutti aspettavamo da tanto tempo, all’altro capo del ricevitore il medico del centro trapianti mi annunciava che la ricerca del donatore per il trapianto di Luca aveva finalmente dato esito positivo,un ragazzo poco più grande del mio Luca dalla Germania era compatibile al 100%: I giorni che seguirono furono un misto di felicità e paura, Thor sembrava percepire questi stati d’animo .Era così raggiante anche lui la mattina che partimmo per Pavia, l’auto correva via e lasciava dietro di se i km e le nostre vite che non sarebbero mai più state le stesse. Arrivammo la sera nella nostra nuova casa era buio e la nebbia avvolgeva tutto il paesaggio, sembrava quasi un’atmosfera irreale, era come se lì tempo si fosse fermato. La mattina di buon ora iniziammo a prepararci per il giorno dopo, saremmo dovuti entrare in ospedale molto presto, per le ultime analisi di routin e poi ancora una settimana a casa prima del grande momento. Il giorno seguente uscimmo con Thor, Luca aveva deciso di portarlo con se, sapere che c’era lui ad aspettarlo fuori lo avrebbe aiutato a superare quei momenti difficili. Purtroppo il destino volle che quel giorno fù l’ultimo in cui i loro sguardi si incrociarono Luca era scappato via perché era molto tardi,si era voltato un solo istante per dirgli “ cucciolo mio torno subito aspettami qui………. “lo rivedo ancora allontanarsi mentre io e Valter rimanevamo con Thor, le ore passavano ed io avevo come un triste presagio ma cercai di allontanare dalla mia mente quei cupi pensieri. La voce del medico alle miei spalle fù come una pugnalata nel cuore, mi metteva al corrente che purtroppo c’erano stati dei problemi, Luca non poteva tornare a casa. I giorni successivi furono per noi un inferno, ma Luca cercava sempre di non farci capire quanto stesse soffrendo, chiedeva sempre del suo caro Thor, parlava a tutti di lui e di quanto fosse bello, voleva poterlo rivedere anche per un solo istante ma i medici non lo permisero, ricordo ancora le sue ultime parole………..furono per il suo grande papà e per il suo amato THOR. La notte in cui Luca andò via mi hanno raccontato che Thor non trovava pace, era come se percepisse quello che stava accadendo, erano riusciti a calmarlo solo al mattino quando il suo piccolo padroncino era volato in cielo. Da allora sono passati molti anni e non abbiamo mai più visto Thor comportarsi come quella notte. Un ricordo indelebile che rimarrà per sempre nella mia mente impresso come un marchio a fuoco sono gli occhi di Thor che guardano quella cassettina di legno che raccoglieva chi lui aveva amato e amerà per sempre, lungo tutto il triste viaggio di ritorno non si è mai staccato un solo istante, anche dopo molte ore non riuscivamo a portarlo via, il suo sguardo perso, disperato non lo dimenticherò mai, mi guardava e i suoi occhi sembravano chiedermi perché……………………….? Nelle mie lunghe giornate vuote penso spesso ai momenti passati insieme, a quanto il destino sia stato crudele,ma allo stesso tempo credo abbia avuto pietà di noi dandoci qualcuno a cui voler bene, qualcosa di Luca che continua a vivere. Thor mi ha insegnato molte cose e mi ha dato la forza di andare avanti, grazie a lui ho capito che si può continuare ad amare anche quando chi abbiamo amato più della nostra stessa vita non c’è più, ho percepito il suo dolore ma allo stesso tempo la sua forza di voler continuare per me e per Valter ,non potevo gettare via tutto quello che Luca mi aveva lasciato ,mi aveva insegnato il vero senso della vita…………no non potevo continuare a lasciarmi andare. Oggi convivo con un grande dolore nel cuore ma riesco anche a pensare al futuro. Chi non ha mai avuto un cane non può comprendere, forse per molti di voi sono una povera pazza a cui la perdita di un figlio ha tolto il lume della ragione, ma chi come me divide i suoi momenti belli e brutti con queste anime pure mi potrà capire, il rispetto, la fedeltà, il loro amore sono incondizionati non si comprano con qualche crocchetta, sanno amarci a differenza degli uomini fino alla morte e senza secondi fini. Insieme a Thor sto cercando di portare avanti i sogni di Luca e il suo messaggio d’amore, ci sono tanti modi per aiutare il prossimo, mio figlio voleva diventare un buon medico andare in Africa, mi diceva sempre “mamma e lì che ci sono i veri dottori dove non ti puoi aspettare nulla in cambio per ciò che fai, dove il compenso è un sorriso di un bambino che ti riempie il cuore.”

    Spero di poter riuscire a fare ciò che Luca voleva di più……..aiutare il prossimo e mi auguro di poter un giorno insieme a lui e a Thor tornare a correre insieme nei campi ELISI.

    A story from Robert O'Hara about The Longest Ride Home
    posted 02/10/2013

    February 10, 2013 John Grogan:

    After my wife read the Longest Trip Home, she suggested that I might enjoy it also. I finished it yesterday; thank you very much, it’s the first book I ever read in just two days. I’m a three-week reader mostly.

    Across the street from where I grew up, a Grogan family (friends of my parents and perhaps relatives of yours) resided at 18054 Santa Barbara, west of Livernois and north of Six Mile, first block south of Curtis. The kids were more my older brothers’ ages and served in WWII. I think the Mother’s name was Marguerite, maybe not.

    I can relate to most everything you experienced as a young Catholic boy having myself gone to Gesu Grade School and U of D High, a little ahead of you from 1938-50. Both my parents were solid Catholic and U of M alumni as well. My Father (1922) worked for GM also; he died on Easter Sunday, 1944 when I was eleven, but my Mother (1913) lasted until 1985 with ninety-five good years behind her including fifteen Grandkids. Most of us, however, remain practicing Catholics.

    We are currently blessed to have three Grand-sons and one Grand-daughter at Brother Rice and Marion.

    Thanks again for the pleasures derived from reading your book. I shed enough tears to almost dehydrate myself.

