Rachel’s review of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by ~nurse (new)

~nurse smith ouch...don't buy a dog? you still have to buy them from most shelters. anyways why do the rest of us who love dogs have to have the damaged ones that other idiots have abandoned? i agree animal rights aren't perfect. IE should be stricter laws on breeding and adopting. Not to mention shelter dogs should be automatically fixed. (which most do) sorry couldn't help but add my 2cents. i don't believe they were bad owners either did you not read the chapter where the trainer had no luck either? Some dogs have bad issues. Just like some kids no matter how well the parents raise them they can still have behavioral problems


message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel ~nurse wrote: "ouch...don't buy a dog? you still have to buy them from most shelters. anyways why do the rest of us who love dogs have to have the damaged ones that other idiots have abandoned?"

I can't believe how disgusting and narrow minded your opening statement is. FIRST of all, when you buy a dog from a shelter, you are donating your money to a facility that rehabilitates and saves lives - not lining some breeder's wallet. There is a huge difference between buying a dog and paying an adoption fee to save a dog's life. SECONDLY, not all dogs in shelters are fucking "defective." Jesus. Sometimes they are born in shelters, sometimes something happens to their owners (death or financial challenges or something) and a 2 month old or 3 year old or 10 year old or whatever year old dog who is perfectly healthy and happy and normal winds up in a shelter.

Also, trainers train people how to train their pets. Behaviorists (which most no kill animal shelters employ) work with animals who are "damaged" to either "repair" them, or to make sure they go to a home that is prepared to take them on, and to make sure that the people adopting understand that it will take time to let the animal adjust. High kill shelters generally just put these dogs down. They aren't going to adopt out some rabid dog that was beaten it's whole life to Tom and Angela and little Tommy, Jr. If the dog is lucky and the shelter has the resources, they sometimes foster these dogs with experienced behaviorists who can work them through their problems. Sometimes it just isn't possible, and sometimes the dog just has to die.

I don't know of any shelters anywhere that don't spay/neuter before adopting out an animal. Granted, I have not visited every shelter in the country but I've worked in a few and I have never even HEARD of one that doesn't spay/neuter.

Like I said, I didn't think that this couple were abusive or negligent or anything, but ignorance, when it comes to something else's life, can be just as bad. They should have thought about it, looked into dog adoption programs, decided on a breed (if they must) by looking into the general traits that the certain breed possesses and maybe tried to save a life in the process. There are so many lab/lab mixes in the shelter system that it's ridiculous, they are one of the most common breeds in the States. There are no inherently "bad" dogs - are you one of those people who wants to put down all pit bulls, too? Every thing and every body is a product of it's environment. Some kids, no matter how well their parents raise them, at some point make a decision that ultimately leads to them developing behavioral problems (unless mental health is a factor - now that is a WHOLE other conversation) because children and people have the freedom to make choices and to live their own lives. Dogs generally don't. We totally fucked with and altered their social structure to conform to what we want from them - and constantly deny them and throw them away.

Talk about raising kids right - this dog breeding/pet store shit is pretty archaic, not to mention discriminatory. Educate yourself, for the sake of any future generations you may have or go on to create.


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Oh. My. God.

Lady? You are nuts. Did you miss the part where I said I've worked in shelters? Guess so. Man. It's going to take me a minute to reply to this one.

Right. Paragraph by paragraph.

First of all, I don't think suicide is a topic to be taken lightly, and I would never joke about it. That being said, I never said you are a "bad person" as I really don't have much to go on, but I do think that the act of buying a dog from a pet store ("Oh! But I didn't KNOW the cute little puppies SHITTING ALL OVER THEMSELVES IN TINY GLASS BOXES came from a PUPPY MILL!!! It's not MY fault! How was I supposed to know?!") is an ignorant move.

I have to start a new paragraph for this. It is a very emphatic statement. By buying three dogs from a pet store that gets it's supply of puppies from a puppy mill, you paid a breeder to force another litter on the dogs they breed with, and therefore you caused three more dogs to be born at a puppy mill, shipped to a store, and sold for hundreds of dollars. YOU created the demand, THE PUPPY MILL CREATED THE SUPPLY. Don't you get that? By buying your dogs, you fed your money into that cycle. Supply and demand. Once the demand ceases, so will the supply! You didn't save your dogs, you forced their mothers to have more litters, you caused their mothers' bodies to take on way more than nature intended, you caused their mothers' reproductive organs to grow tumors, to bleed through. You caused their mothers and the studs that fathered them to be debarked, to live in disgusting conditions. You caused their mothers to die. I hope you're really proud of yourself. Have you EVER, even ONCE looked at your dogs and thought about what happened to their littermates and parent dogs? Have you ever thought about the fact that puppy mill breeders get the dogs that they breed from the litters that they have already bred? That the dogs are inbred, and that's why they have so many health problems? Have you ever seen photos of a puppy mill, much less visited one? I have. I have gone to a puppy mill with a rescue group and I have seen dogs just like the ones that birthed your pets. It was terrible. I've also seen the barrels of corpses of euthanized animals in crowded shelters, put down simply because there was no room for them. Don't let yourself think you saved anyone by buying your dogs. By buying them, you helped kill others.

