As a rather vocal and enthusiastic dog lover, people constantly approach me with all sorts of dog shit. I don’t mean literal dog shit – I mean stories, pictures, questions, tips and other stuff that we dog lovers tend to live for. Several years ago, friends starting recommending the book A Dog’s Purpose, but it wasn’t until I lost my little Mexican rescue Lola, that I finally piled in and read it and man, what a perfect time for the perfect book. I’d recommend it to any dog lover, regardless of whether or not you’ve recently lost a pet. It’s one of those books that unfolds with deceptive simplicity, all the while delivering timeless truths, deep insights and gentle reminders of the innate wisdom we all possess.
Not surprisingly, they’re making a movie based on the book and seriously, fuck that movie.
Word has come out — nay, not just word, but video — of animal abuse on the set. Specifically, TMZ has released minute-long footage of a German Shepherd anxious and unwilling to perform a stunt amid rushing water, which would eventually call for the dog to be submerged in a pool. Don’t they have CGI for that sort of deal? The video got out and people proceeded to lose their puppy-loving minds. And no, I’m not linking the video here. If you really need to see it, Google away, you sadistic bastard.
In the “Not Surprising At All” category, the producers have rushed into spin control mode, assuring everybody that the terrified dog was nothing short of peachy keen and not harmed at all. It has yet to be determined how long their noses grew during these statements. And for that matter, we all know that the disclaimer at the end of movies that include animals saying, “No animals were harmed in the production of this film” is complete bullshit. As for the TMZ video on the set of A Dog’s Purpose, it’s like they say in the courtroom game, res ipsa loquitur – the thing speaks for itself. Hell, even the actor voicing the dog in the film, Josh Gad, took to Twitter to comment on the disturbing video.
Just a side note on PETA – fuck them, too. They co-opt tragedies like this to place themselves as the defenders of the weak and voiceless, so they can blow each other at their smug, self-satisfied, big budget black tie galas (why not stay home and use the money to build a new shelter?). I’ve read several stories of them euthanizing dogs off the books. For example, in 2014, a story broke that couple of PETA employees stole and killed a family dog. On video. RIP Maya.
Back to the matter at hand, there’s just no way I’m going to support that movie in any way, shape or form. Would they do that to a little girl? Stick her by rushing water and submerge her in a pool, just to get a good shot? Of course not – she could speak for herself, as could her parents, agent, guardian, etc. But it’s OK to do it to a dog? No. It’s never OK to put a soulful, trusting animal through that kind of controlled terror just so you can have a dramatic scene in the movie trailer. I’m skipping A Dog’s Purpose and you should, too. If you want a good dog movie, curl up with a fluffy blanket and watch (or re-watch) Best In Show. You’ll laugh your ass off and they didn’t have to drown a single dog while filming it.