Since I posted that review, a video clip was released by TMZ that paints the treatment of Hercules (a German Shepherd) in a less than positive light. That has caused some concern for many of my friends, and so I reached out to my contacts at Grace Hill Media, and they provided me with this release from the movie's producer:
Statement from A Dog's Purpose Producer Amblin Entertainment and distributor Universal Pictures
Los Angeles, CA (January 18, 2017) - A DOG'S PURPOSE, produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, is a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs. And in the spirit of this relationship, the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals.
While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.
Hercules is happy and healthy.
The movie is still set to release on January 27 and is described in a press release as:
Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A DOG’S PURPOSE, is a sweet and lovable family film that shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. Told from the perspective of “everybody’s best friend” the film highlights the importance of familial bonds, and the unconditional love we have for our best friends. The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, and John Ortiz.
You can watch the trailer HERE
Dogs have been described as 'man's best friend', and rightfully so. They offer unconditional love, and quickly insinuate themselves into the family. Their human family becomes their pack, and the loyalty, faithfulness and protective nature are obvious.
When we brought our son home from the hospital, our last dog had been with us for about 2 years. Shady laid down and we propped Nolan up against him. For several months, Shady spent most of his time at the feet of who ever was holding the baby. And when an 85 pound dog is between you and the baby, you better make sure that Mom and Dad are comfortable with you being close to that baby.
What's a dog's purpose? To love unconditionally, and to teach their humans to do the same.