Pick of the Litter: A Service Dogumentary

81 min. Dana Nachman & Don Hardy, dist. by IFC Films, www.ifcfilms.com. 2018. DVD UPC 030306958293. $24.98. SDH subtitles. PETS
This film follows two years in the life of a litter of specially bred Labrador retrievers at Guide Dogs for the Blind in California. From the moment they are born, these pups are raised, trained, and tested for their suitability to lead the blind. As they grow and mature, it becomes obvious that even though they are littermates, they are all quite different in temperament and trainability. With emotional highs and lows, the audience experiences the joys and frustrations of the evaluators, as well as the hopes and dreams—and, yes, heartbreak—of the puppy raisers. After almost two years, graduation day comes, and those who pass will be paired with a blind person for more training. The high point of the drama is reached when sight-impaired individuals have the freedom that comes from being matched with a beloved guide dog.
VERDICT This well-done program is sure to be a welcome addition to public library collections for families and young adults. High recommended.
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