Heart Choices: Thoughts on "Marley and Me" and Dogs -->

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Thoughts on "Marley and Me" and Dogs

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I watched the movie "Marley and Me" on TV yesterday.  It was the second time I'd seen the movie so I knew what it was all about.  But there's just something about the unconditional love a dog gives to his owners that intrigues me. 

Here's a quote from John Grogan, the author of the book "Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog":

"A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see." 

Let me ask you?  Who wouldn't want to be loved like this?  Isn't that something we humans crave and seek from others?  How often we are disappointed?  It's so easy to erect walls around our hearts to prevent more hurt.

After posting on Facebook that I'd seen the movie, there were a variety of responses.  Here are a few of the responses I received:
  • I'm avoiding that movie like the plague.
  • Really dislike tear-jerkers; no thank you.
  • Don't like sad movies.
  • Deb, I watched it with my 13 year old over Christmas break.  I was not ashamed at all, crying in front of her.  Been there, done that with my beautiful Dalmatian Abbey.
As you can see ... a range of responses.

Growing up, we always had a dog.  One vivid memory I have is when our poodle Cherie got hit by a car.  My brother, sister and I were already in bed but my dad woke us up to come downstairs.  He held Cherie in his arms so we could say goodbye to her.  We all cried, including my brother Steve.


My mother-in-law has a cocker spaniel named Barney.  He is her constant companion.  She prepares his meals and they eat dinner together in front of the TV watching the nightly news.  Sometimes she complains about him but it's so obvious that she loves him.  And once more she begins to throw Barney's ball for him to fetch.  Barney is such good company for her.

Opening your heart to love can be painful, even if it is to a dog.

So, I sit in front of the TV with my box of tissues handy.  I loved the movie and I'll probably watch it again sometime.  Even Greg joined me and held my hand as the ending drew close.  And no; I won't tell you the ending but it's well worth any crying involved.

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Hi Debbie,
    My son saw the movie and told me
    I would do not well watching it.
    He knows my love for animals.
    We lost our beautiful Golden
    Retriever, Gabriel, last summer.
    We had fourteen wonderful years
    with Gabe. In about eleven days
    my son and I will drive to a
    nearby city and pick up a long-
    haired miniature Dachshund that
    he has named Tobias, meaning
    "God is good." We look forward
    to this little darling joining
    our family. We already have two
    sweet cats, Chloe and Molly who
    are ten years old and such a
    joy. I have had pets my entire
    life as my parents were also
    great animal lovers. Can't even
    imagine life without them!

  2. I loved this post, Debbie!! I was never a dog person until we got our first puppy (and then another)..lol. But, they are like my babies, and I know that we would all be devastated if something happened to one of them. Now I feel like renting the movie again because I think we watched it before we even had a dog!

  3. I have not seen the movie yet.

    However, I shout a hardy AMEN to who doesn't want to be loved like that and we are by GOD! Even greater than that!!! For eternity!


    Lots of love Debbie!

  4. I love movies like this sis, thanks for sharing.

  5. I luv that movie. I have not seen it for sometime but I truly remember the story...a true account of events. Have a great Sunday.

  6. I have only had short periods of time without a dog...and unconditional love...I am glad God create pets for us to enjoy.

  7. Oh, Debbie, I've got to watch that movie. I've thought about it before, but this entry really sealed the deal. We have two labs and they are so sweet. Yes, I get so aggravated with them, but not for long. They run to the end of the drive way to greet me every time I pull in an then they wait for me to get out of my vehicle so they can nuzzle me. I mean, if that's not love, nothing is..........Blessings for a beautiful week!

  8. Debbie - I loved the book, Marley and Me and had the fun of hearing John Grogan speak at an author's luncheon a couple of years ago. He is just as funny in person.

    I was sitting on a plane flying back to California from Kansas City, after a series of tough business meetings, when I read Marley and Me. I laughed so hard the other passengers began to stare.

    Thanks for the reminder to love unconditionally. ..Marsha

  9. Hi Debbie,
    I Cried uncontrollably. I had an old golden Ret. dog at the time, and she was what we called perfectly behaved, so I could not imagine that there would be a lab or Golden retriever that would be such a wild thing. BUT, I was wrong, my perfect dog died, and we bought Isabella a golden Ret., and she is are "MARLEY" 100%. most people would have given her away, but although she can drive us crazy we are SO CRAZY IN LOVE with that pup.

    Your Mother-in-laws "Barney" is sooooo Cute!!

    God bless

  10. Critters often tell more powerful tales, and give more powerful messages than do we mortals. I haven't seen this particular movie, but I feel a similar appreciation for movies like Secretariat.

    Whatever it takes to touch our hearts ... that's what I say.


  11. Remember the old saying, "It is better to have loved and lost...than never to have loved at all"? That is so true. Even though it can be difficult to open our hearts to love, if we don't we miss so much. And, to look at an even bigger picture - if we keep our hearts closed to God's love...we miss everything.

    Living for Him, Joan

  12. i loved that movie and i cried uncontrollably! we had just lost our cat who was our first baby.

  13. I've never seen the movie but have heard it's a good one!

    I'm easy to cry over something sad...or happy..just depends! It doesn't take much for me....why I've even cried watching some of those old McDon@alds commercial with the elderly couple eating.....

    But I agree that people do close their heart for fear of being hurt, especially when you have experienced it before.


  14. I just cannot bring myself to watch that movie. Last month we had to have our 6 month old rescue pup put to sleep - he had a heart disease. Jedi had such a rough life and he was only with our family for 2 months but I hope and I pray that Jedi knew a forever home is what he had found. Maybe one day I will watch Marley and Me but for now, I can't. R.I.P. Jedi

  15. Debbie,

    I LOVE that movie!!! I have a sweet, darling little female dog named Sassy. She is the sweetest, most loving little dog you could ever want to meet. My grandsons just love her---she is truly a family dog. I cannot imagine not having her around.

    Thank you for such a lovely post. As always, I enjoyed every word.

    In Grace,

  16. Hey Debbie. . . .my mom and dad were left with my sister's (retreiver/lab) dog Cody after Sherri passed away. Cody was such a special pet to our family. . . when he died it was like our "last link" to Sherri was gone. My parents were given another puppy (lab) last Jan. And he looks exactly like Marley in the movie. In fact, she named him Marley. He has lived up to his namesake. He's a wild thing, for sure. But she's trained him to do so many unusual tricks. I told her she's like the "Dog Whisperer." It's hilarious! I think he's just too smart for his own good--and she gets the "joy" of discovering his new antics each day. LOL
    Barney's a cutie! :)

  17. Such a great movie and yes it requires a whole box of tissues along with it!!

    We are such animal lovers in our family. And their unconditional love is priceless. I've cried many a tear over the years as our furry kids have passed. I cherish my 25 year old horse Peppy...He's the equine love of my heart and is a gift from God (I'm gonna post about how the Lord led me to him someday) and I'm already asking Him to prepare my heart for Peppy's passing. OK, Debbie, now I'm crying........I'm such a softy about my critters....He created me that way!

    Anyway, thanks for this post....I gotta go get another tissue now!


  18. Hi Debbie,

    Such a thought provoking post!

    I wanted to let you know that I am currently organizing a Bloggers Tea for March 26th.
    All the details are on my current blog post.
    You are welcome to grab the button and spread the word.

    I hope that you can make it. It should be a fun day.

  19. This is too cute! I love the little dogs!!! And the pompoms!
    german Shepherd Puppies For Sale


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