Now. Onto your claim that shelters in Illinois kill any animals they get. Last year, I moved to Illinois! Coincidence! Yes. I live in Illinois. And you know what? Off the top of my head, I know of two no-kill shelters in Chicago. I'm sure there are tons more, I only know of these two because one of them is where a friend of mine recently adopted his dog (who, by the way, isn't a rottweiler or a pit bull, nor was he abused. There weren't any of either breed when I went with him, actually, come to think of it. I remember a beagle, some lab mixes, a very cute chow mix, numerous others who aren't coming to mind, and Riley. I have no idea what kind of mix he is, but he's awesome and sweet and goofy and he was abandoned by someone who clearly didn't know what they were getting into when they brought home a puppy.) The other shelter is one that I looked into when researching places to have my cat spayed. Oh, yeah. Practicing what I preach? I have a dog and a cat, both rescues. Heidi, my dog, was dumped at an overcrowded shelter in Brooklyn pregnant. She was saved by a no kill, she delivered 10 puppies (none of whom were defective!) and she came home with me the DAY they would let her leave after her spaying. I love my dog. I love her so fucking much. I have had a few dogs in my lifetime, ALL OF THEM RESCUES, and Heidi is without doubt the sweetest, most amazing dog I have ever met in my life. She was dumped off when she was at LEAST 8 or 9 years old. You want to talk about practicing and preaching? In addition to only rescuing dogs, I will only rescue older dogs as puppies are adopted out ridiculously quickly. I have no idea how many people/families Heidi has had in her lifetime, but I can tell you that she's found her last. And she doesn't have a single issue. No baggage from previous owners, even though it's clear that she was neglected for at least the later part of her life before finding me.

I don't decide to bring a dog into my life for convenience. I don't CARE that a store will "pay to fix" a sick dog, I'd rather donate money to no kill shelters (www.bideawee.org - gotta plug) that fix sick and abandoned animals so they have a chance at a happy, normal life. Good for you for not putting down your "defective purchase" but I still don't think it excuses the fact that you chose to pay it's potential killer over saving a dog (hell, even an innocent, pure as the snow puppy!) from a shelter or organization. I don't know why you're going on about foster kids, but my uncle and aunt adopted a son and are fostering another, and both kids seem well adjusted enough. I don't care to argue about foster children. It's an entirely different debate, and one that I honestly don't care much about, though if I did decide to have children I would adopt them.

It's interesting that you think that all animals in shelters here are pits and rots. It's also really interesting (and quite telling) that you have the ridiculous notion that black labs attack their owners. Like people, dogs carry different genes in relation to their different hair colors, and labs commonly carry the genes for all three colorings, with one being dominant and the other two recessive. There is little genetic difference between a black lab and a yellow lab.

Again, as stated above, I think it's pretty ridiculous to want a dog based on it's breed characteristics instead of spending time with a dog and getting to know it's personality (this really doesn't apply to puppies, and I recognize that) but if someone wants to go with a specific breed of dog, fine. Cool. Whatever. There are rescue groups out there for that kind of thing. If you search for a rescue in your area and can't find one or are dead set on getting a puppy, you can do a bit of research and at the VERY least get one from a real, reputable breeder that dedicates themselves to a breed out of love and admiration over a quick buck. These breeders will almost NEVER sell a dog intact, and they will usually require that you keep in contact with them through puppyhood to ensure the dog's safety and well-being. By the way, my mother's dog and cat are also rescues, and I think she's fine with the way I "turned out." I didn't say that I was broken up with in the initial review, I said I was going through a break up, and I am really not sure how my sexual orientation has anything to do with anything, but let me tell you, you lost any respect you might have had from me anyways with the "you might be a lesbian... sounds like it" comment. What, exactly, does a lesbian sound like? Did I mention fucking women anywhere in my post? I must have missed that. Gooooooood for you liking brown haired, brown eyed men. I like men (and women! Let the stereotypical assumptions fly!) who can make me laugh, who can keep up with me, who can have a good conversation with me....but I guess that's a pretty big difference between us. You are shallow and haughty, and I...well I'm full of negative adjectives, also, but I don't judge a man by his hair or a dog by it's breed. I'm not offended by the word "cunt," sorry. You'll have to be a little bit more creative and a little bit less dramatic. Or more dramatic. Certainly not that midwestern breeder ideal of shocking and dramatic, though, that doesn't work on me.

I'm pretty sure I haven't made too many people too miserable so far, and though I am around animals every single day, I don't kill any of them. Ever. I'm vegan. No one has to die in order for me to live.



message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I discovered after I replied to your initial comment that you are like 19? Right? Therefore half of this conversation is nullified as you most likely live with your parents (unless you moved here for school, and are probably on their dime - I have no disrespect for that, wish that's how it had worked out for me) and you probably didn't even buy the three dogs you have. Your parents probably did. I'm not going to assume that this is the case (because I generally don't do that...make assumptions....something you should take away from this - people don't all fit into the boxes you like to put them in) but I have an inkling that I am correct. You say the Midwest has to grow up? Girl, you have a lot of growing up to do. First of all, all vegans are not lesbians, all lesbians are not vegan, and the churlish comments you've made regarding my sexuality speak for themselves. I don't feel like I have to argue that to you or to anyone, as you are so parochial and uncouth that I am aware that nothing I say about vegans or lesbians will change your mind, and anyone with any ounce of practicality will read this and see the same thing I see.

I have to say, I laughed OUT LOUD when I saw the "if you're (sorry, can't shorten an already incredibly short word, it just looks silly) not, well congrats!" comment. You congratulate people on heterosexuality?! I don't even believe that homosexuality and heterosexuality really exist in human nature, though I think that concept and my beliefs regarded it are way too big for you.

