Reading Marley & Me was like receiving free therapy. An incorrigible dog? Judgmental people on the street telling you what a dog is supposed to be like? Feeling frustrated while falling each day more in love with a rascal? Check, check, check.
And in its later pages, it touched upon my worst fear in adopting Nahe: that she will someday die. It seems melodramatic and overwrought to fret about such a thing regarding a 10-month-old puppy* but that is the worry that has hung over my head for the last year, since Lapa died. Despite all the rewards of loving another being--animal or human--there is always that actually quite rational fear that someday that being will be taken away from you, involuntarily, and that you cannot imagine how you will cope with that loss. But, well, as with any loss, you do cope. Eventually. Or, if you don't, well, then, I guess you spend a lot of time and money getting therapy.
At any rate, I definitely recommend Marley & Me to anyone who has loved any animal ever and shared his or her life with that animal. It's funny, it's cathartic, and the death of Marley, who by page 272 has become beloved to the reader, made me cry for a good solid ten minutes. I don't know if that's a good advertisement for the book--read this, it made me bawl--but what the hell, it's the truth.
* Who knows, really? The ASPCA estimated 10 months but they often round up. I think earlier I stated that she was younger, maybe 8-9 months? So, well, she's somewhere in that range.