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A dog changed this man’s life, then he made the most life-affirming Netflix show of 2018

November 17th, 2018 at 3:45 PM
Netflix dogs documentary

Glen Zipper had a life-changing moment back in 2003, when he was working as a criminal prosecutor and somewhat adrift, not happy with his career. He met a dog — a skinny canine named Anthony, with patches of hair missing that got taken to a local shelter. Anthony never left his mind, from the minute Glen first laid eyes on him.

He ended up calling the shelter to check in on him, found out he was due to be euthanized, so the then-prosecutor rushed to the shelter, and everything changed. Inspired by the volunteers taking care of dogs, he decided to become one himself. He started volunteering, and his newfound love of man’s best friend eventually gave him an idea. In a world as divided as the one we live in today, why not tell a series of stories about one of the few things everyone can agree on — namely, how much we all love our fluffy, four-legged companions.

Thus was born the idea for Dogs, a heartwarming new six-part Netflix series that premieres today and follows a few different storylines about the bond between people and their dogs, from countries including Syria, Japan, Italy, Costa Rica and the US. And we can at least in part credit a good boy named Anthony with inspiring the life-changing realization that pointed Zipper to his new calling, as a producer and storyteller, leading to what will most definitely be your newest Netflix binge.

“For the last 14 years — through successes and many more frequent failures — Anthony has always been there for me,” Zipper said in a statement about the series. “With his wagging tail at the door after a long, hard day … And, most importantly, with his constant, unrelenting, unconditional love.

“Dogs don’t just make us feel loved, dogs make us feel safe. They allow us to venture out into the world, take our lumps and come back to the best friend any of us could ever want or imagine … Our love for them speaks to our unanimity of needs. Love. Friendship. Companionship. Loyalty. We all want these qualities in our lives, and dogs are the only souls on the planet who guarantee us each and every one of them in spades.”

Amy Berg, Zipper’s collaborator on the series, has likewise been attached to dogs for most of her life. According to this news story, a dog has accompanied her from her firs steps as a young girl on through film sets she’s been on as an adult. “The dogs in my life, Lucy, Scout and my new puppy Lenny have always understood the hardships of filmmaking, and have been a consistent anchor by my side,” she said. “As a filmmaker, I wanted to do tremendous justice to these beautiful beings and share their stories to remind us of what’s possible in humanity. And yes, I was hiding my tears in my director’s monitor as we were filming certain scenes. In these volatile divided times, Dogs feels more necessary than ever.”
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Just watch it already.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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