While the Academy Awards are still fresh on our minds, I thought I’d take a few minutes to comment about dog movies. Though it’s been out for a couple of years, Scott and I recently saw Marley and Me. Now, I may alienate a bunch of my dog-lover readers out there by saying this, but I wasn’t impressed. I mean, Marley got to do whatever the heck he wanted for twelve years, and then he died of old age. What’s so movie-worthy about that story? Frankly, I was annoyed that Marley’s owners never took control of his bad behavior. Had Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson implemented just a wee bit of discipline, they could have saved a lot of money in damaged furniture and trips to the vet due to Marley eating socks or other inedible objects. I know a lot of people who were deeply saddened by this story. When Izzy dies (hopefully later than sooner), I’m sure I will be singing a different tune, but when I watched this movie, I wasn’t upset about Marley’s death. I just kept thinking, “Man, what an awesome doggy life he lived.”
Now Turner and Hootch—that’s a good dog movie. Who can forget Tom Hanks as the young cop forced to take a dog as his new partner? And this isn’t just any dog—he’s a dog with some awesome slobbering powers. Even now, I can picture the ever-present strands of thick mucus dangling from both sides of Hootch’s mouth, and I can hear a young Tom Hanks complaining about how everything, everything he owns is covered with slobber—his shoes, his clothing, the remote control. But eventually, Hootch grows on Turner (Hanks), the pair becomes inseparable, and Hootch ends up taking a bullet for his human companion. That’ll turn on the waterworks, no problem.
I could go on for days analyzing dog movies because, well, there are tons of them. This just goes to show that there’s something special about the relationship between us humans and our canine companions that inspires story after story, whether it’s in the form of a movie or book or, well, a blog. Now here’s the part where I alienate my cat-lover readers out there: How many movies have been made about people and their cats? Let’s face it. When cats are in movies, they’re usually playing an evil cat attempting to rid the world of dogs or a snobby cat who walks around saying things like, “Cats rule, and dogs drool,” their tails and chins held high in the air (Homeward Bound, anyone?). But dog movies are all about loyalty, unconditional love, joy—things most of us dog owners out there experience on a daily basis. Sure, dog movies can’t all be winners, but people can’t really lose when they welcome a dog into their lives. It is a special relationship, indeed.