Stacey M. Zipfel’s documentary can be a powerful shock therapy session for animal lovers because it goes where documentaries aren’t going on a regular basis – in the darker zone. What if you have a best friend, someone who cares about you enormously, and you find out one day that you might lose them to a nasty disease? How would you react? What is the best choice in this situation? What if this amazing friend is your dog that was around you when literally nobody was? To these questions, director Stacey M. Zipfel managed to find the answers right from the source, from the people who encountered these situations and found the courage to speak to the world.


From the beginning, we have to say that this documentary is very sad but filled with positive vibes. The pain is everywhere, in the eyes of every pet friend that doesn’t know what’s happening, but feels like something’s not right. The cases presented in this film are heartbreaking at first, but as the story builds up you will find out how well people know how to take care and decide for their pets in order to expand their life span. Sometimes the decisions are harsh, but they need to be taken, even if they are not one hundred percent what the owner wants. More than anything, ‘My Friend: Standing Strong’ has educational value! Every pet owner should watch this documentary as soon as possible in case of an imminent emergency. We try to take good care of ourselves, we eat right, we exercise… why not focus the same on our pets?


Dealing with such an important topic, every minor production mistake is forgiven, as in such a  situation, we value the message more than anything.  Maybe not all the shots are perfect, but they represent the natural state of life, and they look better this way – a little bit raw, a little bit unfinished.


Every veterinary school should have the opportunity to present this documentary to their students, to make them aware of how important their work is, and how careful they should be not only with  dogs, but also with all  the wonderful animals out there.