The other day I wrote a blog about finding a sort of meaning in our existence with dogs. I do a little too much rambling, but essentially get to the point that the movie makes: companionship, in a way, helps define meaning in a meaningless life.  Dogs, in their strange and often but not quite innocent way, provide a sort of companionship.

I only highlight that because of a tiny bit I wrote about the film, which I’ll insert here (saving you from the aforementioned rambling):

I saw a movie the other day in the city, My Dog Tulip, which was about the author of the book with the same name, J.R. Ackerley, and the fifteen years he spent with his dog Tulip. It was fascinating to watch, primarily with the animation that brought to life a lot of the exploits of Ackerley and Tulip. It was often times humorous, but also touching and heartwarming at times. The narration was taken directly from the book, so it gives us a hint as to how Ackerley wrote.

I subsequently added the non-fiction work to my Amazon wish list.

The trailer shows the animation used.  The style – paperless hand drawn animation – will obviously turn people off.  I enjoyed it a lot, especially when the animation breaks down into sequences that explain Tulip’s certain “charms”, like when she goes to the bathroom, what she goes to the bathroom on, and her various sexual escapades.  It’s adult humor, pure and simple, and it’s a riot at times.

There was another dog movie that came out a couple years back that I never got the chance to see (the one with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) that I can make a comparison to.  I remember a lot of the reviews stating that there really is no plot, or no conflict, but rather just what happens when you have a dog and watch one grow (and eventually die).  I think you can get away without having a conflict in this movie.  Actually, I digress, as there is a continual conflict between Ackerley and Tulip, as one tries to understand the other, and the misadventures a dog can cause to an old man who doesn’t understand just what a dog thinks.  The Wilson/Aniston movie probably does the same thing (I remember a part in the trailer where the dog decides to walk himself while the couple is driving the car).

I will admit, I’ve never been much of a dog person.  In the last year though, that’s somehow changed.  My dad owns two dogs: Tonka, an Akita, and Tyco, an Elk Hound.  Tyco is the one that gets to you quicker.  He has this perpetual smile that never leaves his face, and he listens to you.  Tonka is sort of grumpy and never listens (and I mean never listens), but that is the nature of Akitas.  I think what I’ve discovered the past year is how they’ve grown on me, and I on them.

It makes me appreciate this movie a little bit more, understand the trials one has to go through in trying to understand a dog, and sometimes never really knowing what it is until you just stare into their eyes and say “Oh, is that what you wanted all along?”

Then again, that never does happen.  Dogs are a pain in the butt, but at least they provide unwavering companionship.

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