Dogs season 1, episode 1 review: The Kid with a Dog

Netflix's "Dogs" 1.01, "The Kid with a Dog," showcases a girl and her service dog. Courtesy of Netflix.
Netflix's "Dogs" 1.01, "The Kid with a Dog," showcases a girl and her service dog. Courtesy of Netflix. /

Netflix documentary series Dogs is here, and we’ve got the first episode review right here for you.

Each of the six episodes of the Netflix documentary series Dogs tells a self-contained hour-long story about the bond between humans and their pets, beginning with “The Kid with a Dog.”

In this episode, a Cincinnati-area girl with epilepsy named Corrine receives a service dog.


A West Chester, Ohio, girl named Corrine started having epileptic seizures three years ago. It’s made things a little more difficult for her family, her sister Carly explains, but they’ve adapted – keeping an eye on Corrine while grocery shopping, or Mom sleeping in her room just in case she goes into a seizure.

They’ve tried several medications to help, but most of them haven’t worked. And they’ve been on the waiting list for a service dog for over a year.

That’s where 4 Paws for Ability, located about an hour northwest in Xenia, comes into the story. They are an organization that provides service dogs for children with a wide range of disabilities, and have worked out a method to teach service dogs how to scent out seizures and alert their people when one is incoming.

Corrine’s dog is Rory, a standard Poodle, as a tougher and determined personality was needed because she seizes so often, 4 Paws Training Director Jeremy Dulebohn stated during the episode.

When they finally meet, it’s love at first sight. “We’re hoping he can be her best friend,” Mom says.

Still, it’s hard for Carly, being necessarily excluded from Rory’s life for the most part so that he will bond with Corrine.

At 4 Paws as the training started, viewers also meet Meghan, a girl with severe struggles in motor skills (and possibly, it’s implied, spina bifida). Her mom gives a lot of the soundbites describing the emotional toll of a special-needs mother.

“She’s probably not going to have a normal life, but…now that she has the dog, that’s like instant cool for kids. I hope they won’t see her as the kid with a disability, they just see the kid with a dog.”

“Life with Rory has been awesome. It’s been really good for my whole family, because they don’t, like, have to watch over me every second,” Corrine explains.

The episode closes with Mom’s comment that while she’ll probably keep sleeping in Corrine’s room at night just in case due to “mothering instinct,” it’s taken a weight off her shoulders knowing she and Rory can tag-team their approach to protect her.

Our thoughts

First off, the pacing was very, very slow, and the editing atmospheric. That may not appeal to everyone, and the intensity might leave some viewers exhausted mentally afterwards.

Most of my siblings have special needs or disabilities, and I’m visually-impaired, so I thought the quiet anxiety of special needs living came through very well, as did the frustrations of Corrine (being left out) and Carly (everything revolving around Corrine).

4 Paws sounds like an amazing thing to be a part of, and getting a closer look at how service dogs benefit their people was terrific.

This episode is well worth watching; 12/10 recommended.

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