“The Year of the Dog” Movie: Power of Trust and Love

The Year of the Dog Movie is now out as a digital release online.

The Year of the Dog is a great new movie by Rob Grabow about the power of trust and love in our lives. The film is out on digital now. I saw it in a movie theater in New York City – the first time I’d been out to a movie in person since the pandemic hit – and was hoping it would be available online so I can see it again. The writing, dialog, and poetry in it are captivating.

The main focus of The Year of the Dog is developing trust and beginning to love again after deep personal losses. Love enters a troubled loner’s life unexpectedly in the form of a stray Husky dog (who was in real life also a rescue dog before he got involved in making this film with writer, actor and film maker Rob Grabow).

The main character in the fictional movie has a tragic past involving alcoholism and resulting in estrangement from his biological family. He’s struggling to be sober for 30 days so that he can visit is ailing mother who is in hospice. The depiction of his suffering is very realistic and moving. Sensitive performances from his neighbors, the talented Native American actors Michael Spears and Jon Proudstar, bring local history, strength and wisdom to the story.

Sled dogs have a particular psychology you’ll see throughout the movie – a delightful mixture of enthusiasm and pride. But first, comes trust. I’m a dog lover and had a best friend dog growing up, Gabby, who was a German Shepherd and Collie mix. He was proud like that too, and also very slow to trust. Gabby was more of a guard dog though, and not quite as motivated as the sled dogs in the movie are. They are truely impressive. The joy the stray Husky brings along with him in the movie becomes a strong antidote to the pessimism in the main character’s life as he attempts to get over his alcohol addiction.

Trust and love seem a long, long way off – likely an impossibility – for the the main character in The Year of the Dog, but relationships build steadily throughout the movie. Even the bleak wilderness of Montana seems cold and harsh at first, like the emotional state of the main charater. It is very satisfying when the culture and competitiveness of dog sledding starts to grab him, and you as a viewer. It wakes up the heart.

I highly recommend The Year of the Dog if you haven’t seen it yet.

It is on Apple TV, Amazon, and other online movie sites.

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