A Dog's Way Home (2019) Script

It's simple at first.

Home is the only place you know.

And everyone there is your family.

My first home was full of cats.

And I'm a dog.

Cats had sharp claws and made a funny tummy sound when they were happy.

The kittens had a mother cat.

And I had a mother dog.

I couldn't imagine that life could get any better.

As I grew, we made a home together.

We were happy for a while.

Oh, wow. Look at all of 'em.

You didn't tell me there were so many.

Just grab 'em!

Hey! Found one. I got one over here.

Geez, they're fast.

I got one.

Over there. Over there. Come here.

Hey, hey. There's dogs here, too.

Brother!

A whole bunch of 'em back here.

Got another one. Sister!

Got it.

There's a full-grown pit bull.

Here we go.

Easy.

Easy.

Got her.

Mother!

I'm going out. Come on.

Get a bigger crate.

Coming out.

Mother?

I never saw her again.


I don't know what would have happened to me without Mother Cat.

And day by day,

little by little, Mother Cat became my mother.

Hey. Hey.

It's just here.

Okay. We left work early so we could be basically, what, breaking and entering?

It's not breaking and entering, Olivia.

It's criminal trespass. There's a difference.

Okay, so, like, two years in prison instead of six. Got it.

I'm good, I'm good. Anyway, come on.

Can't say that a guy rescuing kittens isn't hot.

Oh, I'm not saying that. I'm just saying you're not hot.

Oh, thanks. Here.

Come on. They're under here. Okay. Seriously?

Lucas, I'm not going in that hole.

Well, you're the animal rescue volunteer.

Okay. You don't have to crawl in.

Just take a look.

Wow. There's so many of 'em. Yeah.

Apparently, Animal Control came, but they didn't get 'em all.

And now, the builder says he's gonna tear down the whole block, cats or no cats.

Men took my dog family, but this man named Lucas was different.

He came every day... Hey.

And the cats trusted him.

Come on.

And before I could even think, my paws were moving.

Wait!

Lucas! Look, a puppy!

Oh, my God.

Hey. What are you doing here, baby... Girl?

Hey.

And he tasted good, too.

She is really cute.

Hi. Hey.

It will not be hard finding you a home.

Well, wait.

I mean, you saw how she ran right to me.

Maybe that's a sign that her home's supposed to be with me.

Lucas, you cannot take care of a dog, okay?

What do you do when you go to school or the VA?

Listen, I actually live with my mom.

It's not how it sounds. It... She's a veteran.

You might have seen her at the VA.

Terri Ray? Yeah.

Well, she isn't able to hold down a job just yet, so, she's at home even when I'm not.

Listen, maybe a puppy would be good for her, too.

Nothing had ever felt as good as being held by him.

She does really seem to like you a lot.

What do you see in him that I don't, puppy?

Hey, you! Get out of there!

Go, go, go. Go, go. Keep going.

Private property!

I'll see you later, okay? All right.

Yeah. Bye. Call me.

Whoa! Oh!

Hi, Mom. Hi.

I think I'm gonna call her Bella.

Honey, you know we can't have a puppy.

Our lease says no pets.

They say a dog is good for depression.

Who says that? Oh, I'm pretty sure somebody says that.

Is this gonna be one of those things I say is a terrible idea and you do it, anyway?

Yeah. And who do you suppose I learned that from?

Lucas and I played the best games.

Bella, get the ball.

We played Get the Ball.

Stop.

We played Stop.

Stop, Bella. I have to study.

Here.

Have my blanket.

It smelled amazing. Just like Lucas.

We played Don't Chew Shoes.

Bella. Don't chew shoes.

And there was my favorite game of all.

What? What do you want?

I'm trying to...

Oh.

Do you want a tiny piece of cheese?

Tiny Piece of Cheese filled me with such a strong feeling. There you go.

Like I was safe and happy and warm, all at once.

It was love.

I've gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go!

I'm so late.

Gotta go to work. Bye, Bella.

The one game I didn't like was Go to Work.

Be good.

My Lucas blanket kept me company, but it wasn't the same as the real Lucas.

I still had my cat family. Slow down there.

And Lucas became part of that family, too. No, this is not for you, Bella.

This is for the cats. Come here.

See 'em?

Mother Cat!

I love Mother Cat, and I love being Bella.

