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Sarah & Domino

A Mutual Rescue Film, 2019

“Domino was broken. And I felt broken, as well. He was everything I needed when I was nothing.”
—Sarah Coletti

About the Film

Sarah’s chronic pain and dependence on prescription medications eventually set her on a downward spiral to addiction and isolation. She lost many friends to the opioid epidemic and had nearly given up hope. Then she rescued a badly neglected dog named Domino and their lives changed dramatically.

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Read the Q&A

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Q&A with Sarah Coletti

Q: Why did you submit your story to Mutual Rescue?

Sarah: When I discovered Mutual Rescue’s films, I felt so deeply grateful and connected that I reached out to thank Mutual Rescue for creating the initiative, and that’s when I learned that they would be accepting story submissions in the near future. I submitted my story because I am the forever-grateful recipient of mutual rescue. I couldn’t believe it when I found out my story was selected for filming. I realized I could potentially help both people—those struggling with chronic illnesses addiction or those who have a loved one struggling with addiction—and animals.

Q: How has Domino changed your life?

Sarah: Domino has changed my life in so many ways. I most certainly wouldn’t be alive without him. I would’ve never gotten into working with animals were it not for him. He continues to save me on a daily basis. Life has been particularly rough lately, and without Domino, I surely would have relapsed by now. Domino is truly the best aspect of my life.

Q: How has Domino inspired you to work with other dogs?

Sarah: Without Domino, I don’t think I would have ever understood the power of behavioral modification, nor do I think I would’ve gone back to school to get officially certified. Seeing the changes in Domino made me realize I could help other animals, too. I was also still very uncomfortable and anxious around people, so I figured the best way to help other people was through helping their beloved companion animals. Not only that, with all the health issues I deal with on a daily basis, it’s the dogs I work with who keep my spirits up.

Q: What advice would you give people who are struggling with addiction?

Sarah: First, it’s important for them to realize that their life matters and they have loved ones who need them. Next, I’d recommend finding others in long-term recovery and letting them help. We multiply each other’s joy and divide each other’s troubles and pain. They should truly know they’re not alone and there are many people who would love to help them. There’s no shame in asking for help. The shame comes from not asking for help. Also, realize it’s literally a life-and-death situation. And never forget, getting clean may seem impossible but it’s far less impossible than continuing to live a life of addiction.

Q: What are your hopes for “Sarah & Domino” and the Mutual Rescue book that includes your story?

Sarah: I hope they will inspire other people who are sick and suffering to turn their lives around. It’s been very challenging for me to put it all out there, but I did it in the hopes of coming across as my true, authentic self so that it might help other people and animals. Even if you can’t currently adopt a pet, you can always volunteer at a shelter. Being around the animals will help heal your soul—I definitely know from experience.

I would like to dedicate this film to the memory of my best friend, Jeff Pointer. Gone far too soon. Forever missed and deeply loved. See you “When I Come Around.”

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