A Seasonal Dog Story
I wanted to talk about my motives for writing “I Thought I was Googirl”, a touching short film about an old dog at Christmas.
Dogs are beautiful, life enhancing creatures and we are their guardians – we cannot let them down. “I Thought I Was Googirl” is a piece written from the point of view of an old dog who has been abandoned and cannot understand what has happened to her. It is by far the most heart-breaking thing I have ever worked on, leaving me in floods of tears repeatedly. Though I feel happy to share the spoiler that it has a happy ending – I couldn’t do that to you! Originally, I performed Googirl live at The Old Red Lion as a fundraiser for The Dog’s Trust. Of course, during Covid we have all had to become a bit creative and my partner Chris Pybus (hugely passionate about dogs also, thank goodness!) and I have turned it into a short film with myself voicing the dog and drawing the illustrations, Chris voicing the Human and directing and editing.
Like so many in this country I am passionate about dogs. They have been for me, love, companionship, entertainment, support and I feel quite literally lifesaving. I have struggled with mental health and experienced some dark times and my dogs have been there to get me through it. Living with another creature that depends on you gives you a reason to get out of bed every day, and are enough to give you pause when the demons want to lead you to destructive actions. I have found my Staffie Sam to be the most empathetic soul I could possibly have chosen to spend my life with. I am so grateful for the gift of this symbiotic relationship dogs have with humans; it cannot be overrated. Between my parents and myself we have taken in hundreds of abandoned animals.
As a writer therefore, dogs have often featured in my plays, not just as funny and cute but as real heroes. In The Delights of Dogs and the Problems of People, a woman in an abusive relationship finds comfort and understanding in her dog; the pure love of dog to human contrasts with the toxic love of human to human. In Lullabies for the Lost the character Andy is able to drag himself from his depression and venture back into the world after he adopts a dog. As we approach the holidays, I am looking about at what is happening in the world and feel compelled to create a piece about dogs once again.
There has always been a problem of people getting puppies over Christmas as a present only to reject them further down the line – hence the slogan “A dog is for life not just for Christmas” but I fear that Covid has made this situation far worse. People have time on their hands at the moment and an emotional/mental hole to fill. Many more people are getting dogs. Puppies are being over farmed and smuggled into the country. TV is proposing such revolting titles as “Will My Puppies Make Me Rich” (for shame!). The situation is pretty terrifying from where I stand. What will happen to these dogs once “real” life returns? I am afraid we will see an increase in dogs abandoned by the road and filling the cages.
We really hope it will hope it will make people think about the commitment they are making when bringing in a dog. We hope also that the viewers will enjoy spending time with the lovely Googirl and perhaps consider adopting an older dog. Older doggos give so much, are usually trained and less work as well as full of love and gratitude for a safe home. I speak from experience. Lastly but very importantly we wanted the film to thank all those charities, shelters, workers, foster carers and adopters who save these precious Good Girls and Good Boys.
Please enjoy: https://youtu.be/80otwMFGt3c
Happy Holidays!!! Rosalind Blessed.
P.S. if you would like to know more about me as a writer or to view for free my full length plays which were both awarded an OnComm please check out www.rozblessed.com