A sneak peek at a documentary following five puppies on their journey to becoming guide dogs for the blind. Taylor Goebel, email@example.com
Need your daily dose of cuteness?¬†
Then check out this exclusive clip from new documentary¬†“Pick of the Litter” (in theaters Friday in New York and Los Angeles, expands nationwide throughout September and October),¬†in which five Labrador puppies on their¬†quest to become guide dogs get their names, play with chew toys and curl up for a well-deserved nap.
Their names are picked by members of nonprofit organization Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), who collectively choose monikers all beginning with the letter “P” for this particular litter: Patriot, Potomac, Primrose, Poppet and Phil.¬†
“You go into this meeting, which is like the brain trust of dog-naming, and you have to come up with some pretty creative ideas after a while, given the hundreds and hundreds of dogs” who go through the GDB program, says co-director Dana Nachman. “Phil is everybody’s favorite (name), just because ‘Phil the dog’ is just funny.”¬†¬†
The doc follows the five pooches through basic training with volunteer “puppy raisers,” whom they live with until they’re 16 months old, before graduating to a 10-week guide-dog course. But as “Pick” shows, not all of them will graduate: In fact, less than half of the pups born at GDB facilities every year have the temperament and skills required to become service dogs, and are thus “career changed” (a polite way of saying let go from the program¬†and adopted into “furever” homes).¬†
Co-director Don Hardy Jr.¬†“and I had our bets from the beginning, like, ‘Oh, this one’s definitely going to make it, and that one definitely isn’t,’ ” Nachman says. “And Guide Dogs (trainers) just laughed at us and said, ‘We always think we can predict, but it’s very, very hard to.’ So¬†it was really fascinating to see where they went.”
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