Dogs are a really amazing eye opener for us humans because their lives are compressed into such a short period, so we can see them go from puppyhood to adolescence to strong adulthood and then into their sunset years in 10 to 12 years. It really drives home the point of how finite all our lives are.
Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs - loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love - can be elusive to humans.
Certain people are not going to connect with a book about the effect a dog has on a family. But every one of us has parents and has either said goodbye to those parents or knows that someday they will.
Even though I'm totally dependent on modern electronic gizmos, from my laptop to my iPod to my cell phone, I love to embrace old technology or no technology at all.
I collect old rusty hand tools and sharpen and polish them, then use them to build things out of walnut and cherry that I harvest from fallen trees in the woods.
I take a lot of satisfaction in trying to make my land as self-contained as possible, its own little mini environment. Minimal outputs; minimal inputs.
I can't solve the world's problems, can't even begin to contemplate them all. But on my little corner of Earth, I at least can try to live in a way that treads lightly.
'Marley and Me' was a book I was proud of and believed in, but I thought it would just have a modest audience because it is such a personal story about my marriage and my family.
When I wrote 'Marley & Me,' I had a clear audience in mind. And it did not include children. I wrote my book for adults and assumed only adults, and possibly teenagers, would be drawn to it.