I don't agree to disagree with you, I wouldn't give you that much. I agree that you are a big mouthed, narrow-minded and reactionary young girl who makes ridiculous assumptions and tries very hard to be as inflammatory as possible.

Jesus, according to I believe all denominations in Christianity, lived to kick start the whole Christianity thing into life, and died so that humans may hang in the afterparty in heaven upon death (assuming they lived a relatively mortal sin-free life. The little venial ones? Those are cool.) Once again, not all lesbians are religious and not all lesbians are anti-religious. That whole homosexuality is a sin thing? Hey breeders, I have some bad news for you - so is copulating for pleasure (or any other reason other than to give life.) So strapping on a rubber and going to town? Oooh that's a sin. God isn't cool with that. Taking the pill to prevent pregnancies? Having the tubes tied? Getting a vasectomy? All sins. All terrible, terrible things, abominations of the church! Right. Off your horses then. The point is, Jesus did not, by Christian accounts, die so that I could live. He died so that I could get on line for that bumpin' club in the clouds. Get it straight.

My dog is not an animal that nobody wants, she's a dog that I want, that I've wanted since the second I saw her. You should have just come out and said that in your first comment, "animals that nobody wants." I hope one day you mature enough to do something good for someone else while you're doing something good for yourself, and you consider adoption. I doubt it will happen, but I can hope, right?

I don't care about your dog attack stories...that's all a matter of how a dog is raised, not it's breed. It's unfortunate that your brother's face is scarred up, but I'm not going to blame every rottweiler in the world for the one that jumped that fence. You aren't sorry you attempted to offend me, please don't say you are. There is nothing less becoming than an empty apology. I pity you for being raised in such an insular environment, and I'm SURE your dogs are all related, doll - they are INBRED. Puppy mills and pet stores work in tandem to secure their scams, you really think that dog is only bred once a year? I don't think so. I bet she's bred a few times a year, and the puppies are sent to different stores so that the pet stores can then tell their customers the same lies. Have you ever gotten the name of the breeder? Did you contact them? Go visit their grounds? That is what a responsible person who is looking out for the well being of the dogs would do, but it's pretty clear to me that you only care about convenience. Good luck with those dogs once they hit....ohhh..around 7? 8? and those health problems really start to come out.

You wouldn't do what's best for any animal, you would only do what's best for yourself.


message 5: by Rachel (last edited Jun 22, 2009 12:30PM) (new)

Rachel I'm pretty sure you don't even really read my replies. I don't know where you get some of the stuff you come up with - like me saying that you don't take care of your pets. Right. Because I totally accused you of negligence.

The pet store has it over your eyes, that's for sure. Do you believe telemarketers when they call up, too? Are you one of those people with a bathroom full of ridiculous beauty products that promise eternal youth and firm skin and all that garbage? Listen, pet stores want your money and they will go to some pretty fantastic lengths to get it. If they are using a reputable breeder, it would make no sense that the puppies are coming from a puppy mill.

Okay. So. Catholicism is a denomination of the Christian faith. I was raised Catholic, though I don't claim any religious or spiritual beliefs as they are wholly stated by their respective theologies. The main reason for that is that I don't believe in discrimination, where you clearly do. The worst part about all of that is that it isn't exactly religion, it's religion combined with current interpretations and sociological standpoints. Society's tolerance and acceptance of these things fluctuates over time, and religion seems to magically fluctuate with it. This is something I could talk about all day, because I think it's terribly fascinating, but I don't think there's much point with you.

I'm not going to delve into my personal life on this ridiculous forum, but though I am 23, I don't drink (and I never have) or do any drugs. I wouldn't call my age the partying age as it applies to me, because after I get out of my full time, salaried job, I generally go out for a bike ride, go home, or occasionally go out with friends but that usually consists of spending time at someone's apartment playing Scrabble. I have a job, I have bills, I have a dog and a cat (that I am responsible for and take care of, not my parents...) I have my own life. You haven't gotten there yet. You can't say that people don't grow up until they are 30, it's not like you hit some kind of second puberty and magically become a responsible adult. It doesn't work that way.

I wish my parents had paid for anything, and I don't think anyone who has that kind of privilege should be disrespected for it. That's kind of a parent's job, to take care of their kids and lead them into adulthood. You can't say it has nothing to do with how you are defined, though, because that can not be the case. Your upbringing shapes you, whether you like it or not, and you are partially defined by the fact that your parents took care of you through school and you clearly took advantage of that, which is more than what most twits your age could say. If you had been in a different situation, say turning 16 years old, buying your first car with your own $500 and then being told that, since you were an adult now with a car and a job you had to go find your own place to live, your life would have gone a little differently. Not a sob story, not a failure or a drop out story or one of perseverance and triumph, just a different story. I have been on my own my entire adult life, and I am partially defined by that. I believe that since you grew up Catholic, in what must be a comfortable and possibly opulent family, you aren't accustomed to the idea that people aren't what you may initially think of them. You've been wrong about me every step of the way, between maintaining that I don't have any pets, claiming that I am a lesbian, assuming that I am amoral or anti-religious and THEN assuming that I am Christian based on my explication of Jesus' death and resurrection, to surmising that I am a party goer and I'm not clear on whether or not you think I'm still in school, I got a little bit lost in the condescending drivel about being a kid, your parents paying for your shit, and obtaining your BA by the tender age of 19. (In regards to your idea that your education equals your maturity, I ought to mention that "accomplishment" and "maturity" are two different concepts.) You have been accusatory and insolent towards me and without much provoking, which isn't surprising given that you seem to have grown up without regards to any concepts of tolerance. You, as you say, "act however you want."

