Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Unexpected Ending

As I'd mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been going through the volunteer training program at the Humane Society in Pasadena. In general, the sessions are somewhat informative, and it's apparent the shelter values their volunteers. There was this one 20-minute video, however, that was... interesting.

It was called "Charlie, the Dog Nobody Wanted", and it was obviously made in the 70s or 80s and transferred from film to DVD. The narration was cheesily scripted, and the horrible acting was a little bit of a yawn to sit through. The dog, Charlie, was born, given away as a puppy, kicked out to the curb when the family couldn't afford him anymore, and living on the streets. He started hanging out in a schoolyard because the kids would feed him sandwiches and pet him. [And the kids mysteriously knew his name was "Charlie", which I'm amazed no one in the video-making crew noticed.]

One day he followed a kid home from school, but the child's mother promptly called animal control to pick the dog off her property. In the shelter cage, Charlie watched each day as families selected pets to take home with them. He also saw other dogs being taken through a different door (without families) and never coming back. He was convinced a kind family would adopt him, too. Then [and this is where the movie took a turn that caught me off-guard], the day came when Charlie was taken - back to the euthanasia room. The closing shot is of the vet with the euthanasia needle saying, "Sorry, guy, but nobody wanted you."

Now, I'm well aware of the pet overpopulation and the lack of shelter space to house all the animals that are dropped there. But, I really didn't expect the cheesy movie to kill the dog at the end. I almost laughed out of surprise... For others in the volunteer crowd, however, there were sniffles and tears. I quickly stifled my guffaw after I glanced around me. Then I couldn't decide what struck me as more odd - the cheesy old video actually offing the dog, or the people watching the poorly-acted movie actually so wrapped up in it that they reacted in tears. Hmm...

4 comments:

Jon said...

I LOVE this story. Every time I hear it! I'm glad you blogged it...

Sarah said...

awww poor charlie... but i guess that's reality more often than not!

Anthony said...

I am often the one laughing at inappropriate times.

It's normally in church.

Darcy said...

I would totally have laughed! Don't worry, you're the normal one ;-)