Marley And Me Summary

John Grogan

Marley And Me

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Marley And Me Summary

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In Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, author John Grogan’s memoir offers a tribute to his unforgettable Labrador retriever. When his beloved dog Marley died at age thirteen, journalist Grogan wrote a column as an ode to his dog in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Inspired by reader’s response, Grogan writes a tribute to Marley in the first-person narrative. The resulting memoir portrays his thirteen years living with his dog. Published in 2005, Marley & Me went on to become an international bestseller. The memoir was adapted to film in 2008. The success of the book also inspired Grogan to write a series of children’s books about Marley.

Labrador retrievers are considered an excellent family dog because of their calm nature and even temper. They are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. These reliable dogs are also known to be good workers. They are frequently trained as service dogs, work in detection jobs in law enforcement, and are prized as hunting dogs. Plus, the dogs are adorable, yellow, fuzzy, wiggly puppies.

As a child, John’s best friend was his family dog, Saint Shaun. John is now newly married to Jenny, who had a dog named Saint Winnie when she was a child. Newlyweds John and Jenny are in love. They live in a perfect little house in West Palm Beach. Their life is carefree. They have no responsibilities to care for anyone or anything. They know that they want to become parents one day. As a first test of taking care of something, John presents Jenny with a plant. Caring for a plant does not go well.

Jenny asks to buy a dog instead. Owning a dog would be a good first step on the journey to becoming parents. They decide to take a look at a litter of Labrador retriever puppies. Their fate is sealed when Jenny says, “Oh my. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so cute in my life.” They choose to bring Marley home.

Their yellow Labrador retriever Marley is not like most Labrador retrievers. If they hadn’t been blinded by the cuteness of the puppies, they might have noticed some warning clues. First, the breeder had discounted the price on their chosen puppy. Marley’s mother was a typical calm and kind Labrador. But the same could not be said of his father. They also did not put two and two together when they saw Marley’s crazed father covered in mud race out of the woods exuding joy.

John and Jenny’s life would never be the same. Marley wins the couple over as a sweet and affectionate puppy; but he takes after his father. The adorable puppy quickly turns into a ninety-seven-pound dog. He is boisterous, hyperactive, uncontrolled, and often destructive. This is in conflict with the nature of his breed. Marley eats everything in sight including shoes, socks, sponges, towels, curtains, napkins, and couches. He even swallows a beloved 18-karat, solid gold necklace, which they manage to get back in a gross recovery operation.

Marley regularly destroys their home by crashing through screen doors and breaking the drywall. Neighbors are afraid that he will barrel into them or drool on them. John and Jenny try to change Marley, who has no idea what his human owners expect of him. They try obedience school. Marley humiliates the instructor, whom they nickname Miss Dominatrix, by dragging her across the parking lot. Marley gets expelled. Marley terrifies his pet sitter. Some even think that mental illness might be the cause of Marley’s behavior. The veterinarian encourages them to use tranquilizers on Marley. But Marley does not misbehave out of malice. He has a heart of gold. He is loyal and loving. John and Jenny cannot help but forgive him. They learn to accept and live with Marley’s nature.

John and Jenny do eventually have the children they envisioned. They have three children: Patrick, Connor, and Colleen. As John advances in his career and they move to another part of the country, one thing does not change. Marley remains the high-energy member of their family wherever they go. Marley is with the family through the good and the bad. He comforts John and Jenny when their first pregnancy ends in miscarriage. He helps welcome all three of the children home as babies. Marley’s behavior is so awful after they have children that they seriously consider getting rid of him. Marley has a moment of fame when he lands a role in a feature-length movie.

As time passes, Marley’s body gets old, and he suffers from various illnesses. Yet he remains young in spirit. Marley dies in John’s arms in the hospital. The Grogan family mourn the unforgettable dog who helped to teach them the power of unconditional love.