Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.
Now with photos and new material
witnessing the burgeoning prostitution trade along Dixie Highway. On a visit, my older sister, dressed as modestly as a nun, went for a midday walk and was propositioned twice by would-be johns trolling by in cars. Another guest arrived at our house to report that a woman had just exposed her breasts to him as he drove past, not that he particularly minded. In response to complaints from residents, the mayor promised to publicly embarrass men arrested for soliciting, and the police began running
next to the Nedermier house, jumped into her car and joined the chase. I let go of Marley’s collar and ran toward the scream. Three doors down I found my seventeen-year-old neighbor standing alone in her driveway, bent over, sobbing in jagged raspy gasps. She clasped her ribs, and beneath her hands I could see a circle of blood spreading across her blouse. She was a thin, pretty girl with sand-colored hair that fell over her shoulders. She lived in the house with her divorced mother, a pleasant
husband at home who she only half jokingly fretted was quite possibly turning feral as he survived alone on TV dinners and ESPN. Once again, we were on our own. I did my best to keep the ship afloat, rising at dawn to bathe and dress Patrick, feed him oatmeal and puréed carrots, and take him and Marley for at least a short walk. Then I would drop Patrick at Sandy’s house for the day while I worked, picking him up again in the evening. I would come home on my lunch hour to make Jenny her lunch,
tumbled in a free fall down the entire length of the stairs. “Wow, was he lucky,” I said. “A fall like that could have killed him.” “I can’t believe he didn’t get hurt,” Jenny said. “He’s like a cat with nine lives.” But he had gotten hurt. Within minutes he was stiffening up, and by the time I arrived home from work that night, Marley was completely incapacitated, unable to move. He seemed to be sore everywhere, as though he had been worked over by thugs. What really had him laid up, though,
My correspondents wrote and called for another reason, too. They wanted to dispute the central premise of my report, the part in which I insisted Marley was the world’s worst-behaved animal. “Excuse me,” the typical response went, “but yours couldn’t have been the world’s worst dog—because mine was.” To make their case, they regaled me with detailed accounts of their pets’ woeful behavior. I heard about shredded curtains, stolen lingerie, devoured birthday cakes, trashed auto interiors, great