Man’s best friend?

You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody with a deeper appreciation and love for their pet. Ben Moon, a US photographer and film-maker, has paid homage to his closest ally, Denali, in a short film of the same name which captures their close bond.

What makes this pooch so special?

Denali has been by his owner’s side ever since Mr Moon took him home from an animal shelter in 1999. They travelled around America together enjoying a nomadic lifestyle – and the handsome canine helped his owner to attract women. But he stuck by Denali during the toughest period of his life, too.

When was that?

In 2004, Mr Moon developed colorectal cancer. In the film, which documents a day out at the beach and is narrated by Mr Moon from Denali’s point of view, “Denali” recalls: “We were camping at Joshua Tree [the national park in California] and Ben stood up by the campfire and just passed out and he started bleeding.”

What happened?

Mr Moon was treated in hospital and his faithful companion remained at his side throughout. The footage shows a photograph of Denali curled up in his owner’s hospital bed.

Was it a harrowing experience?

Thankfully, Mr Moon was eventually declared cancer-free – but Denali was diagnosed with cancer soon afterwards. “I don’t know what I would have done without Ben,” says Denali’s “voice” in the film. As Denali’s health deteriorated, his devoted owner took him to visit their favourite places one last time.

Heart-warming stuff – but I’m more of a cat person, really…

It’s hard not be moved when Denali says: “My last night was really peaceful. I wasn’t hungry any more, so I let Ben know it was time and he let me sleep on his chest all night.” The next day, Mr Moon took Denali to the vet, where he was put down.

You didn’t say it was going to have a sad ending…

The film, which is less than eight minutes long and was written and directed by Mr Moon’s friend Ben Knight, has touched people around the world. It won the Best of Festival and People’s Choice awards at its premiere at the 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale, Colorado.

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