What do you do for a dog who has only weeks to live? As an owner of a much loved dog who has cancer this is a question that I have thought a lot about lately. Fortunately, thanks to surgery and chemotherapy, my dog Maggie is doing great at the moment. Still making the most of Maggie's remaining days is important to me (for example, a few days ago she celebrated her ninth birthday in style with a nice steak dinner). When filmmakers Billie Dean and Andrew Einspruch were told that their beloved dog Suki had only a few weeks remaining they decided to take her on a final doggie vacation. Only for the Dean-Einspruch's going away is a little complicated because they have six other elderly dogs with a multitude of health problems besides Suki ( in addition to having a young and healthy human daughter). Seven Days with Seven Dogs is the product of that magical week.
As a dog owner three times over, I admit this film had me at the title, but even setting aside my obvious bias, this is a beautifully shot and uplifting documentary. The family lives in Australia (Billie, the wife, is Australian) so the road trip encompasses various dog friendly places in the gorgeous land down under. We see the dogs transported in a horse and buggy to go camping; participate in an agility course; snuggle up at various dog friendly lodges (where they are sometimes greeted like doggy royalty) and frolic on a scenic private beach. I also enjoyed watching the Dean-Einspruch family interact together as it is clear that the family is a close and happy one. I do admit, however, that I found Billie a little out there (she is a dog psychic who claims to understand the dogs' thoughts), but overall she is a highly likeable person. Also while the subject matter (a dog's imminent death) is very sad, this film did not show that or dwell on that aspect. Rather the film focuses on living life to the fullest and appreciating what matters most: spending time with loved ones (both human and furry).
Seven Days with Seven Dogs is a genuinely feel good film for the whole family.