— TIGER —
Specialty HIT Colras Full Attention Req'd v. CJ CD, RN, CGC,
February 11, 2008 — Let's
take a break from reviewing the Best of Breed entries from last year's GDCA National.
After four installments, I imagine many in the audience are ready to see something
I'm pleased to
present Tiger, an exuberant three-year-old
who belongs to Stacey and Chantel Johnson. Or perhaps, from Tiger's point of
view, they belong to him. Lovingly trained and expertly handled by Chantel
(co-owned by Colette Raasch), Tiger lives and plays in Topton, PA. Some
of you will remember him from an
earlier article. This week
you'll learn a bit more of Tiger's story, as told by Chantel:
IN OUR MIDST
By Chantel Johnson
If it hasn't happened to you yet, it will.
That vulnerable moment when your heart opens to a puppy you didn't plan on taking
home with you. It happened to me at the 2004 GDCA National held right in my back-yard
in Fort Worth, Texas. I was still feeling empty from the loss of a beloved old
Dane friend and feeling sad for the one I still had with me whose illness wasn't
getting any better. I couldn't imagine being Dane-less.
Enter "Tiger" — official
name Colras Full Attention Required v. CJ. During the evening parades at the
National along comes Colette Raasch, being joyfully led into the commotion by
a four month old puppy boy which she bred. He was all big feet and lips and sleek
and solid black. That night this puppy was totally unfazed by the noise, crowd,
music and occasional power outages. This friendly and fearless baby took two
seconds to steal my heart. He has lived with us ever since.
Go Get 'em, Tiger!
The bundle of fun
grew and grew and retained his exceptional disposition and personality. It was
this joy for life which attracted me to him from the beginning. We began obedience
school and took a Rally Class from our friend Barbara Bristol. It was Barbara
who introduced us to Valerie Fare. Val has a keen eye for finding animal actors
and models. She fell for Tiger's temperament and striking presence. In short
order Val had a commercial shoot scheduled for Tiger! He was just ten months
old and his part was to appear as an unruly, untrained big dog at an obedience
class! The commercial was for a well-known company marketing a new robotic toy
dog which would obey its owner's every command. Tiger was to be the example of
what happens when you don't train your dog! Barb took Tiger to the shoot since
I could not get away from work to go myself. She said the pup was the center
of attention at the shoot and performed his misbehavior perfectly. He appeared
in nearly every scene.
I really didn't intend for Tiger become an actor. He's my companion
first, my obedience partner second and a "show dog" third. Recently
Val called again to tell me there might be another commercial for Tiger. She
warned me that this shoot would require more "acting" from Tiger than his previous
commercial. She also said that the company might not want to use him because
he is black. Dark colored animals are very difficult to light properly. It is
hard to capture their facial expressions and not have them end up looking like
a dark blob on the screen. To make matters worse, Tiger's co-star was to be a
gorgeous white standard poodle. So much contrast might be too much for the crew
to work with. But Val felt Tiger would be perfect for the part. The product in
the commercial was a fat-free healthy canine dog treat.
is of an overweight owner and his chubby dog walking passed
a lovely slim lady and her equally lovely poodle. The man tries to suck in his
gut and the lady rolls her eyes in dismay. The next several scenes show the man
and his dog working out, eating right, losing weight and getting fit. The scene
which follows features the now fit man and his fit dog walking past the same
lovely lady and her poodle. This
time the lady and her dog are very impressed! In the final scene the newly slim
dog and the poodle are lying together on a picnic blanket. In the background
you can see the lady oohing and ahhing over the man's new muscles.
We went to the shoot not knowing
for sure if the company would accept Tiger. Nor was I sure Tiger would perform
the tasks he needed to do for the commercial. Among other things, Tiger was required
to hold a fake 50lb dumbbell weight in his mouth, be a spotter for the bench
pressing actor, run across the gym while the actor did aerobics, catch a treat
from a distance and jog on a treadmill along side the actor who was also on a
treadmill. I was especially worried that Tiger would not want to run on the treadmill.
The crew custom made a giant treadmill just for Tiger's 36 inch 175 pound bulk
because his stride would not fit on a normal sized machine. I knew he just had
to be able to do this! Thank goodness for my patient husband, Stacey. After a
few tries he had Tiger jogging on the treadmill as if he'd done it al his life!
Needless to say, the cast and crew were smitten with Tiger. He got the gig.
(More to follow next week)
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