    Sincerely,

    Bob O’Hara-Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

    A story from Lillian Shaker about Thank You
    posted 02/13/2013

    My life has been marked with dogs. When my mom found out she was pregnant with me (huge surprize), she had a wonderful puppy who was half toy Poodle and cocker spainal, she was immediately told to get rid of this animal. He will be aggressive they said. Turns out the joke was on the doctor, Snoopy was my best friend, and biggest protector. My favorite story about him was when I was a baby. My mom's friend from work came over to hold me, hey I was cute, what can I say? While she was holding me, she went to use the ash tray for her cigerette, and Snoopy start to growl, and snarl at her. She froze, in a squatting postion, not sure what to do she asked my mom. My mother said, "You should sit down." Snoopy was my friend, despite how I tortured that poor soul, till the very end. I was with him when my mom and I took him to the vet to get checked out for his bowel issues, and I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him alive. I was 9, and I will never forget him, or how I learned of his death. My mom almost Nonchalantly, handed over Snoopy's favorite snacks to my uncle, and saying that She had to put Snoopy down and so he should take them. That was a difficult way to learn about that. I was completely assured that we would never be able to have another dog by my aunt who my mom and I lived with. This was a crushing blow, Snoopy was the one being I could turn to as I came home ridiculed yet again; made fun of till I cried was the game of the day at my school. Snoopy would let me cling to his fur and cry. There were no questions, no required I'm sorry". Then my aunt's only son, bought and purchased two dogs, one a German Shepard, and the other an American Rottweiler. When he was traveling back up to Northern Michigan to share them with us and visit for his 23rd birthday, he fell asleep at the wheel, rolling his Honda Pilot three times before resting just feet from the Grand River. The dogs got loose and where skittish around those who tried to capture them. Eventually they were retrived, and my cousin healed from a month long hospital stint. But he had to return to his life in Chicago, and he couldn't bring his Rottweiler with him (the German Shepard was claimed by his ex girlfriend, and being sick he just gave up). So we got Lousifer, at 6 months old. I had a new best friend, who grew to be well over 100 pounds, and when I was 5'7", he could look me square in the eye as he put his paws on my shoulders. One of my favorite memories of him, is probably controversial, but he was hard if he smelled a rabbitt near by to handle. And so one day as I drank a glass of water, looking out at the back yard that had woods just beyond a large grassy area, I looked to my left to see my grandma, who was only 5 foot at best and in her early 70s. Sure enough, Lousy smelled something and was gone, and I still chuckle as I remember my grandmother, taking a mouthful of dirt, as he pulled her forward in persuit of some great game he would never catch. About 3 months after getting out of his first accident, my cousin was in another, and this time he bit off more than he could chew, and passed away on a Wednesday in October of 95. And as my aunt delt with her loss and lashed out at anyone in her path, Lousifer (Lousy) and I became best friends, and we lent on each other as we restled with our loss. He was my constant as I went through high school and then started college. My mom told me that when I would call and leave a message when the family was gone, they would play the message when they retured, and Lousy would bark at my voice. The last time I saw him alive, he had a large mass growing on his front paw, that he licked and chewed at. Intellectually, I understood what was to come, but I still thought, this is something that can be fixed. I was wrong. I was in my final year of college when I recieved the call from my mom that they had had to put him down. It was almost exactly on the tenth anniversary of my cousin's passing. Nothing could have been more difficult at that moment then listening to my mother swear off another dog, because she couldn't bear to deal with this crushing loss yet again. Then, about seven months later, my aunt came home from work and showed my mom a picture of a cute little puppy, about seven months old at the shelter. They agreed that they would go and look, only to look. Then my aunt adopted the puppy that day, and now we have Pyka in our lives. She is a mix of German Sheppard and Dauschound. No, we have no idea how she was made, though many theories have come around. She has been a blessing, and has been there as my mom has had to say good bye to my aunt almost exactly a year ago, and she had to move back to the city life. My family is originally from Hamtramik, but lived most of her life in the rual North, now she lives in the shadows of Grand Rapids. Dogs have been the best part of my life, they have been my best of best friends. They don't judge you for having another slice of cake or for sitting in your pjs all day long. And now I have a husband of only 2 years, I look at him and think, "How could you possbly think it would be a good idea to purchase a place that doesn't allow dogs!?" Especially as we start the planning of our family. Especially since reading your story of Marley. Marley reminds me a little of every dog I have had, though Snoopy was calm and really didn't do anything bad, Lousifer was different. He got mad at us and used our front room as his personal powder room several times, he chewed my entire room up, including one shoe of a brand new pair of shoes. And while not nearly as skittish as Marley, Lousifer feard thunder. Now, Pyka will great us with a trail of used kleenx and other various objects from the garbage when we return from a short jaunt down to the store. But no mater what, no matter how much damage, or the scar Lousy gave me when he got a little too excited to see me, I would not trade those experiences for anything. Thank you for reminding me of those lost or repressed memories. It was a great journey to hear about Marley, and I am thankful to have done so.

    A story from Lisa Chavez about The Greatest Gift of All
    posted 02/18/2013

    From time to time everyone receives a gift that is extra special. Since it is Christmas time, I thought I would take the time to share my extra special gift. It was not in the form of a wrapped package with bright paper and ribbons under the tree. It did not come in the month of December. My special gift came on June 12, 2010 in the form of a four legged bundle of black and white hair – my very first puppy. I had grown up with dogs. I have always had a great affection for the four legged creatures, but I had never owned one of my very own to raise. That is where our journey begins. I was excited about becoming a pet parent. As a matter of fact, I was over the moon about the prospect of raising a puppy. I held several pups during a visit to the breeder, but there was one that stole my heart. She was a little black and white darling, and half asleep. She opened her tiny little eyes and stared at me for a second. Then she timidly stretched and licked my chin. It was not long before she was climbing on my shoulder to get to my earrings and licking the inside of my ears. It was at that moment that I knew she was to be mine. The deposit was made and it would be a week before I could take her home. It was like planning for the arrival of a baby. There was a long list of items to prepare her new home. The other dilemma I was facing was a name. I must have gone through a dozen names before I came up with one that I could not get out of my head - Ebony. Anyone that is a fan of the music of the eighties remembers “Ebony and Ivory” by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. I kept singing it over and over again in my head. It was perfect for her. The day finally arrived for me to bring her home. After getting a few instructions from the breeder I got her loaded up in her carrier and started home. She was a little anxious as puppies generally are when they leave their mother and litter mates. She cried for a long time. I was in the passenger seat and decided to unzip the carrier a little bit to stick my hand in to console her. She was still pretty unhappy so I pulled her out and held her. Then in a split second she spit up. Yes, this was my first taste of motherhood. It was down my shirt inside and out. I remember laughing about it later. The poor thing was probably carsick from the forty-five minute drive home. From that day forward, our lives would be different. We would embark on an unforgettable journey that just keeps getting better. What I did not realize until months later was how this little puppy would change my life. I credit her for saving my life from deep depression, and helping me to see that joy truly does come after grief and loss.

