A story from Debby Dobson about A Life-Changing Dog
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 Barb Rolls about Remington
Mr. Grogan, I have had a lot of best friends over the years, Collies, German Shepherds,Beagals, and they have all been special. I now have a best friend named Remington. He's my first Lab. Everything I've heard about labs has been true. They have a personality like no other. Remington adopted me as his best friend. My husband refers to me as his mama. He follows me everywhere. He loves to take rides. He stands with his front feet on my console and sticks his head out my sunroof. I get some strange looks as we're driving down the road. He'll be 3 on Dec. 18th and we have decided to get another chocolate so he has a friend to be with when I'm at work. George the cat doesn't like to play with him he prefers to intimidate him. He hides around the corner and jumps out at him and boxes at him, he's named after George Foreman. He'll sit in the doorway and Remington will whine or bark because he wants to get past him and he's afraid of him. We have gone through a lot of socks and underwear, the only thing I've had trouble breaking him of. I can leave socks lying out while I'm at work and he won't touch them but the minute I walk in the door he grabs one. If I don't notice, he'll whine to get my attention and he'll lay with it under his chin. My brother in law has his sister, her name is Marly. He loves going to visit her. He also loves to visit a friends German Shepherd. He makes an absolute fool of himself when my step daughter brings her dog, Maggie, over. He got so excited once that he literally put his butt through the wall. I just got back from visiting my dad in Ohio and my husband said Remington didn't eat for 3 days, he wouldn't sleep in the bedroom instead he slept in the loft. He laid by the front door watching for me every day until I got home. He's the first dog that I ever had pick me to be his best friend. My other dogs always picked another family member over me although I spent the most time with them. Sometimes I think to myself, why me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being followed everywhere and pestered when I'm trying to relax. Remington hasn't just stolen my heart but my husband, who's always been pretty much a cat person. The neighbors probably think we're nuts because he and my step son are always crawling around on the floor barking and playing with Remi and I know they can hear it when the windows are open. I loved your movie. I cried and laughed. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for letting me share some of mine.
A story from Shawn Elizabeth Mackley about My Marley and Me
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 Larissa Alves about Sorry for the mistake
Hello John, then I again I just got a message for you, it seems I had a baby rabbit called but my rabbit is called a baby, right? Sorry for the mistake. Hugs ....
A story from Larissa Alves about About my rabbit
Hello John ... I was ten years old when my mother gave me the book marley and me, and I started reading and I was immediately fascinated by everything you write. This book made me laugh so much when marley destroyed the house when he was under the care of the poor Kathy, and I cried a lot reading difficulties that Marley went to climb the stairs and when the doctors did marley sleep forever. At this time I write to you with my dear rabbit in my bed sleeping soundly after peeing in my house. Congratulations for everything John. Thank you.
Brazil, Larissa Alves PS I have twelve years now and got my baby rabbit called.
A story from Patty Valentine about cats do it too!
I just finished reading your book. I had recently rented the DVD of 'Marley & Me', and was thoroughly entertained. I figured that the book had to be just as good, or better (it was!), so began reading it. I don't laugh easily, but some of Marley's antics made it impossible to not laugh! Just wanted to say that cats can cause quite a bit of havoc and consternation, too. My cat, QT, was a vibrating ball of fur when I adopted her 8 years ago today. She had me at a purr. (reference, Jerry Maquire) I had no idea how destructive a young cat could be! QT is a gnawer: she has gnawed off the corners of wooden picture frames, any piece of quarter inch wood that sticks out far enough for a good nibble (including the drawer of a desk, corner of a nightstand, and more.) And those claws!!! I've had cats before, and I wanted to have QT declawed, but my husband wouldn't hear of it. That's his regret now. Q has destroyed the trim of door frames and windows, decorated cabinet doors with her abstract scratchings, added her touch to his grandfather clock, and shredded upholstered furniture. Thankfully now that she's older, she has slacked off some on the art of destruction by claw. But we would have her no other way. Her "motor boat" purr can give much comfort when things around me aren't going quite the way I might like. She is quicker to purr than any other cat I've had. She is still a vibrating ball of fur, just a much bigger one! (and oh that fur! it sure gets around everywhere. I think it floats in the air just like mote of dust, landing wherever it wants -- like the top of the stove!) Now, she is here to comfort us after the loss of our 20 year old "baby girl" Cleocatra. I miss Cleo terribly, but QT is here to help me through the rough times and long nights. Rest In Peace, dear Cleo. "Sis" is looking out for your humans.
Thanks for such an entertaining read!
A story from Lynette about OUR LOVELY BOY HARVEY
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 Rev. Becky Dees-McMahon about Thanks!
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 Vicky about My love life dog
Hi! This is my dog love life Rorshack! We decided to call it after the comic book personnage Rorshack, because he is a bit crazy (in a good way)and his mask is black and white. We also did know that the boston terrier looked a litle bit crazy and were very energic dogs. That's why we chose that kind a dog. I just finish marley and me book, and he was always on my side and it was like he was trying to say to me: Why are you still reading this book? It always makes you cry? And he was licking me all over my face to confort me! He is my best friend and I do understand you Mr. Grogan when you say that we love our dog more than we do with some humans! Thanks for sharing those memories with us! Vicky and Ror!
A story from Martin about Three little black dots
Hi, I'm Martin and this is my best friend Amis. Just today 08/18/2013 is a month after my beloved Amis died. He gave me his whole heart and i thank him for all days what we spent together. Whats mean, three little black dots? Two eyes and one snout. I can't forget, when he asked something from me, then these three little black dots looked into my eyes and I gave him the last bite what I had. He loved games, food, throwing balls, walking, tearing clothes,sleeping ,swimming ,opening Christmas gifts, but most of all he loved our family. Thank you for everything my little brave man, Amis and I will loving you forever.
