Monday, November 24, 2008

Bob and Me

Marley has been so excited because the movie Marley and Me is coming out.  I guess if I were a kid and a movie was coming out with my name in the title, I'd be excited too.  She wanted to read the book but I explained the book was for adults and too hard for her to read herself.  Of course, at the bookstore one day, we found the junior version, Marley, A Dog Like No Other.  It said it was for ages 8-12.  She is definitely more on the 8 year old end of things rather than the 12 year old, reading-wise, but we bought it, anyway.  She read it and when I would ask her about what was happening, she would reply, "I have no idea."  (A sure sign she was reading a book that was too difficult for her!)  She insisted she was doing fine and so when she finished the book, I asked her about the end.  It was all fine, she said.  Marley was sick but he got better.


I happened to know that Marley did not get better.  I turned to the last few pages of the book and showed her a few key words that indicated Marley was not living happily ever after.  I got a shoulder shrug and that was about it.  Except that being a reading major now, I was not content to let that go.  We would read the book together.  Well, Paul and I have taken turns, so I've missed out on some of it.  Unfortunately, I'm getting all the bits at the end where Marley is going deaf, half-blind, and suffering through arthritic hips.  Tonight I had to stop every half a page to get myself under control. I soldiered on and managed to finishe the chapter.  Paul will have to finish the book with her. I can't even think about going to see that movie.  I'll need two boxes of Kleenex, a bottle of ibuprofen, and therapy.

It wouldn't be so difficult (I'm not that much of a softy), if it weren't for Bob.  Our Bob.  While I doubt anyone would buy a book about mine and Paul's life with that dog, there are definitely a few good stories to tell.  Bob shared some personality characteristics with Marley the dog.  He was enthusiastic beyond belief and Paul and I were often at out wit's end.  Physically, like Marley (the dog), he also had arthritic hips. He was very uncomfortable by the end and when we ripped up the carpet to have the hardwood floors refinished he changed completely. It was like he aged years overnight.  It broke my heart. So, when I read about Marley getting older, I remember my dog--because he was defnitely mine, not Paul's.

In honor of Bob, I am reposting something from my other blog, So Cal Cinema.  It has a few pictures of my boy and Paul in his Sally Jesse Raphaelesque frames that were so popular at the time. It also tells a funny story about Marley's remembering him.  

Here you go, from August, 2006:

Speak, Bob! Speak! (Speak to My Heart!)

Bob tries to convince Paul to give up some yummies.

The following conversation took place in our car Sunday on the way to church. Playing in the cd player was the first song, titled "Speak to My Heart," from our friend Erin's (also known as Elina) brand new CD.***

Colin: "Did you hear what Marley just said?"

Me: "No, what did she say?"

Colin: "She said, 'Colin, does this song make you remember Bob?'"


Paul and I chuckled and Marley made don't-make-fun-of-me noises. We laughed, because, if you don't know, Bob was our dog who died almost 4 years ago and "Speak to My Heart" is a song about falling in love. Marley was only 2 1/2 years old, but she remembers him. Her grandparents have a big, stuffed hound dog which she calls Bob. She calls Grandpa on the phone and asks to speak to Bob. At that point, Grandpa uses his doggy voice so that Marley and Bob can talk. I guess the song was just melancholy enough or something to remind her about how she feels about Bob being gone. I don't know. I just know that I will definitely have a different point of reference every time I hear that song!

Bob as a puppy. He was just a few months old here. I don't know if you can accurately assess the look in his eye from this picture but I would call it his Make Me look.

This is our last picture of Bob taken just a few days before he was put to sleep. Boo Hoo! (He kind of looks like he knew the jig was up, doesn't he?)

24 down, 6 to go


Anonymous said...

Bob looks a lot like my dog. My sweet senior citizen dog who is going to live FOREVER!

I posted about "Marley and Me" last year and still maintain it is a HORRIBLE book. Firstly I don't think there is such a thing as an inherently BAD dog, but rather BAD OWNERS who haven't the temperament, skill or physical setting to properly foster certain dogs. Grogan did Marley a huge disservice by not rehoming him into a rural setting early on in his life.

Okay I better stop now before I get too deep into my rant-mentality.

Kristi said...

I had a hell of a time getting through that book! My 6-yr old wants me to read him the kids version (sounds like what you have) but I'm afraid he would be traumatized beyond belief - like Old Yeller for the 21st century.

Also, Bob looks like he was such a sweetie. They know when their bodies can't handle any more and I believe they're really fine with that, ya know? I think they just worry about us and how we'll survive without them! Thanks for sharing that sweet memory of him.

Mel said...

Too close to home, I dare say.

In part because the sis had to put her dog to sleep last week.
In part because I'll never own another dog because of getting to do that for my own.

She was such a lover.

Anonymous said...

Such an endearing post.

I am a marshmallow when it comes to dogs, so I am blubbering away right now.

John Ross said...

oh, yeah....Tails of dogs gone bye...

I remember - I remember them all.

And in fifty years, I've had quite a few.

none for quite a while.

good post.