Dog Gone ending and Gonker’s fate explained

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… you’ll want to go out and make friends with a yellow Labrador retriever. We’ll be surprised if watching Dog Gone on Netflix doesn’t make you want to do all three and audiences are cherishing the film since its release on Friday, January 13th 2023.

Directed by Stephen Herek, the American biographical drama film is a must-see for dog lovers and focuses on father-and-son duo John (played by Rob Lowe) and Fielding Marshall (Johnny Berchtold) searching for their lost dog, Gonker.

Inspired by a true story, it’s a heartwarming and emotional journey. So, let’s dive into the Dog Gone ending and get it explained.


Dog Gone. Cr. Bob Mahoney/Netflix © 2022.

Dog Gone ending explained

Fielding’s adopted dog Gonker lives with him at university but the pair later return home to his parents, who take a liking to man’s best friend.

A stick in the mud presents itself when Gonker is diagnosed with Addison’s disease and has to have a shot each month for life-saving treatment. This doesn’t seem too much of an issue until Gonker vanishes one day after chasing a fox.

When he doesn’t return, Fielding and John search for him on the Appalachian trail while John’s wife Ginny helps with the search locally

The race is on because Gonker will essentially pass away in 20 days without his life-saving shot. On the other hand, their efforts are strained due to Fielding experiencing stomach issues, which he hides from his father for fear he’ll call off the search.

Fielding eventually grows much weaker and he wakes up one morning in the car to find his dad has driven them home. John and Ginny attempt to dissuade him from pressing on with the search for Gonker and Fielding prepares to come clean about the stomach pains he’s suffering from.

Do they find Gonker in Dog Gone?

Yes. The family receives a phone call from somebody saying they’d seen the dog from the missing posters eating from their trash just recently.

Before Fielding can confess about his stomach to his parents they head over to the man’s house and he shows them the nearby trees where he has seen the dog emerging from. They call to him but he doesn’t appear straight away.

Nevertheless, after spirits drop he moves out of the trees to lift them, alive and well. When they return Gonker home, Ginny also imagines being reunited with the dog from her childhood named Oji.

While Fielding’s beloved friend is safe, Fielding himself passes out and is taken to hospital with ulcerative colitis, receiving life-saving surgery.

He remains in hospital during the recovery process but struggles to sleep without Gonker, so John sneaks him in to lay by Fielding’s side, bringing him the familiar comfort and allowing him, at last, a good night’s sleep.

‘That’s the really important part of the story’

Chatting with Movieguide, Rob recently talked about his love of dog movies and what makes Dog Gone so special:

“First of all, I love a good dog movie and I love a good movie that’s going to make you cry. Not traumatize cry… happy cry. But the story of the father-son bonding and, you know, healing of that relationship and the family coming to be able to know each other in a way that they didn’t before going through this crisis… I think that’s the really important part of the story.”

Discussing Fielding and his character John, he argued that “They see the world differently. They react differently and for the first time, I think they make a good team. They have different strengths, different weaknesses and previously that was probably not easy but now it’s actually a strength.”

Dog Gone is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

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