I think you'll grow out of all of this, though. I think that one day, you will realize that you can't guarantee much of anything about people you don't know at all, and that when you were 19, you were a presumptuous bitch.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura Thank you for your comment, Rachel. I don't think I've heard anyone else bring up this issue and I completely agree with you. Adopting a dog from a shelter saves a life, and choosing not to is selfish and shameful.


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Laura wrote: "Thank you for your comment, Rachel. I don't think I've heard anyone else bring up this issue and I completely agree with you. Adopting a dog from a shelter saves a life, and choosing not to is se..."


Thanks! Good to see someone agrees with me, I got a lot of negative reactions to my review.



message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura Well, I'm the owner of a dog adopted from a shelter, and a long-time animal shelter volunteer, and I found Nurse's first comment (the only one I can see--I think some others may have been deleted?) offensive and misinformed. I can't believe you got lots of negative reactions...where do people get these outrageous opinions??

Also, your review really hits the main issue of this book--after all, I can almost guarantee that the Grogans wouldn't have had half the problems they did if they'd adopted an older dog from a shelter.


message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Laura wrote: "Well, I'm the owner of a dog adopted from a shelter, and a long-time animal shelter volunteer, and I found Nurse's first comment (the only one I can see--I think some others may have been deleted?)..."

Nurse commented once. The deleted comments are from some girl who has a trio of labs bought from a pet store. She was really offensive and really ignorant, trying to glean my sexual orientation/preference from my review? Anyway, I just noticed she deleted her comments. Oh well!

I always recommend new dog owners adopting an adult or at LEAST an older puppy for their first time dog, but most of them want the cute cuddly puppy experience. I understand wanting to raise a dog from it's earliest days, and I have to admit I wish I knew what Heidi looked like as a puppy, but I really think most people don't even consider adopting older dogs. I don't think it even occurs to them. I know I have some borderline extremist views, but as long as there are so many completely ignorant people out there I am fine with sharing them.

Good for you for adopting and volunteering :) I want to foster again as soon as I can, I wish I had the space now!


message 10: by Christi (new)

Christi but they weren't "breedists"
neither the author or his wife had Labs as childhood pets
they went to that first breeder thinking it would be the first of several they met with

I disagree as well with the "there are no bad dogs" mentality. There are plenty of bad dogs and no amount of training or discipline can corral them. Geez.

Most people I know also get a pet together before having kids. What's the big deal? At least they did better with the dog than the plant! HA!


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Christi wrote: "but they weren't "breedists"
neither the author or his wife had Labs as childhood pets
they went to that first breeder thinking it would be the first of several they met with."


In one of the early chapters, Grogan says he had a Lab when he was a kid I THINK but I really can't remember. He said the dog was like loyal and steadfast and all American or whatever, which is the mentality a lot of people have about labs, that's why there are so many of them in the shelter system. There are statistically more lab/lab mixes in the US shelter system than any other breed BY FAR. People always argue this with me, because people for some reason assume that pits are most common, but if you check petfinder.com, there are 27,440 labs/lab mixes available for adoption. A staggering amount. I don't think it's fair to those 27,440 dogs that this couple (like soooo many other couples out there) didn't consider adopting a dog and instead bought one more from a breeder. One more dog in a shelter that's going to die because one more person chose elitist standards over compassion.

I stand by the notion that almost all dogs (with the exception of those that have been terribly abused, neglected or those with mental disorders because they do exist, rarely, in dogs) are clay in the hands of their owners. There are plenty of dogs that have the misfortune of being owned by people who do not understand their behavior, and who don't know how to properly train and raise a dog. There's a reason that "celebrity dog trainers" like Cesar Millan (?) are so popular and get television shows and book deals - they are trained behaviorists.

The "big deal" about getting a dog before having kids in order to "practice" is that the only reason anyone should have a dog, first and foremost, is companionship. A lot of couples adopt dogs and then dump them when they have kids. I understand that this is not the norm and not every couple does this, but if a couple buys (buys!) a dog for baby training/relationship testing purposes, how is it so far fetched to think that they might discard the dog once they have the golden child in hand or once they break up? I've seen that happen way too many times. If a couple is considering getting a dog to practice keeping something alive, why not foster? You can have your practice, help out some dogs/shelters, and if you become attached, you can adopt the dog you are fostering! Plus, you get a ton of help and support from the organization you are fostering for.


I honestly don't think they did very well with their dog. It seems that he lived a fairly happy life, unless there was a thunderstorm. And seriously, dropping off your dying dog at the vet and going on vacation? I could never do that, ever. I will never understand that.



message 12: by Christi (new)

Christi Grogan's childhood dog was a MUTT from a shelter. And Grogan was able to train that dog as a boy.

I don't think you'll be persuaded to like this book, and you don't have to, but at least try to verify your facts before casting aspirsions. They didn't go looking for traits and then pick a dog. They picked a dog and then read up on the breed while waiting for the dog to be weaned.
The Grogans went to obedience school and even the trainer couldn't get Marley to heel.
They knew they wanted children and dogs in their family when they got married. They chose to get the dog first. Perhaps if they got pregnant first and THEN got a dog, you'd like them more?

Perhaps you need to reread the book so you can get your facts straight before lumping these owners into the people you've seen at the shelters.

