Americans love their dogs, but why? Here are five dog movies that explain our canine obsession.
By: Rebecca Haber
According to the ASPCA, almost half of Americans (44 percent) are dog owners. That’s a lot of tail wags! Sure, pups are cute and provide hours of entertainment, but why are we so obsessed with these furry companions? Here are five films that help to explain America’s love affair with dogs. All of these movies and more are available on Cox On Demand or streaming via Netflix on Contour TV.
HOTEL FOR DOGS
A study by Psychology Today suggests that roughly 40 percent of dog owners view their furry companions as family members. This is what Hotel For Dogs is all about — two orphans can no longer hide their adopted dog Friday from their foster parents, so they set out to find him a new home. They discover an abandoned hotel, which they transform into a canine paradise for Friday and a host of strays. But while the kids are busy taking in homeless pups, they themselves are searching for a permanent home. At its core, this film is about family and the importance of adopting those in need, human and fur babies alike.
Why are dogs so gosh darn loyal? Dog expert Cesar Millan says it’s because they’re pack animals — they want to belong. In the film Max, Justin finds this to be true. When his U.S. Marine older brother is killed in Afghanistan, he inherits his highly trained service dog, Max. Together, Justin and his new companion must figure out the mystery of his brother’s death. Max’s undying loyalty is not only what keeps us watching the film, but it’s part of the reason humans are so obsessed with dogs; their devotion is genuine and pure.
SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Do dogs miss us when we leave the house? According to this study they do, as does Max, the lovable terrier in The Secret Life of Pets. Max has the perfect relationship with his beloved owner Katie — until she brings home a second dog and his world begins to unravel. After Katie goes to work for the day, Max and his new adopted brother embark on a haphazard adventure through New York City. A wonderful film for that first child who’s having trouble adapting to a sibling, The Secret Life of Pets reminds us how important companionship is not just for dogs, but for humans as well.
Neuroscientist Dr. Gregory Berns claims that dogs love their owners more than anything…even food. That’s what the 2018 Netflix remake of Benji is all about. Two young kids, Carter and Frankie, are reeling from their father’s death when they find an adorable stray dog, Benji…but their grieving mother won’t allow them to keep him. When the kids are kidnapped, mom and Benji must join forces to find the kids and return them to safety. Ultimately, this film explores how a dog’s devotion can heal a broken family. This is a huge reason we’re so drawn to these furballs — their limitless capacity for unconditional love.
A DOG’S PURPOSE
Ever wonder what your dog is thinking? How much can they understand? One article suggests that dogs have the vocabulary of a two or three year old human! In A Dog’s Purpose, our canine main character takes us through several of his doggy lives, all the while questioning the meaning of life. Is a dog’s purpose to have fun? To love a human? In the end, the film serves as a great reminder to be present with the ones we love. This is one of the key reasons humans are so infatuated with canine companions — they live in the moment, and encourage us to do the same.