Vol. 14, No. 05 – Dec 2 – Dec 15, 2020 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
The Pack – Amazon Originals

4 out of 4 palm trees

Focusing on the incredible bond between dogs and their owners, The Pack follows 12 dogs and their owners as they travel the globe on an adventure similar to the Amazing Race doggie style. Two teams, Blue Team and Green Team, were randomly selected by finding tug toys with bandannas inside that represented each team colors, and were tasked for various tug, fetch and scent work challenges for the grand prize of $500,000 for the winning team and an additional $250,000 for their favorite pet charity.

Hosted by Olympic Gold Medal Skier Lindsay Vonn and her dog Lucy, each day begins with a Leader of the Pack Challenge, where the teams select a specific dog and owner for an individual task for a clue to the location of the fetch point. Upon completion, pack teams race to the fetch point where there are pack challenges and the first pack arriving gets to choose. The challenges relate to local history and traditions, which educate the viewers on different cultures around the globe. The losing pack faces an elimination challenge against the members of their own team to determine who would have to go home each show.

Prior to filming the series, all the dogs and owners spent time in Los Angeles training on tug, fetch and scent work tasks using birch oil. They flew on a first class private jet around the world for the comfort of the dogs and their owners and there were Dog Safety teams and veterinarians whose number one priority was dog safety and making sure they are never stressed out as they circled the globe starting in Los Angeles, then Mexico City, Costa Rica, Vienna, Florence, Switzerland, Paris, London, with the finals back in the US in the Utah.

The dogs were incredible seeming thrilled with all the helicopter rides, repelling, zip lining, paddleboarding, riding ATVs, whitewater rafting, and even did mock earthquake and avalanche rescues. They also served meals in fancy restaurants while wearing waiter costumes and carried food through local marketplaces with special dog pouches similar to those carried at farmers markets.

The owners and dogs were all from over the US, with many different dog breeds competing and included: Mark LeBlanc & Ace (Australian Shepard) – Utah mountains, Kioni ‘Kentucky’ Russel Gallahue & Derby (Golden Doodle) – San Diego, Vania Zuniga & Jax – (Red Golden Retriever) Long Beach, Lucy Riles & Duchess (Black Lab) Los Angeles, Chelsey Lowe & Gryffin – Newport Beach, Brian Calvert & Dixie – (Bluetick Coonhound) Indiana, Josh White & Snow (Standard Poodle) West Hollywood, Mitra Najibeh Yosri & Bozley – Los Angeles, Chism Joe Johnson & Kepo – Oklahoma, Daniel Reese & Allister U.S. Navy, Donna Modafferi & Charlie – New York (Snoodle – Dog actor) and Linh Iacoca & Chance (Chihuahua) – Brooklyn, NY.

Not only did the winning duo received a total of $750,000, in addition the show donated an additional $250,000 during production to multiple animal charities and rescue organizations in the countries in which they filmed. Viewers of all ages will enjoy this heartwarming dog version of the amazing race where instead of friends or family members it’s special people with man’s best friend – their dog.

10 Episodes – 50 minutes

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