For instance you say "I honestly don't think they did very well with their dog." and follow that with "It seems that he lived a fairly happy life, unless there was a thunderstorm. "

Geez. I don't even like dogs and yet here I am defending these dog owners and this dog.


message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Christi wrote: "Grogan's childhood dog was a MUTT from a shelter. And Grogan was able to train that dog as a boy.

I don't think you'll be persuaded to like this book, and you don't have to, but at least try to..."


I did say that I wasn't sure about the breed of the childhood dog, but I specifically remember his describing the lab as all-American and the like. They didn't read up on the breed, and if he says that he did he's full of shit. There were several examples of this, one was that he was so surprised by Marley's huge tail that could knock people over, that's kind of a standard lab trait. There's no way he could go into owning this dog/writing this book without realizing that a lot of the "problematic" behavior displayed by Marley are really things that are common to the breed. Additionally, if he had a dog from childhood, his parents were most likely at least somewhat responsible for training it, if not entirely.

They took the dog to a short obedience class, not to a behaviorist. Those classes are great but if you are having problems with a dog, chances are the dog needs one on one training to fully understand what a person wants from him, and the owner needs one on one training on how to communicate with his dog.

Again, I absolutely remember the woman crying over how afraid she was to have a baby because she couldn't keep a plant alive (and apparently neither can I, however I do fine with my animals. Why is there some stupid comparison between growing basil and having a child?) so they decide to get a dog. I am not saying that they shouldn't have gotten a dog, and I'm not saying they abandoned their dog, but they were really selfish, ill prepared and clearly ignorant about breed rescues/fostering programs. I don't think they were terrible people who bought a dog to have their practice and then dump him off after, because they obviously didn't, but a lot of people do and writing about it/phrasing it that way only promotes the idea that dogs are things for us to use, to practice on, and to get rid of whenever we feel like it.

I will absolutely never re-read this pile of garbage.

That sentence was illustrating my grasp on the concept of sarcasm. I don't think they did very well with Marley. Like I said, he seemed to live a normal and somewhat happy life, however he had to deal with his traumatic fear of storms by being locked up in a garage by himself instead of being calmed down by his owners (I would never lock Heidi up by herself when she's terrified of storms and trying to dig her way under me, I pet her and shoosh her until one or both of us falls asleep. I assure you, this works.) On the other hand, he was there for his owner when he was in danger, when the neighbor was stabbed/shot? in the driveway. It really doesn't take a lot to keep a dog happy, and therefore they didn't fail. It does take some work to keep a dog trained, to be able to communicate with him, and to keep him safe and respected. This is where they failed. Do you remember him dropping his dog off at the vet at the end? Can you imagine how terrified he must have been? They know when you leave, they think about you and they wonder where you are for at least a week. They miss you. The dog was in pain, dying, and the dude just drops him off and heads to Disney. When my dog was sick a few months ago, I was so afraid to leave her alone that I rode home on my lunch break every day to take her out and check up on her, and she wasn't dying, she was just sick and really uncomfortable. If Heidi was that sick and I had a trip abroad planned with the princes of England, I wouldn't go. There's no way I would ever abandon her like that.

That's where they failed.




message 14: by Irisjade (new)

Irisjade Yeah, I haven't read this book, but I have to agree w/ your values anyway. Although, I'm not sure I'm as angry towards simply 'ignorant' pet owners as purposefully abusive ones. What I'm saying is, you see tons and tons of say, videos/books on how to take good care of children and everyone has access to/is brought up knowing these basic points. With pets, however, people are incredibly uneducated. If I wasn't so obsessed w/ animals, I'd probably be the same way. I don't blame ignorant people; I blame the media and most animal facilities for not making proper animal care more accessible/well known. Get what I'm saying? But I still agree with you. Especially about how there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. IE, pit bulls. How can anyone say pit bulls are banned from neighborhoods simply because they're the breed of choice for dog fights? How about cracking down on dog fightERS? Discriminating against a certain breed is the same as discriminating against a race of people. It's just pure ignorance. Props to you.

I own three dogs, none of which I adopted however; which I regret. One was a stray and two were given to me when the owners couldn't/wouldn't care for them anymore. I would love to adopt but I'm only 16, so it's up to my mom, and she says there's plenty of strays to unofficially 'adopt'. We live on a road that's pretty much all farm-owners so we get "drop-offs" very often. It's sad when we can't care for the animals, no one else can, and the shelter here is so full/poor that they kind of ignore our requests to pick up the animals. We usually keep the animal or find a home for it, but sometimes it runs off and there have been many times where we discover them later shot by farm owners who's had their livestock injured/killed/just chased by these animals or they die of starvation. I hate drop-offs and especially people who committ them. It's stupid, cruel, and just a testament of how uneducated pet-owners are. They're obviously people who got a pet then realized they couldn't care for them and so decided to pawn them off on someone with a heart who couldn't stand to turn them away. I wish people, when considering getting a pet, would think of it more like adopting a child. In essence, it's really the same.


message 15: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Irisjade wrote: "Yeah, I haven't read this book, but I have to agree w/ your values anyway. Although, I'm not sure I'm as angry towards simply 'ignorant' pet owners as purposefully abusive ones. What I'm saying is,..."

Dude, taking in stray and abandoned animals is absolutely adopting, just without the paperwork.


