Doggone Good TV

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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020, a science fiction sounding year if ever there was one. I hope everyone has recovered from their holiday hangover and is ready to take on the world in the coming year. As always, we have some things percolating for this year. I don’t want to jinx things so I am not going to mention anything just yet, but there will be fun times ahead, god willing and the creek don’t rise.

Now, though, we are in those mid-winter doldrums with lots of gray rainy days here in the Northwest, along with snow and slush across other parts of the country. That means it is a great time to cuddle up on the couch with your best friend and check out some incredible dog-related options on your streaming service of choice. 

Pick of the Litter (Disney+)

    I’ve mentioned this previously. It is an inside look at the selection and training process for service dogs through Guide Dogs for the Blind. It is a heart-warming, and occasionally heart-breaking, look at the pups in the running to become a service dog, and the people raising them. It is an amazing challenge for both dog and human. As a trainer, it also causes more than a bit of anxiety as I watch some of the scenes. While you’re there on Disney+, make sure you also watch Togo.

Surf on over to Netflix and you have some great pooch picks. 

Life in the Doghouse(Netflix)

    This documentary follows Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta as the couple take in dozens of desperate dogs and turn their home into a rescue. It is inspiring to see people who give so much of themselves to make life better for these pups, many of which came from abusive or neglectful situations. 

To lighten things up after watching Life in the Doghouse, stay on Netflix for this one.

It’s Bruno!(Netflix)

    Absolutely NSFW and hilarious. Created by and starring Solvam Naim, this award-nominated comedy is about an old-school Brooklyn man who devotes his days to raising his puggle mix Bruno and making sure the neighborhood shows this pooch proper respect. It plays up on pet-parent stereotypes and dog-owner tropes to comedic perfection. It also helps that Bruno is uselessly adorable in all of his scenes.

My final Netflix and chill recommendation has become one of their most popular series.

Dogs(Netflix)

Created by Glenn Zipper, the six-part series explores the unmatched bond between dogs and their people. Each episode looks at that relationship in a different location in the world, from an American family looking at getting a service dog to Japanese groomers, from a Syrian refugee trying to smuggle his dog to Germany to a couple trying to help with Costa Rica’s massive stray dog issue. I admit, I had trouble with this series. I understand the producers were going for emotional impact, but for me, the pacing was so slow and the editing so laborious that I quickly lost interest in the stories.  That said, I will still recommend checking it out for yourself. The second season is expected to begin in March 2020.

You can also get your Fido fix on basic cable.

America’s Top Dog(A&E)

    Hot on the heels of their success with Live PD, A&E brings us America’s Top Dog. This competition showcases some of the top police K9 handlers as well as civilian “underdogs” in a test of training, courage, and teamwork. I saw the premier episode last week, and while the commentary is a bit cheesy, it is interesting to see how these man and dog teams communicate and work together, or in a couple cases, don’t. If nothing else, maybe the show will inspire you to kick it up a notch with your own training.

These are just a few of the newer options available. Thanks to streaming, you can find all kinds of great dog-centric choices ranging from documentaries to classic movies. No matter what your taste, you have a whole smorgasbord of options to keep you busy until the weather breaks and you can get out there and do something with your dog.

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