Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog (2004) Script

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"QUILL" film partners presents

Directed by Yoichi Sai

A seeing eye dog is trained... to safely guide the blind.

One morning, five puppies were born at the home of Ms. Mito.

Mr. Tawada?

It's Mito from Tokyo.

One of the puppies... had a spot on it's bellly, very unusual for a Labrador.

This was Quill.

Hello, Mr. Tawada. This is Mito.

Good puppy...

Hello. Mito, here.

May I speak with Chief Tawada?

Mr. Tawada?

I'd like my puppies trained as guide dogs.

Impossible. The mom is too ordinary.

The qualities we are looking for... are hereditary.


Are you sharing?


Hello, Mr. Tawada. It's Mito again.

OK, you win. But just one.

Mr. Tawada...

How do I choose which one? They're all so smart.

Try calling them.



Good puppies.

The ones that come right away are out.

The right one is the one that... stops and looks as if to ask "What's the fuss?'

You are not... an ordinary puppy.

So be good!

This was Quill's first parting.

Here it is.


Made it alive?

When it's ready to leave its mother... the puppy is brought to us "puppy walkers. "

We're volunteers who raise puppies till their first birthday.

Like foster parents.

Fiirst there was R for "Ran", then J for '"Jonah"...

Leave this to me.

Q for... Q-taro :

We must also give the puppy its name.

Quill: Large stiff feather.

Very modern.




Scared? Happy?

I feel the same way.

Quill is the third puppy we raise.

Here we are!

Looks a bit tired.

It's the drugs, for the flight.

What's this cross?

It's a spot.

Looks like a bird.


You shouldn't scold this puppy.

Why is that?

It's an unpredictable dog.

This is your home, Qoo.

And this is the garden.

Under our loving care... the puppy will learn... to love and trust humans.

He's waking up.

This is the first game Quill learned.

Puppies grow remarkably fast at this age.


Hey, Qoo!

Qoo, Come!

I'm off.

Let's see Daddy off.

A puppy's job is to sleep.

Look, Qoo!

Cherry trees. They're beautiful in spring.

This year particularly.

Three months later the puppy can go out.


Those are girls.

Like me, a long time ago.

And this... is...

What's so funny?

That was a snake!

Don't get up...

Sleep tight...

Hush, hush!

Pea the Bear is Qoo's first pal.

Qoo's fascinatedby it's squeak.

A week to heal... in frilled lizard-style.

I'm going.

Watch the nose.

Let's go.

What's the matter?


Qoo, dinner!





Oh no, snow!

Qoo, this is snow.

You can play in it.

It's winter.

When spring comes, Quill will turn one... and leave us.

Cherry trees.


That day we walked longer... farther, and really slowly.

Tired, Qoo?

What's so funny?

What do you know?

Happy first birthday:

Let's go.

With sad eyes, he was asking, "Aren't you coming?"

This was Quill's second parting.

OK, go!

Once again!

OK, go!


Quill's new life was at the training center.

Only those who do well become guide dogs.

OK, let's go.

Oh, he fell for it!

Easily distracted by food.

Test of dog's aptitude.

All of you... must work harder!

Pascal - very sensitive to sound.

Poggie - barks, easily excited.



First, morning exercise.


Next, obedience training.

What's wrong? No!





What a cool spot you have on your belly.

And quite a handsome muzze.

Long legs too.

How about a walk?

Heel. come...

That's it. Come.

Little ditz!

This harness is your necktiie.

Once it's on, you're on duty.

Taste good?

You like it?

Next, road training.

This... is a curb. Curb.

Learn it.

Good dog! And here... is a corner. Corner.

Left, go!

This is an obstacle.


Obstacle. Learn it.

Go around it. Good!

Curb, corner, obstacle. Remember these!

Once again.

Missed this one. Come.

Watch for the obstacle!



Good dog!

Now what?

Good. Go straight.

Go right.

The cabbage. Are you iistening?

Look at the stalk!

If the stalk is yellowish, press the leaves.

The leaves must be crispy.

Got it?

This is my father.


Hey. Etsuo!

Mr. Watanabe.

Oh, Chief!

Stinking of dog, as usual.

The dog's with me.

A dog? Here?

Training. Handlers go shopping too.

I'd rather stay home than be pulled around by a mutt.

Got the cabbage!

Is it crispy?


My brother. He loves dogs.

Go ahead, pat.it.

Let's go, Etsuo.


Quill was a bit surprised.

Will you please learn? Curb!





Good dog.






I see.

Who'd have thought!

Was he waiting all this time?

Like a real guide dog.

Very good.

Quill got much praise.

Waiting quietlyy is an important job for a guide dog.

My dad is head of the local society for people with disabilities.

Let's go.

Excuse me.

Mr. Watanabe!

Oh, Chief.

What's with the "go go?'

