Walking with Dogs: A Wonderland Special

Walking with Dogs: A Wonderland Special



Dog owners — and I’ll declare an interest here, I have a dog — are an easy target. All too often we either look like our pets or are downright soppy around them. But although there are a few dog eccentrics in Vanessa Engle’s film (a perfect example is Marianne with her crystal-encrusted leads and denial that her white fluffy dog is a baby substitute), she finds loads of dog walkers on Hampstead Heath who have remarkable stories to tell.

There’s glamorous Gilly who lives in a hostel for the homeless; Martin (a Staffordshire bull terrier owner) who’s a recovering alcoholic; and Karen, who talks eloquently about how her dogs (a golden retriever and Jack Russell) help her cope since her husband became hospitalised. What’s clear is having “another beating heart in the house” helps them all. 


Documentary exploring people's extraordinary relationships with their four-legged friends. The film was made over several months by director Vanessa Engle, who approaches people out walking their dogs on Hampstead Heath, London, to ask why they have a pet and the role it plays in their lives. The stories they tell are in turns surprising, moving and profound.