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How Close Does Netflix’s Dog Gone Stick To The True Story Behind It?

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Netflix’s Dog Gone may have had to stretch some details for dramatic effect, but the film itself is based on a real event. As the New York Post reports, Fielding Marshall adopted a golden retriever mix named Gonker from a dog rescue in 1991 after the death of his newborn daughter and split from his then-girlfriend. The two became very close, and even after Gonker was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, Marshall was diligent in giving his dog the necessary monthly injections to keep him from going into a coma.

In October 1998, Gonker fell into the wilderness while hiking the Blue Ridge Appalachian Trail. Marshall and his mother established a command center where they would post maps and reach out to anyone and everyone who could help, making the search a widespread effort. On October 25, Marshall was contacted when Gonker was spotted eating trash at a ski resort – 111 miles away.

The larger-than-life journey became the subject of the book Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home, written by Marshall’s brother-in-law, Pauls Toutonghi. Aside from some character motifs, the biggest departure Dog Gone takes is setting the events in the modern world as opposed to the 1990s, with the film’s quest for Gonker growing thanks to the help of the internet and social media becomes a global issue.



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