Forget purebred dogs like Lassie, Beethoven, Toto, Buddy, Marmaduke, Chloe, Papi, Eddie, Asta, and all those 101 Dalmatians that were a boon to puppy mill breeders and pet shops.
Today’s top dog is the mixed breed.
Pudsey from Britain’s Got Talent is in Hollywood with his owner, Ashleigh. Pudsey has a Las Vegas gig, a book deal and an agent. And they get to fly in Simon Cowell’s luxury private jet.
Pudsey is a cross between a Border Collie, Chinese Crested and Bichon Frise.
Aleister, a rescued terrier mix, stars in Steve Carell’s new movie, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
As the earth is about to be squashed by a giant meteor, (with no hokey Bruce Willis heroics in sight) Carrell wakes up from a failed suicide attempt to find a little dog with a note attached, “Sorry,” which he takes to be the dog’s name.
“Sorry enters the story right when Dodge has reached his lowest low and given up hope altogether,” explains writer/director Lorene Scafaria, herself a longtime dog owner. “He wakes up that morning and finds he has been given someone else’s burden, which becomes a responsibility that gives Dodge’s life meaning again." Source
They team up with Keira Knightley to go on a road trip during which Sorry manages to steal the scenes. According to Knightley:
"He had an amazing ability to find the camera. Even if he wasn't meant to be in a shot, you'd suddenly find him. It'd be my close-up and suddenly the dog would be right there licking my face." Source
One problem with using mixed breed dogs in movies is finding dogs that resemble the star to use as doubles. After scouring shelters they found Mulligan, a dog who was scheduled to be killed that day, and two more dogs who resembled them.
Search for a new Benji
The poster dog for shelter dogs turned movie star is Benji.
Brandon Camp, whose father created Benji nearly 40 years ago, and dog trainer Mark Forbes are conducting a nationwide search for a new Benji.
Using the power of the internet they have set up a Facebook page and will be looking on line and in shelters for a dog with the right star quality.
The new Benji must be mischievous, medium-sized, scruffy and street-smart with soulful eyes. Comfortable as hero or underdog, yet likely to be a stray. Must be a fast learner, able to charm millions and willing to work for food.