THE LESSONS OF CHIEF PONDY
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
As a dog owner, I always appreciate any attempt to properly instruct children on how to handle and interact with a dog. Not only does this help the well-being of the dog but it also helps avoid problematic situations, such as a child getting bitten when it could have been avoided. K9 Ponderosa is a training and rehabilitation ranch for dogs. To help educate families and children on how to deal with man’s best friend, they have produced a couple videos. Both videos include the Ten Lessons of Chief Pondy, which are handed down by a Native American man who understands dogs very well. Both videos also focus on a rescued dog named Oreo and how Chief Pondy helps educate some children on how to deal with him.
The first video, “The Lessons of Chief Pondy,” is a live-action featurette produced in 2008. Told in flashback by a grandfather and his grandchildren, this tells the story of how Chief Pondy and K9 Ponderosa worker MacConachie found a stray dog named Oreo. By using Chief Pondy’s ten lessons, they were able to get Oreo to trust them.
The second video is “The Lessons of Chief Pondy: Scottie and Oreo,” and it features a similar story in which a grandfather and his grandkids must try to find their lost dog. This one is flash-animated and also features a group of kids who don’t know the lessons and mess up catching the dog.
Both films run about 15 minutes and can be quickly watched by a family or children. They have their heart in the right place, and any stilted elements are forgiveable considering their low-budget nature and the clear fact they’re labors of love.
It’s sad that it’s so easy to get a dog, but there’s no accountability for children or their parents to handle them properly. “The Lessons of Chief Pondy” offers real knowledge that is immediately usable. It’s not common knowledge, but it should be.
If you’re considering getting a family dog or want your young children to have a refresher course on how to properly act around animals, give either version of “The Lessons of Chief Pondy” a look.