The Dog Doc (2020)

A scene from Cindy Meehl's documentary 'The Dog Doc'


THE DOG DOC (2020)

Documentary starring Dr. Marty Goldstein,

Directed by Cindy Meehl

Cindy Meehl, the director behind 2011’s real-life horse whisperer documentary “Buck” turns her focus to the 184 million pet dogs and cats in the United States with her new feature “The Dog Doc.” The eye-opening film about Dr. Marty Goldstein and his practice Smith Ridge Veterinary Center details how the veterinarian has prolonged the lives of hundreds of his four-legged patients leading some to believe he’s a miracle worker. His holistic approach to animal care has raised more than a few of his colleague’s eyebrows but the proof remains. Seeing animals come into the clinic after euthanasia was suggested by other vets and watching them leave healthy and revitalized is pretty miraculous. Halleluiah.

In 1986 Dr. Goldstein held a lecture on cancer where he showed the records and cases of his success stories. Still, one of his best friends left to go stand outside the door of the auditorium to warn people not to go inside because “this guy is crazy.”

Over the last three decades some veterinarians have called Goldstein a “quack” for his integrative treatments which combine conventional methods with alternative ones that include acupuncture and vitamin C therapy. But as you’ll see in the film, over the 2 ½ year period that Meehl spent embedded with Goldstein and his staff at the South Salem, NY practice, there have been scores of success stories.

Pet owners are interviewed as the documentary focuses on a handful of cases like 12-week-old Waffles whose owner Leigh describes how her playful dog became lethargic. After visits to two different vets, she was told to told to take Waffles to see an internist at an emergency hospital. The diagnosis, joint and liver inflammation but the staff at Smith Ridge noticed that Waffles may have had an adverse reaction to the rabies vaccine and there is no conventional medicine to treat it. Leigh begins to shed tears of joy when she’s told that they can treat Waffle’s condition using a vitamin C pack and homeotherapy methods that focus on the pet’s overall health not just the diseased part. 

Filled with testimonials by former skeptics, some who have begun practicing with Goldstein, and candid footage of pets in treatment, “The Dog Doc” will make you a believer in “Dr. Marty’s” approach to treating sick animals. Not every story is a success and there are moments of heartache. Goldstein knows he can’t cure every animal, but he never gives up fighting.

You may have seen Dr. Marty before on the Martha Stewart show talking about healthy foods for pets. His holistic medicine philosophy, as explained in the film, began when he was 26 and became ill. Goldstein would easily catch colds, he had arthritis problems, and so doctors prescribed steroids and antibiotics. He began searching for alternative methods at a time when holistic medicine didn’t exist and discovered the power of different foods, acupuncture, and homeopathy. The same methods Goldstein used to cure himself are now carried over to his furry patients.

Our pets are like our children; we want nothing but the best for them. “The Dog Doc” should be required viewing for all pet owners and probably your veterinarian. It will open your eyes to methods in caring for your dog or cat that you may not have considered before.

(3 stars)

Available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and Apple TV

Joe Friar is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Los Angeles) and the Houston Film Critics Society.  He co-founded the Victoria Film Society and reviews films for Hit Radio 104.7 and the Victoria Advocate.

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Joe Friar is a member of the Critics Choice Association (Los Angeles) and the Houston Film Critics Society. A lifelong fan of cinema, he co-founded the Victoria Film Society, Frels Fright Fest, and is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.

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