During my April college speaking tour, I read “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. It’s a novel about a golden retriever, Enzo, and his race-car-driving human. Enzo reminded me of Max, a golden retriever Deb and I had as our first dog after we got married.

Yes, all dog books and dog movies make you cry. There’s just no way around it. And when I read the last chapter of the book, I was alone in an Illinois restaurant, hoping no one noticed me sobbing over my dinner.

So, of course, I had to see the movie version of “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” My wife—knowing she would cry—refused to watch it with me. Consequently, I have been patiently waiting until it was Deb’s turn to be on the road. Yesterday, she flew to Anchorage, Alaska, for four days of weaving teaching. It was movie time!

Last night my dog, Nellie, and I watched the movie. Nellie loved all the dog action, but she was also quite concerned that I was “leaking” so much.

On Rotten Tomatoes, critics hate the movie (45%) and audiences love it (96%). All I can say is “Fuck the critics!” The movie was every bit as good as the book (even if it had to change a key part in the plot to stay under 2 hours). And Kevin Costner was wonderful portraying the verbalized thoughts of Enzo.

I highly recommend both the book and the movie. Sure, you’ll cry, but you’ll also feel good at the end. Unless, of course, your brain works like Republican Governor Kristi Noem’s brain. Then you’ll wonder what all the emotion is about and be pissed off that no one shot the dog the first time he peed on the floor!