‘Dog’ Movie Champions Canine Love And Support


Tara Coffey, Movie Critic

Never underestimate the power of love. As someone who struggles with mental health issues, I can say firsthand, even the smallest gesture can mean the most. The term “emotional support animal” seems to be something that people bypass or feel is not worthy. Even during the darkest times, the most difficult battles, or during my worst moments, I knew I always had a little furry friend who would love me regardless. Someone who would snuggle up on me and hold me when everything felt hopeless. So, when I saw the movie “Dog” starring Channing Tatum, I knew that this movie would resonate with me.
“Dog” opens the eyes to people who witness others struggling with mental health. Whether or not you experience it firsthand, or see someone else who is struggling, this movie is a perfect representation of how animals can help mental disorders. Within the movie, Tatum’s character tries to reconnect with his family. Without knowing any details, his family withdraws from him, and he is left alone with a dog that is not his.
Now, let’s go back to the beginning. Lulu is a dog who was trained for combat in Afghanistan. Her trainer ends up driving his car into a tree, and Lulu must deal with the repercussions of a mission that left her with a brain injury–an injury that Jackson also happens to suffer from. Throughout the film, audiences see the impact that war can have on veterans. It is safe to say that the people of the United States should not only thank those who sacrifice their lives for us daily, but should also cherish and support those who make it back alive.
In the movie, Lulu becomes aggressive toward everyone who encounters her. Her owner’s family asks that Lulu attend the funeral of her owner before being euthanized. Tatum portrays Jackson, who is desperate to rejoin the military after his injury, and is told that if he succeeds in his task of bringing Lulu across the country to appear at her owner’s funeral, he will be able to rejoin his force. Little did audiences know that both Jackson and Lulu deal with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. This movie discusses the impact war has on those who sacrifice their lives every day. Within the final minutes of the film, Lulu shows how much she helped Jackson with his mental health and how Lulu changed Jackson’s life.
The entire movie lets audiences see the true toll that mental health can take on a person. This movie also highlights the impact animals can make on our lives. Emotional support animals can truly change someone’s lives no matter what they may be dealing with. Not only does it highlight the importance of emotional support animals, but it also discusses the impact war has on so many veterans.
Even though I have never suffered from PTSD as a result of war, I have suffered my own traumatic experiences and deal with other forms of PTSD. Not only is Tatum believable in his role, but he also portrays a character that is relatable to audiences, such as myself, who struggle with mental health disorders and feel alone. Throughout the film, we find Jackson venting to Lulu while the both of them connect.
I can say that I am blessed to have my own furry friend who helps me get through each and every day. Lulu represents an animal who also struggles and needs comfort. Lulu needs someone to save her just as much as she needs saving. “Dog” makes it clear that it is perfectly normal to need your domestic pet as much as they need you.