Friday, February 8, 2013

Feel-Good Friday: Uggie

Feel-Good Fridays have featured uplifting stories, typically about some heroic or noble act performed by a rescue dog.  I'm taking us in a different direction today. . . all the way to the big-time baby. . . Hollywood!

Uggie has been all over the media the past year and a half.  Did you know he was the first canine to put his paw prints in cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater? Not Lassie, not Rin Tin Tin, not Benji. 

Uggie was legitimized this way near the end of a campaign to get him recognized with an Oscar for his role in The Artist, which won Best Picture in 2012.  While the Academy did not recognize him, he did bring a lot of attention to animals in film, especially the way they tend to steal the scene from their more human co-stars.

Uggie was in a lot of different movies and shows, and he has his own entry on the Internet Movie Database. But that's not why I'm featuring him.  Uggie is a rescued Jack Russell Terrier! He went from being a dog not one, but two, families decided was untrainable to walking the red carpet for the 2012 Academy Awards!

He even went to the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2012.

Omar Von Muller took Uggie in in 2002 when he was headed for a shelter. His previous two families found him too spirited to deal with, and had given up. Unfortunately way too many people make decisions to get a certain breed based on appearance or fame and then find they can't handle them. DO YOUR RESEARCH to get the right breed or mix for your lifestyle. Uggie is lucky, but a lot of Jack Russells wind up in shelters because of their energy levels.

Luckily Omar, who is an animal trainer, saw something in Uggie he knew he could work with.

 According to an online article on Gawker, "The main message that Uggie would like to send to everybody out there is to please adopt," said Uggie's trainer, Omar Van Muller. "He's adopted. He made it. If you guys can adopt a dog, even if they don't make it on the big screen, they'll be big stars at your house."

Congratulations to Uggie on his happy life and his career. He's retired now, mostly doing public appearances and such. How blessed the animal world is to have trainers who look to shelters first.

Please take some time this weekend to find some spoiled pet pictures. I'd like to run the story near the end of next week or the beginning of the following, so I need your pictures. I'll also need more rescue stories very soon!

* All pictures are either credited directly beneath or linked to their original sources.