While owners and their dogs may share a deep bond, their relationship will always be constrained by the limits of communication. The thoughts of a dog will always remain a mystery to their human counterparts. One filmmaker sought to evoke the inner monologue of a loving rescue dog in a moving short film (video below).
Directed by independent filmmaker Shawn Welling, the seven-minute film affords one dog the chance to express its thoughts. The project is titled "If I Could Talk."
The festival award-winning short chronicles the entire relationship between a man and his golden retriever, from when the protagonist rescues a puppy to when the dog grows old and must be euthanized. Through title cards, the movie conveys what the furry companion wants to tell his human near the end of his life, according to Shareably.
The short begins with a man jogging in the forest when he comes across a trash bag nestled beside a stream. He investigates and discovers a puppy who has been abandoned, presumably left for dead, and takes the pooch in.
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The narrative then speeds through the years that they spend together, from playing fetch at the beach to the man finding love and starting a family, his daughter forming her own bond with the golden retriever.
"I felt like I could run forever ... Now I'm old," the dog states through a title card. "I'm tired. And I hurt ... It's time."
The short film climaxes with a wistful trip to the veterinarian for the loyal animal to be put down.
"I wish that I could talk to you ... I'd really love to tell you ... Thanks for everything," the golden retriever thinks to itself as his own scratches his ears one last time.
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Welling based his short film on a comic strip written by Mark Glavin. The filmmaker added his own personal touches to the narrative.
"This story was based off of my first golden retriever who ended up getting cancer when I was about 12 years old," he told Welling Films. "He was my very first dog. I used the same story line and feelings from that to add onto the story that Mark Glavin had done in his cartoon strip, but included my own personal journey."
The short film was made on a budget of $1,000 and won several festival awards. Known for his short films about dancing, Welling was thrilled to see his touching tribute to his golden retriever become a viral sensation, circulating on Facebook with more than 23 million views.
"It's great because the film that went viral didn't include any famous actors or notable dancers; it was just my dog."