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New movie about the bond between man and dog

Dogs are very good at bringing people together, and bringing out the best in us. I've shared real life stories of volunteers working together to find a lost dog, and firefighters going above and beyond rescuing a stranger's dog. Remember the story a few days ago of Dooley, the Shetland sheepdog missing for 53 days in the Nevada desert? We love dogs.

Dog lovers get ready for a new movie. Darling Companion is Director Lawrence Kasdan's first independent production. The movie explores the bond between a rescued stray dog and his new family, as well as the closeness between family members and friends. "The hunt for the dog in the movie becomes the catalyst for some emotional reckoning among the searchers" Kasdan said.

Diane_Keaton Kevin_Kline
The stars of Darling Companion

The characters are fictional, but the story - co-written by his wife Meg Kasdan - is based on the true story of the Kasdan's own experience. On a family outing, their own rescue dog Mac was lost in the Rockies. Family, friends and people from the nearby town came together searching for Mac until he was found, three weeks later. Meg’s sister’s dog story was also woven in the movie – she saw a stray dog on a Detroit freeway and had to save him, scrambling up the embankment like Diane Keaton in the movie.  She named him "Freeway."

"Love is love" 

Meg's sister instinctively reacted to the plight of that stray dog. And speaking of strays, I'm glad that Director Kasdan hired canine actors that were originally from shelters. Their back story highlights how many wonderful (and clearly talented) dogs are available in shelters. The two canine actors in Darling Companion are Kasey, a multi-colored Collie mix, and Kuma, his Aussie mix understudy. Kasey was discovered at a Las Vegas shelter by his trainer, while Kuma was adopted by his trainer as a puppy from a South Los Angeles shelter.   




In the Director's Statement, Kasdan says the film is about the connection that sometimes happens between a human being and a pet – the love, friendship and solace that can pass between species.That he managed to pull together a great cast: Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Sam Shepard, Elisabeth Moss to name some - who all worked for scale - says a lot about the quality of the storytelling. 

There is no denying the human-animal bond, or that most people see dogs as loved family members. Having the director of the Big Chill (one of my favorite movie soundtracks ever!) take on the emotional roller coaster experience of a lost loved one, should make for a great movie.

Film summary:

On the side of a busy freeway, a woman finds the love, devotion, commitment, and courage she needs – all wrapped up in a bloodied stray dog who becomes her “darling companion.” When the beloved canine goes missing, a shaggy-dog search adventure plays out, drawing together friends and family and rekindling a lifelong love.

You can see the movie in New York and Los Angeles on April 20. Check out Darling Companion on Facebook -- Enjoy the trailer!

Have you ever stopped on the side of the road to pick up a stray? Have you joined in the rescue efforts of a lost dog? Tell us in the comments..

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