Chester & Rodney - Rodney’s Debut
My name is Rodney. I am a three and a half month old Berger Picard puppy. My biological father Chester is an award-winning author, so I figured it was high time I followed in his wordsmith footsteps. He’s also an athlete and actor, so it was fitting that I recently followed in his thespian footsteps, too. Yes, I landed my first acting gig. It was more of a modeling job, but I still had to capture the expressions of the character I was playing. I started rehearsing in front of a mirror as soon as I found out I’d been chosen. This job was for a well-known catalog company, coincidentally, the same company that gave Chester his first acting gig when he was two and a half months old.
I arrived on set with my human mom and immediately saw the shots list. I was to pose in about eight or ten different dog beds, then I had to wear some doggy bath towels. Last, I had to be dried with both hand mitts and a long towel with pockets. This sounded like a lot of work to me, but as it was my first job, I didn’t dare complain. I hear that, if an actor is labeled “difficult”, he will soon be standing in the unemployment line.
So we got started with a donut bed. No, it wasn’t actually made of donuts. Don’t be embarrassed, I thought the same thing when I read it on the shots list. I actually started salivating a bit. They wanted me to lie down in the bed. This was not a problem for me because mom taught me the “down” command. Mom put me in place, said “down” and gave me a dry treat. Down I went, looking every bit the adorable puppy they wanted for their catalog. As soon as they took a picture, I walked over to mom, who didn’t seem too pleased. She put me back on the bed, again in a down, and this time told me to “stay”. Well, if you’ve ever been a puppy, you’ll know that “stay” is an unattainable goal for us. Another picture and up I went again. Mom looked a little more upset when she led me back this time. Down, stay, one picture, and yours truly got up again. I could see mom’s mind working as she remembered that she’d also brought cheese. She pulled out the cheese, let me get a whiff, put me back in a down/stay on the bed and - voila! - I stayed put like the Statue of Liberty. So much like a statue that I had to coaxed off every time they wanted to change beds. Once the bed was in place, it was all I could do to get into position on the new one as quickly as possible, knowing that the payoff was a piece of soft, delectable cheddar.
We shot a bunch of beds with me in a down. Then we transitioned to shooting on a flat, travel bed with me lying on my side. The entire crew was impressed as mom led me to my spot, said “bang” and I immediately laid on my side like broccoli. They took tons more pictures, some with a toy between my front paws, some without. Then the towels shots, with various designs, such as dinosaur and lizard. Finally, my coup d’etat - sitting in a dog bed with a Santa hat on. Can you say adorable? Will I make the catalog cover like Chester did almost six years ago? Even if I don’t, my modeling debut will undoubtedly go down in history as a huge success.
If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "Insider Training: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.