    A story from ana paula schnaider about fred o cao sem vergolha de ser feliz
    posted 02/21/2013

    o fred é um super cao , adora ficar brincando , e quando a gente se senta na beirada da porta ele se joga em cima da gente , e fica pedindo carinho , e quer que a gente faça carinho na sua barriguinha , e fica todo bobo . ele tem um defeito muito grande , só quer comer comida caseira , já tentamos de tudo para ele comer ração , só que ele ficava todo babando quando a gente comia , que nao dava para aguentar . ele come ossinhos , mas só na hora , pois se ficam já passados , ele nem come , fica bravo . ele é muito inteligente e brincalhao . em desembro de 2011 , ele ficou muito doente , e foi ate internado , pois ele esta com uma virose , e ele ainda era um bebe com 2 meses de vida . hoje ele é forte e sem vergolha, adora correre pelo quintal feito um doido , nao pode ver ninguem diferente na rua , ele já late . e quando ele esta no portao olhando a rua , muitos acham que ele ´pe muito bravo , só que na verdade nao é , ele é muito mimado . quando chego em casa , e abro a porta ele sai correndo para o sofa e fica se esfregando todo bobo, nao adianta brigar . ele é um super cao como marley , so que nao é tao encrenquero como ele . nos amamos muito ele , e ele já faz pare da familia

    A story from sara kalitowski about 4pawshope
    posted 04/02/2013

    Dear John Grogan, I love your book Marley and me. I have my own idea of a book that I need help publishing and writing. I want to call it 4paws hope because it would be a good true story and a fundraiser. 4paws is an animal rescue that saves animals. I first went with my private school to work in 2010. At first I didn’t know what to expect but after I started I love to help animals and they love me. There were horses and dogs and other animals. My job coach Mrs. Pat Moser taught me to clean the stalls and to make a horse bed. I also learned to give the goats food and water. I want to publish this into a book in order to raise money for animal shelters. I would like if you could help me publish this book because I am not a very good writer. The website is www.all4pawsrescue.com. I hope you write back. Thank you! Sincerely, Sara Kalitowski

    A story from Rev. Becky Dees-McMahon about Thanks!
    posted 08/27/2013

    Thanks for writing "The Longest Trip Home". Your reflections on your childhood are so real and honest. I notice you were born the same year as my sister who died several years ago. Somehow I find comfort in hearing of your life and how things were back then. Thanks. I enjoy your writing style and seek to write a bit myself. I appreciate the inspiration which encourages me along my journey of both writing and sharing my faith at the same time. God's blessings upon you!

    A story from Lynette about OUR LOVELY BOY HARVEY
    posted 08/29/2013

    Thank you for you wonderful site and allowing us to share our stories with each other. Grief is something, unfortunately, we all have to go through in our lives, but with it, after a time, you remember the good memories and the happy times and hopefully in time the good times do outweigh the pain and things do become more bearable. At this moment in time,though, only 2 months, the pain is so raw and deep that I think we will never get over losing Harvey.

    Our lovely boy Harvey passed away suddenly on the 22nd June this year, just 8 years old, within a week of going backwards and forwards to the vets, and following an operation to remove a tumor from his spleen he was gone and the light of our lives who bounced into our family in 2005 is gone. Thankfully, we all went to see him following his operation on the Saturday whilst he was still being monitored. We spent an hour with him, stroked him, gave him a love and fed him, 10mins later on the way home we received the dreaded phone call to say he had passed away. How we drove home I do not know. Anyone who has gone through this pain will understand what we are going through, there are days we still walk into the house still expecting him to be there, calling him to go for his walk, to hear his tail banging on the dining room wall to greet you, the tempo increasing the nearer you get to him to the point of thinking he is going to knock a hole in the wall!! Reading your book again and watching the DVD brought back the memories of the love we shared for Harvey, who we purchased from Birmingham Dogs Homes in 2005 for £96, this money being the best that we have ever spent in our lives. The joy, tears of laughter he brought us are irreplaceable and can only say thank you to them for entrusting him to us and allowing him to complete our family. The dog training classes we tried to attend, complete waste of time, Harvey at 3 months (was a Rottie x with a Labrador) was having none of it, we never took Harvey for a walk...he took us, a long standing joke on our housing estate that we had been seen out with Harvey taking us for a walk!! never quite calming down until he reached 2 years of age. A stealth missile in disguise, his favourite occupation was to sneak into the laundry basket, steal a sock and proceed to run as fast as he could with us all in pursuit not wanting him to swallow it, you could almost see the look of pleasure on his face as we chased him around the dining room table. Food was his 2nd love, ready like a crocodile to snap up anything that happened to drop in the floor or near to his jaws. Mornings are not the same now without our early cup of tea and toast in the conservatory, just us 2 while the rest of the world was asleep. We had our boy cremated and he has pride of place in his favourite spot in the garden. A poem read a few moments ago by a fellow owner says everything

    WE LOST A TREASURED FRIEND, THE LITTLE DOG WHO USED TO LAY HIS GENTLE HEAD UPON OUR KNEES AND SHARED HIS SILENT THOUGHTS WITH US

    HE'LL COME NO LONGER TO OUR CALL RETRIEVE NO MORE HIS FAVORITE BALL A VOICE FAR GREATER THAN OUR OWN HAS CALLED HIM TO HIS FINAL HOME

    ALTHOUGH OUR EYES ARE FILLED WITH TEARS WE THANK HIM FOR THE HAPPY YEARS HE CHOSE TO SPEND DOWN HERE WITH US AND FOR HIS LOVE AND LOYALTY

    AND WHEN IT'S TIME FOR US TO GO AND JOIN HIM THERE THIS MUCH WE KNOW WE SHALL NOT FEAR THE ENDLESS DARK FOR HARVEY WILL GREET US WITH A BARK!

    I Hope you do not mind us altering this poem a little but it says everything that we are all feeling

    A story from Shawn Elizabeth Mackley about My Marley and Me
    posted 10/25/2013

    Dear John, I love your book Marley and Me enough to take this picture of my Marley and Me, during a visit to the district library in Marshall, Michigan. My, Marley and Me work in the scent detection field and we find bed bugs. I’ve written a handful of dog blogs for coworkers, customers and friends telling them all about our (fictional) bed bug adventures. I really enjoy writing them, it’s a gas! The author, Stephen Joseph Cannell (2/5/1941-9/30/2010) was a distant cousin of mine and like him, I have dyslexia. I’ve been recently diagnosed at age 47 with that and ADD. It’s been a lifelong challenge writing and communication with humans. Thank GOD for spell check and thank you God for dogs which is God spelled backwards. I’ve never had a problem speaking the K9 language. Marley and me live in New Hudson Michigan and my neighbor knows your parents in Milford. Boy it’s a small world, isn’t it?

