Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Dog Day Blogathon

Today, as the Twitter-verse has told me, is National Dog Day. To celebrate, Allie of Often Off Topic is celebrating by having a one day Blogathon. Since we've been blogging buddies for a few years, I figured the least I could do was take a break from my own blogathon to participate in hers. There are a  few hours left in this thing, so if you're interested in taking part, click here to find out how. In case you're too lazy to move your index finger a bit, or you're just so enraptured with my writing, I'll summarize the rules for you...

  1. Write a dog-related movie post for your blog. Tell us about your favourite on-screen canine, put together a Top 10 list, whatever your creative minds can think of.
  2. Publish your post on Sunday 26th August 2018, on National Dog Day.
  3. Either send me a link to your post as a comment here, send it to me on Twitter, or email it to Heck, write the link on a post-it note and stick it on my front door if you like! Just let me know!
  4. Optional: Do you have a dog? Or perhaps you had a dog you sorely miss? Share them with us, all dogs should be celebrated!
  5. On the following day, I’ll create a master post with links to everyone’s posts.


Let's start with movies. I can do movies. And since this particular movie has been on my mind, I'm going to be talking about the Eddie Murphy classic Coming to America. If you've only seen it once, or not at all, you may not even remember the dog. Since I've seen it more times than the number of fingers and toes on my body, I remember her vividly despite her rather small part.  Her name is Dottie.

Dottie (Dottie) belongs to the McDowell family who own a restaurant so similar to McDonald's that family patriarch Cleo (John Amos) spends every waking moment vacillating between studying the fast food behemoth and fretting over being sued by them. The family's eldest daughter Lisa (Shara Headley) is being pursued by Akeem (Murphy) whom she believes to be a poor, African immigrant but later finds out is really the prince of his native country, Zamunda. Lisa also has an obnoxious boyfriend named Daryl (Eriq La Salle), the heir to a highly successful hair care products manufacturer.

What does Dottie have to do with any of this?

Late in the film, after money-hungry Cleo has decided that Daryl is no longer the best suitor for Lisa, Daryl keeps ringing the family's doorbell in an attempt to get in and win Lisa back. Like I said, though, he's a jerk. Not only doesn't Lisa like him anymore, we've hated his guts since he first showed up on camera. Since telling him to go away isn't working, Cleo goes to his last resort. He turns to his beloved pet and says, "Dottie, get 'im!"

With that, Dottie springs into action. She might not quite be the hero of Coming to America but she certainly performs a heroic act. She helps get Daryl out of Lisa's life once and for all.

Yay, Dottie!

In real life, I'm not a dog person. At all. Stories from my personal life that involve dogs are all horror stories. There was the rather large canine my mom brought home from the pound that I'm pretty sure was rabid. Damn thing wouldn't even let me get close enough to feed it. I pretty much had to put food in a bowl in fling it in his general direction. Thanks, mom.

There was the clinically insane dog of my best friend's grandfather that used to ate her own feces, and eventually, her own puppies. Ewww.

There was also the dog from spooky house on the corner that escaped during a game of two-hand touch football and tried to chew my leg off. Nice.

I hate to tell you all these things, but I'm walking you through my thought process as I try to come up with a dog I even liked, let alone loved. I know that makes me a bad person, but it is what it is. Almost.

There is one dog that truly brought joy into my life. He didn't belong to me, though. He belonged to my neighbors two houses away. He was a Midget German Shepherd, appropriately named Smurf.

That's not an actual picture of him but that's more or less what he looked like, thanks Google. Well, his fur was shorter and I think his ears were, too, but you get the idea. Point is, Smurf was the best dog in the whole universe.

He was also the most popular dog to never appear on television or in a movie. Let me explain. I don't think he was ever on a leash for one second. At least, I don't remember seeing him on one. He would occasionally try to follow some of the neighborhood kids to school. Sometimes he was successful. He spent many days just wandering up and down our block. He never bothered anyone and was friendly to everyone. I barely remember him ever barking. Some days, I guess when he was bored with our block, he wandered the neighborhood. When I say neighborhood, I mean miles and miles of Queens, New York real estate. No matter how far he went, he was always back home that night. Apparently, he was socializing. My younger brother tells a story that perfectly illustrates how loved this dog was all over our little corner of the world. He met some people he didn't know before at a friend's house. They asked him what block he lived on. "130th street," he replied.

"Oh," his new friend said. "You live on Smurf's block."


  1. Oh, I loved Dottie. That was a cute dog. I especially in how she looked at the camera.

  2. One of my favorite things about Christ Stopped at Eboli was the dog. It's Fascist Italy in the 1930s. The main character is being sent into exile in a remote village in southern Italy. At the train station there is a dog (a medium sized terrier of some kind) with a note saying "My name is Barone. Please take care of me as my former owner has had bad luck" (or something like that) and the exile takes him along with him. (But he's always sure to ask permission of whichever Fascist bureaucrat is in charge of him at any moment.)

    The dog wanders the village a lot. Sometimes he's wandering along with the exile. Other times, he just shows up in the middle of a conversation. "Hey there's Barone!" And sometimes he's in the exile's lodgings. He doesn't do hardly anything except wander in and out of frame, but I think he's great.

    Another dog in an Italian movie that I love is Flike in Umberto D. How could anybody be mean to Flike!? In the sequel in my head, the landlady finds herself in a Dario Argento movie where she is stabbed and mutilated.

    1. Haven't seen either of these movies, but Barone sounds pretty similar to Smurf. I like him!

    2. Umberto D is must see! There's a gut punch every 15 minutes or so, especially if you love dogs.

    3. It's been on my radar for quite some time. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  3. This makes me want to watch Coming to American again. I love that you knew a German Sheppard named Smurf. What an awesome name for a big dog. My neighbors growing up had this huge Alaskan Husky named Pooh Bear, which I always thought was so adorable for such a big fuzzy thing.

    1. Oh, the name was fitting. He was about half the size of a regular German Shepherd. Pooh Bear is a cool name for a big fuzzy dog.

  4. Oh no, I can't believe I missed this! I'm not a dog person but I had dogs growing up and I would have found some nice stories to share.

    I still haven't seen Coming to America (I know, shame on me) so I don't know Dottie, but she sounds like a great dog!

    1. Would have loved to hear your stories. And please see Coming to America.

  5. I would have loved to have met Smurf!
    Thanks so much for taking part Dell, although now I feel even worse that I was on a break just before your own! I'm so sorry! :(

    1. You wouldvwo loved Smurf. Everyone did. No worries on the blogathon. I had fun taking part in yours.