Pet Tales: Dogs, cats vie for local TV ad, Letterman spot
Chance, 15, miniature dachsund walks on his front paws during his audition for David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks at last weekend's 2012 Pittsburgh Pet Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Chance was brought to the auditions by Pat Holcomb from Euclid, Ohio, with the Dachsund Rescue for North America Inc.
Share with others:
The competition was fierce but friendly at the Molyneaux Casting Call, in which 197 dogs and three cats posed and preened, hoping to land a starring role in a television commercial for the local carpet and flooring company. Some of the dogs did tricks, two of the cats "drove" a child-sized car and all of it was captured on video.
As competitors stood in line at the Pittsburgh Pet Expo last weekend at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, people wished "good luck" to the competition as they petted and admired each other's pets.
Ledger, 3, attracted a lot of attention because he's big, beautiful and rather rare. Sisters Donna Walker and Jackie Walker of Indiana Township explained that their 108-pound dog is a Tibetan mastiff, bred in ancient times to guard the temples of Tibet. Ledger, whose thick, double coat is a "red gold" mix of colors, wagged his tail at the people he met, touched noses with friendly dogs, and was well-behaved and regal during his video session.
And, it was all for a good cause. Molyneaux had agreed to donate $5 to Animal Friends for each pet that auditioned. The maximum donation would be $500, said marketing director Pat Molyneaux because he never expected 100 animals to show up. He was awed and impressed with the quality and quantity of the dogs and cats, and upped the company donation to $750.
Mr. Molyneaux will review the audition tapes and pick the winners for a commercial that he expects to air during the Christmas holidays. Among the familiar faces I saw was a black and tan one belonging to Anastasia, a Rottweiler who does pet-assisted therapy with Laura Sokolovic at Three Rivers Hospice and Palliative Care.
The Rottie also took part in another activity at the expo, auditions for the Stupid Pet Tricks segment of "The Late Show With David Letterman." Anastasia sang "Happy Birthday."
The two auditions also drew Waffle and Tirzah, cats owned by Gregg and Karen McCandless of Butler. The cats, who have been in this column several times, ride in a small car remotely controlled by Mr. McCandless.
Ten people auditioned pets for the Letterman show. Professional dog trainer Joe Orsino of Lower Burrell brought five dogs, including Gracie, a German shepherd wearing sunglasses. He gave Gracie four leashes attached to Yorkshire terriers named Sapphire, Indy and Emmet and a Shi Tzu named Tiger Lily. Following hand signal commands from "Mr. O," Gracie led the little dogs around the audition ring, turning left or right when asked to do so. No one pulled on their leashes. Contestants were told they will get a call or an email if they make the show.
Animal lovers who vacation at Atlantic City know that a large number of feral cats live under and around the famous boardwalk. Many people have worried about them since Hurricane Sandy struck New York and New Jersey. They're doing all right, according to a news release from Alley Cat Allies, a national organization based in Bethesda, Md.
The cats are returning "seemingly healthy and unfazed despite the damage to their home. We prepared prior to Sandy's landfall, but we also knew from experience that these resourceful cats would instinctively head for higher ground and protect themselves," said Becky Robinson, who founded the group in 1990.
With the cooperation of Atlantic City officials, Alley Cat Allies sent a disaster response team to rebuild cat shelters and feeding stations.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project was launched in 2000 to feed and care for the cats and to trap them and neuter them before returning them to the boardwalk. The goal is to stabilize the number of feral cats by preventing the birth of kittens.
Alley Cat Allies says they are working to help homeless cats and feral cat caregivers in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-240-482-1980 for further information or to make donations.
Santa Claus is posing for pictures with "all his bunny friends!" says the news release from the Animal Nature store, which is hosting its third annual Holiday Bunny Party from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at 7610 Forbes Ave. in Regent Square (15221).
Cost is $10 for one rabbit, $20 for two to three, $40 for four to six and $50 for seven or more rabbits. Proceeds benefit Rabbit Wranglers, a local group. Pictures will be delivered electronically by Dec. 12, from Maxi Nation Photography.
Pets can be photographed with Santa Claus at the Animal Friends Shelter in Ohio Township from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 and 25. The first session will also have a bake sale. Reservations are not being taken -- just walk in.
Dogs must be leashed and other animals must arrive in carriers. Three photos are $10, and they'll be mailed out after the event.
The shelter's pet boutique shop, 562 Camp Horne Road, 15237, is also open and stocked for holiday shopping with treats, toys training supplies and other pet-related gifts.
First Published November 10, 2012 12:00 am