    A story from Debby Dobson about A Life-Changing Dog
    posted 12/01/2013

    I'd been living in northern Arizona for several years and, after refurbishing and updating an older home, had re-started a pet sitting business. Originally from Connecticut, my pet sitting career began many years before when a family whose children I babysat for asked me if I would stay in their home while they went on vacation for 2 weeks one summer. Their pets consisted of one elegant red Abyssinian cat and one of the least friendly, unmellow Golden Retrievers I'd ever met along with a huge salt water tank filled with assorted creatures I knew not the names of! I happily agreed to take care of everyone with one stipulation: that they left me detailed instructions on how to take care of the fish tank, which they did. At the end of two weeks, everyone entrusted to my care was still alive and from there, I built a small but loyal group of families whose pets and homes I cared for on a regular basis. I simply moved this to Arizona where the homes were much newer, the weather less harsh and walking dogs was a relatively easy task as there was usually nothing but dust to track into the house. After 3 successful years of taking care of other people's pets, I started to long for my own furry 4-legged family. So I started with just one cat, which led to a second cat to keep the first one company. (Actually, my first cat probably would have preferred being the only "princess", but I meant well.) After the second cat had lived with us for about a year, I slowly began to entertain the idea of getting a dog. My hesitation was that I knew a dog really was a lot more responsibility than a cat. Whereas, a litter box more than sufficed for a cat's bathroom, a dog had to be walked. A cat kept itself pretty clean but a dog got smelly and needed to be bathed. A dog took up a lot more space, ate more food, etc. There were many practical reasons not to have a dog in my life and yet, I started cruising our local shelter on a regular basis telling myself I was "just looking". One lovely day in the spring I'd gone into town to run a few errands and suddenly a voice came into my head that said, "Go to the shelter NOW!" Honest. It really did happen that way. So I did. And there she was. She looked almost exactly like a dog I'd rescued off the street many years before. And even in my less than aware and informed state, I could see that this dog had problems. She was anxious and paced in her run and couldn't meet my eyes. But, to me, she was absolutely beautiful and my heart melted. Rather than trying to enter her space in the shelter, I opened the run next door and played with the puppy there so she could see that I meant no harm. I wanted her to trust me but I knew it was too soon and that I would be asking too much of her just then. So after about 20 minutes of playing with the cute puppy, I left. As I made my way out of the shelter, I casually asked about her at the front desk. The people at the shelter knew I worked with animals, knew I was a pet sitter and apparently figured I could handle her. They suggested I come back and take her for a walk the next day. So I did. I honestly don't remember our first walk very well, but it led to a decade of walks and hikes that I will always treasure. Nora and I covered literally thousands of miles together, both on foot and in the car. She became the light of my life and taught me to slow down. I'd be rushing down a trail in workout mode, and she'd stop and lag behind. I'd urge her to follow me and she stayed right where she was, calmly gazing out into the distance. When I'd finally retrace my hurried steps to go fetch her, I saw why she'd stopped. Inevitably, she'd found a gorgeous view that she wanted to admire. She taught me to stop and enjoy the breathtaking beauty too. She also taught me humility and patience and mostly, she taught me the value of her love and trust. Over time, I pieced her psyche together. She'd most likely been abused and it had been a man. My joke back then was that if I ever settled into a serious relationship, the poor guy would have to have the patience of a saint! Eventually, Nora did make friends with several men and I was always so proud of having been a part of that. I asked her to push herself out of her comfort zone many times over the years and she did. Sometimes I asked too soon and expected too much. But that never diminished her love or devotion toward me. No matter what I did, she always wanted to be with me. Whether I'd been gone 20 minutes or two hours, her joy in seeing me return home again was always the same expression of unbridled whirling happiness. After she died, I realized that I had experienced a special bond with Nora, one that even now, I find hard to describe. She and I were so close and knew each other so well that oftentimes, words were not necessary. I did not have to say anything and she knew what I was thinking. I know! This sounds pretty "woo woo" but it was an easy, comfortable knowing one another that transcended speech and sound. Even as I type this, the words seem inadequate. Suffice it to say that Nora completed my life when she was in it and I will always be grateful for her faith in me, even when I didn't have it in myself. She truly helped make me a better person and I feel so fortunate to have spent time with her!

    A story from ELIS CAVALCANTE REIS LOPES about I HAVE A DOG THAT LOOK LIKE WITH MARLEY
    posted 12/17/2013

    Hi Jonh, I am ELIS, i am brazilian, i live in RECIFE´S CITY in Brasil, i Work in a bank here, i am marry and we love dogs. I and may husband always had amazing dog´s. This year, we bought a dog of race beagle.It is beautiful and amiable, but completely undisciplined,it caught things of Yard to living room, it loves bite everythings.Today it is seven months, i thought in give him to ohter person, i left him in a headquarters, but i gave up because a feell i love it, it is a crazy dog, i don´t know what to do with him, but i love it this way. It call BINGO, after many problems i began to read a book MARLEY AND ME, i enjoyed a lot with the book, i never laught so much Reading a book like a did Reading your book, i simply fell in love for Marley and for your inconditional love that you felt to him.I hope to fell the same for BINGO. e-mail: elisreispe@hotmail.com

    A story from Brigita Butala about Hani, a collie
    posted 01/12/2014

    This is Hani. And this is a part of her and my story. She touched my heart to that extent that I'm carrying her as my friend to eternity. Three years ago she passed away. She was really such a special dog as only a special living being can be. She could feel and understand everything except pronouncing words. In 2003 I went with my family on a vacation to the island of Brač in Croatia. For a certain reason Hani stayed at home, in Slovenia, where we live by the sea. She was looked after for two weeks by our neighbours who already had our dog's puppy. While enjoying the holiday, swimming and having nice time, a very unpleasant event happened to me. One early morning I went swimming in the sea and while coming back to the house where we stayed I suddenly started to shake heavily. I sneezed. I was feeling very bad and all at once I felt a strong pain in my backbone. I couldn't even realize what was happening to me. When I fell on the stairs that led towards the house I couldn't feel my left leg. Oh no! The spinal vertebra shifted from the lower part of my backbone as I sneezed and I was unable to move. In this kind of situation my brain was confused enough to get the difficult position I was in. Everybody was still sleeping and for the moment nobody heard my weak calling. I crawled towards the house, called my partner and then my ten day journey home to Slovenia began. Some 600 km away from the place we were, Hani did something unforgetable. At the same time I had the accident she suddenly started to run fast from the neighbours' yard along the coast towards the town where my mother lived. It was about 4 km away and she had never done this path before. Running like the fastest animal in the world just to come to my mother's door and started widely to bark without stopping. It was early in the morning, it was right the time the accident happened. Simultaneously. My mother and the neighbours woke up and quickly realized that something happened, Hani was barking to wake up all the regiment and scratching the door violently. She came to tell her I was in danger. She just wouldn't stop barking and »saying« that something terrible happened somewhere far away. 600 km! My dog's instinctive concern was such a real thing. Hani was terrified and wanted to tell everybody to find me and help. I came home urgently. She couldn't »tell« me how happy she was to see me again. After the operation I had and while I was recovering she wouldn't let me be without care and attention when I went for a walk with crutches. She was walking slowly in front of me and when I stopped just for a while she looked back to see if I was all right. It's impossible to forget her loving gaze and approval to continue walking. I've always liked animals but my collie Hani was really extraordinary. She gave us, especially to my twins who grew up with her, an unbelievable way of percieving the animal soul. Thank you my dearest Hani for all the joy we'd had for thirteen years, for all laughter, learning and everything you gave us as a member of the family.

