Last night I came home and hugged and hugged and hugged Remy, my rescue German shepherd. She probably wondered what was going on - but didn't mind - for our usual greeting is some pats, maybe a belly rub and sometimes a treat. I fought back tears as I hugged her. Brooklyn Bark had been guests of HBO at a screening of their upcoming documentary about the life of dogs in America.
It was a very emotional night. I wouldn't be surprised if every audience member had the same reaction as I. We each needed our own dog hugs to feel, well maybe, OK.
If you get HBO and love dogs, this is a MUST SEE. June 18th.
"One Nation Under Dog" was fimed in three parts, by three different crews and takes three very different looks at dog in the US.
The first made me furious! The segment named "Fear" followed a wealthy New Jersey family in total denial as they used their money and position to harbor a vicious dog. Yes, they loved the dog and yes they paid a lot of money - for medical costs, for hush and for legal costs - to be able to keep him for he was sweet and tame with their family. Finally, after numerous and serious attacks, including ripping off a three year old's ear and biting a teenager on her shoulder, the family put him down. They put down a healthy, robust dog never having faced the problem to work it through.
I don't know what had me more furious - the denial that kept the dog in circulation so that he could continue to maul kids and adults or the intellectual laziness of the owners who chose euthenasia rather than working with the dog.
The second segment focused on the intensity of our relationship with our own dogs, something few of us had to have explained. That segment was called "Loss".
The final segment "Betrayal" was impossible for me to watch. I had my head in my lap and fingers in my ears as the film showed dogs and puppies being euthenized. Did you know that more dogs are put down in the US than are adopted? What is wrong? Terribly wrong!
Fortunately, this horrific segment then focused on the rescues from puppy mills (again, horrific, but at least these dogs were going to be given a chance) and some of the wonderful individuals and groups who pull adoptable dogs from shelters - often rehabbing them - so that you and I can have a souldmate, a beloved pet.
Watch as much of this documentary as your heart will bear. But take the message to your heart, begin to spread the word and then do something!