I write books about rescue dogs and so I get a lot of dog stuff in my Facebook feed. I also post dog memes and photos of rescue dogs and so it’s not surprising that for the last month or so I’ve been getting sponsored ads about a movie that finally hit theaters yesterday.

Mark Wahlberg has made some really smart choices in his career. Not all of them, but who has made 100% good choices in their personal or professional life? I sure haven’t. But Wahlberg has made more good ones than bad and Arthur the King is a great one.

What’s not to like? If an underdog sports movie isn’t enough then adding a dog will make it better. And adding this exact dog made it perfect. Seriously, we need a special category at the Oscars for dogs and their trainers.

I love underdog sports movies. I’ll even watch bad underdog sports movies which is odd because I never watch sports. Arthur the King is great because it’s an endurance sport which is not what most movies are about and I haven’t ever seen in one episode of any survival show.

Wahlberg plays pro adventure racer Mikael Light, who is desperate to win the Adventure Racing World Championship which is a 435-mile endurance race. It’s a team of four athletes who are all looking at this race as their last chance to be winners. The casting director made great choices with this foursome.

The movie is based on Mikael Lindnord’s book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home. Light meets a stray dog, and it’s a shaggy dog and what could be better than a shaggy dog, and that dog changes the trajectory of the race and ultimately of Light’s life. Dogs do that.

There’s enough at stake, enough conflict, the stakes get raised higher and higher, there’s some laughs, a ton of heart, it’s really smartly written and directed, and, of course, there’s an awesome rescue dog. I love that the dog who plays Arthur is a mutt. His name is Ukai and he’s an Australian shepherd/border collie/Bouvier mix.

No spoilers, the dog doesn’t die, and it’s everything a movie should be and then some.