Come on. We're going home.

As you were, cats.

See you tomorrow. All right.

Bedtime, Bella. Come on.

And at the end of every day, we played...

Sit. You ready for your tiny piece of cheese? ...Tiny Piece of Cheese.

All right. On your blanket. Come on.

Night, Bella.

Lucas was my person, and I was his dog.

I was home.

Whenever Lucas was playing Go to Work... Good girl.

...I would take Mom for a walk.

What is it, honey? It's that squirrel again!

I have to have that squirrel.

It's getting away!

Bella. No, Bella. Oh, it's right there!

Come on, girl. No squirrel chasing.

Come on, Bella. Come on, girl.

I loved Mom, but she just didn't understand how to hunt squirrels. Good.

Nice dog.

Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you.

I'm Gunter Beckenbauer.

Those are my houses there.

What do you want, Mr. Beckenbauer?

Oh, please, call me "Gunter."

I knew that smell.

And I knew this wasn't good. Look.

I know it's your son who's been calling the county building authority about the stupid cats, which I got rid of.

I've lost the whole summer now, so, could you please just ask him to back off?

My son isn't gonna back off, Mr. Beckenbauer, because there are still cats living there.

Animal Control says there's not.

Animal Control is lying, and so are you.

What kind of dog is that? Pit bull?

We don't know. We found her living with the cats you say aren't there.

What I'm trying to say, lady, is that you and your boy do not want to go to war with me.

War? What do you know about war?

Okay.

But let the record show that I tried to settle this friendly, and you're the one pushing it.

No, the record shows that you came here and said we were going to war.

Come on, Bella, relax.

Relax. Let's go do your business.

What is it? Cold, wet.

Ice cream!

Ice cream is falling from the sky! Bella.

It's snow.

It's just snow. Now, do your business.

What? What?

Go on, go on.

Come on, go on. Go on.

Go on.

Go on. Yeah.

I loved Snow Do Your Business. Go on.

Yay! Lucas is home! Hello.

Hi. Hey.

When Lucas came home, I felt joy in my whole body. Hello. Hello.

What's that? I don't know.

It was taped to the door.

Oh, no.

It's the landlord.

He's coming tomorrow to check the faucet.

But I have therapy and you have to work.

What will we do with Bella?

She can't be in the house when he's here.

Just stick to the plan.

If they see her, you're gonna get fired.

Don't worry.

All clear. Hurry up.

That day, I got to do Go to Work.

Bella. Okay, stay here. Stay.

I didn't like Stay.

No barks. Understand?

I'll come check on you in a little while.

You can't get caught, okay, Bella?

Wait, hold on. Where are you going?

No barks.

I definitely do not get this game.

Lucas?

PT reports he's not responding, and recommends going to twice a day.

Okay, well, we can try, but if he...

Um, Dr. Gann, would you excuse me?

Hey, Valerie, I'll be right back. Yeah.

Yes, I was barking, but it worked.

Here you are. No.

Is that the game?

Bella?

Oh, my gosh, she's gotten so big. Olivia!

Hi. Do you know anybody here who could watch her, just for an hour or so, until my break?

Just an hour.

Okay, fine, but you know you only ever talk to me when you have animal issues, right?

Am I interrupting something?

Now, this could not possibly be a dog in the VA against all the regs.

I know, Teo. We can't leave Bella home today.

If the landlord catches us with a dog, we could get evicted.

Now, I understand.

The game is Crowd in a Small Room.

Bella, huh?

You know what?

I've got this.

Everybody? Everybody?

Thought I'd bring a special guest to today's meeting.

I'd like you to meet the lovely Bella.

Hi, Bella. Great. That's great.

Look at that. How long you been sober?

That long, huh?

It was a good idea, man.

Yeah. Thanks.

It'll only happen once in a while. Yeah.

After that, I really liked Go to Work.

Looks like she likes being here. I think she does, too.

I just have no motivation.

Like, I know it would be good for me, but...

I could always feel Mom's sadness going away when I comforted her, like Mother Cat comforted me.

Mack, what's it been like with you?

It's, uh... It's like...

It's, like, pain all the time.

But she wasn't the only one... Every morning.

...who needed me.

Mack was the most sad.

That's real. That's real talk.

You know? Hey, girl.

I'm gonna bring her again tomorrow.

Look who's here!

