When a dog barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism!
~David Starr Jordan
WHITE FANG (c. 1991, Ethan Hawke)
White Fang is a feature adaptation of Jack London's classic novel. The lead canine is a mix breed of dog and wolf, rescued by a young Yukon gold hunter from the brutal industry to dog fighting of the early settlements in the Alaskan wilderness. White Fang, being maltreated and having lived the hard life, has trust issues and initially sees Jack as just another human out to harm him. Jack, on the other hand, sees White Fang as a majestic animal in need of love and attention. He strives to win White Fangs’ confidence in him, and eventually wins the dog over. Theirs is a beautiful story of how powerful trust in any relationship is, and how trust always comes hand-in-hand with love.
I remember bawling my eyes out every time the final scene played out. White Fang was left behind by Jack after a long winter. I forget now the exact reason why Jack left him behind, but when Jack was finally able to go back to the mountains to get him, he was a-bounding away like a love-struck puppy! All sense of wolfishness abandoned.
I dedicate this post to Brandy, my dad’s yellow lab and the bunso of our family. She has trust issues herself and doesn’t take so kindly to strangers. But I know she loves us unconditionally, even if we’re the family who forces her to climb up two flights of stairs every night just to sleep. To climb up, one of us has to be behind her, cheering her on. When she’s sure we have her back, she zooms up with ease... not grace. But we love her anyway.