If you’ve ever had the idea that you should strap a camera to your dog, follow her around and make a movie because she’s just so darn cute and you love her so much, then you may be a bit like Emmy award winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum. But of course, her film “A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary” is so much more.
There’s no doubt that Kirschenbaum loves her little Shih tzu Chelsea (pictured), and treats her to the good life. Kirschenbaum calls herself a single mom, and Chelsea is her “dog-ter.” Equipped with the dog-eye-view “Chelsea-cam,” they set out on the streets of New York to capture their story, record reactions and search for love.
The film is blunt (talk of poo and mating) often quirky, and sometimes edgy (scenes of Kirschenbaum and her dog kissing on the mouth and bathing in the tub together). For me, the movie picks up during a time after 9-11, when Kirschenbaum discovers little Chelsea’s gift for visiting hospitals and cheering the patients.
Chelsea is so perfectly suited as a certified therapy dog. She is cute, fits comfortably in the crook of an arm, and is remarkably calm and still when need be. These scenes are incredibly moving and I would have enjoyed seeing even more.
In the end, Kirschenbaum and Chelsea (after a failed doggy engagement) continue off in search of their Mr. Rights. But I think that Chelsea has found her true calling, and hope she doesn’t let any cute cockapoo get in the way of her volunteer work.
A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary is available on DVD.