Most would agree that owning a pet today compared to 20 years ago is an entirely different ball game. The level of respect, involvement, and knowledge has greatly increased so that pet ownership is almost, if not equal to the difficulties of raising a child. While many recognize this change that has occurred over time, only one documentary has attempted to profile the current state of dogs and dog ownership in our society.
Inspired by Micheal Schaffner’s book, One Nation Under Dog: America’s Love Affair with our Dogs, award winning directors Jenny Carchman, Amanda Micheli and Ellen Goosenberg Kent have created One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Love, & Betrayal, the first film in HBO’s new documentary series. Broken into three segments Fear, Love, and Betrayal, each section aims to convey a unique perspective on the many complex issues that are associated with pet ownership in today’s world.
In the first segment, Fear, a New Jersey family with aggressive Rhodesian Ridgebacks is profiled. Taken to court by their neighbors after multiple attacks from their dogs, the reality of pet ownership including love, cost, and responsibility are considered.
Loss, the longest section of the documentary, profiles the measures pet owners take after the loss of their pets. From elaborate mausoleums in pet cemeteries to owning 110 rescued dogs, the lengths pet owners are willing to go to remember their pets and to provide for other animals is the central focus of the segment.
In the final segment, Betrayal, the horrors innocent animals are apt to face in puppy mills and with over population are juxtaposed with the love and rehabilitation they received from volunteers who help them find forever homes.
Filled with jaw dropping statistics and inspiring personal stories, this documentary provides an insight into the current state of dogs and pet ownership that is often not profiled in our society.
One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Love, & Betrayal premieres this Monday, June 18th on HBO.