MARLEY AND ME by John Grogan is the kind of book that once you start reading it, you won’t want to put it down.  Even being the confirmed cat-lover that I am I had a great affinity with John, his wife Jenny, and their 3 children’s love affair with Marley, an out of control golden American Labrador.

There are some genuinely funny laugh-out-loud moments, which with John’s incredible descriptive style of writing, you can picture yourself as a spectator – watching events unfolding before your very own eyes. I laughed out loud on many occasions, causing my own little Timmy who sits next to me most of the time on the sofa, to cast a quizzical glance in my direction. 

Marley is a dog who is not the full ticket; he’s a brick short of a chimney; a sandwich short of a picnic – you get the picture? He’s got severe behavioural problems and he’s the only dog ever to be expelled from obedience classes.  But John, Jenny and the children love him so much that they overlook the thousands of dollars worth of damage that he does on a daily basis; they take it all in their stride and love him regardless.

They, in turn, are rewarded by a great family dog who slobbers goo over all of them, who pounds up to greet them on their return from work or school and who is as fiercely loyal as any body guard could be.

When the end comes – and I won’t spoil it – I cried like a baby, the tears coursing down my face long after I’d finished the book, and incredibly, writing this review now, the tears are once again in full flow. Marley had become an old man of 13 and his last few years reminded me so much of Garfield’s last few years with me. We do all we can for our beloved animal companions, but in the end, we have to do the biggest – and saddest – deed of all, letting them go with the dignity they deserve so much.

All animals teach us many lessons – if we did but open our eyes to the messages they leave us. Marley taught his family unconditional love, that it’s not what you do that matters, but who you are that counts. We can all learn a valuable lesson from dogs like Marley and cats like Garfield.

This book is available in paperback priced £7.99 (UK) from and

The ISBN is: 978-0-340-92210-1


A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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