Since Marley & Me was published a little over a year ago, I have heard from thousands of people from all over the world who have shared the painful experience of having to say goodbye to a beloved family pet. This email, from a woman named Maggie somewhere in America, just arrived today. She wrote to me, “I lost our own hound the other day and find myself thinking a lot about your Marley as well as our own Rascal. I am happy to learn that there are many ‘bad dogs’ who are absolutely adored by their families.”
She then attached the note she sent out to friends and relatives about Rascal’s death. I thought it was worth sharing, not only for the affection and honest emotion she conveys, but for the wise and funny lessons she took from her special pooch.
This is the note Maggie sent out:
> With sorrow, I would like to share the news of our dear old dog
> Rascal’s passing on to hound heaven. After a few questionable early
> years of life on the streets, Rascal joined our
> family and remained a part of it for 12 years. We loved him. He was a
> part of our family and we all miss him.
> Rascal had his faults, but he also had good beagle-ish sensibilities,
> and while he might not be the first to come to mind as a role model,
> in many ways he was right on target. Please bear with me…
> Lessons from Rascal
> * An early life of crime doesn’t make you a criminal forever.
> * It really is better to be lucky than smart.
> * Weight maintenance food isn’t as bad as it sounds.
> * Know what’s worth fighting for…go ahead and kick ass for a chocolate
> croissant – not so much for a green froot loop.
> * Little kids are more fun than grown-ups.
> * The best thing about moving from the country to the city are
> restaurants within walking distance to your house.
> * If someone you love is accidentally hurting you, scream like crazy
> until they stop and then smother them with kisses to prove that there
> are no hard feelings.
> * Stoicism is way overrated and boring.
> * Hungry dogs steal food.
> * A sense of humor is usually more important than your dignity.
> * Love your family with all of your beagle-mix heart, and if you think
> someone is threatening your loved ones, find your inner pit bull and use it until
> you are absolutely sure that everyone is safe.
> He was a very good dog in every way that mattered. Rest happy dear friend.