Channing Tatum on what he’s learned from dogs: ‘they’re not supposed to be here forever’
Channing Tatum’s movie Dog comes out today. Both CB and I want to go see it. It’ll be an emotional roller coaster, but I’m ready for it. The story is about Channing’s character, an army veteran, driving a military dog cross country to her handler’s funeral. But the dog is very skittish and the road trip is about them learning to understand and trust each other. I assume it will also involve coming to terms with the death of the person whose funeral they’re attending as well. Because death is what inspired the film. But not a person’s death, the impending death of Channing’s dog Lulu. Knowing Lulu was going to die from cancer, Channing and Lulu left for one last road trip together. While speaking to Ethan Alter of Yahoo Entertainment, Channing said that those last days with Lulu taught his to accept that dogs aren’t supposed to be here forever and that we’re meant to be thankful for the time we have with them.
Channing Tatum is a big believer in channeling grief into art. In 2018, the Magic Mike star hit the road for one last ride with his longtime canine companion, Lulu — a pit bull Catahoula mix he shared with his ex-wife, Jenna Dewan. Diagnosed with cancer, Lulu didn’t have long for the world and Tatum wanted to make every last moment with her count.
“When I went on my last road trip with my puppy, [I experienced] that feeling of, ‘There’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing left to do,’” he tells Yahoo Entertainment now. “You just have to accept it and be thankful for the time that you did get and know that they’re not supposed to be here forever. I’m supposed to go on and she has to go someplace else.”
“It was the end of a relationship that inspired us, but we wanted to make sure that we told a story about the beginning of a relationship and the parts of our friendships with our dogs that really left these lasting impressions of fun and adventure in our lives,” Carolin explains.
It is no longer a spoiler because Channing told us, but you have nothing to worry about at the end of this film. People were freaking out with all the talk about his dog Lulu dying and the dog in this film being named Lulu. It sounds like Channing doesn’t want that speculation of the dog’s fate to overshadow the other messages in the film. I love that Channing was moved to make a whole movie about the relationship between people and dogs. I especially love that he chose to tell the story with a dog with trauma. Obviously, there will be plenty of humor, but it looks like it gets to the core of understanding the dog’s behavior. OMG, I’m already crying, and I haven’t even gone to the theater yet.
As for Channing’s comments about accepting that dogs aren’t supposed to be here forever, this is the full quote form his interview:
That was really what I had to learn. When I went on my last road trip with my puppy, and she died unfortunately two days later, it was that exact feeling of just going, ‘there’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing left to do.’ You just have to accept it and sort of be thankful for the time that you did get and know that they’re not supposed to be here forever. And you know that I’m supposed to just now go on, and she has to go someplace else.
It’s beautiful and clearly, he did the work he needed to on his road trip with Lulu to get to that point. I’ve lost a few pets where I got to the “there’s nothing left to do” part. I did what I had to for them, but I don’t think I was ever as gracious as Channing was about it. Even writing this I am surrounded by photos, a set of tags, a cast of a paw. Their physical being wasn’t supposed to be here forever, but they will always be with me. Still, Channing’s point is a good one. When it’s time to say goodbye, it’s important to focus on everything they brought to us while they were here.
Photo credit: Instagram and InStar Images
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