John Gordon writes that Marley & Me is a story about his life and love with the world’s worst dog. I disagree. My family had dogs as pets all the time I was growing up. We had good dogs and bad dogs. Smart dogs and dumb dogs. My parents still have dogs. I sometimes tease my mother that when I went away to college she replaced me with a dog. I’ve grown up with pets as part of the family. When I moved to Chicago most of the places were I rented apartments had fairly draconian rules against dogs. That suited me fairly well, as I believe that having a yard is a prerequisite to having a dog. No yard, no dog. I know people without yards make it work with dogs. There’s a woman with a loft in Printer’s Row who has two Great Danes. I often see her walking them around the neighborhood. Anyway, my pets in Chicago have been cats. Quirky, wonderful, sneaky, loving cats. I don’t mean this as a slight on dogs or people who like dogs. I like dogs, too. A lot. This is all rambling pretext of no particular relationship to this book– other than to add that Mom read this book a while back and suggested it to me with the warning that she cried through the last several hours of it. Because really, I don’t think this is a story about a misbehaved dog so much as it is a story about the value of animals in our lives. And that transcends any species or breed.