A story from Vina about Chuchay
I have recently watched Marley and Me again, and as expected, I ended up crying. A few months ago my dog, Chuchay, died due to old age. Even though I have already accepted what happened, I still can't bring myself to get over it. Chuchay has been with me for more than a decade. She was no ordinary dog. She was like my baby, sister, and friend at the same time. I really miss her so much. A few days after her death, I wrote a song dedicated to her. I published the lyrics along with her picture in a single slide and used it as my desktop background in my office computer. Up until now, I never changed it. That wallpaper always make me feel that she is still with me, constanly guiding me no matter what. Sometimes I wonder...is there a heaven for dogs? When dogs die, do their souls become angels? Maybe Chuchay is now in that heaven along with Marley and other dog angels. And hopefully, when that right time will come I will get to see her again. I wish...we get to share the same heaven so that I could be with her again.
This song is entitled "My Little Angel". This is for my dearest little angel, Chuchay.
My Little Angel
Why is it hard to accept that you’re already gone? Yesterday hurts, and today pains me even more. Every place I go reminds of you, Since you’ve flown away, I feel so alone.
One by one I turn the pages of our memories, All the times, by little ways you made me happy, You showed me how simple this life can be, With the warmth that you gave, And your love that won’t fade away.
I close my eyes and dedicate this song To that one friend who loved me for so long, If only I could just turn back the time, So you will be here once more. If there’s one thing that I wanted to say, Thank you for being with me all the way. And wherever you are, I do hope that someday, I’ll see you again, My little angel.
One by one I turn the pages of our memories, And in my heart I have kept each one of them, You showed me how to love faithfully, With the warmth that you gave, And your sweetness that never fades.
I close my eyes and dedicate this song To that one friend who loved me for so long, If only I could just turn back the time, So you will be here once more. If there’s one thing that I wanted to say, Thank you for being with me all the way. And wherever you are, I do hope that someday, I’ll see you again, My little angel.
I close my eyes and dedicate this song To that one friend who loved me for so long, If only I could just turn back the time, To be able to hold you once more. If there’s one thing I really want to say, Thank you for being with me all the way. And wherever you are, I do hope that someday, We’ll be together, My little angel. (2/21/2013)
A story from Janet Campbell about The Longest Trip Home
John, I just finished The Longest Trip Home and had to tell you what it meant to me. I am about 10 yrs older than you, but as the youngest of 4 growing up in a Catholic home I could sure relate! My heart ached for your parents -who were so WONDERFUL as you let them down, they still loved you well. I also had 8 yrs of Parochial School and was shocked to get into Public and watch my grades drop. As an adult I rejected Catholicism but was able to forge a vital relationship with God when I learned more about who He really is. My favorite part of your book was how you said goodbye to your father in the hospital. I was crying uncontrollably! We all need to speak those words to each other. Thanks so much for a great book.
A story from Annette about HELP NOW Lab in MO Mayor wont let it go home
Please help this family in MO whose Lab like Marlely nipped a neighbor he has been in captive nine months now the family cries the Mayor wants the dog euthianized when the dog did not even break the skin of the neighbor. In Salem MO check out Mayor Gary Brown they are like Bensalem Witches in this town. Call me 954-920-7827
A story from Gwen Hochheimer about Johns' dog 'Shaun'
I was wondering if John ever knew what breed of dog, Shaun, his childhood dog was? With the foxy face, long white marking down his face, and feathering, and from the description of his personality, to me he sounds like a duck toller, which is our provincial dog.
A story from Urvi Tambe about Pluto
Dear Mr. Grogan, I read your book now which is pretty late but I really loved it. I immediately fell in love with Marley who reminds me of my dog Pluto. Pluto was exactly like Marley! He stole food, he destroyed things but still loved us unconditionally. Thank you for writing such an amazing book! It really made me cry...
A story from sara kalitowski about 4pawshope
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 ana paula schnaider about fred o cao mais sem vergolha do mundo
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
A story from Cassie Williams about Ralph the dog
I have a short article I wrote about Ralph 15 years ago after his death; he was a quirky Lab-Bassett cross.
Please advise me to what email address I may submit the article (1 1/2 pages). Thanks.
Reading the book made me think of that crazy Ralph.
Cassie Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Kamloops, BC, Canada
A story from ana paula schnaider about 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 ´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 Lisa Chavez about The Greatest Gift of All
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 Lillian Shaker about Thank You
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 Robert O'Hara about The Longest Ride Home
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.
Bob O’Hara-Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
A story from Dina about The story of THOR
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 christi-anne about PET FOOD DRIVE
HI THERE JOHN GROGAN, I REALLY HOPE YOU GET TO READ THIS IN TIME , MY SOPHOMORE CLASS IS READING MARLEY AND ME WE ARE CLOSE TO THE END AND I WAS HOPING YOU WOULD CONTACT US OR VISIT I KNOW ITS CRAZY BUT PLEASE ,AFTER MY CLASS READ YOUR BOOK WE STARTED A PET FOOD DRIVE IT WILL END ON FEBUARY 27 , 2013 I GO TO THE KEY LEARNING COMMUNITY IN INDIANAPOLIS,INDIANA THIS WOULD BE SO COOL IF YOU CAME VISIT MY SCHOOL OR CALL US IF YOU WANT TO CONTACT ME MY GMAIL IS email@example.com THIS WOULD BE SO COOL IF YOU DID THIS PLEASE AND THANK YOU.