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An abused beagle runs away from his owner. On the road, he meets young Marty Preston and follows him home. The boy immediately forms a bond with the dog and names him Shiloh. His stern father won't let him keep the dog because it belongs to Judd Travers, a local hunter. After Shiloh is mistreated again, he runs away and returns to Marty. Knowing his father will once again make him bring Shiloh back to Judd, he makes a home for the dog in an old shed up the hill from the Prestons' house and hides him from his family. His secret is soon discovered when a stray attacks the dog one night and he must turn to his father for help. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
If you look at the jacket, you would expect Shiloh to be about a cute dog that has an I.Q. of 150 who saves the day, or who perhaps accompanies some children on a long hike, fending off wolves and cougars. Or perhaps a dog that makes messes. It is nothing like that at all. Shiloh is a cute, but completely ordinary dog, who does nothing more exciting than licking people's faces and gobbling food.
It is a morality tale. There is the evil Christian who believes God gave us animals to use as we please, including sadistic pleasure.
There is the postman father who equates right with legal.
Then there is the hero, a boy about ten, who argues articulately again and again for a higher heart-centred morality motivated by his loving caring for the young dog Shiloh. He gradually wins over his mom, his dad and even the evil Christian. There is plenty of ambiguity and conflict. It is not a totally black and white tale.
Even though the boy is only ten, he is one of the most heroic figures in movies.
The sudden happy ending did not ring true for me. A more plausible ending would have had the villain eaten alive by his dogs, or some such bad karma.
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