Even if you never watched the show Lost, you probably know the whole series wrapped up recently. I was a total Lostie, and cried through much of the final episode, especially at the very end. And even all these weeks later, I still get teary eyed thinking of the final scene—all because of a dog.
(*Spoiler Alert*) In the final moments of the series, one of the main characters, Jack, collapses on the sand to die after saving the island where the plane crashed, and in turn, basically saving the world. (Long story, one I still don’t totally understand.) Anyways, as he lie there alone, Vincent, the yellow lab that roamed the island after crashing with the rest of the survivors, comes running out of the jungle. Vincent snuggles next to dying Jack, and Jack smiles, even though he knows he’s heartbeats away from dying. It’s just such a heart wrenching moment. The scene parallels the beginning of the entire series when Jack awakens to the lab licking him as he lay in the sand after the plane crashed. Really kinda cool story telling, I think.
I’m not sure why that scene is so powerful to move me to tears. Sure, it’s sad to see one of your favorite characters sacrifice themselves for the greater good. But when that dog showed up, call a plumber, because those waterworks started flowing. Certainly, it was comforting to know Jack wouldn’t die alone. Did Vincent know he was dying or was he just happy to see his old friend?
Lots of folks in online forums have pointed out that DOG is GOD spelled backwards, and that Vincent’s appearance was really symbolic. Others talked about how many ancient cultures believed dogs escorted the dead safely to the underworld.
Maybe this was all part of the writers’ symbolism for the story. But I think the idea that Vincent knew Jack was dying, and that he was there for Jack to help him pass on is what makes it so moving. I’m in love with the idea that animals know more than we give them credit for. If I’m having a bad day and Hershey gives me a little extra loving, it really warms my heart to think she somehow knows and wants to help. It’s wonderful to know animals are there for you no matter what, even when you’re dying and no longer any use to them.
Perhaps that’s it. What was in it for Vincent? It was a selfless act from a dog. Dogs never really want any more from you than to give and get love. It’s nice to know you have a creature like that in your life. A sweet little soul that will be there for you in your final hour—even you’re not alone on a desert island after saving the world.
It was an incredibly moving moment on television; one that didn’t need any words to speak so many. One that reminded me how amazing dogs really are.
Have you missed any of the articles in this series?
If so, you can find them at:
The Bringing Up Puppy Series page.