    And thank you Mr. Grogan for your books I enjoy reading.

    A story from Carla about My Dog Bambam
    posted 03/02/2014

    This is my dog​​, his name and Bambam is 13 years. He is the joy of the house, is too gentle, but gets very angry with strangers.

    A story from Joanne Compton about Thanks for your books
    posted 07/13/2014

    As a former dog rescuer (I now have 6 dogs so am taking a sabbatical from rescue), I thoroughly enjoyed "Marley and Me" and "Bad Dogs Have More Fun." Thanks or sharing your wonderful stories with the world.

    A story from Matheus Garcete about We loves you Marley
    posted 07/22/2014

    Hello, my name is Matheus I am sending this story to thank you all for being an exemplary and united family. I bought this book in order to know more about man's best friend, and this is the best when it comes to this subject. Primarily meant that Brazil very much loves Marley and I can say that so far have not seen a person who has not seen this beautiful story of love and friendship. When I read Marley and Me I got used to do that side of my dogs also love Marley, who call themselves the Spot and Ruby, I had a third dog that was called Pearl, but she ended up dying from accidents in the gastric system, in may 27, a few weeks before I buy the book and I have to admit that today I imagine she playing with Marley and his contagious joy that anyone who talks to him and I have to agree with Jenny because Marley may not have been the dog more educated in the world, but surely he was the happiest dog on the face of the earth in his brief 12 years of life. My dogs also love when I read this book to them because it is a very entertaining story is sad in some parts, in others it is amazing but never fails to thrill and touch the reader, we always set aside a time and a place behind the house to read and focus on the book, and the amazing thing is that this is one of the few times of the day they are still, in silence but I always put a light music and low to give more excitement to read. Anyway, here in Brazil we have to thank for sharing this beautiful story that is Marley. I would ask you to answer me because I really wanted to get an email from you and wanted to have the honor to speak with you. Thank you and much happiness and health to you and your family! Thank you John! Oh, and sorry for my english if it has an error, because I still learning how to write the English language correctly. "A dog does not need modern cars, mansions or expensive clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A piece of wood found on the beach serves. A dog judges others not by their color, religion or social class, but for whom are inside. A dog does not care if you are rich or poor, smart or not, smart or dumb. If you give him your heart, he will give you his. "- John Grogan

    A story from Matheus Garcete about We loves you Marley
    posted 07/22/2014

    Hello, I first wanted to thank you for all Brazilians have shared with us this beautiful story of Marley. Until two months ago I had three dogs that I still love her very much, but one of them ended up leaving in the month of May and both myself, as my dogs, sorry with this great loss hurt us a lot. Whenever I have the opportunity to reread the book to them, I remember her and how she would like to hear the story of Marley, but what consoles me is that I have the hope of seeing her playing with Marley somewhere beautiful and peaceful out there because it is pure joy and contagious, but back when I read to them I am impressed with the calm they have with reading, I usually stay in a peaceful place and put a very light sound and low to thrill even more reading. We love the book because it houses all the emotions in one book, joy, sadness, suspense, romance, emotion, and especially love that one has for the other family. Anyway, I just want to thank you for having written the best book I've ever read. I just wanted to ask one thing, that would answer me on my email what is this: ----->matheusg176@hotmail.com<-------- because I really wanted to get an e-mail your . Thank you John!! "A dog does not need modern cars, mansions or expensive clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A piece of wood found on the beach serves. A dog judges others not by their color, religion or social class, but for whom are inside. A dog does not care if you are rich or poor, smart or not, smart or dumb. If you give him your heart, he will give you his. "-John Grogan.

    A story from Tilly about Remembering Bijou and Prins
    posted 10/05/2014

    Hi John,

    First of all my apologizes if my English is not very fabulous. (I am Dutch.) I want to thank you so much for having shared the story of you and your family with Marley. I laughed, I cryed while reading the book and I rememberd the two dogs that have been part of my life more and more. Also what they have teached me! I have becomed a cat ‘owner’ though while reading I felt again this special feeling that I had with my dogs. First Bijou- in my youth. She had no race, though looked a bit like a (lesser tall) brown labrador. And later –during a great part of my wedding years - with Prins, the dog who looked like a mix of a belgian shepherd and a labrador.

    I was in a down mood when I started with your book Marley and me. Though it made me so laugh and the lesson of being loyal, faithful to myself came up. Marley teached it again to me, and so did Bijou and Prins. Aaaah Marley’s adventures. Gee, what was I laughing:-) And crying at the end. Also again about Prins. (he passed over in 1984)he was ‘funny’ . Hahahahaha. Ate flowers, defended mothers who hit their kids, and so much more ‘fun’

    Thank you so much. I feel so grateful that you shared a part of your life, John. I am walking around with a big smile, and my cat- who is a bit like a dog- is also smiling.

    Greetings and all the best to you and your family,

    A story from Kellie Charles about Labrador troubles
    posted 12/19/2014

    I have grown up with Labradors, my father had a golden called freeway who was the best dog ever, collected his slippers and all and he had him till a ripe old age. Then when him and my mother married and us kids were old enough mum decided one day to get another dog, a big black Labrador. Samual was his name. And he dominated the pool ( we couldn't swim when he was in it) Mum one day cooked up 24 muffins and left them pushed to the back of the bench to cool walked back into the kitchen and all 24 muffins and wrappers were gone. Not a crumb left, Sam never ate dry wall but he polished off those, a full corn beef and anything else he could get his mouth around. If you went for drives he barked and barked, I used to say we had the worlds worst Labrador. Sadly Sam escaped one day and was killed, he was buried in the yard. I myself swore never to own a Labrador then one day saw this rolly fat chocolate Labrador called Arthur that I fell in love with. Took him home as I live with my parents. He is naughty, chewing everything from palm frons, chair legs, broke into the chicken coop. He might be naughty but he is now joined by a golden Labrador call Dexter.. these two boys are mine and my parents babies and naughty or not.. they are family. We have all watched Marley and me and all cried and loved it, it is truly a beautiful story and I thankyou for sharing it.

