All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Fowler’s Flix 04.09.19: Dog-umentaries!

FilmRise
Together, Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta have rescued and housed over 10,000 dogs in "Life in the Doghouse."
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

About a year ago this month, my dog of fifteen or so years, Hoogie, died on the floor near my feet as I wrote another article. He was an old dog, but he was a great dog, but I can’t help but feel guilt, wishing I could have done a few things different, not that he’d ever know, I guess.

Regardless, I decided to watch a few documentaries—dog-umentaries, as it were—in his honor, starting with the story of two men and a massive rescue operation…

I know some people might think that horse-trainers Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta are quite possibly insane to do what they’ve done, but instead of just mindlessly throwing money at a problem and walking away, they are actually trying to help the helpless by taking in literally hundreds of neglected, abused or discarded dogs into their home, a mission that is documented in Life in the Doghouse (FilmRise).

Turning their personal home into a living canine sanctuary, for over ten years they have helped these dogs find new homes outside of cages, rescued dogs at the last minute from kill-shelters and taken care of animals living in horrid conditions at puppy mills and pet stores. While it’s a job that most people would look away from, thank God people like Robertshaw and Danta exist to do the heavy lifting.

It’s amazing to think that dogs have become so domesticated that people with special needs put their faith in their canine companions. In the documentary Pick of the Litter (Sundance Selects), we follow five possible guide dogs through their life, starting out as newborns, through their training and the high and lows that come with it, on up to either their guide dog graduation or unfortunate career change.

Five dogs—Patriot, Primrose, Poppet, Potomac and Phil—are put into schooling to be a guide dog almost immediately after birth, taken to special homes owned by people that will train them and knowingly give them up if they have to so these animals can help someone with disabilities. It’s a rigorous schedule that really takes the dogs to the brink, but in the end, it’s all worth it, displaying a true testament to why dogs are truly the closest thing to a human, personality-wise, at east, in the animal kingdom.

Finally, while not about dogs, per se, I would be amiss if I didn’t include the harrowing documentary Eating Animals (Sundance Selects), narrated by Natalie Portman and based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer. This persuasive film is about how the factory farm came into business in America and how it’s not only practically destroyed the small farmer, but are turning things as simple as chicken farming into these bloated monsters, so fattened up on hormones their legs break when they walk.

It’s a devastating film to watch, but all them of them, when tied together, will hopefully get the viewer to get up and do something more assertive than just watching a flick about animals.

Next week: I Wanna Hold Your Hand!

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK