Dances With Films (Mini-Doc)

Here’s a mini-documentary of our screening Q & A at Dances with Films 2014.


Moms of Human Babies Stage Counter ProtestJune 4, 2014 (HOLLYWOOD) As busy crowds moved through the Chinese Theatres at Hollywood and Highland yesterday afternoon, they were caught in the middle of two opposing protests—both of which were very emotionally charged. On one side were the moms of “furbabies,” holding their tiny dogs in Baby Bjorns.

On the other side, were moms of “real” babies who were caught in the impassioned verbal crossfire as they too dangled helpless and innocent in the baby carriers (which proved very helpful for both sides, as they allowed the use of both hands for picket signs and obscene gestures).Fueling the fire for the furbaby moms were Pope Francis’ recent comments that couples should raise children, not dogs and cats. An article in Time seemed to sum it up the best: “In other words, all the effort you spend caring for your furry friends would be of better use if Fido or Fifi were children.”

The Pope’s stance that dogs and cats are not to be treated as babies got those who do just that all in a tizzy. And the fact that his statement gave their opposition fuel in this heated debate was noticeably upsetting to the fur baby moms.

“The Pope is behind us!” yelled one protester.

Abby Harmon, who seemed to be the leader of the furbaby protesters, made a bold statement in response to Pope Francis. “Last night the Pope made a statement and I am highly offended, as a dog mommy of a furbaby of my own, that he would say that dogs don’t have as much rights as babies. It is ridiculous.”

Her dog, a yorkie named Laila, seemed to take it all in stride as she hung on her “mommy” in a contraption designed to be used for human babies.

The moms of “real” babies (a term the furbaby moms seemed to find highly offensive) claimed that human babies are the real babies, shouting “my baby is my baby!” and making a clear distinction between the two types of offspring shouting things like “I feed my baby with my breasts, how do you feed yours?!”

The moms of human babies also claimed that it was harmful to the dogs and just plain wrong to push dogs in strollers and make homemade organic gluten-free baby food for them. And some experts have said that many couples use their pets as a way to avoid their relationship problems.

But the parents of pets may have a point. Just like with married couples with kids facing divorce, they have to endure long drawn-out custody battles for their beloved furbabies. They are also fearful of their little ones being kidnapped—just like their human parent counterparts—as pets being kidnapped and held for ransom is fast becoming a new crime trend.

Regardless of which side may be right or wrong, it was clear that all of these mommies cared about their “babies” and that they all had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon.

Those who live in the Los Angeles area and would like to learn more about the “furbaby” phenomenon are invited to a screening of the film Gone Doggy Gone at 5 p.m. this Friday at the Chinese 6 Theatres at Hollywood and Highland.

Laila is a pill popper