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brianna wrote: "What is wrong with you ldy just because nobody likes you dosent mean you shouldnt like a freaking book thats why you dont have a man you low life scum BAG"

Baby, I am fighting them off with a stick.


message 17: by Brianna (new)

Brianna WHAT DOES THAT MEAN THIS BOOK WAS A REALL GOOD TEAR JERKER THAT SHOULD OF MAD U HAPPY NOT A MAD WOMAN


message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brianna wrote: "WHAT DOES THAT MEAN THIS BOOK WAS A REALL GOOD TEAR JERKER THAT SHOULD OF MAD U HAPPY NOT A MAD WOMAN"

It's an old expression meaning that I have dudes knocking down my door. Lined up around the block. Throwing down their jackets over puddles. It means that I am hot breadsticks.

Look, I love a good verbal sparring but clearly you are an idiot. You haven't presented anything to debate, only things to defend and therefore are not worth more time than it took to write this reply.


message 19: by Lauren (new)

Lauren There are no bad dogs only bad dog owners? Really? That's like saying that they're aren't any bad kids, just bad parents. It's not realy true. You don't become who you are ONLY because of the way you are raised. You make your own decisions too, and somethings are just blood. In this way I think dogs and humans are quite similar. I don't think it's very nice to critize this book, there wasn't anything wrong with it...


message 20: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Lauren wrote: "There are no bad dogs only bad dog owners? Really? That's like saying that they're aren't any bad kids, just bad parents. It's not realy true. You don't become who you are ONLY because of the way y..."


Since when has a dog had the opportunity to choose it's friends? When has a dog had the opportunity to rebel against it's parents? The difference between humans and dogs is that human beings live and interact within a society and culture built by and comprised of other human beings, while domesticated dogs live within a society and culture built by and comprised of another species and therefore do not interact with their kind in a natural way ever, at all. They do not get the opportunity to shape who they become, that is all in the hands of whoever takes care of them.


message 21: by Tara(taraw) (new)

Tara(taraw) Dude, chill out. Yes, we understand there are puppymills and puppies in need, but we are talking about a book,that a man wrote on his life changing experiences of having a dog, which i thought was great. Obviously you have some personal problems that you have decided to take out on the general public of book readers by writing 5 paragraph responses so you look intelligent. Honestly. No need to swear and call people names, because you are only making yourself seem like an "idiot" your self.


message 22: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Tara(taraw) wrote: "Dude, chill out. Yes, we understand there are puppymills and puppies in need, but we are talking about a book,that a man wrote on his life changing experiences of having a dog, which i thought was ..."


Ohh god okay blah blah blah I am awesome and you suck whatever whatever the end.


message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I say that a family doesnt want a dog that came from a bad home becuase it can be mean just because of its last owners.

So how about this you go get all the dogs from all the shelters that no one want you lets call it a day!

no need to send back a huge novel becuase your in put is pointless to me becuase its just a bunch of pointless stuff that i dont and i doubt anyone else want to take the time oout of their lives to read about your petty one


goodbye

happy new years!


message 24: by Jazzmin (new)

Jazzmin Pissed off hipster alert.


message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I love your review and the thread.

My two cents:
1. Shelter dogs are not "defective"
A. My dogs are both shelter dogs and on more than 20+ occasions I have been stopped in the street so people can take picture of how cute they are (pug/frenchie mixes). When I was in Cambridge a small mob gathered to the extent that my boyfriend was worried about why I was totally surrounded and was afraid something had happened.
B. MOST random passersby feel compelled to audibly comment on the fact that they are leashed to eachother, not me, as they can both walk a perfect heal, wait while I am in a store, and follow all commands.
C. A quick search on petfinder shows the author could have gotten a lab puppy or any other kind of dog he wanted via shelter/adoption if he had taken more that 45 secs to decide he was going to commit 15 years to whichever animal he could have first, regardless of all other considerations.

2. Dogs are not kids.
A. One of my dogs was given up because he was a "trial baby" that lost his novelty when the real baby was born. As it turns out, having a newborn+ walking/training/vetting/caring for a 1-3 yr old dog sucks. My dog's case is not rare.
B. The number one reason small dogs are put up for adoption is because they didn't get along with children. So, there's actually some evidence that the people who have dogs and then kids can't actually take care of either.

3. By all accounts the book was actually terrible.
A. By all literary standards it is what one could expect out of a forth grader.
B. There really isn't anything funny about not taking another life seriously and neglecting the needs of an animal you have taken as your own.
C. This celebration of total ignorance and those that enjoy it is a painful reminder of how terribly backwater our country in becoming.
D. There are actually no redeeming qualities (narrative arc, stylistic choices, moral message, repentance, informational, etc)


Holycrapyousoundbitter I completely agree that this book was mediocre crap and I didn't even finish it. I just thought I would suggest something to you... we had planned to foster a Sheltie because these total shit neighbors decided when their kids moved out, to "downsize," and they mentioned to me out by the mailbox one day, that they were going to take their dog to the pound. I totally flipped out and told them I would love to take him in and find him a home myself. So because I had not owned a dog previously, I contacted a Sheltie rescue place to get some info. They totally gave me the fricken third degree, and made ME feel like I was an ass for even trying to do this without a fucking bachelor of dog science degree or something - the lady at one point, just said, why don't you give me your address and let me come and get the dog? I just thought it was INCREDIBLY RUDE of her to say that to me, so I told her to fuck off and bought some books instead. Sure, I fully admit to being a newbie dog person, but I'm not an idiot for chrissakes... I knew this dog for 5 years - the people bought him as a puppy. I'd taken care of him when our neighbors went out of town, and it's not like I'd never seen a goddamn dog before. I'd just never owned one! I also knew from first hand knowledge that this dog did not have behavior problems, he just barks a lot (this was the excuse for the assholes not finding a home for the dog themselves). I do have a point here, which is: While I realize that people who work with abandoned and abused animals are jaded and I completely understand that, PLEASE do not assume that every other human besides you very kind folks that do this work is a stupid idiot! I mean, had I contacted this place to actually adopt a dog from them, I would have been completely turned off and said fuck it. I guess I am just not good enough! Doesn't that kind of defeat their purpose??