Will you try walkiing with a dog?

Go away, I'm busy.

Must be at the city hall by 3 p.m.

More appeals for beeping stoplights... and textured blocks.

No time to waste.

You'll be late.

Shut up!

With the dog, it'll take 5 minutes.

Five minutes?


No, the other way.

OK, relax.

Don't be afraid.

I'm not.

His hand was shaking.

Are we moving or what?

Let's go. Hold the lead.

Qoo, straight, go!

Off we go.


You're a born handler.

Of course.

Learned the stick in just 8 months.

OK, careful.

Very good.

This was dad's first walk with Quill.

He was a bit shaky.

Why stop?

He's saying there's a corner.

Stopped again.

Do you know why?

Sure, I know my way around.

Of course.

Move already!

Go! Go ..

See! The dog disobeys... if the commands put you in danger.

Hang on!

It's too fast.

Slow down, damn it!

OK, it's ten to three.


I have an appeal for... beeping traffic lights.

I'll take it.

How'd it feel?

Too fast.

I'd bet you used to walk even faster.

That night, dad bumped into a parked truck... and got injured.


This is Peter.

I've been waiting for you :

Let's go!

The final stage is training with the dog and its handler.

Oliver is here!

Hello, old boy.

Together... they spend a month learning to work as a team.

I'm coming in.

How about some light?

This is your bed.

You're roommates now.

Come on!


"Skin-ship" is important.

I can't touch him.

You must!

Take him for a walk too.

I'll leave the lead here.

My dad had decided to get a guide dog.

Pooh, pooch.

Are you done?

Come on!

Hurry up :


OK, follow the rhythm.

Good, good.


Step, step, ok!

Keep going.



Very good.

Turn left there.

Right, go!

I said left!

Why English?

Because Japanese can be confusing.

Man and dog made for an odd couple.

Quill, stop.

3, 2, 1, curb.

Praise him!

I said "praise," not '"scare."

Men started using dogs as guides for the blind... a long, long time ago...

Are you listening?


Sorry. It's hard to tell if you're dozing.


In ltaly, in the city destroyed... by Mt. Vesuvius...

Pompeii! a drawing was found... of a man, guided by a dog...

You're hurtiing him.

He said "skin-ship".

"Sharing of feelings through physical contact"'.

It's Japanese-made English.


I looked it up.

This is a one-way street.

Let the dog guide you.

You want to buy a beer?

May I?

Of course. This is not a prison.

I'll pass.

Right. Let's save it for...

...the graduation ceremony.

Better a stroll, than alcohol.

Well said!


OK, let's go.

Ms. Kamata, you go fiirst.

You next, Mr. Totsuka.

What a nice breeze.

Rain sucks.



Your age.

You sound like you're twenty-four.

Say something else.

She's almost twenty-five.

Oh, you're here.

Try your lines with Quill.

The final exam.

Straight, go!




It's your fault.

He warned you.

Listen to the dog!

You don't know.


What it's like to be blind.

Do you want to teach me?

I know many blind people...

...but you know only yourself.

You may know many...

...but you have no idea how it feels.

Are you ok?

Are you hurt?

Graduation day.

To Tokyo, Peter!

We'll go to Takeshita Street.

Handler Certificate Then, we'll go to the famous Kyoto temples... and Nijo Castle... with the famous "nightingale'" floorboards.

Take care of him, Oliver.

Not so fast. We'll be with you initially.

Dad failed the exam.

Mr. Watanabe!

Where to?


It's dark..

It's always dark for me.

Don't leave the Center.


I fancy a beer. Which one?

This one?

Must be this one.

Damn it!

No Braille.

Another miss.

Last try.


Not this one?

OK, I'll do as you say.




Dad's training was finally over.


Thanks... for everything.



Extend the right leg forwward.

Point to the direction.

Quill's first steps as a guide dog.

Our home.

Dad's using English.


Welcome home.

Hey, meet Quill.


It's that dog. With the cross.

It's a spot. A quill.

We made him a house.


It's so small.

Do we have to rebuild it?

Mom's no good with dogs.

I had no idea... it'd be that big.

As long as he likes it, it's fine.

Welcome back.

Back up.

Quill's first night in our home.


Put this on.


Here each day begins with some incident.

Hey, Quill.


Common causes of bed-wetting are...

urologic dysfunctiion or emotional distress.

Are you distressed, Etsuo?

His face changed.

Of course. This is his work face.

He cannot bark, nor pee nor poop... no matter what.

Let that be a lesson to you.

That's a lie.

He pees secretly.

Dad just can't see it.

But he has to stop to pee.

Dad would notice.

I bet he poops walking.

Let up! We'll be late.


He's as stubborn as his father.

Keep walking! I know my way.

They're both reckless too.

That day's incident was a major jam.

It's ok.

Walk straight.

Good morning.


OK, wait!

