911 Lone Star lead actor Rob Lowe stars in Netflix’s latest movie, Dog Gone. It’s one of the first feel-good movies of the year based on a true story of a father and son who search for a boy’s lost dog along the Appalachian Trail.
Catholics will enjoy two saintly references in the film. In the opening minutes, a character quotes Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta who said that the greatest poverty is feeling unwanted. With the lost dog theme, a statue of St. Anthony (interestingly not St. Francis) is acquired from a man’s shopping cart at a gas station parking lot, and the drifter leads the couple in prayer asking St. Anthony to guide these men as they search for their hound.
Dog Gone Trailer
Dog Gone: Lesson One
The movie story has two main lines: the relationship of family and the search. The main character, Fielding adopts a dog while in college, and after graduation his family must warm up to the idea that their irresponsible son will take responsibility for his dog. Tension rises in the family when Fielding hasn’t secured a job yet. The dog, Gonker, though unites the family as both mom and dad enjoy the dog. When Gonker takes off while on a hike, father and son will begin what seems to be an impossible search. A search that will bring healing in their relationship as father and son. As their journey unfolds, the viewer will take in many lessons.
The family’s house becomes home base in the search for Gonker. As Fielding’s mom takes calls and tips, she crafts a gratitude board with the words, “Team of Heroes.” Lesson one: be grateful for help.
Dog Gone: Lesson Two
The second lesson: don’t be judgmental. Fielding has his eyes opened and perceptions challenged in the search. For example, he is dismissive of newspaper coverage because their reach isn’t as great as a retweet on Twitter. When they happen upon a biker crew, he doesn’t believe they would be willing to help. He is proved wrong. Dog Gone can teach us not to be quick to judge and to be open to others we don’t know.
All throughout the movie, Fielding and his family find people who are willing to go out of their way to help them in their search. For some it was as simple as handing out and distributing flyers. There’s a good chance we can all be more helpful and willing to lend a hand when we see people in need.
One last lesson: take care of your health. For me, this is something I realized recently after a cardiac episode. Throughout the movie, Fielding experiences an onging stomach ailment, which he tries to self-treat and puts off getting help. He is lucky to heal and recover. Many people don’t have that fortune. If you are sick, don’t prolong, get help sooner than later.
Dog Gone is a family friendly movie that will unite dog lovers during the long days of winter.
Fr. Looney’s Rating Of Dog Gone
8/10- for a good story and excellent acting.