“Dog” offers light into Army traumas

By Beatriz Garay

“Dog,” a heart-felt movie, gives new light onto sensitive topics such as trauma and post traumatic stress.
Riggs, played by Channing Tatum, who also co-directed this film, is a retired Army Ranger.
Lulu is a retired Ranger dog that fought in the war alongside Riggs’ friend Riley Rodriguez, who now suffers from mental trauma herself.
Lulu, after losing her handler, is now considered unfit to continue on being a war service dog.
She has developed anxiety and sensitivity to almost everything ranging from people to sounds, like gunshots.
She also became extremely violent to the point that she has to wear a muzzle all the time.
Riggs is trying to get back into military duty, but due to having a brain injury, it has left him unfit to continue as an Army Ranger.
Riggs tries to convince his higher-ups to let him back into the military, but it doesn’t seem to work.
Soon after, he gets a phone call from his officer to meet at a military base to discuss an opportunity to join the Army again.
His higher up cuts him a deal.
If he drives Lulu down to Arizona to her handler’s funeral and brings her back to get put down, he will make the call to let him join the military again.
Riggs agrees to drive Lulu to Arizona as long as the phone call from his higher ups gets made.
A road trip begins from Oregon to Arizona.
Along the way we see Riggs having a difficult time with Lulu.
Lulu isn’t the dog he remembered that fought alongside him and his friend Riley.
She can be a handful, a menace, and trouble, but she also has her trauma.
She gets scared at the sound of gunshots, doesn’t like to fly in airplanes, gets anxious by staying in the car, and doesn’t like the sound of thunder.
We also see Riggs dealing with his PTSD and trauma from his brain injury.
We see him constantly hearing a ringing noise, suffers from migraines, and has a seizure episode all due to his brain injury.
After spending time with Lulu, Riggs comes to realize that maybe he isn’t meant to go back to the Army.
He develops a bond with Lulu.
Once he gets back to Oregon, he finds that he can’t leave Lulu behind.
He tries to drive away, but stops and takes Lulu back with him and starts a change in his life.
He joins PTSD and trauma groups with fellow veterans and reconnects with his family.
Seeing this in the film makes it surreal for someone who has served in the Army going through the same situation.
The injuries, the trauma, and everything else can be triggering.
The film illustrates that with time and help, people going through trauma, PTSD, or both can learn to cope with it and start making changes to better their lives.

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