Second Chance: Best Dog Movies

Second Chance: Best Dog Movies

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 27 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View shelter pets and services online:

Go here  for more options from Second Chance.

Go here for more about the (virtual) Bow Wow Film Festival.


Dog have been starring in film for well over a century, since 1905 when a “Lassie-looking collie starred in the silent film “Rescued By Rover” (which became a cinema sensation). Recently the magazine “Dogster” did a review of dogcentric movies, and I have a bone to pick with their summary, which was written by a human, not a dog.

Although I agree with the author that not all dog movies get a paws up, the ones that end with the dog dying are definitely paws down on any dog-o-meter. Don’t even get me started on “Where the Red Fern Grows” and “Old Yeller.” Never let your dog watch these films.

Vintage Dramas such as “Lassie Come Home,” “White Fang” and “Call of the Wild” were described as “films for canine purists who love no-nonsense, classic tales of loyalty, the pull of the great outdoors, overcoming great obstacles and personal quests for identity.”

I have to say these classics are difficult to discredit, but really tough for dogs to watch. And newer dogramas (dog dramas), like “Marley & Me,” are also obviously written by people who seem ok with having sad endings for the canine hero.

I can speak for all dogs in that we do best with the films geared toward a younger audience, classics such as “Homeward Bound,” “Turner & Hooch,” “Benji,” “Lady and Tramp,” etc. And of course the howl out loud, sure to become a classic, “The Secret Life of Pets” (“a gang of sewer-dwelling animals led by a psychotic rabbit! A sausage factory sequence! This movie has it all — and everyone lives!”).

But the biggest oversight of this, and really any “best dog films” list, is that they these Hollywood-produced stories simply don’t do what the Bow Wow Film Festival does for dogs. None of these films let dogs feel as appreciated, seen, acknowledged and honored the way Bow Wow tributes us.

When you get done watching “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” you want to go get a cute Dalmatian puppy to play with. (After that film was released it resulted in a huge spike of Dalmatians in shelters because Dalmatians really aren’t the best family dogs…). After watching Bow Wow, however, you want to go hug your fabulous mutt, give him a huge treat and take him out for a fun-filled adventure. You also feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have a dog in their life and convince them that is really all they need to resolve their problems.

Bottom line, take advantage of the fact that Second Chance has kicked off the 6th year of the Bow Wow Film Festival (which is also the “Best of” the first five years of Bow Wow, so you get to see the best of the best!) and truly experience the magnitude of the dog-person bond.

You can purchase your $16 ticket for your entire household and watch the films now through August 6th at your convenience (from anywhere you can get wifi). And best of all, your purchase goes directly toward saving homeless pets like me! Just visit to learn more and get tickets.

My name is Angelina. I am a beautiful two-year-young Border Collie mix. I get along well with non-bossy dogs and absolutely adore playing fetch. My staff here at Second Chance find me extremely sweet and loving and understand my secret passion to be someone’s lap dog. Come meet me today!

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