Dear Dr. Forsythe: I have a 2 year old Miniature Schnauzer who is very smart and extremely cute. “Dufus” can even do tricks. He looks like a little star, so I was wondering about getting him in movies and TV. I think he would be great but I’m not sure how to get him started in the industry. What do you suggest? I’d love it if he could pay for my retirement.
– Daisy, Novato
Dear Daisy: If you really feel that your little dog has the “it” factor and is destined for stardom, the first thing you need to do is get him an agent. There are theatrical agents in Hollywood who specialize specifically in animal talent.
You should make sure you have a great photo of Dufus, and that he is well trained in all basic commands. While beauty and an engaging personality are important, your pet will have no chance for success in Tinseltown unless he is well mannered and easily adapts to any situation. It’s also important that Dufus is the type of dog with a personality that gets along well with other animals and can cope with crowds, noise, lights and cameras. Entering the world of show business can be daunting; being successful as a pet performer requires the same hard work, luck and great timing for a dog as it does for a person trying to break in. As Dufus’ guardian, you should be prepared to put everything you have into this endeavor. It should also be your passion, so if your goal is strictly financial and you plan on using your pet as a “cash cow” then I suggest you just let Dufus entertain the neighbors when you take him on walks and figure out another good way to bank a nifty retirement fund.
I do have a client at my hospital whose beautiful little Jack Russell Terrier has been in several commercials and print ads. His owner is very excited and proud of this success, and I know first hand that it can be a rewarding and fun thing for a dog and owner to accomplish.
Coincidentally, my lovely greeter at the hospital, candy-striper “Twiggy,” was recently asked to audition for the role of “Rufus” in the upcoming play “Legally Blond.” Of course, she will go to the audition and give it her best shot. (Although it is a minor role and Twiggy sees herself as more of a young ingenue). My philosophy is that great stars have a tendency to soar across the heavens, so I suspect this acting opportunity will be the beginning of a budding career that will catapult Twiggy to super-stardom eventually. Luckily, Twiggy has a staff of supporters who worship her on every level, so if you are as devoted to your Dufus as we are to her, I’m sure your little mini Schnauzer will find his star on the Hollywood walk of fame eventually. Good luck on this journey.
- Dr. F