Thanks to Sony for this opportunity.
A Dog’s Way Home author and screenwriter W. Bruce Cameron says its the invisible leash of love that connects human to their pet dogs. While we know it’s not really tangible, we know its there. And we see a lot of that in A Dog’s Way Home as Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) goes on a 400-plus mile journey home after being separated from her owners.
Director Charles Martin Smith wanted to explore that bond between the two in a new film, but in a different sort of way. It was a sort of homage to those who serve us and how animals can assist in those services. “Dogs are dedicated to serving us and our service people (our folks in uniform) they are dedicated to serving us,” Cameron said. “So this idea of making a story of providing service from different species was kind of a great thing for me as well.”
Finding Shelby, the film’s lead dog, was no easy task as they wanted to find a dog that did not look like the classic pit bull but still be classified as one. In doing so, they would hit on one of the messages of the film where Denver law allows authorities to put down a dog if it has any pit bull identification markers. So no one would be able to notice that Shelby was a pit bull at first glance.
In fact, the purpose of the book and the film was to bring that law to audience’s attention. “One of the things I wanted to do was repeal this ridiculous legislation that picks a breed and says ‘that particular breed is more dangerous than any other breed,’” Cameron said. “Which is just not true and anybody who has ever owned a really friendly pit bull knows that they can just be so sweet.”
He pulls a line from the movie that says the law makes it out to be “racism for dogs,” because a dog can put down just because of the way they look.
But if there is anything that Cameron wants audiences to take away from the film is that “dogs are thinking feeling sentient spiritual beings.” He adds that they rely on their human owners to rely on them because that’s how they’ve been bred. “ So we owe them. Our species owes their species,” Cameron said.
“The whole idea behind a dog’s way home is that this miracle because there is simply no way that a dog could survive in the Rocky mountains unless there was a whole bunch of extraordinary events, one of them being meeting up with the top predator and forming a friendship that keeps you fed,” Cameron said. “That’s something that just would not happen in real life, but I wanted children to understand we need to take care of these animals.”
A Dog’s Way Home is out in theaters now.