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A Dog Gone Missing Will Bring an Incredible Search

Based on a true story, when his beloved dog goes missing, the owner embarks on an incredible search with his parents to find him.

Dog Gone (2023)

2.5 / 5
4 / 5

Dog Gone is a 2023 Netflix movie that is about a young man and his pet dog. The topics and themes of this film center around the message “a dog is man’s best friend”. The main character is Fielding Marshall, a socially awkward college student who adopts a puppy whom he names Gonker. After he finishes college, all of his friends have jobs except for him. His father, John Marshall, becomes worried about his future as he settles in with his new dog.

Gonker becomes diagnosed with a rare disease called Addison’s disease a few weeks later. It is a disease that can be life-threatening if not treated properly. Gonker needs a life-saving shot every month for the rest of his life. The scene where Fielding and his parents take Gonker to the veterinarian is heartbreaking for animal lovers, as this scene symbolizes the possibility of loss.

Though viewers find this movie enjoyable and heartwarming, we see there is not much representation of a minority. Many cast members are white men, with one main female role, and Stephen Herek, the director, is a white man. Ginny Marshall (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) plays a major role in Fielding’s storyline as the scenes change between flashbacks from her childhood and the present when Gonker goes missing in the woods. In the flashbacks, viewers see some representation of Asians, however, they are reduced to minor roles. There are generally unfavorable reviews.

Fielding and Gonker

Dog Gone shows two storylines. The main storyline is centered around Fielding. The second storyline is centered around his mother Ginny when she was a little girl. The storylines shift as indicated by the transition from the close-up of Ginny’s face from adulthood into childhood. From looking at the flashback scenes, viewers see how Ginny has lived a rough childhood; her parents are shown to have no concern about her feelings when she finds out that her pet dog Oji had been run over by a car while she was at school. The way her parents encouraged her not to make a big deal about loss had a negative effect, as she continues to suffer the pain and trauma of loss in the present. In addition, Oji had been mistreated by Ginny’s mother; he was forced to sit outside in the cold snow for hours while Ginny’s mother was hosting a party.

The scene where Gonker is left all alone in the woods during a dark and stormy night is relevant to the movie’s title Dog Gone. The title itself represents a pet missing for a long period of time. As time passes, the pet becomes hungry and lonely, waiting to find its owner. At the same time, the owner has to ask family, friends, and neighbors for help finding the missing pet. Fielding learns to forgive himself even if he makes mistakes.

Fielding explains that Gonker is the only friend who likes him for who he is, as he is socially awkward around his peers at college. Ginny understands what Fielding is going through because she had the same experience with Oji when she was a young girl.

The woods play an important role in the main conflict of Dog Gone. The forest is shown in several scenes throughout the movie, as it shows the last spot where Gonker was before he went missing. Some elements of the forest include a waterfall, a campsite, and logs. Fielding asks friends and neighbors for help, and they search the woods many times.

Therefore, Dog Gone is recommended for kids and animal lovers, as the plot is a heartwarming story about a boy finding his dog.