Now, I have lots of new friends.

Come on, Bella. Look at that.

Drew took me on rides in his small car.

Bella, open.

Steve had really delicious spoons.

Some of my friends had tags, just like me.

Aw, good girl.

Bella!

Bella, get down.

We're doing laundry. Down.

I really liked Doing Laundry.

And everyone played a game called Dr. Gann.

Doctor! Ha!

Dr. Gann. Hey, let's go.

Hey, Dr. Gann. Good morning. How are you?

Dr. Gann. In you go. In you go!

Were you going in, or...

Appreciate it. Thank you. Your turn.

Oh, shoot. Okay, no...

Take your time. Okay. Thank you.

All right. Good morning.

Good morning, Doc. Good morning, everyone.

Morning, Dr. Gann. Good morning, Doc.

Morning. What's up, Doc?

Okay.

Everything all right?

Bye, Doc.

Good girl. What a good girl.

Let's do that again!

So smart. Good girl.

I had fun last night.

Me, too.

Now, whenever Lucas and I went looking for that squirrel, Olivia came, too. Next time, all right?

So, there's gonna be a next time? Got it.

All right, let's go.

Take Bella? Yeah.

I'm gonna call the rescue. Yeah.

Hey!

Wait! Stop!

What the hell you doing?

There are still cats living there. You can't do this.

We've got a permit. That doesn't matter.

You kidding me? Hey!

I have had enough of you, you crazy... They're on it.

Can I talk to you for a minute?

Why you screwing with my life?

How did you even get a permit?

Property's certified. No cats.

Hey. I'm live-streaming, cat killer.

There are no cats!

Mother Cat!

Where are you going?

No cats?

The rescue organization that I work with just called the Building Commission to have your permit yanked.

Like they move that fast.

They do when our board member calls.

She's a county commissioner.

Hey, Gunter.

Yeah.

It's about your permit.

Who on earth could that be?

I don't know. I'll get it.

Excuse me.

There's been a complaint that you may be harboring a dangerous animal.

A complaint? From who?

As you may know, pit bulls are illegal in the City of Denver.

As long as it's on your property, we can't touch it.

I remember him. I am informing you that if that dog gets picked up on the street, it will be impounded.

Have a nice night.

Okay, Bella, this is very important.

We're gonna try this again.

Okay. You ready?

And...

Go home.

That's it, Bella.

Go home.

Yep.

Best game ever!

Doing Go Home meant I should put my head right here.

Yes! You did it!

You did Go Home. Well done.

That was impressive. Good job, Bella.

Good girl. Wow.

So, now, if we take Bella off the property and Animal Control tries to take her, we just say, "Go home."

I loved making Lucas happy.

That squirrel!

I had to have that squirrel.

Squirrel, squirrel, squirrel!

Bella?

Bella!

Bella!

Bella!

Bella, I've been looking all over for you.

Bad dog.

Bella, you can never, ever do that again.

I don't care about the window, but you cannot run away.

Hold it right there, pal.

I'm impounding that animal.

No, you are not. Yes, I am, and that's my backup.

This is a pit bull. And this is a legal impoundment.

If he resists, you arrest him.

Go home, Bella.

Bella, go home.

Go home, Bella. But you need me.

Bella.

Bella, please, go home.

Bella, please. Go home, Bella.

That's right.

Easy does it. Bella, go home.

Easy. There we go.

Don't do that.

Sir. Come on.

Sir, let go, now.

You need to let him have the dog.

Not with that on her.

Let go.

Chuck, let him do it.

It's okay, Bella.

It's okay. It's okay. I got you.

Follow me.

It's okay. I got you, baby. It's okay.

It's okay.

Bella, I screwed up.

I'm so sorry.

All right. All of a sudden, I smelled so many other dogs. You're okay. It's all right.

I will come get you, Bella. Understand?

I'm sorry I didn't do Go Home, Lucas.

I will not let them hurt you. Okay, that's enough.

Step away, please.

Step away.

Please.

Lucas?

It was so loud, and all the dogs were so sad.

Okay.

In you go.

I thought if I did Good Dog, they'd let me go back to Lucas.

I did Sit.

I did Sit some more.

I did No Barks.

I did Lots of Barks.

I really needed my Lucas blanket.

I should have done Go Home.

Come on.

Hello.

Hang on.

Aw, you don't seem like such a dangerous animal to me, sweet girl, hmm?

Come on. Come on.

Hey! Lucas!

Hi. Hi. I'm ready to do Go Home.

Hey. See, I'm here.

I'm here. Well, there's question one.

She's obviously your dog.

Good girl. I know. I know. Good girl.

All right. There you go.

So, you've paid the fine.

I just need to give you the discharge information.

In Denver, all that's required for a dog to be classified as a pit bull is for three Animal Control officers to certify that it is.

And Bella has been certified pit bull.

What does "certified pit" mean?

It means if they pick her up again, she'll be euthanized.

What? That's the law.

Pit bull's a pretty loose description. It's like saying "hound dog."

So, the City Council essentially voted that a dog can be banned from the city because of how it looks.

That's basically racism for dogs.

I know. It's stupid.

I mean, Bella is the most gentle dog in the world.

You should see her at the hospital with the veterans.

I mean, they love her.

What about if we move?

Like, Golden or somewhere out of the city limits?

That works.

Meanwhile, do you have someone who can look after her?

My aunt and uncle, they live in Farmington.

Maybe they could help us. New Mexico?

It's like 400 miles.

I'm really ready to do Go Home now.

All right, here we go. Got your dinosaur.

What else do we have?

It's so good of you to do this.

We're just happy to help.

Olivia's such a sweetheart.

Well, this is it.

I'll be in the car.

Why is everyone so sad?

We're all home, now.

Bella, I'm so sorry.

See you soon.

Okay, I'll sneak out the back window.

At least there's no screen on that one.

Hey.

Here, I got ya, I got ya.

Hello.

Stop.

Backup can't possibly get here fast enough to help you.

We understand the little game that you're playing here.

It's Gunter, isn't it?

You work for him?

Maybe you're just buddies.

Now, you're gonna let my son walk to that car to say goodbye to his dog without any interference from you.

Copy?

Copy.

Go on, Bella. That's it.

Hey.

You're such a good girl, Bella.

I know you won't understand, but I'm not abandoning you.

I just have to send you somewhere safe.

Where are we going?

Why can't I ride in the front with you?

Here.

You gotta have your blanket.

Why did he bring my Lucas blanket?

It should be on the bed.

I promise, very soon, you'll get to go home.

Lucas said, "Go home," but then he shut the door.

I need Lucas!

Please! No!


His scent was fading.

I was getting farther and farther away.

I smelled my Lucas blanket to feel better, but it wasn't Lucas.


Sit.

Bella, come here.

Yes.

Oh, you're so pretty. Yes, you are.

These people were nice.

They took care of me, but they weren't my family.

This wasn't home.

Hello?

Hey, how is everything?

Oh, she's fine. Yeah. Really?

Okay. All right. See you tomorrow, then.

Guess what?

They found a nice place in Golden, and they're coming to get you tomorrow.

I bet you're ready to go home. You're a good dog, Bella.

Jose said, "Go home."

You're a good dog. But how?

Good night.

That feeling came again.

I was supposed to be with Lucas.

I had to find a way to get to him.

I didn't know what that loud thing was, but Jose sure liked to take it for walks around the yard.

But I do remember that from Snow Do Your Business.

Wait.

Yes!

I'm doing it!

I'm doing Go Home!


I could tell that Go Home was very far away.

But I knew that I was going in the right direction.

The feeling now was a pull, like I was on a leash and being told how to do Go Home.

And if I kept going, I knew I would see Lucas again.

By that first night, I was so tired.

And there were so many strange smells.

What's that?

It looks like a cat, but it smells like a dog.

I hope it doesn't come back.

It was breakfast time, but I couldn't find a bowl of food anywhere.

It's not in a bowl, but I'll take it.

This breakfast is really fast!

I need breakfast!

This breakfast was harder to hunt than that squirrel.

I was hungrier than I'd ever been.

People.

There are people down there.

A pack.

Maybe I shouldn't bother them.

But I'm so hungry.

One Tooth is big.

To be polite, I'll carefully sniff where the other dogs have marked.

What?

Oh, Crazy Hair is in charge.

Thanks.

This was a great pack.

They knew just where to go to get the best chicken.

Hey. There you are.

Yeah, today's special. Chicken.

You like that. You like...

I love this chicken guy.

Okay, very good. That's it. That's it.

You can go now, okay? Go.

Coming.

One Tooth was a brave hunter, who wasn't afraid of anything.

It was exciting to learn to hunt from him.

This pack was so much fun. Hello.

Hi, sweethearts.

Oh, and who are you? Are you new?

There you go, sweethearts. Yeah.

Please go home now. Go on home now. Go on home.

How did she know I was doing Go Home?

Go home!

It was a wonderful day. Good boy, Sarge.

But where's One Tooth going?

All right, in you go. Come on.

And Shaggy Butt, too?

Guess that just leaves you and me, Crazy Hair.

Oh, wait.

Everyone in this pack has their own people.

Crazy Hair wanted me to go with him, to be part of his family.

It seemed nice in there, with lots of good smells.

I could be happy here.

But they didn't need me.

Mom needed me.

Lucas needed me.

And I needed them.

Lucy! There you are.

So, I had to keep doing Go Home.


Now, I knew that to hunt I needed to go where there were people and do what One Tooth taught me.


I smelled blood.

It was the largest animal I had ever seen.

And something very bad had happened to her.

Come on! Whoo! Through here.

I see it. Go.

Thing's gotta be worth a thousand bucks.

Oh, at least. Beautiful.

What do you figure? About 125 pounds?

Oh, yeah.

Hey, let's get a selfie. Yeah, you bet.

Okay, ready?

Yeah. Here.

Wow. She's beautiful.

Yeah, that one's going up on the wall.

Yeah.

What is that?

It kind of looks like a cat.

I hoped the cat would leave with me and not get caught by those bad men.

That cat didn't smell like any cat I ever knew.

Was it following me?

Yep, it was following me.

And suddenly, I realized it wasn't a full-grown cat.

It was still just a kitten.

A really big kitten.

Come on, Big Kitten. This way.

That big animal must have been this kitten's mother.

Big Kitten made me think of Mother Dog and how sad I was when she was taken away.

She needed someone to take care of her.


Big Kitten's mother couldn't feed her anymore, so, I did.

I was Big Kitten's Mother Cat now.

Big Kitten needed to eat, and so did I.

So, I did what any mother would do.

I went hunting.

Sorry, baby!

Hey! Hey! Drop it!

Oh!


Many nights, Big Kitten would wander off on her own.

I would sleep and dream of home.

You ready for your tiny piece of cheese?

Here you go. Good girl.

You're such a good dog, Bella.

As time passed and Big Kitten got bigger, she still didn't seem to understand how to do Go Home.

So, when she tried to take me away from it, I would always have to bring her back.

Whenever Big Kitten went out at night, someone gave her food.

Cats love fish, but I wish someone would give her chicken.

We kept each other warm.

We were family now.

I had been smelling something all morning.

Something like dog.

First, I heard them.

Then I saw them.

Their eyes were cold.

They were hunting us.

And I had to protect Big Kitten.


Hey! Get out! Get out of here!

Scram! Get out!

Hey, check it out.

Is that a bobcat? No, no, it's a cougar.

It's a young cougar.

Big Kitten was afraid of the men.

Whoa. That's really fast.

But I decided to see if they would give us food.

Pretty scared to me.

I've never seen a cougar in the wild before.

I mean, this thing was huge. It was like 10 feet long.

Easy, 12. Yeah.

Hey. Let's see if your name is on your tag, huh?

Who's a good girl?

She's a cutie. She is.

Want some ham?

There's your ham. There you go. Sit. Oh, good girl.

Her name is Bella.

Give me a paw. Good girl. There you go.

And there's a telephone number. "Lucas Ray."

Lucas?

I'm gonna call the guy.

Hey, guys, I think there's something moving out there.

Okay, it's going to voice mail.

Hi. You've reached Lucas Ray...

That's him! Assistant case manager at McLaren VA Hospital. Please leave a message.

If you're calling about my lost dog Bella...

Man, she's kind of freaking out.

Please, leave your number or call Olivia at 612-589-1743...

What?

Cougar! Get in the truck! Oh, God.

I'm here, Lucas.

I'm here. I'm here.


It's Snow Do Your Business!


She acted like that was easy.


A dog!

It's been so long since I played with a dog.

Dutch, what are you barking at?

Hey.

Be quiet. Come on! Shut up!

Dutch!

You stupid mutt!

Dutch!

Get out of there!

Dutch!


I could smell the fear of the other dog.

He must be down here. These are his dogs.

Here! Here! Come on.

Is he breathing?

Call 911.

Okay, head up.

Is he gonna make it? Yeah.

You saved his life.

What about the dogs? These are his.

I mean, I guess that's up to you guys.

We can call Animal Control for you, but we can't wait for them.

Sorry, guys. Good luck.

I guess they go with us.

Come on, dogs.

Big Kitten!

Come on. Come on.

Don't take me away from her. She needs me.

Come on, dogs. Come on.

No.

Come on. Come on.

Please.

Dutch, come here.

Come on, girl. You can trust us.

Why do I get the feeling you're secretly enjoying this?

I like dogs.

We need to feed this girl more, though.

You can see her ribs. Out.

Hey, no, no, no, no. No. Don't scratch.

What's your name?

Molly? Ellie?

Let me out.

Blanche. Blanche?

You gotta be kidding me.

My mother's dog was named Blanche.

Well, that explains a lot.

See? He likes it here.

Gavin, we have to give the guy his dogs back.

I like The Golden Girls.

Ever so faintly, I could smell Big Kitten on the wind.

She was waiting for me.

And beyond her, Lucas and Go Home.

Beatrice? Millie? Sophie?

Sadie?

Chloe?

Bella.

Bella.

Bella! See? See, I told you. It's Bella. That's a good dog.

How did he know my name? Your name is Bella.

When we get back to the city, yeah, I'm gonna get you a tag with your name on it.

I am. Yes, I am.

Gavin.

Dutch liked it here, and so did I.

We had food whenever we needed it.

Want a snack?

We were inside and warm.

Dutch and I had a soft spot to sleep on.

And each other.

It started to feel like home.

Hey. Hey.

What's this?

To celebrate you finishing your novel.

Hey. Come here.

Did you put our phone number on their dog tags?

Well, whose number would I put on it?

This smell was familiar.

You helping me?

You like doing laundry, Bella?

Hello. Doing Laundry? I knew that game.

Guess you do, huh?

Yeah.

What is it?

Uh, can you excuse me, please?

That guy from the avalanche... His sister.

He's out of the hospital.

I'm sorry, I...

Yes, I'm sure he is.

Dutch had definitely been here before.

He had marked just about everything in the yard.

Easy, Dutch. Easy.

Hello? Mr. Kurch?

Come on, Bella. Mr. Kurch? Hello?

Back here.

Aw! Geez! Oh, Dutch.

Get down!

Well, Dutch is just happy to see you.

I got 11 freaking fractures, and the dog's jumping all over me.

Get off of me, stupid dog!

Dutch was happy to see this man, but what kind of a man wouldn't be happy to see Dutch?

I'm Taylor. This is Gavin.

We're the ones who dug you out.

I don't remember any of that.

All I know is my sister says you're bringing the dog over, which is ridiculous.

Ridiculous?

I don't understand you.

Do I look like I can take care of a dog?

But they're your dogs.

Dogs? I never even seen that other one before.

Bella's not yours?

But she was trying to dig you out.

I'm not taking either one.

But you have to take Dutch at least.

Whatever you're doing with that other one, do the same thing with Dutch.

Come on, dogs.

Let's go, Dutch. Come on.

Come on.

Come on. That man belongs alone.

Come here.

Come here, Bella.

Good girl. Hey.

So, now, we have two big, slobbery dogs.

Just like I've always wanted.

Oh, they're good dogs.

Yeah, they are. Hey, come here.

Come here, Bella. Come here. There you are.

Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.

The snow was gone, but I knew where I was.

I was near the last place I saw Big Kitten.

And suddenly, I felt it.

The pull of that invisible leash, stronger than ever.

You know what we should do? Go to the pet store.

We need to get dog food.

Dutch wanted me to stay.

To be part of this new family. Hey, hey! Hey, dogs! No, no, no.

No, that's too far.

Come on! Come here.

It would have been so easy. Dogs! Hey, Dutch.

Dutch. Come on.

Hey, dogs. Come. Bella.

Dutch.

Dutch.

Bella, come on. There we go.

Dutch had finally gone home, to a home he deserved. All right. Good boy, Dutch.

Hey, come on, Bella. Come here.

Bella, come on. There you go. Stay. Stay.

Bella!

Wait, Bella. Bella! Come here. Come here.

Bella.

Bella, come!

Bella!

Dutch had found his Lucas.

Come on. Come on, Bella. Bella.

Now, I needed to find mine.

Bella!


I was hungry again.

And I missed Big Kitten.

And Dutch.

I had to find people places, so I could eat, even though they were out of my way to do Go Home.

I looked all over town, but all the good hunting places were closed.

Wait, is that...

Chicken!

And there it was.

Like they knew I was coming.

Hey! Hey!

Stop the dog!

Hey! Stop that dog!

Get him! I got him! Hey!

Food on the floor is always for the dog!

Chicken, chicken, chicken!

It was delicious.

Big Kitten would have loved it.

Hey, maybe you could use some of this, huh?

Little water there?

Attagirl.

Attagirl.

Good, baby.

It's all right. Hey.

Yeah, you're beautiful. Yeah.

Hey, what's this here?

Yeah, let's see. Yeah, dog tag.

It's Bella.

Yeah, they gave me a dog tag, too.

He knew my name.

Have I seen him before? Even without the tags, they got my biometric data on file.

Come on.

Attagirl.

No. Attagirl.

His name was Axel, and he always had me on a leash.

Aw! Hi, sweet girl. Hi.

You are so sweet.

Here you go. Bye.

Thank you.

Whoo-wee.

Good for business, Bella.

Something about him was familiar.

Oh.

Axel was sad the way Mack was sad.

The way Mom was sad.

I wanted to go have fun like I did with the pack, but Axel didn't understand that dogs need to play.

Shh. Easy, girl.

We kept each other warm.

Good dog.

He made sure I was never hungry.

Good dog, Bella.

Slowly, the air got warmer.

But Axel got sadder and sadder.

I didn't think Axel would ever take me off the leash.


I didn't like being chained.

It didn't feel right.

I didn't know how to help Axel and still take care of myself.

I needed to do Go Home.

I love you.

It's just me and you.

You're the only friend I've got.

I love you, Bella.

I love you.

It's you and me, Bella.

You and me.

Bella, I love you.

I love you, Bella.

I love you.

I laid with Axel while the heat slowly drained away from him, until there was no more Axel and he was no longer sad.


I sat, being a good dog, thinking someone would come for me.

Nobody came.

Being a good dog didn't work.

It was as if the whole world had forgotten me.

But I couldn't give up.

I was so thirsty.

I needed water.


Okay, Bella, this is very important.

You ready? All right.

Go home.

That's it.

Go home, Bella.

Go home.

Come on, there's a cool path down here.

Hey, wait! Wait for me!

Hurry up. You're always slow. No, I'm not.

Hey, look. A dog.

People.

What's the matter with it? I don't know.

Careful it doesn't have rabies.

Doesn't have rabies, you moron.

It's stuck. Good dog.

Good dog.

It's chained to something.

What... What is it? There's a body over there.

No way.

The dog's chained to it. Is he dead?

I think so.

What are you gonna do?

Good dog.

Water never tasted so good.

I knew now that my journey was much longer than I'd ever imagined.

Two winters.

How many more winters would there be?

And how many more could I take?

Their smell was everywhere.

They were hunting me again.

I knew they would come.

But I wasn't gonna let them think I was afraid.


Is that...


It is Big Kitten.

And she's a big, big kitten now.


It felt so good to be together again.

And I could tell Big Kitten felt the same.


I knew Lucas would be excited to meet Big Kitten.

And we would all sleep together in the bed.

Lucas was definitely gonna need a bigger bed.

Now, that's a new smell.

I don't know what those are, and I don't want to know.

Big Kitten!


There it is.

Go Home and Lucas.

Big Kitten wanted me to follow her, and I wanted her to follow me.

I knew then that Big Kitten would not be coming home with me to sleep on the bed.

I will always be your mother cat.

I loved Big Kitten.

But I knew I would never see her again.


Oh! A dog!

Puppy, come here! Come here, puppy!

Come here! Come here, puppy!

You okay? Yeah.

Just stop. Please.

What's happening?

Come on. Please stop.

Here, boy. Come here.

Come here, girl. Come here.


Come here, baby.

It hurt so much, but I had to keep going.

