This past week my family welcomed a new member to the family: a four-month-old boxer puppy. He’s cute, friendly, pictured to the right…and still nameless. With names being so important, we are seriously struggling to come up with a good one. For now, with no desire to just call him “boy”, we have chosen “Alto.” Our last dog – a boxer too – was named “Tenor,” so we figured we should go up an octave and give him an operatic moniker too. While it is certainly early to tell if he will be barking La Boheme, I can safely say he is not a Cujo and he is too pretty to be a Hooch. So in the spirit of puppy love, if I can claw you away from voting, let’s go for a walk down movie dog lane.
Lassie to be honest is really not my cup of tea. My grandfather? Big fan. Me? Couldn’t relate. As a city boy growing up with buildings and subways around me, the whole saving people from wells thing never did it for me. Now if he saved someone from a broken down subway on the other hand, I would have joined the bandwagon a long time ago. But alas, Lassie never made it up to the city that never sleeps and he could never make my list of favorites. So sorry Midwesterners, who adore this beloved Collie, this is all you’re going to get.
Marley & Me
Now here is a movie more up my alley. Boy meets girl; boy and girl fall in love; boy, in an attempt to avoid commitment to girl, buys a puppy; puppy changes their lives and becomes the centerpiece of their family. Perfect. So while this is by no means the best explanation for the film, Marley & Me is a cherished part of my movie collection because it shows how much a little fur ball can change your life. I love this movie from start to finish and it remains one of the only movies that can make me cry. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston have amazing chemistry and the soundtrack includes the likes of Bob Marley (of course), Ben Folds, R.E.M, and The Verve. If you haven’t seen it already, netlflix it now! I guarantee you will be craving a Golden Lab in no time.
As a child of the 90s I grew up loving everything Disney. By 4 I knew all of the tunes from Aladdin, dreamed of living “Under the Sea”, and was absolutely petrified of Cruella De Vil and Jasper the puppy thief (a.k.a Glenn Close and Dr. House himself, Hugh Laurie). Each weekend, after doing a little Disney Karaoke with my mom, I would beg for a dog. I would be told that I was too young to handle one (lame), and getting 100 Dalmatians was just out of the question (ok fine). So instead of being able to ride on the back of some Great Dane, I resigned myself to my other pets: my parakeets named “Paulie” and “Jaguar,” my fish, which never got names, and Pongo the best Dalmatian on TV.
Lucky for me though, at 13, with a little coaxing from my grandmother (and a little thing called a Bar Mitzvah), my parents finally conceded and got me a boxer. And even though I was a bit too old to ride on his back, and I secretly wished for a Dalmatian, I at least got to nickname him “Pongo,” so I’ll take that as a win.
My Dog Skip
Just at the start of his Malcolm in the Middle days, Frankie Muniz starred alongside Diane Lane, Kevin Bacon and an adorable Jack Russell Terrier named “Skip.” Though the setting of the film is far from my own, there is something about it that feels really relatable. Every kid, no matter how old and shy, could use a loyal puppy. My Dog Skip will have you remembering your first dog at the opening score, and you will be locked in until the final credit. My suggestion is to rent it with a box of tissues though, because like any good dog film, there is some truly heart melting parts.
If anyone knows any good puppy names or would like to recommend a dog film, feel free to use the comment section below. If you are on the east coast, stay dry and keep safe. I’m going to curl up with Alto and watch Beethoven.
Marley & Me
My Dog Skip
Turner & Hooch