Friday, October 18, 2013

When TV Goes To The Dogs

Some of them are photographed wearing the very latest fashions.
Another casually plays the piano. Still another only eats gourmet dinners.
All are canines of the four legged category and in the merry new documentary For The Love Of Dogs we're asked to eavesdrop on their completely captivated owners.
One lady agrees she seems to be married to her dog. A childless couple lavish all their attention on their tiny dog
An archaeologist of some renown admits she even took her daschund on her digs --everything seemed OK until she started finding bones she had to hide from the dog.
One familyt's idea of a real treat is to cuddle up with their dog and watch a movie on TV.
We get to go to a bark mitzvah where guests dance all around and the center of attention gets to much on all sorts of meaty delicacies.
We peek in on "doga" classes where dogs and owners chill out in heavy mediation moments.
And what abut a different take on pyjama parties --here called, of course, paw-jama parties.
The new hour documentary could have energed as simply enjoyably silly.
But it has depth and resonance  --it's basically a riff on the modern problem of lonliness.
Many of the owners only have their animal.
Pampered doggie Millie gets to dress up and go to parties where she recognizes other dogs. Yes, there is a dog named Elvis profiled here. What would "The King" think about that?
 Sure, they go overboard but the dogs don't seem to care much of the time. They get pampered and petted and it's better than a cell at the local dog pound.
One couple's idea of heaven is to cuddle with their pooch and watch a movie on TV.
"She's our only child!" they admit.
It would be very easy to make fun of these people.  Instead producer Dale Burshtein and director Sarah Goodman (for Omigod Productioons and Portfolio Entertainment)  accept their subjects for what they are. They're not there to poke fun but to join in the celebrations.
And that's what makes For the Love Of Dog so fascinating. The dogs don't ask anything of their human "masters", they are completely of the moment. When one dog dies of lymphoma the female human survivor is distraught and begins studying up on reincarnation.
One dog, Princess, has five new outfits every day. The Queen never wears the same dress and neither does this Princess. I like the quote "Dogs are more human than humans are" because it sums up the group philosophy of the hour.
The holy muttrimony ceremony was mostly done with complete reverence.
And as one lady says her dog has "been the little fur baby I needed."
So for For The Love Of A Dog I dutifully dole out  ***1/2 barks.
MY RATING: ***1/2.

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