One book leads to another...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friends of the Famous - M

Originally written as a memoir by John Grogan: Marley & Me; Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog was a New York Times bestselling book before it hit the theaters as a comedy-drama starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston.  Although it broke box office records on its Christmas Day opening of 2008, the film was received with decidedly mixed reviews, though none could deny it was sure to please every dog lover.  The role of Marley, the exuberant canine pet, was played by 22 different yellow labs as the film covers fourteen years of the wayward dog’s life and how his presence indelibly affected the lives and love of a young couple.

Best known for her role in the long-running sitcom ‘Will & Grace’, popular television actress Debra Messing has received countless Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards and nominations, including five Crown Awards for her trademark curls. With dozens of television shows and movies to her credit – and a new one due out in 2016 she does keep busy when she’s not at home relaxing with her son and an adorable little dog called Laila; a purebred called a Coton de Tulear; named for the city Tulear in Madagascar and for their white cottony fur. They are said to be the most honest dog for characteristics such as affectionate, loyal, even-tempered and all-around friendly with children, other animals and people in general. Their expressive faces only add to their innate charm as they like to dance upright on their hind legs.

Mozart had a Starling he affectionately called “Little Fool”. He loved the bird for its ability to mimic Mozart’s own melodies and unconfirmed reports are that Little Fool even inspired some of his later work. Upon the bird’s passing, Mozart held an elaborate funeral which included the reading of an anguished hand-written epitaph in honor of his beloved friend.

Have you seen the movie ‘Marley & Me’? Have you ever known a ‘Coton de Tulear’? Are there Starlings in your area?


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    I haven't seen Marley & Me but now I'd like to. Any movie with a dog as a main character is of interest to me. It's amazing that 22 different dogs played Marley in the film.

    I Googled a picture of the Coton de Tulear breed and think one of my other blog friends owns one. I previously believed that her small white fluffy dog was a Bichon Frise but now I'm not sure. Can you tell?

    It's not hard to understand why a passionate man like Mozart would compose and deliver an eloquent epitaph for his departed pet starling.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Good Morning, Shady!

      I meant to insert a picture of the darling little dogs for reference! Sigh, this is what happens when one little wheel falls off your cart - things begin to slip;-) But back to the subject -
      The Bichons are basically designer dogs and the Coton de Tulear hails from a mixture of Frise and Bolognese. You’d have to know which breeds were used in the cross to be certain, although notable affectations are a prominent beard and mustache, dark pigmentation around the eyes (like eyeliner) and above all, the cotton-soft hypoallergenic fur.
      The sweet little dog in the link you provided appears to be Frise, I can't be sure - but what's not to love?;-)

      It seems rather fitting that Mozart would choose a Starling as a companion. Evidently they were quite popular in his era and, interestingly, all North American Starlings are descendants of 100 European Starlings released in Central Park in the early 1890's by Shakespearean enthusiasts;-)

      Happy Friday, my friend!

  2. Marley & Me is a classic! Never heard of the Coton de Tulear breed. I'm from Britain and I get LOADS of starlings in my garden. They are very noisy and squabble a lot!
    I have another A to Z Blog here: That's Purrfect

    1. Hello Mrs.!
      Always a pleasure to hear from you:-) I enjoy the amusing entertainment of both of your blogs and commend you on juggling both!
      I wouldn't know a Starling from a road runner (grin)but its amazing how interested one can get with a little research:-)
      Have a terrific day!

  3. I can't bring myself to watch Marley and Me as the death scene would leave me in tears. (Total wimp when it comes to that!). Cotons are lovely little dogs and yes, from the Bichon family. Debra Messing's new show, "The Mysteries of Laura" is good. That's amazing about Mozart's bird!

  4. Hi Debbie:-)
    I know what you mean. Even when you know what's coming (scary or sad) it still effects you.
    My only concern with designer dogs is the side-effects of cross-breeding, though I've not seen much mentioned about Bichons.
    I'll have to check out Messing's new show, the title is intriguing;-)
    Have a great weekend, Debbie!

  5. I'm not surprised by Mozart's pet bird influencing his work. I love to listen to birds chatter and some of their songs are so melodic.

    I hope you are enjoying the challenge.

    1. Hi Ann!
      I love birdsongs too! Even the sweet serenade of the tiny house Finch thrills me:-)

  6. I don't think I've seen the Marley film, but it sounds very interesting. I may have to check it out.
    That's kind of cool about the Mozart bird.

    1. Hi there!

      You know, since I've been saying I plan to see 'Marley and Me' folks have been telling me don't do it because it's so unbearably sad. Guess I'll have to take my chances;-)

      I would loved to have heard the bird mimic Mozart's music!

      Have a great day:-)


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