I’ve been looking forward to the new dog film “A Dog’s Purpose” for weeks and to be honest I was moved to tears when I first saw the trailer. This film definitely ranked very high on my must-watch-list.

Regretfully, not any longer. And neither am I shedding teaes of emotion, at least not positive ones.

A video was leaked showing scenes of the ongoing production at the filming set. One can see a German Shepherd that is supposed to jump into a basin with simulated rushing water. The dogtrainer is inside the basin and asks the dog to jump into the water. The dog is terrified and tries to get out of the situation but is held by an assistant who tries to pull it into the water by its collar several times and finally throws the struggling dog in. Other people on the set comment the procedure (“Well, he ain’t going to calm down until he goes in the water. Just got to throw him in.“).

The video ends with the dogs head under water and the helpers getting hectic („Cut it, cut it“), the dogtrainer – screaming hysterically – swims to the point where the dog’s head went under water.

The dog in this video was obviously not prepared for the situation and the exercise they wanted it to perform. It tries make visual contact with its trainer and even though it’s terrified it tries to find a way to stay focused.

But that doesn’t matter, doesn’t it? It’s just a dog. Isn’t it its PURPOSE to be tortured by us.

Isn’t it a dog’s purpose to get it’s tail pulled by our children. Or to be strangled on the “beauty gallow” at the dog groomer’s to be prettified? Or to stay outside in the cold all night long just to watch over our property? Of course it is a dog’s purpose to be pulled and pushed around. To be beaten when it doesn’t understand what we want from it.

No! Is definitely isn’t “A Dog’s Purpose” to be frightened and forced just to play the doggie hero that jumps into rushing water to do – whatever stunt.

Our dogs are heroes every single day. Heroes, that go with us through thick and thin and that tolerate all our craziness (especially when regarding themselves). Heroes that lick our children’s scratched knee. Heroes that watch us with their big eyes and that always try to understand us. It’s their warm and fluffy fur we press to our face in order to forget the difficulties of our daily lives. They are heroes that love us when we do not feel the least likeable.

A cinema evening takes about three hours (without dinner). Let’s just use these three hours for something other than watching the movie mentioned above. Let’s keep these three hours free in our agenda – in the evening, when everything is quiet and when we can stop thinking about our work or other commitments.

We should use this time only for ourselves and for our dogs, that never complain about us for focusing our attention on anything but their needs.

Let us take the time and find out what the purpose of our four-legged friends and heroes really is.