Given my company “Molly Dog Films” was named after my late Labrador Retriever, one could assume I’m just a little fond of dogs. My company’s mission statement helps make that point:
“We produce documentary and narrative films that focus on the emotional connections we share with our dogs and social issues that bring humans and dogs together.”
Consequently, when I was searching for a partner for this latest effort, I had two, critical requirements:
- Must own a dog and be absolutely, positively head over heels, crazy about dogs.
- Must have immense talent, drive and experience.
Having talent and drive is kind of obvious, but is being nuts about dogs really a valid requirement? Absolutely.
Until you’ve owned, taken care of, loved and been loved by a dog - it’s very difficult to relate to what dedicated, dog loving people have the privilege of knowing every single day - life is simply better with a dog.
Given Molly Dog Film’s mission statement, I needed someone working alongside me who completely understood this, who lived and breathed it like I did and could translate that passion to film. Oreet Rees, my eventual partner in the company was the perfect choice. She’s immensely talented (very much sought after feature film trailer and documentary editor) and more importantly, within the blink of an eye, she would swan dive into molten lava to save her sixteen year old dog, “Bunny” if required.
Awesome. She was hired. Yes, she had an impressive track record in Hollywood but the dog connection was critical. The problem for non-dog people is, until you discover for yourself this incredible canine connection, people like us appear a little nutty.
I've always felt bad for those who haven't yet experienced the love of a dog. Once smitten, it's almost impossible to imagine life without a dog being a huge part of it. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much for non-dog people to become dog crazy people.Take my brother and sister-in-law for example. Up until about five years ago, they never owned a dog. They had six kids to feed so maybe adding a dog to the mix was more then they could handle - but in any event - they couldn’t really understand the bond people have with their dogs. In fact when they traveled from Boston to Southern California to visit us, watching my wife and I roughhouse, walk, cuddle, kiss and sleep with our (then) two, 80 pound Labrador Retrievers, you could see in their eyes, “These people are completely friggin’ bonkers.”
Of course that wasn’t even half of it. They never saw us drive with the dogs thirteen hours to Park City, Utah to hike and ski with them, or up the California coast to Carmel, staying in “dog hotels” the entire trip. Or taking our dogs to outdoor cafes, concerts, parks, the beach, etc. Or just preferring to stay at home on a Friday night and read a great book with two Labs snuggled up right next to us.
But then one day, five of their six kids were gone - out in the world carving out their own lives, but the remaining thirteen year old son wanted a dog. To give you a sense of scale as to what happened next, allow me to layout a timeline:
Day-1: Research online, ask some friends, decide on a breed, find breeder - then a few days later - purchase a black, long hair Dachshund puppy they name “Gus.”
Day-5: A few minor mishaps, some pee in the wrong places, but generally smooth sailing. Gus is already becoming family.
Day-10: Gus starts appearing in endless Facebook posts with cute descriptions like, “Here’s our little General Guster! Isn’t he cute? Oh and that’s Bob watching TV with Gus sleeping on his lap all evening! Isn’t he adorable? Oh and you gotta love how Gus sleeps and wiggles his legs when he's dreaming, isn’t that cute?”
BOOM! It's over. More dog people indoctrinated into the club. But wait, there's more. Eight months later . .
Gus has a new puppy friend! “Rita” a blond long hair Dachshund puppy joins Gus to fill out the family. Facebook posts now double overnight, “Here’s General Guster with his new sister, MargaRita!And guess what? She's already learned to ring a bell when she wants to go outside for a pee! How smart are these dogs?? Aren’t they cute?”
Zero to “dog crazy” in ten days. Zero to two dogs in eight months. Need I say more?