This review of The Dog House at Christmas is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.
In the past, children, you used to release all your emotions during Noel’s Christmas Presents. Noel Edmonds would give thoughtfully chosen gifts to deserving individuals who were nominated by others for their kind and deserving nature. Children who assisted in caring for family members with disabilities would receive amazing bikes or fun toys, always with the reminder that this was a small token of gratitude for their kindness. Adults would be gifted with vacations, office supplies, or other tangible items to support the charities they were involved in or causes close to their hearts. Edmonds struck a perfect balance between sentimentality and sincerity, making it a reliable outlet for your intense holiday emotions.
Currently, you must gather any available resources – such as somber yet heartwarming holiday tales on morning television, charity events featuring celebrities, and the one Christmas commercial that tugs at your heartstrings. And then there’s The Dog House during Christmas. The Dog House is a well-established show with a charming personality and a glossy exterior. It centers around the staff and furry residents at Woodgreen animal shelter in Godmanchester, a seemingly fictional place but actually located in Cambridgeshire. The staff’s goal is to find new homes for the animals, referred to as “forever homes” in shelter jargon, although I personally prefer the simpler term “homes”.
There was a holiday event in 2021, but it seems like everyone needed a break. Now, they have returned to match dogs with potential owners and bring joy and purpose back into people’s lives.
The first family we meet is the Scope family. They are searching for a dog that can be loved by everyone but will mainly be a companion for their five-year-old daughter Elena, who is often overlooked by her eight-year-old twin brothers. If your initial thought is to question why the parents don’t address the brothers’ behavior, then you may not be the target audience for The Dog House, especially The Dog House at Christmas. I can relate, as I am a parent in a similar situation.
The employees introduce Jeff to them initially. The young boys adore the energetic six-month-old baby. Elena is afraid. Apologies, Jeff. It isn’t because of you, it’s because of her. But it’s not entirely her fault either. Some things simply are not meant to be.
The following contender is Lexi, a two-year-old shih-tzu who is much more gentle. It’s love at first sight for Elena, who whispers to her father, “I want her. She has a really long neck.” They all then head home together.
The next person in line is Lynne, a lively 62-year-old nurse and mother whose children have moved out. She is looking for some companionship and is one of the few applicants who are willing to adopt two dogs. She forms an immediate and lasting bond with Jock and Macy. I’m not sure how she will manage taking care of them while she is working all day, but I assume that the staff has made necessary arrangements and the program doesn’t want to go into too much detail. The charity was established nearly a century ago by Miss Louisa Snow, who wanted to help stray and injured animals she saw on the streets after the war. It still carries the same resilient spirit that she instilled in it.
At last, we reach the crucial point. Darren and his daughter Jazz are searching for a dog to provide companionship. Jazz’s mother, who was also Darren’s wife, tragically passed away a year ago due to a severe depression potentially caused by menopause. They had been married for 32 years. Darren describes her as a wonderful woman and the love of his life. He feels like he has lost a part of himself.
He and Jazz meet a skittish stray named Crackers, who seems calm around them. They all notice that Crackers is the one as she wags her tail excitedly. They all head home together.
Simply put, dogs and people form connections and go home together, leading to a small improvement in their lives and a slightly less gloomy world. While it may not be as heartwarming as Noel’s Christmas Presents, there will surely be emotional moments. Wishing these lovable, heartbreaking dogs a safe journey to their forever homes and a merry Christmas!