Want the scoop on my little movie star? Here’s the play-by-play:
Last week I got a message from my dog trainer asking me if I could please call her. When I did, she offered Arthur and I an amazing opportunity. Betty White was going to be in town filming a commercial and doing a photo shoot for Morris Animal Foundation and they needed well-trained dogs to participate. Would we be interested? Heck yes! It was super short notice, so I had to do some rearranging at work, but what an opportunity! I had to make it happen.
I have a little experience with things like this, (I was in a “short” once and then have done hair and make-up for something similar before) and knew somewhat what to expect: An afternoon of waiting around while they film take after take and do lots of touch-ups on hair and make up. So when my trainer told me that we were actually going to be an alternate, they actually had all of the dogs they needed for the spots, I had a brief thought of “Should we even bother?” But then I realized, “Um, yeah, either way, I’ll get to meet Betty White and anyway, once they see Arthur he’s gonna get to be in it.” Because, I know that everyone thinks that their own dog is the cutest dog in the world, but I’ve actually had other people tell me that my dog is the cutest dog in the world. So my bias doesn’t count.
When we arrived, we were standing in the hallway, waiting to go into the room where the filming was going to take place, and Betty came out of the elevator. She met Arthur and was exactly what I expected her to be like: a sweet, charming, hilarious little old lady that is just like everyone’s Grandmother (and slightly hard of hearing).
We went into the room to film the commercials, and after she finished the first spot she bee-lined for Arthur, and came over to pet him and visit with me. She wanted to know all about him. She was curious about his age, and him being a service dog, and told me all about her little shih tzu that she just lost that was just his size. Five minutes later they were starting their next “spot” and the producer came up to me and let me know that Betty insisted on having Arthur in her lap for this one.
|Arthur and his new friend, Buck, with the "stage moms" as we waited our turn.|
It was an interview-style spot, so I’m not sure how they’re going to use it or what for, but he sat there and behaved very nicely. She introduced him and said that he was the service dog of a “very good friend of hers” and winked at me. I had to stand off camera and keep his eye contact so that he would behave himself, and he pretty much did, just gave a few yawns. At one point, the director got in-between Arthur and myself, and Betty stopped in the middle, “Excuse me, Honey, but I need you to move, Arthur can’t see his mommy.” It was so cute.
After that we waited for a while, and then he sat on her lap again while she did an interview for the local news. It will be on Channel 4 in Denver, probably on Monday (I think afternoon), I’m not sure (they weren’t sure either). They promised to send me a clip so I’ll post it on here later for all of my non-Denver readers. He didn’t behave quite as well that time, the camera man got in-between Arthur and I at the end and I couldn’t call his name to get his attention to get him to behave. He was trying to scramble out of her lap so he could lie next to her and put his head in her lap. All of the “acting” was cutting into his napping schedule, for sure.
|The only one that even remotely came out on my camera. I think the camera might be broken. Plus, Arthur obviously wasn't being a very good boy with me distracted by taking photos. This was right before they started the news interview.|
We had one more quick job to do after the news spot. We went up to one of the rooms in the hotel for “head shots.” They took some of just Betty (and the whole time she was asking “But where’s Arthur? Don’t you think I should have Arthur?”), then they put him on her lap for a few, and then they took some of just him. He’s such a ham. Seriously, he just shows off. You tell him that he’s handsome and he poses for the photos. I'm sure he'll be happy to sign autographs.
What a fun day! In the end she was saying goodbye and stopped to pet him, “Arthur, I’m not going to see you again,” she said sadly. He kissed her face. He still has pink lipstick on his ear.