Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lessons from Marley

I've heard so much about John Grogan's book Marley & Me, lately. In his story of "life and love with the world's worst dog," Grogan tells the tale of his experience with a lovable, goofy labrador retriever named Marley.

Everyone is gushing over Marley, despite his knack for destruction including eating jewelry and tearing apart the house, but what about Grogan? Sure, most dogs have at least some destructive tendencies and what dog hasn't been freaked out by the occasional thunderstorm? But what about Grogan's dedication to his furry friend? Let's face it, Marley was not the easiest of housemates, but not once did Grogan entertain the idea of surrendering Marley to an animal shelter.

Many of my furry friends at the shelter either ate the wrong piece of jewelry or shredded the furniture and next thing they know, here they are, no longer able to enjoy the comforts of home. Now they are just hoping that someone who walks through the door of the shelter, inspired by the story of Marley, will want to give them the same unconditional love that Marley was so lucky to have found.

True dog-lovers might wonder why this is such a wondrous thought but all of us here at the shelter know that there are scores of pet owners that do not elect to stick with the relationship when the going gets tough and end up surrendering their pets. While shelters and rescues will always be there for the owner that simply cannot handle a difficult situation, I am still in awe of the patience and dedication Grogan showed towards his pal, Marley.

To Grogan and all of the other heroes out there who have similar stories but have not given up, I would thank you but I know that your four-legged friend's love and companionship is thanks enough!

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