By the way, we fell in love with this dog instantly, and have had him for 6 years now. We have made mistakes, but he is alive, healthy and very very happy with our family. I am so glad we kept him.

Can ya just lighten up A LITTLE?????

With respect and love.


message 27: by Thu (new)

Thu Ta you're sad. just sad.


Holycrapyousoundbitter Thu... who is sad?


message 29: by Thu (new)

Thu Ta Holycrapyousoundbitter wrote: "Thu... who is sad?"

the person who wrote this review. But never mind. I don't think we should continue with this discussion. Everyone has their own preconception and idea toward this book and we all should respect them.


message 30: by Amy (new)

Amy this girl rachel is off her rocker


message 31: by Nanci (new)

Nanci Sounds like you're still pissed off :(


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Jessica wrote: "I say that a family doesnt want a dog that came from a bad home becuase it can be mean just because of its last owners.

So how about this you go get all the dogs from all the shelters that no on..."


i love how a few people are like "no one cares about your 5 paragraph replies" yet this entire thread is on MY review of this stupid book. I don't care who reads it or comments on it, but how is it not common sense for me to reply....? this isn't on the main page of the book's reviews!


message 33: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Jessica wrote: "I say that a family doesnt want a dog that came from a bad home becuase it can be mean just because of its last owners.

So how about this you go get all the dogs from all the shelters that no on..."


also my life is awesome, fyi.


message 34: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Jazzmin wrote: "Pissed off hipster alert."

i wish you could see me in real life because it's hilarious how far away from any definition of "hip" i truly am.


message 35: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Sarah wrote: "I love your review and the thread.

My two cents:
1. Shelter dogs are not "defective"
A. My dogs are both shelter dogs and on more than 20+ occasions I have been stopped in the street so people can..."


i love how you set up this comment. it is amazing. the content is also amazing, but man. this outline is awesome.


message 36: by Rachel (new)

Rachel J.N. wrote: ""Ohh god okay blah blah blah I am awesome and you suck whatever whatever the end."

That makes you sound immature."


i was being sarcastic and ironic in my reply to someone who suggested that i write lengthly replies to appear intelligent. what am i going to say to that? i think it's pretty clear that i simply like to be thorough and argumentative about something that i believe in.


message 37: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Holycrapyousoundbitter wrote: "I completely agree that this book was mediocre crap and I didn't even finish it. I just thought I would suggest something to you... we had planned to foster a Sheltie because these total shit neig..."

a lot of breed specific rescue groups do have a bad reputation for being...overly cautious...as well as a bit condescending which i recognize as a result of having more potential adopters than potential adoptees. it doesn't make it right or okay which is why i choose to work with shelters and not groups, they can be difficult, even for us (shelter staff/volunteers.) i think it's great that you took your neighbor's dog in and i'm glad he's in a happy home, but please understand that your case is pretty rare. most people just dump their dogs and go, and most people who adopt those dogs do not have the luxury of knowing it's history.


message 38: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Thu wrote: "Holycrapyousoundbitter wrote: "Thu... who is sad?"

the person who wrote this review. But never mind. I don't think we should continue with this discussion. Everyone has their own preconception and..."


the funny thing is that i am actually a pretty happy person. i think people just don't understand having strong feelings. how does that make me pathetic? i don't run around picketing or telling people outside of pet stores to go to hell (umm i am comparing my projection of my views with another group of people who are usually depicted as "crazy," "sad" "pathetic" and whatever else people have called me) ijust wrote a review of a stupid book that ALL OF YOU decided to read and comment on. i would have been fine with it if no one had commented on my review. this site is here FOR PEOPLE TO REVIEW THINGS.


message 39: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Everyone seems like their fighting with you so I'll fight with you to. THIS WAS A GREAT BOOK. HOW COULD YOU SAY NO TO IT?


message 40: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Is this the whole book or just people that are fighting against you?


message 41: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Alexa wrote: "Is this the whole book or just people that are fighting against you?"

the book itself is not fighting against me. i don't understand this question.


message 42: by Peacegal (new)

Peacegal Although I disagree with the "no bad dogs" comment, I'm with you on the buying vs. adopting issue. I just adopted a male Lab/Golden mix puppy from a local Rescue group who could've been Marley's stunt double. It's not difficult to find a dog in a shelter or rescue, especially a highly popular breed like a Lab.


message 43: by Bennett (new)

Bennett Yikes. You should have read this when you were in a way better mood...empathize "way"


message 44: by Heather (new)

Heather Hildreth I haven't read this book yet, and now I'm not sure I want to. I'm an animal lover (a borderline animal hoarder, if you asked my friends), with two cats, two ferrets, two guinea pigs, fifteen backyard chickens, and a coonhound/lab mix we adopted from the shelter last summer.

I'm kind of a snob when it comes to how animals should be cared for. Our first ferret came from a garage sale (can you imagine selling your family pet at a yard sale?!?), and I had no experience with ferrets at the time, but thought they were awfully cool and wanted to get poor Weasel out of that hot driveway. But the *very first thing* I did when we got him home was google ferrets - their nutritional needs, housing, stimulation, bathing, etc. The next day, I went to the pet store for everything we needed (including ferret food - they'd been feeding him cat food all this time), and also picked up a book about ferrets, just to make sure we knew how to best care for our new pet.

