Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Marley and Me - Could Have Been Me

I have been reading the book Marley and Me by John Grogan. It is a great book and a very fast read. But, after completing every page, I stop and say "I could have easily written this book about my black lab and all of the adventures we had with him in his 16 years with us."

My family's black lab named Black Bart was arrested, loved to run off and stay the night at houses with female dogs like rottweilers or golden retrievers (and somehow convinced the owners of the female dogs he could be trusted with them when he was not neutered), ran into two different cars, rode several miles in the back seat of our SUV wearing sun glasses when driving through Florida and opened every Christmas gift under the tree one very unforgettable Christmas. 

We loved that dog more than any other dog we ever owned. He really gave us a run for our money and always kept us on our toes. When he opened all of the gifts under the tree, he was actually trying to find the box that I had wrapped a candy cane full of M & Ms in. He found the box which was buried under all of the other gifts. And, he ate all of the candy.

He was only about 3 years old at the time so he lived through eating all of the chocolate as well as accidentally swallowing pieces of wrapping paper, tape and decorative bows. 

He was so smart he could open doors by sticking his nose between the door frame and the knob and turning it. He could do all kinds of tricks. Since his name was Black Bart after the cowboy, we taught him to turn in a circle 3 times and then lay down and roll over on his back when we pointed a finger shaped gun and said "Bang". 

And, we could tell him to pick the red ball out of the green, blue or yellow balls from a set of balls that were the same size and materials. We could also ask him to get the blue ball and he would retrieve it every time.

Plus, he could play hide and seek with my son. My favorite memory is I used to tell my son during his teenage years that I had gotten Black Bart training on drug sniffing and then tell Bart to go in my son's room and look for drugs. 

Bart would actually go in the room and start searching through the closet and through the clothes on the floor and try to get into my son's backpack. 

He was a great dog and we remember him almost everyday and all of the adventures he brought to our lives. Dogs may not be human but they have the capacity to evoke every human emotion imaginable

Give Marley and Me a read and take the time to remember a very special pet in your life.