Marley And Us

I’m incognito.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

“Congratulations! You and your dog have been chosen for the obedience class scene … for the movie being filmed in Miami; Marley and Me.”

It’s true. This was a small part of a big and exciting e-mail Fort Doberdale received late Wednesday afternoon while the bread winner (also the blog writer) was at work.

Did I mention EXCITING? I almost yelped, but the fact is, I want to keep this a secret, and yes, I consider this outlet still keeping a secret as I’m not telling anyone, really. Whoever happens to read this, though, that’s fate.

Back at work, I stood up and held both fists against my lips and took a couple laps around the small area by my desk, to let off some energy immediately upon reading the subject heading of the e-mail. That one of my coworkers could see me was a risk, but this was one time I was happy he is a Mr. Spock clone. Had he asked me, “Is something on your mind?” I know I would have spilled the beans. But once I got over that initial thrill, I found an inner happy peace, and maintained myself.

That is until my boss came back from a meeting he’d been in the whole time I was getting riled up. I had to think about how to approach the subject of time off. Mostly, I’ll need to take some days off next week. The rehearsal is not a problem as it’s on the weekend. So I had to tell him the truth because that would make the day-by-day way I’ll be going about taking time off next week fair for him and me.

They say the filming is on one day, a 12-hour day that starts way before the crack of dawn, and should be done that day. However, if it’s not, we will need to go back the next day. Either way, I will need the day after to recuperate, so it’s going to be a day-by-day exciting adventure in both the movies and in scheduling days off.

You might be wondering how the FDSP got to this point. Fate. I think that was it. An e-mail came to me from someone I really don’t know. Really. Mine was in the “to” line with just a few other e-mail addresses I didn’t recognize, and I had to let that e-mail sink in. And when it did, I got together with Luigi and we took pictures as the e-mail instructed and sent them off.

Helen and Luigi

Then we considered many things after we hit the send button. We were too late. It was a hoax e-mail. This was a really good gig, and well, South Florida is rather incestuous when it comes to good gigs, so did we even have a chance? But this patter of pessimistic thinking proved to be a grand waste of fretting energy.

After we got the “you and your dog were selected” e-mail, I called the contact number to find out who they wanted as the dog portion of the team of “you and your dog.” I was sure it would be Luigi, the handsomest of handsome, but much to my surprise, the answer was, “A female. He wants a female. Any female, natural or cropped, but a female.”

That pretty much left out the Hercules of my Doberworld out. Luigi could never pass as a female. I considered the reason why, and it didn’t take me long to figure out that there are going to be a herd of Marleys, and I am going to assume they are males. I figure the star calls the shots, and he wants to be surrounded by gorgeous doggy babes where possible.

My next consideration was who among the girls should go? The DoberDiva was first to enter my mind. Shortly thereafter, the DoberDiva shot out of my mind as a BAD IDEA. You may gather why. She IS the DoberDiva. What Diva have you ever met wants to be second fiddle?

Baby, The Queen Mother Speaks

Baby, the Queen Mother, made a spectacle of herself on Monday night when she chopped so hard to get treats, that her teeth nearly flew out of her snout. To top off this theatrical Baby drama, when I fed her the treats, Liver Biscotti, she made sure she crunched each little piece as loudly as possible. Why? This is so the other dogs – not only the dogs in our drill class but all those in the rodeo arena and its outskirts plus the ones living in the mobile home park behind the arena – would hear her. It’s true. Stacy, the drill class leader even mentioned, with laughter, at how she had never met a dog that cruched a treat THAT LOUD. Have you ever seen Liver Biscotti? It is the size of a short pinky fingernail.

So this is why I came to the heart-breaking conclusion that Baby Puss DoberDiva would not be the one to go.

OK, and the fact that she is almost 11 years old and has arthritis in her back and may not have the stamina for a 12+ hour day (heck, will I?) also convinced me. I even took a stab at calling a doggy acupuncturist which I happened to get the name of from Stacy on that very Monday night class, to see if we could get into see her. The voice mail today was, “The vet has an opening on Monday.” Well, I’m not sure if the acupuncture will work that fast and all the Diva stuff is still quite prevalent in my mind. The bottom line is, Baby is my baby, and I would dearly love her to be part of this. But Baby is a social butterfly and a scene stealer, and I would more dearly love to see this project through.

Baby and her fans

So that’s why I had to choose Leissl.

Yay Leissl!

Not that Pippin was out of the running that fast, but Pippin has a bum front elbow that doesn’t keep going all day – except if she’s hunting lizards – and she is the Pippinator.

The Pippinator

Pippin is very rugged, as feisty as they come, but very obedient. She is a gem. So when I figured that Leissl is the second Dobergirl in order of adoption, well my conscience felt most comfortable with Leissl as a choice.

Now that Leissl has been picked, she has a lick spot on her hind quarters, which I fretted about all night. I thought there was black chalk or black skin paint or something to cover it up. I just couldn’t find a consoling advertisement that would say, “Yes! If you spend your money and the inordinant amount of dollars for the overnight shipping costs, this product will do what you need it to do.” So I e-mailed a friend who is a breeder, about this dilemma. She said to use magic marker. Er…probably I won’t.

So to be up front about the hot spot, I called the contact for a second time and explained Leissl’s dilemma. She told me black chalk for the un-dry hot spot and (get this) head spray paint for bald men if the hot spot is dry. She also told me to get something for athlete’s foot and put that on the hot spot. It will dry the spot up fast!

Ewwkay. So at lunch, I mosied out to Walgreens. Have you ever heard of paint for bald heads? Frankly, I hadn’t, so asking for it was a thrill. Luckily, in this day and age, most clerks have heard much more absurd requests than that. So the clerk took me over to the hair dye section, and as we looked, and discussed this, a co-worker of mine came down the aisle. Might I add that there are a few people in life that have the skills to spread information around as fast as this co-worker? That I was thrilled about this encounter was an understatement.

You see, I am a person who doesn’t dye my hair, but am willing to spray paint my dog with bald men head spray for a part as an extra in a movie, and I don’t wear make-up. I used to do all that stuff, but my dogs said, “Why you do that? It’s not good to put chemicals on your face and head, and we love you the way you are.” And Raven added, “Plus, with the money you save, you can buy me more toys.”

Eww kay.

Back to the aisle and the fact that the co-worker was listening, and heard the clerk telling me of the two beauty supply stores to pay a visit to to find “this product.” I walked away wondering what rumour I will be hearing about myself down the line.

I decided to make a quick stop at CVS because there was no Absorbine Jr. there at Wallgreens either. Guess what? CVS had no bald man head paint spray either, and no Absorbine Jr. So I bought some athlete foot cream which happens to have the same ingredient as over-the-counter yeast cream for women. So being I’m a value hound, I had to go into the feminine hygience section of the store to see who was paying more, athletes or women, for this product. Thankfully, it looked like a pretty even keel sort of exchange, so I walked out of the store with the tube made for the feet.

I wonder what the people who tossed sweet Leissl into a shelter would think of her now. They would never get a dog from my rescue.

Onto the rest of the adventure!

Helen & Leissl

About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

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