Last night my husband and I watched 8 Below. It is a movie about a dog sled team in the Antarctic (I think) who is left to fend for themselves for over 5 months. There is a big storm coming into the area so the team’s handler as well as the other humans in the group have to flee in order to get urgent medical care. The handler doesn’t want to leave his dogs, but in order to save his hands he needs to go and is told the dogs will be rescued right after everyone is dropped to safety. While watching this movie I got thinking about what I would do in a life or death situation – would I be able to leave my dogs, not knowing when or if I would ever see them again…
I posed this question to my husband and he said it would be an extremely hard decision, but didn’t go any further than that. I thought about this throughout the night and came to the conclusion that I would rather stay with my dogs and die trying to save them. I don’t think I could even consider leaving them behind – I had enough trouble deciding not to adopt my last foster puppy who was disqualified for an elbow issue. I cried for over an hour getting his stuff ready the night before we headed south to drop him off for his assessment. Then I cried a bit more after I realized that there was no way we could adopt him – his personality just doesn’t mix with our pack.
Over the years I have watched numerous sad movies and it always seems to be the ones with animals that pulls at my heart strings. My absolute favourite movie is Homeward Bound – a movie about a cat and two dogs who are convinced that their owners have left them by mistake and need them to save them. My husband laughs everytime we watch it because I don’t even need to see the movie, I just need to hear the music which coincides with the part where the older boy is calling Shadow (the older dog) and is convinced he just couldn’t make the long trip when he doesn’t come right away, and I start to cry. I guess I see Shadow as a representation of Phoenix and it illustrates the loyalty a dog has for their owner. I know Phoenix and the others would do anything to get to us if they thought we were in trouble.
“There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.”