A Dog Named Christmas
Produced By: Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I love the holiday season. I love the lights, the music, the decorations and that special feeling that comes from giving of one’s self. This is that special time of year that often causes people to stop thinking of themselves and start thinking of others; the one time of the year when people feel most willing to give of themselves, even to strangers. But most often, it’s only the people we think about. One made-for-television movie presented by Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc. reminds us that there are others who can’t always vocalize their needs - those of the four-legged variety.
Based on the novel by Greg Kincaid, A Dog Named Christmas features Bruce Greenwood as George McCray, a farmer living on a farm that has been in his family for generations with his wife Mary Ann (Linda Emond) and his developmentally challenged twenty-year-old son Todd (Noel Fisher).
Christmas is on its way and the McCray’s are preparing for their annual family party when Todd hears an announcement about a new program at the local animal shelter. Hoping to place their dogs faster, the local animal shelter is looking for people to foster dogs over the Christmas holiday. Todd, an animal lover, persuades his father to let him foster a dog. George has misgivings about the whole thing, worrying that bringing a dog into their lives may do more to harm their son than help him. Memories of past losses - of the pain and anguish each loss brought him - fuel George’s misgivings.
As the story plays out, we see that Todd’s foster dog, aptly named Christmas, does more to help the family than hurt it. Todd becomes a spokesperson for the shelter, pushing the Christmas Foster Care program to everyone he knows, including the local news. His efforts earn him a job with the shelter. Meanwhile, Christmas even manages to win over George, proving that he is not only a good influence on Todd, but on the entire McCray family.
A sweet and uplifting tale, A Dog Named Christmas reminds us of the unconditional love shared between a pet and its family. I understand this love as I have been the happy recipient of it for many years thanks to my cat, Natasia. Although she would probably boast at being my owner, I think we would both agree that we would both be lost without the other. The love of a pet for its human and a human for its pet creates an incredibly strong bond that positively effects their lives and the lives of those around them.
At this time of the year, it’s hard to believe that so many animals will go without the joy of a full time family. But Hallmark, in conjunction with Petfinder.com, is helping to end this dilemma, offering the opportunity for all interested individuals to take part in a foster program that will not only help ease the burden of local shelters over the holidays, but will help adoptable and loveable pets find a forever home. For more information on this program, visit http://www.petfinder.com/foster-a-lonely-pet and for a tremendously uplifting film, check out A Dog Named Christmas.