    A story from Christine Wolf about Merry Christmas from a fellow columnist and labrador lover
    posted 12/24/2014

    December 24, 2014

    Dear Mr. Grogan,

    Merry Christmas from a complete stranger in Evanston, Illinois. As a fellow journalist, I just had to let you know how much your writing has meant to me.

    Thanks to your decision to write about Marley, my own 10-month-old chocolate lab, Walter, has remained in our family’s home. Thinking of you (which I do quite often) offers me a sense of calm even when Walter destroys sections of our home, jumps on passersby and refuses to get into the car. I’ve considered giving up on Walter many, many times this year, but knowing that another columnist “survived” this trying period is what has ultimately helped me keep faith, find humor and maintain perspective about this maddening time in his (and my) life.

    Your writing inspires me to look deeper into life’s challenges and find the deepest meaning in issues we face as parents, community members and individuals. I’ve been a columnist in the Chicagoland area for about 5 years, still trying to find my own voice. I’ve got three kids, an awesome husband, a busy life and a passion to write about things that readers relate to.

    This year, a series of individual setbacks shook me and, collectively, nearly broke me; adding Walter into that mix only exacerbated my struggles. On multiple occasions, I considered sending Walter back to the breeder, but he remains with us because I was deeply inspired by you. I know we’ll get through this awful period in which Walter tears up carpet, steals food, drags me through parking lots and knocks over anything in his path. I know we’re a better family because we have him to remind us that life is imperfect and, as a result, we’re better for it. And, I know that love isn’t easy, but it’s worth more than 6 chewed harnesses and every 12-pack of shredded paper towels and every mini-van detail to remove the stench of canine urine.

    And so, I thank you for writing about a topic that provided such depth and breadth of your emotions. I hope you know that your decisions to write about Marley and your outlook on life are things that, to this day, inspire people like me to cope with our own personal challenges.

    It’s been such a comfort knowing there’s another columnist who’s navigated the waves of life by sharing your journey with others. Thank you, Mr. Grogan, and Merry Christmas.

    Yours truly,

    Christine Wolf North Shore Columnist Pioneer Press/Tribune Media

    A story from ana paula about super fred
    posted 01/19/2015

    fred o cao sem vergolha de ser feliz

    o fred é um super cao , adora ficar brincando , e quando a gente se senta na beirada da porta ele se joga em cima da gente , e fica pedindo carinho , e quer que a gente faça carinho na sua barriguinha , e fica todo bobo . ele tem um defeito muito grande , só quer comer comida caseira , já tentamos de tudo para ele comer ração , só que ele ficava todo babando quando a gente comia , que nao dava para aguentar . ele come ossinhos , mas só na hora , pois se ficam já passados , ele nem come , fica bravo . ele é muito inteligente e brincalhao . em desembro de 2011 , ele ficou muito doente , e foi ate internado , pois ele esta com uma virose , e ele ainda era um bebe com 2 meses de vida . hoje ele é forte e sem vergolha, adora correre pelo quintal feito um doido , nao pode ver ninguem diferente na rua , ele já late . e quando ele esta no portao olhando a rua , muitos acham que ele e muito bravo , só que na verdade nao é , ele é muito mimado . quando chego em casa , e abro a porta ele sai correndo para o sofa e fica se esfregando todo bobo, nao adianta brigar . ele é um super cao como marley , so que nao é tao encrenquer

    oi sou eu de novo , vou contar uma das novas façanhas do fred agora ele ate come canos , vassouras , e tudo mais . mais ainda continua muito sem vergolha , mais amado do mundo . tchau , ate logo

    Agora o fred cresceu e continua um eterno brincalhao, querendo cada vez mais brincar e aprontar todas.

    A story from Mariam A about My Loss
    posted 04/20/2015

    Dear Mr. John Grogan,

    I first would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your book Marley and Me. It showed a completely different realm that only people who have owned a dog or pets can understand. The loss at the end of the book made me remember the loss I recently endured. About five months ago, I lost a person very dear to my heart. My cousin Zachary Al-Hamid was shot and killed by people who simply wanted his car. It was as if his life meant nothing more than an old, rusty 2002 Hyundai.

    There is a quote in your book that particularly stood out to me: “It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what doesn’t.”. This stood out to me because it’s completely true. If the two teenage boys who shot Zak would have known what really counts, would he still be with me? breathing the same air I breathe? I don’t know what they were thinking or, if they were at all. All I know, is that the moment that the boy who shot my cousin pulled the trigger he took away something that can never be replaced. He took away a human life. He took away my best friend. He took away my brother. That’s something he can never give back. Reading the end of the book, I felt for your loss in every way. Some people have different ways of coping with sadness, or the depression of a lost loved one. How did you get over your loss of Marley? Does it still hurt sometimes, or does it just fade away eventually? Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Mariam A

    A story from Jake A about My Grandfather
    posted 04/20/2015

    Dear Mr. Grogan,

    First off I’d like to say that I enjoyed your book very much. Reading about Marley’s hijinx was very enjoyable. It was a very touching and relatable book. Marley reminded me to appreciate my own dog more. The book was one giant emotional roller coaster. It had moments that made me laugh and smile, and then it would immediately change to something that brought tears to my eyes. Your book had some of the best imagery I’ve seen in a book for a long time, and it felt as if I almost lived a portion of my life with you.

    One time I dealt with loss was when my grandfather died. I was very young when my Grandpa Gene died, probably around five or six years old. My grandfather was easily my best friend at the time. We did everything together, and I mean everything. We would watch cartoons together, prank my grandmother, eat together, walk the dog together, play with toys together, and even play super hero together. My grandpa and I were inseparable. My mom and grandma told me about one time where I told my grandfather that everything was “bulls

  • t” . I said, “This house is bulls

  • t. That car is bulls

  • t. The siding of the house is bulls

  • t. That phone tower is bullsh

  • t.” My grandpa thought it was hilarious, but when my grandmother walked out she did not find it nearly as funny. I remember whenever my grandpa died they didn’t tell me until after I went to my grandparent’s house and searched the whole house for him, and after I was done and asked where he was they broke the news to me. I was devastated, but I didn’t cry because my dad always told me “Men don’t cry,” so I had to be strong and keep my tears in because I was a man. My mom told me later in life that at the funeral you could see me physically struggling to keep in my tears. I’ll never forget the memories I made with my grandfather who was my first best friend.