The streets and the houses started to look familiar.

I finally did what Lucas told me.

I did Go Home.

Lucas! Mom!

Who's there? Lucas!

Oh, oh.

Okay, you can't be in here. Come on.

Come on. Right, let's go outside.

Everything was different.

Come on. Come on.

I'll give you a treat if you come outside.

Lucas? Mom?

Goodness.

Where were they?

There's a stray dog that just pushed its way into my house.

I could smell they had been gone for a long, long time.

I tried so hard, and I'd come so far.

I just couldn't take another step.

Mother Cat?

How did you get so small?

Call about a stray dog? I did.

You. You.

Mother Cat watched me leave, just like Big Kitten did.

I guess that's how cats say goodbye.

There was just one more place to look for Lucas.

That's good. Later.

See you. Bye.

Dogs? Yeah, that's a good boy.

I used to be the only one.

Um, Olivia? What?

I think a stray dog just came through.

The alarm goes off, I get up.

I got somewhere to go.

I like the job.

No way.

Can't be.

Bella?

It is her! Come here! Come here, girl.

What happened to you, girl?

What? What is it?

No. Lucas?

It can't be.

Bella!

Lucas, Lucas, Lucas!

Bella, Bella! You're alive.

I can't believe it.

Bella, where have you been all this time?

Is that Bella? Yeah, it is. It really is.

Bella!

Oh, my God. It's been like two and a half years.

Hi. Lucas! Olivia! Mom!

I did Go Home!

She came home. I know, I know.

Can you call the vet, tell him we're on the way?

Yeah. Yeah. I'll get the car.

Lucas? Lucas, there's an officer outside who says you have to bring that dog out.

I'm so sorry.

Come on.

You kidding?

All right, everybody.

No big deal. Nothing to worry about.

I'm just here for that pit bull.

And if any of you interfere, these officers, they will arrest you.

We don't want any trouble, but we have to take that animal.

I thought I'd see why half the department is out here on a routine Animal Control call.

Anybody want to fill me in?

Captain, I'm here for a confiscation, and some of these people, they're trying to turn it into some kind of a situation.

It's obstruction, harboring a dangerous animal, and disobeying a lawful order.

Uh-huh.

Well, which one of you is responsible for this crime spree?

I thought it might be something like that.

That a pit bull?

Doesn't look like a pit bull to me.

She's my dog, sir, and she's hurt.

I'm taking her to the vet.

Well, I'm sorry to tell you that Chuck's right.

We have to take your dog in to the shelter.

All right.

But to do so, you've got to go through the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps.

1st Infantry, Army.

82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army.

6th Fleet, United States Navy.

101st Airborne, Screaming Eagles.

4th Infantry Division, United States Army.

You really want this thing to escalate?

Do you?

Ma'am, my job is to enforce the law, and the law says I've got to impound this dog.

Now, if that means Tasers and pepper spray, then that's what it means.

Under Denver city ordinance 8-...

Wait.

He said "Denver."

That's right.

But this isn't Denver.

This is federal property. It's what?

The VA Hospital is federal property.

It isn't technically a part of the City of Denver.

So, that's it, Captain.

There doesn't have to be a fight, 'cause you don't have jurisdiction.

Hmm.

So, where did you two serve?

Basra. Kabul.

Hue, Tet Offensive.

All right. Show's over. Let's pack it up.

Yeah.

If I see this dog leave the premises, I will pull your car over.

No, you won't.

Chuck, I get more complaints about you than all the other ACOs combined.

Turn that vehicle in. I'm pulling you out of the field.

And nobody is pulling anyone over for a dog.

Got it?

Good.

Oh, my gosh, Bella, we missed you so much.

I don't understand what just happened, but I'm pretty sure it was good.

Oh, look what I found in the chest.

I totally forgot.

Come here. Remember this, Bella?

My Lucas blanket!

I wanted to try something. Yeah.

This was her favorite thing when she was little.

But after all she's been through, I don't know if she'll remember.

Bella, do you want...

A tiny piece of cheese. ...a tiny piece of cheese?

She does remember.

She's an amazing dog.

She really is.

I was really home with Lucas, and Olivia, too.

I was where I needed to be.

And Big Kitten was where she needed to be.


I finally understood that the invisible leash that led me to Lucas was made of love.

He was my person.

And I was his dog.