Rescue Dogs Get A Movie – Hallmark, Pedigree Get In on the Act!

by Mary Haight on June 24, 2010

BC_eye.jpg, Border Collie exhibiting "Col...
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 Adopt, don’t buy is getting a new shout out from some big names in the news: Hallmark and Pedigree partnered to produce a movie about a rescue dog, tossed in a shelter by one show trainer, who gets adopted and makes good as a herding dog with show ring smarts.  The rescued Border Collie not only saves the farm and family relations, but also saves some local school children too! You’ll have to tune in this Saturday, June 26th at 9pm ET for the Premiere  broadcast of “You Lucky Dog” on the family friendly Hallmark Channel.(Sorry Harry Hamlin and Natasha Henstridge, it’s really all about the dog here:)

I got a chance to speak with internationally renowned  trainer, competitor and judge in the Herding Dog field, Joyce Geier, engaged by Hallmark as their dog expert.  Geier shared the inside story of Lucky the dog star of the movie, who is a great little actor and, being no Diva, performed all his own stunts. Geier noted that a couple of trainers from NW Canada worked with Lucky to produce the necessary result.  She said that with movies you have to speed through training – every day impacts the budget. “It usually takes a year to 18 months to make a dog useful in the field.” For the movie role, Geier can get it done in 2 months.  Task performance is far different than the actual thinking dog you get in sheep trials and the show ring.  Lucky took 5 months to train for his role in “You Lucky Dog.” 

Geier wanted to halt any possible misconceptions about the breed before popularity looms large. She made it clear that Border Collies are not dogs for inactive families.  They demand what many of us would consider to be an inordinate amount of activity, both physical and mental.  She mentioned that a several mile run or hike would be a good start to day, but don’t think you’re going to have your tea and sit for awhile. The Border Collie is just getting started! [Tashi would think this dog was crazy, being the lap dog he is, and I would probably have a breakdown if I had to do any more than the morning hike!  Knowing your limits is a very good thing!]

In case some parents think they can handle it because their kids pine for the cute movie dog, Geier cautions that if you do not expend all the dog’s energies, “they will take up landscaping in your yard, and you won’t like it.” With 25 years of teaching herding skills and obedience, I would pay close attention to her advice.

I got an advance copy of the made-for-tv movie, and it’s a nice little summer flick for young children and their parents to watch together.  Nothing bad happens to anyone, the family is saved from hard times, the story line is easy for the very young to follow and kids learn a very positive lesson that rescue dogs from shelters are as capable as any other when they are in the right hands.  And of course the message that you should check out your local shelter and adopt is one I’m all for:)

Many thanks to Joyce Geier who took time out of her busy day to speak with Dancing Dog Blog, and to Hallmark for making her available!

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