It's a dogs life

This isn't a post about jewelry, craft or dandelion blu, this is a post about me and my dogs. Last night I sobbed my way through "Marley & Me." I know, I know, I'm not a huge fan of Jennifer Aniston, and it was pretty sappy at parts, but it was also a thoughtful and funny dedication to a dogs life. Plenty of people have said "oh, another dog movie," but what made "Marley and Me," different for me from "Lassie," "Benji," and your other typical disney-fied dog hero movies, was that Marley was definitely not a hero.

He was your typical over excited, under exercised, undisciplined, rowdy, rude, replacement or "practice baby," averagely intelligent American dog. What most of us have. And to the Grogan's (the book and movie owners) he was family. I find myself offended when people make the remark "it's ONLY a dog," inferring that these sensitive creatures don't deserve much more thought and care then this years newest tech toy. And being involved with rescue, that is an all too familiar opinion I find myself faced with.
For some reason, people think that it's ok to get a puppy, love it, indulge it, never train it, treat it like their child, and then give it away when it gets too big for their apt, chews up their couch, they have a real baby, or the dog just doesn't suit their busy lives anymore. At one point in "Marley and Me," I thought that this tragic ending was going to come true for Marley. But it didn't, even at her most frustrated and exhausted with babies and an unruly dog, Jen Grogran recognized the commitment they had made to Marley and all his faults when they had brought him home, and that he was part of the family.
Yes, the movie was a bit drippy with saccharine, and it had a an inevitably sad ending, but it really got me thinking about the relationship people have with their dogs. Dogs enjoy a simple relationship with their humans- they love you no matter what. Even when I am so surly I am not really deserving of any one's or any thing's love, let alone respect, my dogs will always be happy to see me. They make me happy, laugh, get my butt off the couch for exercise, they are my alarm clock, have led me to meet new people, comfort me, protect me, and are happy to just be with me. How many people can you say that about?
The only downfall of sharing your life with dogs is that they live relatively short lives compared to ours, something every dog lover must face one day. I think they have amazing lessons to teach us in their short time here- about companionship, love, loyalty and forgiveness. So forgive me if I bristle when people say "it's only a dog" when I am rushing home to let them out, or a looking for dog friendly vacations. I want to give them the best life I can and enjoy our time together, because to us it may be just a walk in the park, but to them it's everything.


Anji Gallanos said...

I had a "Marley" dog when I was in college. We are facing the end of our family Samoyed Sera's life. It's hard. She's given so much and we only hope we can give as much back. Thanks for posting the pics.

Juliet said...

Can't comment now, gotta go hug my dog.