War Horse competition entry by Lee Ho-lok

By Lee Ho-lok, 15, Marymount Secondary School

We asked our readers to write a review of a film or book about a meaningful relationship between a pet and its owner. Here is one of the entries. It has not been edited

By Lee Ho-lok, 15, Marymount Secondary School |

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Under the recommendation from a friend of mine, I have seen a movie recently produced in 2006 namely Eight Below. As told, this movie is mainly talking about the relationship below a group of sledge dogs and their master who worked in the research station in Antarctica. How did they work closely together, forced to separate, and even reunion after the long winter of six months.

Unlike most other cases in reality, these sledge dogs were more than just pets of humankind, they were actually working partners with a group of scientists and professionals in the extremely dangerous weather of frozen and windy. Those sledge dogs were kept and responsible for travelling of people and goods where motors were too heavy to ski on the thin ice of Antarctica. Master Jerry Shepard and the dogs have an extremely good relationship. During free time they would play around on the ice like father and sons, upon emergency, the dogs would make the great effort to rescue the team like when Dr Davis McClaren was about to fall below the thin ice sheet during the trip. That was more than just obedience or disciplinary, I would treat this as the trust and affection between animals and humans.

The first highlight of the movie was despite the extreme weather forecast Dr Davis McClaren insisted to take on a scientific expedition, the dogs’ master Jerry was initially reluctant to accept the task but with the assistance of the sledge dogs, they started the journey. Unfortunately, the severe weather forced the team had to escape from the site and left those faithful dogs behind chained in the harsh Antarctic winter. Most people believed those dogs are going to die in this extreme weather. Despite that the wilderness and lack of food environment, the dogs found their way to source for food from frozen birds and dead whale body. Although sad to see two were dead and one got bitten, five remained healthily after the winter. When the worst weather has gone, the dogs’ master Jerry Shepard and his team members were managed to go back to the Antarctica station, trying their lucks to look for the dogs. The scene when the team finally found the group of dogs in the frozen land, how they both ran gratefully towards each other, was absolutely cheerfully and tearfully indeed.

Unpredictably, while the last dog (I forgot its name) was about to jump on the helicopter, it led its master to run back and look for its wounded (at that time I thought it was dead) friend that was really touching me. Friendship among dogs themselves seemed even stronger than mankind. When Jerry hugged the unmoved dog till surprisingly the dog woke up, that was another tearing shot. The cheerful response from the dogs’ master as well as the dogs really demonstrated the true love between human and animals. After viewing this movie, I believe dogs have the human thoughts like friendship, sacrifice and faithful. If there is trust, there is love.