Monday, April 13, 2009

The Dog Made Me Do It!


The Random Complexity Writing Challenge; March; 581 Words!

John Grogan made me cry. My daughter said I wouldn’t. My SIL said I shouldn’t. But I cried anyway, the day that Marley died.

Marley, as most of you well know, is the name of an incorrigible Yellow Lab owned for 13 years by Grogan and his wife, Jenny. Over Christmas Break, while I was casting about for a gift for College Girl, I thought of Marley.

I’d heard the movie was atrocious, but the book way better. I went with the book.

College Girl accepted this stocking-stuffer from “Santa” with a knowing smile. She loves reading about animals, but her Mom has a track record.

I am, after all, the one who urged the child to read Old Yeller when she was in 4th grade. Poor kid cried and cried. Buckets. Blamed me for exacerbating her concerns about the health and safety of every family pet from there on out.

Oopsies! I had remembered loving the book when I was about 10. I’d forgotten that the dog dies in the end. But from what I’d heard, Marley and Me was a much lighter read than that.

So CG took Marley back to school. And, in between classes in Spanish Lit, history and a seminar on the Holocaust, she finished Grogan’s tribute to “The world’s worst dog.”

She said Marley and Me was a “good read.” Said she’d teared up a couple of times, “but nothing like Ol’dYeller. You know how that book ends, right Mom?”

Fast-forward close to four months. When I went to College last week to visit my peeps, I brought along a book. During the course of my visit, I finished my latest literary companion. So I turned to my kid.

“What about Marley?” CG queried.

“I don’t want to cry on the plane,” I retorted.

“Oh, Mom. It’s not that kind of book. You won’t cry. You’ll laugh, mostly.”

As I was preparing to leave toward the end of last week, I put my pocketbook and my reading material on the counter in Aunt Julie’s kitchen.

“You’re not reading Marley, are you?” The dismissive tone in Auntie J.’s voice was unmistakable.

“Well, sure,” I replied. “CG says it’s an easy read, and that I’ll laugh, mostly.”

Julie, who is the Mom to four boys and two dogs in real life, simply shrugged.

“I don’t know. It didn’t do much for me,” said the woman whose taste in literature I most admire. But Julie, much like CG, assured me that I wouldn’t cry.

“It’s not that kind of book,” she said. “It’s an easy read. You’ll laugh, mostly.”

Well, to tell you the truth, I did laugh a lot, much to the chagrin of the woman sitting next to me on the flight home. Hmmmmmmm…probably should add guffawing to the list of no-no’s in Veggie Mom’s Guide to Traveler’s Etiquette!

Didn’t quite finish Marley during the trip. It really is an easy read, though, and I digested most of it en-route. I had a couple of short chapters to go the next day when I decided to spring for a pedicure.

And that, Dear Readers, is the sad, sad ending to our tale. Marley does indeed die in the end. And Veggie Mom did indeed cry. So much so that the nail technician worried that her ministrations had hurt me in some fashion.

“No,” I said, reassuring her that my piggies felt just fine. “It’s this dumb dog. He just died.” So much for happy endings.

9 comments:

annie kelleher said...

my mother gave me a book for christmas about a dog called merle's door. if you happen to hve the chance, look it up - you might like it. id say it falls midway between marley and old yeller... who by the way is the first movie i remember sobbing over...i have a big yellow dog now... i call him my ole yeller...

Caroline said...

I had heard that the movie had a sad ending and it may be silly of me but I will not watch it knowing what will happen.

Kathleen W. said...

I've been wondering about that book for a while, even before the movie came out. It seems like a good read, even for someone who's not a dog person, like me.

Did you end up seeing the movie?

Kally said...

I read Marley a LONG time ago and I cried like crazy at the end. Still have yet to see the movie.

Z's Mom said...

Oh my....I haven't seen the movie or read the book for that VERY reason. I'm a sucker and I will cry...a lot!!!!

Lynda said...

Awww... look who's a softie! I am, too :)

Michelle said...

Hee hee! I'm a big crier at movies and books. But then again, I know better than to bring a book to a pedicure ;) Your next topic for etiquette perhaps? :)

Tracy P. said...

Well good grief! What'd he have to go and do that for?

Haven't read or viewed yet. I hate it when dogs die.

Marrdy said...

Veggie Mom cried because she has a tender soft heart. This is why I always read the end of Nicholas Sparks books first. I usually cry for two weeks when they're done and why I haven't read Marley and Me. I'm a cry baby!