Almost a decade ago, filmmaker Eliot Rausch captured the final moments of a sick dog called Oden after his owner, Jason Wood, made the heartbreaking decision to have him euthanised. The result was a stunning documentary called Last Minutes with Oden.
Rausch’s beautiful short film is incredibly emotional and an intimate portrait of the intense relationships that exist between people and their pets, especially dogs.
The award-winning documentary is only six minutes long, but that does not limit the power of its punch, and it will leave you a crying wreck.
Once you’ve finished watching the film – which, at the time of writing, has been viewed 3.3 million times on Vimeo since it was first published back in 2009 – you can also watch Eliot talking about it in his interview with Carson Daly.
Last Minutes with Oden won the award for Best Video at the first Vimeo Festival + Awards back in 2009. Rausch scooped a $25,000 filmmaking grant as his prize.
Wood, the subject of Rausch’s film, had severe ADHD as a child, for which he was heavily medicated, leading to drug problems in later life – though he eventually got clean. Wood had spent a decade behind bars but now focuses on helping others in difficulty.
He is “a radical, Mother Teresa-type-person,” Rausch told NPR in 2010. “They call him the Mayor of Long Beach … His life is dedicated to loving on the forgotten people.”