    Lastly, I have a few questions that I’d like to ask you. If given the opportunity would you rename any of your children? If you were able to go back in time and choose to never publish Marley & Me would you? Would you prefer to have chosen different states to live in? What is your favorite band and song? And lastly, what current pets do you have? Thank you for your time Mr. Grogan.

    Sincerely,

    Jake A.

    A story from Dylan M about Loss
    posted 04/20/2015

    Dear Mr. Grogan,

    I enjoyed your book very much; it was very interesting and made me think back to times I’ve lost people and animals in my life. I’m only seventeen, but I do know quite a bit about death. I haven’t really lost anyone or anything extremely close to me yet except for my dog Max. I was wondering if you have lost anyone else besides Marley that was very important too your life. I know losing family is very difficult, and I expect that was why it was difficult too let go of Marley.

    I understand why you loved Marley so much even though he seemed very crazy almost all the time. I currently have a dog named Lincoln; he’s a silver lab and he also acts like he’s lost his marbles all the time, although he can’t relate to Marley when it comes to the weird things he loves, we can when it comes to our cat Zarpa. This cat’s fetish is insane; I’m surprised he hasn’t tried to marry plastic because he loves it so much. So I do understand having a pet that is special compared to other animals, because I have two and just as you loved Marley, I love my pets because they are different.

    Sincerely, Dylan M.

    A story from Rhea A about My First Pup
    posted 04/20/2015

    Mr. Grogan,

    The day I lost my first pup, Tammy, was tragic indeed. She was sweetness in a poodle’s body, but had great difficulty with arthritis and her joints, like Marley. And, like Marley, she’d follow me up and down the treacherous flight of stairs. One day, she just up and collapsed. It was three days and countless tears before she woke up again, and when she did, she couldn’t move, only blink up solemnly from the floor and yip with pain anytime someone pet her. We finally had to put her down. Buster, our other poodle, was very attached to Tammy and refused to eat after she was gone. He followed close behind her. I have shared this story with you because, after reading Marley & Me for a school assignment, I knew you would understand losing a dog you cared about. It was such a tragic and beautiful story.

    After I read the book, a few questions came up about Marley and Me. Do you have any advice for new dog owners? Was there anything Marley wouldn’t eat? And what was the most embarrassing thing Marley ever did?

    Sincerely, Rhea A.

    A story from Angelina Blanco about Thank You Letter.
    posted 05/17/2015

    Dear John Grogan,

    I would like to start this letter by thanking you for writing Marley & Me. I developed a new habit of taking responsibility for my pitbull, Sofie. I walk her every day now, even when it’s raining. I question her and wonder what she is doing or where she is. I make sure she has a warm bed to sleep in and food every morning and night. Although she is a family dog it feels like she is just mine.

    It also made me think about my life and job. In the book it seems that you love your job. That’s what I want and and for whatever I want to do I have to be committed to it and love it at the same. You really showed this in your book.

    You added such a touching feeling to Marley. Yes, he was a pain in the tush, but he was also a loving dog. When Jenny was sick of his disruption and destruction and wanted to get rid of him, it changed everything. Everyone was sad and nothing was right, and it made me think about my family and what it would be like if that happened to me. When everybody came back together, it really made me want my parents to get back together. At the very end you had a happy family and you moved into a big house. Then a terrible tragedy happened with Marley, making me cry my eyes out. I couldn’t see the words when I was reading. You made me realize that even when everything is happy, there is always, eventually, a down side to things.

    The main thing this book reminds me about is my black labrador, Mikey. He was just like Marley. He was scared of thunderstorms and loved the beach. He made messes everywhere and absolutely loved people. Mikey, like Marley, was a runt in his litter and he was for sale. When I was reading, all I could think about was Mikey. Half the book was like deja vu. Sometimes during the book, I actually thought you were talking about Mikey. hey are like doppelgangers. After reading the book twice and seeing the movie around 15 times, I really changed from your book. Thank you for everything you have done.

    Sincerely,

    Angelina Blanco Archer Lodge Middle School

    A story from Ben Cody about Deuce & Reggie (and Chipper)
    posted 12/06/2015

    Last year, I lost my Deuce, a 10.5 yo 05 pound yellow lab who was the polar opposite of Marley. Deuce was the most docile, calm, well behaved dog I have ever met. He wasn't my first dog, but he was the only one that was all mine, from 8 week puppy on. It was also the first dog of my family that had to be put down for something other than age/ natural causes (cancer), and the decision was mine and mine alone. I gave him a good life, and I believe that the time was right and it was done before he experienced real pain. I returned home to a house with only Reggie, my adopted 90 pound black lab who, other than coloring, could have been Marley's personality stunt double(lightning didn't strike twice). I sat in numb shock, not really sure what to do next. I thought of the movie from your book, and it felt right, so I scanned through all of the on-demand cable options, and nothing. Dejected, I hit escape back to regular cable, and there it was, about 10 minutes in. As the movie progressed, it helped knowing others could be so moved by the love of a dog. In my minds eye, this was God's way of letting me know it really was the right time.

    Here I am a year later, and Reggie is showing his age. He is approaching 12, and the later chapters of the book are taking on new meaning. Instead of deafness, Reggie is almost completely blind (cataracts). He has difficulty with stairs b/c of his hips, and we live in an elevated house. He is otherwise healthy, but he is hurting himself running into things, and his hips are starting to really cause pain even with medication. Unfortunately, I can tell his time will be coming soon.

    Enter Chipper; about 5 months ago, some coworkers found a near starved chocolate 1 yo stray lab puppy by my office. I took one look and agreed to take him immediately. He had heartworms, hook worms, and whip worms, and needed to put on about 30 to 40 pounds. Now he is a happy, healthy big boy of about 100 pounds. I look at him and cant help but wonder if he wasn't put in my path so I wouldn't be alone when Reggie's time comes.

    There is just something about labs... Each of my boys has been what I needed at the time. Deuce, my first, taught me a lot about real responsibility, and he helped get me through the emotional turmoil of living in New Orleans after Katrina. Reggie taught me patience and has given me 10+ years of the kind of joy that can only come from a big, goofy, rambunctious lab. Now Chipper is teaching me about compassion. Besides neglect, I am convinced he was also abused. I look into his sweet eyes and wonder who could harm a puppy. He is a new challenge, distrustful of strangers and other dogs, but I know there is a beautiful soul in there.

    It sounds clichéd to say God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but I can't imagine witnessing Reggie's decline alone. With Deuce, I had Reggie to help me come to terms with the loss. Now, once again, God has put a lab in my life to help me, as he has for every trial and tribulation I have experienced in the last 13 years.

    They truly are a special breed. After finishing your book last night, I felt like sharing my story. My heart still hurts when I think about Deuce, and now less than a year later, I am going through it again. I know it is one of many, but your story has helped tremendously. knowing there are others who have been so touched by our companions has helped me cope. Your story was very much worth telling.

