A Dog’s Love (1914)
Article 5670 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jack Harvey
Featuring Shep the Dog, Helen Badgley, Arthur Bauer
What it is: Tearjerker
A girl’s only friend is Shep, the dog next door. When the girl dies in a car accident, the dog is inconsolable.
All you need to know is that this short is as relentless a tear-jerker as the plot description makes it sound it’s going to be; most of the short involves the dog’s traumatic reaction to the death of the girl. Given the premise, it can’t help but be somewhat effective. It’s biggest problem is that it’s just a tad too gimmicky; having the dog go to a flower store and pick up some flowers to put on the girl’s grave feels too forced. The fantastic content that eventually manifests itself (I won’t reveal what it is, but you’ll know it when you see it) is also a problem; it’s the sort of thing that should alter the arc of the story, but it does no such thing, and feels unnecessary. Still, I will give the short a bit of credit for being out of the ordinary; most tear-jerkers of this sort have the human mourning the death of the animal.