Monday, December 29, 2008
Macho and "Marley and Me"
I took the family to see "Marley and Me" last night, the somewhat tear-jerking tale of a newspaper columnist and his yellow Labrador retriever. On its surface, the movie is marketed as a "what a crazy dog" sort of film. But once inside, you actually get a story full of heart as this crazy dog worms his way into the lives of the couple who adopts him and the three children they eventually add to their family.
Not to say that this movie should be construed as a dog training film. The characters played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston make many, many mistakes in raising a puppy. You bring home a puppy and leave him in a cardboard box in the garage rather than a crate? Your dog has something inappropriate in his mouth, and you chase him rather than luring him with a dog treat to get him to drop what he has in his mouth?
My emotional stake in the film was furthered that I owned a yellow Lab very much of the same temperament as Marley. His name was Macho and he was a wonderful pet. I had to give him up when I got married a year ago. I often think that Macho has been adopted into a loving home that would accept him, warts and all. Macho was adopted a few months before my first wife died, and for the couple of years afterward that I had him, he was probably the only dog I could truly say was mine and mine alone. I have a wonderful puppy now, but I'll always remember Macho and what his companionship meant to me in the months after my wife's passing.