But Marley is the star. Now I've bought the book to read too.
It didn't surprise me at all to read, in John Grogan's blog, that he had adopted one of the puppies in the movie, now called Woodson. And also not surprising, when they found out that Woodson had serious hip problems, they kept him anyway.
"Just bring him back," one of the breeders said, "and we'll swap him out for a new puppy, your pick of the next litter." I have to admit the offer was tempting, like turning in a lemon automobile for a gleaming new model. But dogs are not commodities to be discarded when they break, and I assumed that if Woodson were returned, he would be euthanized.
My wife and I thought about it overnight before realizing there was really nothing to consider. Woodson was part of our family now. I got on the floor with our special-needs dog and placed my lips against his snout. "You're not going anywhere, Woodsy," I whispered. "We're in this together."
And we are. With the help of an excellent orthopedic specialist at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school, we have Woodson on a special diet and a regimen of cartilage builders and medicines. We lift him into the car for rides and up the stairs for bed. Surgery might be in his future, but for now he's comfortable and enjoys his life as a pampered house pooch.
Woodson will never go hunting or hiking or even on long walks, and that's OK. Some dogs are put on this Earth just to love you.