Anyone who’s known me for more than approximately twenty seconds will know that I am, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the very personification of a ‘dog person’. The bigger the better, I literally cannot stop myself from wanting to bestow a million pats and cuddles onto every single pup that passes.
I am absolutely the type of person who will let a Great Dane think itself a lap dog and park right on top of my 5’2 frame; who will completely ignore all humans around me in favour of a dog; who will absolutely miss your dog more than you if we ever date and call it quits (it has happened and I have no regrets – shout out and a million mental pats to Petey the American Staffordshire Terrier).
So, it should go without saying that when it comes to compiling a list of the most heart-wrenchingly wholesome dog documentaries online, you can bet every last Scooby Snack that I am the gal for the job. This is my time to shine folks, so grab about six boxes of tissues because this is about to get real.
1. Backtrack Boys
This is a tale of reform; of steering yourself onto the right path, of incredibly cute puppies and their new best friends. It follows a group of young boys who’ve gone off the rails until they meet up with jackaroo Bernie Shakeshaft and hit the road with his legendary dog jumping team. This inspiring coming of age story follows the boys as they try to find their place in the world – all with the help of Bernie and his trusted dogs in tow. Oh god, I love it so much.
Take it from the Founder and CEO of BackTrack, Bernie Shakeshaf
Folks, my poor heart simply cannot take it.
This is a brand-new docu-series to Netflix and I warn you right now from the outset: THIS WILL ABSOLUTELY MAKE YOU CRY. Each episode tells the story of a different dog and its human – from support dogs for children with epilepsy to the rescue of a man’s beloved best friend from a war zone.
Seriously, I had to stop watching and give myself a lesson in self care because I was far too invested in these dogs – which, to be fair, happens to me every time I walk past one on the street – but that’s another story.
3. A Dog’s Life
This one is for all the folks out there who have genuinely prayed and wished for the ability to understand what their dog is thinking (i.e. me). It gives you a dogs-eye view at how they see the world, what they can do (or can’t do) and how they learn.
I don’t know about you, but I’d use every last wish from a genie to Dr. Doolittle the heck out of the animal world – but dogs? Understanding them, befriending them, begging them to love me at all costs? That’s where my heart lies.
4. Pick of the Litter
This award-winning film (screened at Sundance no less) is one of the most wholesome and uplifting flicks on this list – and that is no small feat given the calibre and subject matter of them all.
It follows five guide dogs in training – Potomac, Patriot, Primrose, Poppet and Phil – as they learn how to take care for their humans and find out if they’ve got what it takes to be a guide dog. Cue tears – I love you, Phil.
Word to the wise, dog-lovers: do not watch this while you’re feeling vulnerable. This is the true story of the struggles that dog owners went through to reconnect with their pups after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina saw them sent to shelters, adopted out and in some cases, even euthanised.
You see what I mean – it’s incredibly moving but equally devastating. Hold your puppy close though, because the stories of such extreme love and devotion from the owners can make everything bad in the world go away, repair friendships and clear your acne.
Look, even the most determined cat person has to admit that these docos are truly touching. My housemate is a cat person (I know, how do I live with such a person?) but even he can admit to shedding a tear or two at the journeys these blessed pups experienced.
And honestly, if it hasn’t convinced you to do your bit and contribute to the causes outlined in each vid, I don’t know what to tell ya. Take Black Hawk‘s BackTrack partnership – you could have a hand in supporting the initiative that sees adorable lil’ doggos get trained by people who could use some puppy guidance and responsibility.
Just gaze into the eyes of a docile old kelpie who only wants your love, and TELL ME YOU DON’T FEEL IT.Image: Instagram / @finnsite