Movie Dogs & First Dogs

Today I went to the movie theater and saw “Marley & Me”.   Getting up, getting dressed, and going somewhere is a major victory in my battle against anxiety and depression right now.  It sounds silly when something that’s usually fun and easy is difficult, but such is the nature of the beast   Those of you who battle depression or anxiety or both (double the “fun”) know what I mean.

Since “Marley & Me” by John Grogan is one of my most favorite of books (read my first thoughts), I was pretty sure if the screenwriters didn’t turn the story into a slapstick comedy, I would like it.

I loved it.

It’s the kind of movie that makes you want to rush home as soon as the credits appear so you can take your furry canine friend (or friends) in your arms and shower them with kisses.  Like the book, I was left thinking about how much a dog can add to a family dynamic, and through the story of Marley, the story of the Grogan family comes to life.

I’ve read reviews that said there was too much Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston (John and Jenny Grogan) and not enough dog (Marley).  It is a DOG movie after all, right?  True, but it’s more than a dog movie.  It’s a movie about the sociology of a family and how they interact with their dog (and in turn, how their dog interacts with them).  Wilson and Aniston have great on-screen chemistry and are pretty terrific in these roles.  I don’t think I’ve seen either actor in such a “serious” role prior to this movie.

See the movie and then buy the book because it’s much better to see the movie and then let the book flesh everything out.  And then go get a puppy (if you don’t already have one).  And knit it a sweater.


Speaking of dogs, I’d like to weigh in on the Barack Obama puppy situation.  As you may know, Obama promised his girls a puppy and the family has the breed narrowed

The very presidential Portuguese Water Dog
The very presidential Portuguese Water Dog

down to two choices–a Portuguese Water Dog OR a Labradooble.  I’m thinking a shih tzu would be the best possible choice, but I guess a shih tzu isn’t a very manly dog.  I mean, soon-to-be-President Obama doesn’t want to look like a wuss in front of foreign dignitaries.  Plus, if the Obamas did have a shih tzu, they would probably keep its hair long (the traditional shih tzu look) and put bows in its hair.  Yeah, that definitely won’t fit Obama’s “man” image.  Although, does “Labradoodle” sound any manlier?

For the safety of our country and the sake of his image, let’s hope that Obama goes for the Portuguese Water Dog (even though I’m more keen on Labradoodles).  It’s a safe and masculine choice for our country’s leader.   Just watch the Obama girls ruin everything by naming the dog “Princess” or something.  I’m thinking “Lincoln” would be a good name due to Obama’s fondness for the former President.  Not only that, but it sounds cool and macho.

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