Old Friends, A Dogumentary @ Nashville Film Festival

There are so many reasons today to feel down about life that we forget that there are at least an equal amount of things to make you feel positive. Here is a little documentary film that fills that makes you feel positive bill. Gorman Bechard’s Old Friends, a Dogumentary introduces us to Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary located in Mount Juliet, Tennesee. The two heroes behind the sanctuary, which only takes in senior dogs, are Zina and Michael Gooden.

Their story and the origin story and growth of the Old Friends Sanctuary are beautifully told. Zina and Michael moved from money making careers to one that filled their hearts. What they started in their house and backyard was a rescue that took in senior dogs. Dogs that had been discarded or abandoned by their families because they were old or sick or cost too much to take care of. Dogs which shelters could not adopt out so they usually just euthanized them. Zina and Michael would not let that happen. They took them in.

The shelter needed to grow and so they needed a new place and some money. Being so passionate that caught on with others. Plus the plight of these dogs captured the attention and hearts of the public in Mount Juliet and then Tennessee. So the money came pouring in. They were able to build a large facility, hire their own vet and staff plus attract a dedicated volunteer staff. On the surface, it seemed like the beneficiaries were the dogs but the humans attached to Old Friends Sanctuary gained a lot as well. The vet was working at her dream job and felt like she could do all that was humanly possible for the dogs and the volunteers made strong bonds with the dogs they worked with. It was just a place filled with love.

Really makes you rethink how we treat our animals. How older dogs are often seen as burdens as opposed to family members needing our love and support. How, if you do, they will give love back to you tenfold. Eyes and hearts will be opened.

Rare is a documentary that will have everyone loving it. This is one of those. I can’t imagine anyone not being totally in love with it, the Goodens and, of course, all those older dogs.