I confess that I watched the movie Marley & Me when it came out on cable. I knew it was sappy, I knew it would make me cry, but I watched it anyway. You know what? I kinda liked it. Then I caught Jonathan watching a snippet of it a few days later on HBO. We are both big time pet people and if you can get past Jennifer Aniston's lousy acting the movie/story line are okay. Marley is a super horrible yellow Lab, with no manners and no regard for anything except whatever random thought pops into his raisin sized brain. Basically, he's an out of control pain in the ass for his entire life, then he gets old and dies. The End. I met a dead ringer for Marley this past week. This nightmare dog is owned by a woman that I know from the barn where I keep my horse. Sue is a lovely person, very kind and gentle, but she should have a maltese, or a yorkie. An exuberant, strong Lab is a bad choice for someone unwilling to enforce the laws of good doggie behavior.
Case in point:
I decided to walk my two dogs on Thurs. at noontime, so I get in the car and drive up the street to the Land Conservancy where we generally walk. To my surprise, Sue is pulling into the driveway at the same time. We both stop our cars and I roll down my window and ask if I can join she and her dog on their walk, figuring it will be fun for the dogs to play together. She reply's and enthusiastic, "yes!" and then hops out of her car to let her dog out so it can run the rest of the way to the parking spot. I find this to be a strange idea, but I go with the flow. The idiot dog is no sooner out of the car when she spies my car and my dogs in the back seat, runs over and proceeds to maul the back door and window with her rapier-esque claws. I am horrified, but I sit still and try to maintain a calm exterior while Sue struggles to grab the dog's collar and pull her away from my poor vehicle. Sue gets the dog away and then she does something very strange. She let's it go again. Of course, this Tasmanian monster gallops back to my car and goes right back to attacking the door with even more vigor than the first attack. Now my dogs are getting a little freaked out at this point. Becks is only five months old and he's finding this behavior quite bizarre. I begin to yell at my dogs to relax and try to keep from screaming the F word at Sue's dog. Sue is no match for this crazed animal and it runs away from her as she approaches and attacks the other side of the car. I am staring straight ahead trying to not to picture what the doors are going to look like after this dog is done engraving them with her nails. After one more mauling session, Sue finally gets the dog, at which point I roll my window down and in a strained voice I say, "I think I'll just go home now." I leave out the part where I want to go punch a wall and scream for five minutes straight. Sue looks at me helplessly. I resist the urge to ram my car into her flailing dog and go home. Needless to say, my car doors are quite scratched. I don't have a super fancy car, but it's black so the scratches really stand out. I know Sue feels badly about the incident. In fact, she left me a message full of apologies and offered to pay for fixing the scratches. I have two words for her...Cesar Milan. She needs the Dog Whisperer in a big way. I'd be happy to assist with some training tips, but I don't think she would agree with my, ahem, tactics, which would namely involve a size 8 to its backside. I have no tolerance for stupid, ill behaved animals, or people. Marley & Me was amusing to watch on TV, but meeting a real life Marley was not enjoyable at all. Maybe if it had been Owen Wilson trying to get the dog off my car I might have felt differently. Maybe, but I doubt it.