Cathryn Michon & W. Bruce Cameron, screenwriters of “A Dog’s Way Home”

Cathryn Michon & W. Bruce Cameron—screenwriters of the movie, “A Dog’s Way Home,” based on Cameron’s novel, and which had opened nationwide less than a week before this conversation—discuss the enthusiastic reception accorded the film: high audience ratings, third in box office sales on its opening weekend, after “Aquaman” and “The Upside,” some very favorable reviews, etc.

They also note that some critics, including a syndicated one whose critique appeared in The Tampa Bay Times, The Palm Beach Post, and Michon’s hometown paper in Minneapolis, took the movie to task for the Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) storyline that constitutes a central element, dismissing it as improbable, thereby blaring ignorance of such laws. (Another of these critics lives and works in Ontario, Canada, where there’s been a provincial ban on pit bulls since 2005: BSL should hardly be esoteric there.) There was some further conversation about BSL—in “A Dog’s Way Home,” it involves Denver’s ban on pit bulls. Reflecting the injustice and inconsistency of such laws—municipalities and counties where BSL exists can take action against a dog simply because how it looks—an overzealous Denver animal control officer ensnares Bella when the dog gets loose cautioning the family that the next time he catches Bella, she’ll be euthanized. Underscoring the inherent flaws of BSL, Bella (played by Shelby, a rescued junkyard stray) does not look like a pit bull, both to those in the movie and, very likely, to those watching it; we see her mom in the film, who does look pit-like. Michon and Cameron address why it was important to them that Bella was portrayed by a rescue dog, and how when they met Shelby, they knew instinctively she could undergo the training necessary and otherwise successfully play Bella. Notwithstanding some forays at the moment on the red carpet and attending other “A Dog’s Way Home”-related events, Shelby has since become a therapy dog. (https://www.adogswayhomeparents.com, https://wbrucecameron.com, http://www.cathrynmichon.com)

Six Pack Ring by Saltwater Brewery

ALSO: I spoke with Dustin Jeffers, co-founder and Head of Operations for Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach, FL.  Saltwater Brewery helped develop six-pack rings that instead of tangling seabirds or choking seals and sea turtles—as regular plastic six-pack rings do—are made of wheat and barley, so they either biodegrade or serve as a snack for those very same critters. (https://saltwaterbrewery.com)

 

COMEDY CORNER:  K. Trevor Wilson’s “Deer” (portion) (https://www.ktrevorwilson.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: David Bowie’s “Cat People”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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