“A Dog’s Life” Explores the Relationship Between Dogs and the Ho

A dog never lets you down, even when it seems like the world turned its back on you. “A Dog’s Life” documentary explores the significant bond between dogs and homeless men and women.


Seeing a homeless person with a dog at their side is no strange sight in a big city. Through thick and thin, these dogs stay by their side, no matter the weather. Sometimes, as we walk past them on the street, it’s not uncommon to feel worse for the dog than for the person with them. Perhaps it’s because we believe these homeless men and women are lazy and just won’t get a job…other times, we believe that these dogs are damned to the same life their owner is.

The reality is that homelessness is born when someone has gone through life-shattering hardships. It could be because of mental illness, loss of family or home, or abuse. When it’s overwhelming and all hope is lost, often the reason to get up in the morning is the loving look in a dog’s eyes that tells them they are their everything. Unlike humans, dogs are faithful, and will always stay loyal to you, even when your world takes a bleak turn.


Taking us deep into this amazing bond is award-winning filmmaker Hélène Choquette, who is debuting her documentary film “A Dog’s Life” at the Annual Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto in May. The documentary follows the life of homeless men and women in Toronto and Montreal who always have their trusty best friend by their side.


Related: Pets Provide Benefits For Homeless Youth


“A Dog’s Life” focuses on how these dogs help these homeless men and women go through their daily lives. Some of these people have given up all hope in humanity and have put all their love toward these four-legged friends who will never betray them.


One gentleman lost his home and the only person who didn’t abandon him was his trusty dog. And so, he lives with her in his car, offering her a lifetime supply of hugs and kisses… plus the occasional treat when he can. Another woman describes dogs as being “the best therapists in world:” always there when you need them and never judging you, no matter who you are or what you’ve done.


Related: Daffy’s Pet Soup Helps Pets In Need


Many of these men and women have a choice of either keeping their dogs and living on the streets or giving them up to sleep in a bed in a shelter. However, they would rather have their best friend in tow than trade them for a few good night’s rest. This documentary explores the relationship between man and dog, plus the advantages and disadvantages of having a dog when you don’t have a roof over your head.


Catch “A Dog’s Life” documentary during the Hot Docs 2016 Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, taking place in Toronto, Ontario. The festival runs from April 28 to May 8, and “A Dog’s Life” will be playing on May 4, 5 and 7. Check the Hot Docs website for times and locations.

Diana Faria
Diana Faria

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