Reading the best-selling book “Marley and Me” helped bring to me a new appreciation of my own dog, Shelby. Like Marley, Shelby is also a yellow Labrador Retriever. She also shares Marley’s eagerness for affection and playfulness. Unlike Marley, Shelby has never been stubbornly disobedient and destructive. Shelby is an English Lab, known for their lower, stockier build, well-balanced behavior and friendliness. She is all that and more. She has never failed to greet me at the door when I come home. She has never hidden her disappointment when I leave.
Growing up, my younger brother was severely allergic to animal hair. We had Beagles and later a Border Collie, but they always lived outside. Unfortunately like most “outside dogs,” they tended to get ignored when it was hot, cold, rainy, or dark outside. I vowed to myself a long time ago that when I “grow up” that I would get a dog of my own, and that dog would live inside with me. Having Shelby inside allows her to express her natural affection for us and we enjoy her company in return. She does lose a lot of hair indoors, but this motivates us to keep our house clean, especially with a new baby at home.
Seeing how Marley’s life ended at a ripe old age, it tore me up to think of having to say goodbye to our wonderful friend. I know that day will come with sadness. Shelby has already returned dividends on the investment we made to bring her into our lives. If you’re a dog-lover looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend reading “Marley & Me.”