We read up on guinea pigs before we got them, and chickens (did you know there are tons of Internet forums for backyard chicken owners? Crazy lol). The dog was kind of a surprise, since we unexpectedly fell in love with her at the shelter, having no prior knowledge of the breed characteristics, etc. or dogs in general, for that matter.

BUT. The first thing I did was read, read, read. And watch YouTube videos and dog behavior programs. Turns out coonhounds are insane with energy and so easily distracted by sounds and smells that they're difficult to train. But she is NOT a bad dog. Once we understood how strong her nose is and how tracking is built into her genes, then it was easier to understand WHY she did the things she did. She's crazy smart: house trained in less than two weeks after we adopted her at four months old, had learned "sit", "down", and "drop it" by our third week with her clicker training. But if she's in the yard with a squirrel, now at a year old, there's no way she's gonna sit or stay. If she somehow gets out of our fenced yard, it's a half hour of chasing her all over the neighborhood because she refuses to come when you call her. It's not because she's bad. It's because she's bred to run and track, and those instincts are stronger than any, "Pepper, come!"

And that's why I say I'm a snob about it. Because I think you should at least try to understand where your animal is coming from before you pass judgement on their behavior. I have seen far too many animal owners mistreat or neglect their pets because they don't take two seconds to think of what might be going on in the animal's head. You don't have to have a lifetime of experience, but you do have to have information and *compassion*.

Bless you for your support if animal welfare. I am delighted to find there are so many people who try to make the best possible environment for animals, instead of trying to make animals fit into a convenient human environment.


message 45: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Heather wrote: "I haven't read this book yet, and now I'm not sure I want to. I'm an animal lover (a borderline animal hoarder, if you asked my friends), with two cats, two ferrets, two guinea pigs, fifteen backya..."

:) you sound like a really great person. don't let me deter you from reading this book, a lot of people loved it, but you should go into it knowing that the couple in the book did not make a decision based in compassion or awareness, but ignorance and convenience. what really gets to me about this story (and the film that was made from it) is that it reinforces the already awful mindset that Americans have about dogs in the first place - that they're there to be used by us, for practice and for friendship, but if they're too hyper or they rip up your shoes or are terrified of storms and destroy your garage, they are bad dogs. they just haven't been communicated with properly. i hope that as my generation grows up and starts having families/pets, they will realize that research and knowledge are key to having a relationship with an animal. now that google is literally in our pockets all of the time, there is REALLY no excuse.

i've always wanted a pet chicken! your little menagerie sounds awesome.


message 46: by bookworm80 (new)

bookworm80 No one neuters/spays dogs outside of the USA. It messes up the hormones. Just don't let them go without the leash outside (there're other reasons for that, of course). And I can't believe people are shamed now for not getting dogs from the shelters. If I want a puppy from a specific breed I'll go find a reputable breeder. This guilt shaming is ridiculous. What's next? Attacking people for having their own kids instead of adopting some Asian orphans?


message 47: by Peacegal (new)

Peacegal The number of dogs and cats entering animal shelters attests to the fact that "just keeping them on a leash" doesn't always work. In the US, we destroy 4 million dogs and cats each year because they are not wanted-- most of these animals are healthy and adoptable. In the 1970s it was three times that amount, and then spay/neuter campaigns helped reduce the killing dramatically. You are welcome to visit the euthanasia room of my-- or your --local shelter if words don't hit hard enough.


message 48: by Rachel (new)

Rachel If you could buy designer children (not eggs, actual babies) from super hot women who are mated with super hot men, either in comfortable conditions or atrocious ones, I think most people would lose their shit.

"We've been thinking about getting a baby. I really love the look of the Scandinavian breeds, maybe something Swedish? They're so beautiful with the blue eyes and the blonde hair."

"Well we love our Brazipanese! They're a newer sort of "designer breed" that mixes a Japanese with a Brazilian, so they're really smart and easy to train but they're playful, and a little bigger."

You really can't compare birthing vs adoption with buying vs adoption. It's illegal to sell people and I believe (though I recognize that this belief is an extreme view) that it should be illegal to sell dogs.


message 49: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Rachel wrote: "If you could buy designer children (not eggs, actual babies) from super hot women who are mated with super hot men, either in comfortable conditions or atrocious ones, I think most people would los..."

Oh my gosh I have followed this entire thread from your initial review. And I love you. I am a dog rescuer. I work with several groups as well as local shelters. So yeah, I share your feelings and wow, your comments have made my day. Way to deal with willful ignorance in a classy and honest way.

I read this book a long time ago. It's pretty much shitty; I can see the entertainment value, but other than that, I found it tiresome. My chief concern was that it would romanticize and even encourage other idiots to follow suit - go and buy some big dog, allow it to behave badly in public and endanger itself and the public, blah blah blah. I guess one redeeming factor was they did stick with the dog although the wife was a real cunt after her miscarriage history. But as a child-less by choice married woman, don't get me started on the whole single-minded babymania thing.
Anyway, thanks for the fun and thanks for the honest look at the problems behind all the twee in this book (and the whole mythology of the "American family with two kids and a dog" schlock.


message 50: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Lisa wrote: "Rachel wrote: "If you could buy designer children (not eggs, actual babies) from super hot women who are mated with super hot men, either in comfortable conditions or atrocious ones, I think most p..."

thanks! i'll keep fighting the good fight.


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