John Grogan’s Marley & Me

John Grogan’s autobiographical Marley & Me is a funny, honest and heart-warming story not just about the life of the eponymous Marley, but the family he was adopted into and the inevitable ups and downs of their lives, shared with their faithful – if a little chaotic – dog. Taking him from puppyhood right through to older age, the book is full of humour and love in equal measure; and the comedy jumping from the pages as Marley attempts to master the obedience he strives – not always successfully – to offer his owners, makes it unsurprising that the story leant itself to a warm and funny film further down the line.

I first read Marley & Me several years ago, and at the time so many aspects of it reminded me of my own childhood growing up in a family with dogs. Re-reading again on holiday last summer – actually as it happened with my own Marley in my arms as I did – so much of John and Jenny’s beginnings together had been mirrored in our own little family’s, and I could relate to the truth and warmth of the story from our own perspective as well.

Reading Marley & Me on holiday with my Marley and the other littles last summer 💙

The Grogans’ tale of life with Marley is a rollercoaster, and is full of mistakes and curveballs, but is held together by the love a life with pets offers so unconditionally.

Marley & Me documents the day-to-day reality of marriage, children and all the winding paths life takes us on. The family’s journey is enriched so much by Marley’s dominating presence in their midst, and as John Grogan writes, he teaches them as much as they teach him and more:

“A person can learn a lot from a dog.. Living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall. As he grew old and achy he taught me optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all, unwavering loyalty.”

This is a warm and engaging story of family life and the life-long imprint a much-loved pet makes on it. ♥️

They Can Talk Comic 

Just a quick happy Friday post from us, and a link to a blog I’ve recently discovered and couldn’t resist sharing… so many of these spot-on cartoons have reminded me so perfectly of the wonderful (if sometimes “characterful”) dogs and cats we have been privileged enough to share our lives with in our family and made laugh so much. 
Have a lovely weekend all! 😘 x 
http://theycantalk.com/

In Praise of Pets ❤️

Sometimes, no matter how grateful I am for all the blessings I have, life can be challenging. Some nights, I inevitably arrive home floored by the busyness or worries of the day.

I’m not sure I can remember a time, however, that standing here, in the stillness – side by side with my fluffy-necked pony, lights twinkling across the dark water – didn’t help to clear the fog a little; and, even in the worst of times, that his ears flicked towards me, always listening, didn’t provide comfort at least in some small way.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are distant echos of the very same – the hugely significant role pets play in the life of a family etched into them. Often, whenever I feel down or overwhelmed even now, I find myself remembering sitting as an anxious schoolchild, buried deep in an armchair with my arms wrapped tightly around our old springer spaniel – a crazy dog with very little common sense but emotional intelligence and kindness in spades – stroking his silky ears and knowing all would be well.

Now, my days are still gratefully bookended by quiet solace with my family and my pets – give me an evening in with my wee boys tumbling around,  a ramble with my parents’ dogs or an hour in the stable or field with my pony, and time and time again my perspective on life is shifted, all the better for the moments of companionship with my four-legged friends.

Throughout my childhood and adulthood alike, the animals I’ve been blessed with have given me so much to anchor me in the storms of life – offering their trust and loyalty against the odds, providing warm welcomes at the end of every day, and altering my outlook when I’ve needed it most. ❤️