    A story from Chenuk Nethvin about Walter's first day home
    posted 09/05/2016

    It was a warm day, just like any other. The roads were dangling with people trying to go somewhere.

    After a seven minute drive, our car along with us were in front of pet express, known to me as the best place to buy any kind of pet. It was located in the district of Negombo, in Sri Lankan (An island in the border of Asia). Once inside my mind was running wild, I stared right at the puppy station, and then started into a run towards it. Not bothering my parents were holding their purses out of their pocket while collecting the money for the dog, they had the same stranded kind of look on their faces as they approached me and puppies after a short time. I was leaning on the cages staring in to 16 eyes of adorable golden retriever puppies. ‘Now pick a one that is just right for you and us, and a one that will take care of the house’ said my mother, now with proud smile on her face, because of seeing the puppies all bundle on top of my pair of hands. On the way home it was a very long trip, because we had to make at least five stops for my new dog Walter to go on bathroom break.

    “woof-woof” barked Walter as he started to jog around the new environment of my garden. We were now in the surrounded area of my garden The night was just like in your story, he kept yelping and barking, but thanks to your book I had the idea of bringing him it to my own room. Then only did he give a break to his yelping and barking and finally went to bed. Thank you John Grogan for writing a wonderful story like Marley and me, it really made me more confident in taking care of Walter, my dog. Good luck with your family in the future. Chenuk Nethvin a 12 year old boy

    A story from Henderson Elizabeth about HOW I GOT BACK MY LOST LOVE
    posted 10/24/2016

    James and I were together for 3 years and lived together for two until he was moved to another state for job in March of last year.Sept was the last time we spent time together.We went for a vacation and had a fabulous time,not knowing it would be the last time I would see him.He stopped calling Nov,and just sent me a text saying he did not want to talk.I did not pursue it because I thought he just needed some space.March came rolling in,and I found out he got married.How could it be?I found out,shortly before we started dating,he was communicating with a girl from another country and made a trip there once and proposed to her.He made another trip in 2015.She finally came to the country Jan of this year and I figured the reason he dumped me was when he found out she was approved to come to the US.I made the huge mistake of going to the social media and found the woman’s posts of their wedding and trips,etc.That hurt me more than I could imagine.It has been 8 months since I’ve seen him but just can’t get him out of my head.Honestly,I feel very jealous of his now.I wake up in the morning feeling nonexistent,empty and wishing I don’t wake up so I don’t have to feel the same pain I could never get accustomed to.The deceit and the fact that I was used and hurt so bad that I don’t think I could move past it.I decide to seek the help of a psychologist because I knew I was losing it. As I searched the internet, I found cases similar to mine and some,even worse.But all of them sang praises of a man whom helped them restoring their broken relationships,marriages and family…Dr Kene Dilli. I was supprised and decided to give it a try as I contacted his email I found in those testimonies; {kenedillitemples AT yahoo DOT com}. Behold,after doing all he instructed,he sent me a parcel plus the steps needed as reguarding the parcel.Now,I have got back my lover…James,and he has filed for a divorce with the other lady he married. #HappyToBeBackWithJames.

    A story from Lyn Bollen about Dalai & Raanii & Marley's help
    posted 01/08/2017

    In August of 2016 I owned a beautiful Tibetan Spaniel named Dalai Rose and a sultry Lhasa Apso named Raanii. Both were approx. 15 years of age. By October 2016 I lost both dogs to a cancer of the gall bladder (in Dalai)and an haemangio sarcoma of the heart (in Raanii). Their passing left me devastated but somehow knowing I had done all I could to save each of them. I was lucky. I got to say goodbye to them. Others don't get that opportunity. As I have no children, they were my life. During my dogs' lives I had been forever grateful to all of the people and resources who and which have assisted me during my life as a doting owner. One of those resources was "Marley & Me". I bought the book in 2006 and found myself rereading the sections relating to subtle changes in our beloved pooches and how the aging process for them can be so non descript and their illnesses so well hidden. I had been a previous cat owner so understanding canine culture was a work in progress for me. Being an avid recycler I moved the book on to another reader shortly after. However, by 2012 when my dogs were passing the decade mark I began to think of the signs I needed to look for in them should they experience bloat or another serious conditions. How would I emotionally react if I needed to urgently transport them to an animal hospital with such a condition? How would I cope if I needed to make that 10th Canine Commandment of going with them on difficult journeys? I knew I would have to do it one day, but I wanted to be ready. So in 2012 I bought another copy of Marley and Me and left it in a conspicuous place so it would remind me of the importance of enjoying my dogs regardless of any behaviour and to stay strong if/when my dogs' health deteriorated. When Dalai's health took a dramatic change for the worse in May 2016 I could recognise the signs. I went to Marley and Me for comfort the night she was hospitalised in August. I somehow unwillingly knew she wasn't leaving. Two days later her surgery was unsuccessful and she was respectfully euthanased. Ten weeks later my Raanii was also euthanased after a shock discovery of the insidious sarcoma invading her heart. She had only two weeks prior survived a anterior cruciate surgery. Her recovery should have been routine, but instead the plans for rest, physio, hydrotherapy and regulated exercise suddenly morphed into the shock of the time bomb located in her heart. A latent grenade laying embedded in such a sensitive part of a living being, waiting to explode upon a slightest movement. Again, I was lucky. The poor surgery recovery had revealed the more serious underlying and indistinguishable cause of her continuing lameness. She could have easily passed suddenly and painfully in her bath tub, out on a walk or even sleeping and we would not have known why. I couldn't rationalise the risk of my second beloved companion being taken away so viciously. Marley and Me reemerged the afternoon prior to Raanii's planned passing. I knew there would be tears (as with Marley and Dalai) but the agony of my two dogs leaving in such a short space of time was heart wrenching.

    Three weeks of being a pack leader with no pack was a dark and empty period. Suddenly a delightful rescue dog named Lou Lou rescued me. It happened so quickly. I thought the adoption process would take much longer, and I possibly may not have been short listed anyway. I felt almost shameful given the short timeframe after the losses of my two puppies. However, Lou Lou entered my life at the right time for me, a time to help my heart heal. As with the Marley effect for your family, I recognise Lou Lou represents many traits of both my beloved Dalai and Raanii. Of greater importance - Lou Lou has made my family whole again. She wears a floral heart shaped tag and respectfully cares for the toys of my previous lovelies. She is sitting at my feet right now whilst I key this and hope fills my world again.

    A story from Dr. Ezra Sebastian about DO YOU NEED A LOAN TO START A BEFITTING NEW YEAR!!!!!!
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