A Pug?s Life The Dog-umentary
Directed by Marilyn Braverman
Braverman Productions
50 minutes

A Pug’s Life the Dog-umentary is a goofy documentary on DVD. You are never quite sure how seriously director Marilyn Braverman is taking her subject, the pug, because there’s a bad pun, silly dog owners, and the word bitch -as in female dog probably but sometimes you are not quite sure-every minute or so.  Pet owners can get a little carried away when talking about their darlings but breeders are even more apt to wax lyrically about their favorite breed and this is where part of the humor comes from. A Pug’s Life the Dogumentary features interviews with pug owners, pug breeders, and even a bit of a dognapping mystery. A pug, by the way, is that breed of dog whose face looks like it has been slammed into a shovel and whose eyes look like the dog is either sitting on an air hose or really, really constipated. The most famous pug is Frank in Men In Black II

A Pug’s Life has been shown on some PBS stations and I would not be surprised if it is repeated during pledge week and the ever present Viewers’ Favorites final drive. This is a very entertaining, definitely nutty, humorous, weird documentary. Director Marilyn Braverman cannot resist really bad puns like the Mission Impugsible screen tag for the story about the purloined pug. The resolution of the crime sounds like it would probably make for a really good chase scene.

Although a couple of the cuts look like they have been made with your basic video software (the star effect for example) A Pug’s Life looks really good, is really well put together, and is a lot of fun to watch even if you are not the overly proud owner of a pug or a dog. In many ways this documentary or dogumentary is Americana at its finest.

A chapter with dog breeders at a dog show is followed by Pugs in Manhattan featuring a lady who worked for Andy Warhol -which should tell you all you need to know and more about pug owners- has a houseful of pug based decorations and has her pugs massaged, manicured, and so on including having them sleep on ironed sheets. This is both ridiculous and weirdly charming at the same time, something that can also be said about this DVD.

This is followed by a chapter on other weird dog owners and the kind of people who make cat lovers cringe including a guy who runs a spa for dogs, a candy store for dogs, a weird dog show for people who are not breeders but just have a dog in a stupid costume, a lady who runs a pug rescue outfit, and other pug people. These bits are not as tightly put together as the first two sections but are still good fun even it they feel like kibbles and bits.

The director’s commentary track is the usually banal not worth it stuff.

If you know a pug owner giving them the A Pug’s Life DVD will probably get you put in their will (after the dogs of course). Dog owners will also enjoy it. If you like weird, quirkily charming documentaries that are both well-made and lightweight this is also a good bet.


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