A Dog’s Way Home Shines a light on BSL

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by Nancy Hassel, ThisFurryLife.com

Last night, I had the pleasure of being invited to the screening of ‘A Dog’s Way Home in New York City, NY.    I had not read the book and didn’t watch the promotional trailers, but I had an idea of what it was about based on the title of course.

Jonah Hauer-King, Bella and Ashley Judd. (James Dittiger/Sony Pictures)
Jonah Hauer-King, Bella and Ashley Judd. (James Dittiger/Sony Pictures)

But there was way more to this movie than I expected, from the beginning scene of us all giggling to the narration of Bella the puppy, to a white Pit Bull growling in that scene – I said to my friend, “This better not portray pit bulls in a negative light.”   The white dog was a momma dog protecting her young with a meager growl – and once you go see it, you will see what happens in that scene, I don’t want to be a spoiler!   

Without giving away too much of the movie, ‘A Dog’s Way Home’ was actually the complete opposite – showing the absolute ignorant, discriminatory and horrible law of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), especially in Denver, CO.  I was really surprised this was covered in the movie, and done in such a way that I think anyone who owns a pit, pittie or bully mix (or any dog breed for that matter) will be happy with.   

A fellow media member of American Pet Professionals who was sitting next to me had no idea about the horrors and killings of innocent dogs that have and continue to been done in Denver, my friend was quite horrified about it.  (Don’t worry this is not in the movie, but the fact of possible euthanasia based on Bella’s breed or mix of breed is). 

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Bella about to walk over a tree to cross a dangerous drop to follow one of her wildlife friends. (James Dittiger/Sony Pictures)

While BSL is an underlying theme in the movie, it is definitely not the entire movie and Bella’s journey is dramatic, the backdrop of the scenery is beautiful, scenes are intense, comical, silly and farfetched at the same time (I mean this is a movie after all).   I think will be quite enjoyable for anyone of any age to see.  (There were a bunch of kids at the screening and they all seemed to love it).   There was some appropriate music in different scenes as well that was perfect and well done that also had us cracking up.

Bella stealing food while on her journey. (James Dittiger/Sony Pictures)
Bella stealing food while on her journey. (James Dittiger/Sony Pictures)

And of course, the movie was about the love of a dog, how our own dog’s impact our lives and the lives of everyone they meet.  I can definitely relate to that with my own dog Cody

The fact that Bella is also a former shelter dog rescued and trained for this movie, is icing on the cake.  I was thinking the entire time, I wonder who trained her, she is really quite the actress and just has the most perfect, sweet eyes, that you will want to give her a big piece of cheese!    

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Click to watch Bella’s backstory!

The movie is based on the book with the same title written by W. Bruce Cameron and comes out in theaters on Friday, January 11, 2019.  The perfect feel-good movie to kick of the year.  (PG)  Featuring  Ashley Judd,  Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, and  Wes Studi and of course the brilliant voice of Bella by Bryce Dallas Howard.  
Two paws up from me – and a big shout out to Sony Pictures for putting BSL in a picture to shine a light and perhaps the city of Denver will wake up and get rid of their archaic, awful law.   What did you think of the movie?  Put your comments below!

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