Sometimes a dog isn’t just a dog — as we’ve seen these past few years with the explosion of commercials using celebrity dog spokesmodels discovered on Instagram and Twitter. These well-paid (and surely well-fed) “pet influencers” get book deals, endorsement deals, and TV shows — but I’m still not convinced how well they take direction — as this recent article in (The New York Times) explains.
First off, let me just say that I loved the book, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, and was really looking forward to seeing the movie…
And then the horrific TMZ video came out, documenting potential abuse by the dog trainers on the set of the film. The writers, producers, and actors involved in the production — along with millions of moviegoers — were all justifiably horrified by what they saw on the disturbing clip.
However, later, after Cameron and the studio execs viewed ALL of the footage that took place during that day of filming, it was revealed that the video clip had been edited out of context to maximize the impact of the traumatic footage.
Unfortunately, by that point, the
cat pooch was out of the bag, so to speak.
Gavin Polone, the big dog lover/producer on the film, wrote a compelling Hollywood Reporter column breaking down the whole incident, which explains the nasty dog fight brewing between PETA and Hollywood. (I’m assuming that part of PETA’s position has to do with the sad fact that past dog movies like 101 Dalmatians and Beverly Hills Chihuahua have inspired numerous “bad fad” pet adoptions — which later resulted in countless Dalmatians and Chihuahuas being returned back to rescue shelters once the new owners got “bored” with their new puppies and couldn’t handle all the responsibilities that it takes in caring for an animal.)
Tragically, no matter where you stand on this issue, there are no winners, as all dog movie fans and dog rescue advocates alike have been harmed during the making of this film.
With all the “Best of” lists coming out as we wrap up 2016 — I figured why not add a pile of this year’s dog books to the mix? If you’re looking for stocking stuffers or other pet presents, there’s plenty of reading material to entertain the dog person in your life!
Dogs and Their People (BarkPost)
The Secret Language of Dogs (Victoria Stilwell)
The Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog (Patricia McConnell) – Available Feb 2017
Alexandra Horowitz, author of the best-selling Inside of A Dog, is back with a new dog-delving science book, BEING A DOG: FOLLOWING THE DOG INTO A WORLD OF SMELL. Widely known for sniffing out drugs, bombs, and certain types of ancer, this book will surely open up our minds — and nostrils — to the infinite ways that dogs perceive the world around us! (NPR)
Hey, now that the U.S. DEM/GOP political conventions are out of the way, you can take this time to go save yourself by rescuing a dog or cat at this year’s annual Broadway Barks event in NYC!
In what has to be one of the most
disturbing unusual ways to grieve the loss of a beloved pet, a Dutch artist named Bart Jansen has transformed his deceased cat, Orville, into a drone called the “OrvilleCopter”. Read all about it on Business Insider.
Apparently, he’s brought new life to other taxidermy as well, as you can check out this flying Ostrich video…
Like John Steinbeck’s pet travel book classic, Travels With Charley, you will be charmed by this 21st Century story of a woman sailing around the world with her loyal waterproof cat, Amelia (no relation to Amelia Earhart).
It’s a Saint Patrick’s Day miracle! Imagine if Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island — or, more recently, Tom Hanks in Cast Away was re-cast as a German Shepherd-Husky mix, and you will get to know the story of Luna, a dog that was rescued by the Navy five months after being declared lost at sea…(San Diego Union-Tribune)
And Julie Barton found that friend in the bunker — er, rather, in Bunker, her beautiful Golden Retriever, as she writes about battling depression in the new touching memoir, Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself.
Never let a human do a dog’s job…especially when it comes to finding the cure for cancer, says Arlene Weintraub in her new book, Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures. This non-fiction work is a both a scientific study on the huge impact dogs are having in cancer research, as well as a personal story detailing Weintraub’s own dire experiences in dealing with the loss of a loved one to this horrific disease that affects us all. An important read!
The Internet got spooked last week with this pic of a woman spreading the ashes of her beloved Golden Retriever named Wagner. If you look closely at the picture on the bottom right, you can make out the shape of a dog, right? But is it real or is it just Photoshop? Or maybe a Halloween hoax? You be the judge! (DogTime)