Almost there...

Mr. Watanabe!

Oh, Chief!

First walk was a success.


It's so exciting!


I told you not to go on your own!


You'll get killed.

Quill too.

Do it again, and you lose the dog.

Center for People with Disabilities My dad's workplace.

And now, Quill's too.

So warm.

Liike velvet.

He's not like other dogs.

Lucky you!

Is it hard...

to look after him?


It's really easy because... he's so smart.

Tell him "Go!"

In English?

Of course.

Japanese can be confusing.

OK, Quill. "Straight, go!"


We're moving... but too fast.

I bet you used to walk even faster.


Where'd he go?

Down the hall...


What are you up to?


Hey, Quill?

Hello, everyone!


I feel a touch of spring as... the aroma of the laurel blossoms... fioats in the warm air.

This is the voice bulletin...


Are you ready?

Let's try.

This is the voice bulletin!

Quill, don't! Stop it!

Voice and editor - Watanabe.


Let go.

On side A of this tape...

Stop it!

Let go.


You got him an umbrela?

He was wet.

He's my dog. Mind your own business!

Stupid dog!

That night, Quill ran away.

You here?


Is it yours?

Thanks for your call.


Let's go!

My father was worried to death.

You fool!

How about a drink?

Mr. Quill, you work like a dog... day in, day out.

I can see why you'd want to run off.

Help yourself.

It's just leftovers.

Go ahead.

Try it.



I'm home.


Hide, hide!

Oh, you're home.

I'm back!

You're home, you mean.


What are you... up to?

You let the dog in!

Answer me!

It's really hot outside.

He must be suffering.

Let him cool off.

Is that ok?

It's too hot outside.

Right, Etsuo?

Here, Qoo!

You've to say "Come!"

Well, ell...

Qoo, do as you're told!

We're almost at the top.

Level with the clouds.

Are you ok?

I'm fine!

Tell us if it's too tough.


Oliver can turn off the lights.

Don't teach him such tricks.

Quill can pose for pictures. Right?

Seems to know his "good" side.

My dog does it too.

Oliver top.


When I get lost, Quill takes me home.


Yes, comes and even leaves home as he pleases.

No, no. She means...

I let him go out to have some fun.


Hold on.

It's been a while...

Yes, thanks to Quill.


Your arm's so thick.



Go straight. The fifth door on the left.

That was my parent's first and last trip.

Quill couldn't stay with them though.

What are you doing?

No, stop it!

Quiet, quiet :

Stop it! No!

My hands aren't free, you know?

Party's over!

Go to sleep!


I can't see.

Get off me. Down!

Down, down!

Voice bulletin.

Sound map of the city.

Let's walk down this quiet street.

There's a nice scent in the air.

Is it the scent of lilies?

I can't tell.

That was Quill sneezing.

And yonder, we have...

Kuwayama Shrine.

Let's rest a while.

The recklessness of his youth... had taken its toll on his health.

I feel much better.

Late autumn... beside his diabetes.

But dad never stopped working.

You made a mistake.

Did l?

Why can't you get it right?


Let the letters convey your emotions.

Once written, then they make sense.

Still hanging in there?

Oh, Chief!

I'm on my last legs.

For you.

Asiatic lilies.

Two for 200 yen.


Your father wants to see yyou.

Just me?

Just you.

You're taking Qoo?

Till your dad gets well.

Won't be for long.

Dad got sick... and Quill had to leave us.

It was the end of our second autumn with Quill.

While he was waiting for dad Quill worked... in guide dog demonstrations.

Quill kept waitihg and waiting.

Three years passed since he left us.

My father was in and out of hospital.


How've you been?

Qoo, Stop.

That's enough.

Their last walk together...

was only 30 meters.

Great voice.

And very loud too.


He was a strong man.

Says he was a good man.

Liiked to give lectures.

And never left you alone.

Had to know everyything... and always had advice.



He came.



You can't go...

ahead of... the dog.

Quill's eyes were fixed on my father.

He must have thought he was just asleep.

You know what? You may be...

just a regular guide dog...

but you were the best.

That was Quill's third parting.

Seven years later.

Quill never worked as a guide dog again.

He lived in the center till he turned 11.

Let's go in the garden!

Quill had remembered everythihg.

As if he had never left our home.

That's how it felt.


You don't have to leave anymore.

Do you remember?

We parted here... on your first birthday.

Now we'll go wherever you want to go.

Back in our home, Quillled... a quiet and relaxed life.

A year went by.

Go back to sleeep.


It hurts...

I know.

It's time.

Thank you, Quill.

It's time to rest.

Hush, hush...

Hush, hush...

When you get to heaven, let them know you are... our Quill.

Farewell Quill.

Quill died aged 12 years and 25 days.

Kaoru Kobayashi

Kippei Shiina

Directed by Yoichi Sai