Dogs Don’t Deserve Us – film review

I downloaded and watched this independent film on Vimeo.

The film, confronting at times, interviews dog owners from around the world about the bond and relationship they have with their dogs.

Filmmakers Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker filmed in 11 countries.

Footage of “Day of the Dogs” in Nepal is both colourful and a window into the Nepalese culture.

A dog walker in Istanbul is as busy as those in many western countries…

Former child victims of the civil war in Uganda are interviewed about the healing love their dogs provide to them as they suffer from PTSD. There is a lot of evidence to show how important emotional support dogs are to victims of PTSD – but the stories are often focused on North America for the support given to returning US soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan and to victims of sexual and family abuse. The use of dogs for PTSD victims in this poor country is an insightful departure from the norm.

Viewers warning: I was totally unprepared for the segment towards the end of the film which features a butcher in Vietnam who trades in dog meat. While the butchering itself is not filmed, we see a live dog in a cage and then its gutted carcass as it is sent to market.

I think the placement of this segment is by design – to underpin the film’s title. Be prepared for the segment because the rest of the film is insightful and largely uplifting.

Dog lovers from around the world share much in common – and dogs provide unconditional love and devotion which crosses cultural boundaries. In a Covid-19 world, it’s a good theme for us to focus on because we have much in common regardless of where in the world we live.

You can rent or buy the film on a number of platforms including Prime Video, YouTube and Vimeo which will support the work of these independent filmmakers. The film’s website gives you all the links and details on how to access the film.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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