The Dogfather, is a family comedy about a bulldog named “Sonny” who is the right-hand man of a mob boss. One day Sonny accidentally swallows the Don’s heirloom family ring, and runs off, having just been declared “Public Enemy #1”. He is adopted by a family, where he turns the Dad’s life upside-down, and is pursued by two of the Don’s henchmen, bent on retrieving the missing ring.
In the fall of 2008, I was ordering some custom Utility obedience articles for Gabe from Harold Smith just across the border in Canada and we got to talking about my boy and his recent Worldwide Fido win as well as his obedience accomplishments. Harold has been making obedience and agility equipment for many years and has seen a variety of breeds involved in these performance sports, but, needless to say, he doesn’t get very many requests for advanced obedience equipment from bulldoggers!
Harold mentioned that I should contact an animal agent in the area as she might be interested in using him in TV/movie work. I fired off an email, along with a few photos and video links and got a brief reply back–and then pretty much forgot about it. A couple months later I was surprised to receive a phone call from the animal agent. She had just heard from a director-friend saying that he was looking for a “white, male bulldog to play the lead in a new family comedy”. She had, of course, thought of Gabe, as he described the role.
Catch a few vignettes in the DoGFaTHeR movie trailer:
Gabe was joined by three other bulldogs in playing the role of Sonny. A younger, lighter-built male named “Speedo” did much of the running scenes, and each dog had their special part to play. With much of the movie centered around Sonny, and filming in the peak summer heat, it was very important to keep the flat-faced dogs from overheating. We also brought along a Rottweiler, affectionately named “Toad”, and a Border Terrier named “Scrabble”–both experienced movie dogs–to round out our doggy cast.
Of course, it’s always fun to “interview” the star of your favorite flick! Here’s what Gabe had to say about his experience: