Friday, December 18, 2009

A Party and an accident

So I was a very excited dog today, because I was invited to a party! I love parties! I was invited to Emma's Birthday party, because it was a dog-themed party! How cool! I was the only dog in attendance with a huge group of kids who really excited to see me. There was so much excitement that.....

I walked over to the Christmas tree and peed on it.

The kids excitedly reported this fact to the grownups, who would not have even known if it hadn't been for those meddling kids! I cannot believe I got in trouble for this. It was a TREE! It rhymes with pee! That's where a dog pees. Sheesh.

Anyway, after the drama, things remained pretty exciting, though there were no more accidents. I stalked the whole house, looking for snacks. I found some bread sitting out on top of a table, but apparently it was designated for humans only. Sigh. So I had to wait for people to start dropping food, which happened pretty quickly.

I love parties.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There is a white cat that lives next door. I hate that cat. I presume the feeling is mutual. Sometimes, the cat comes into MY yard. This is unacceptable. I chase him out. As soon as the cat gets to the other side of the fence, he stops and taunts me. Seriously, he sits there just out of reach and stares at me and rolls around. He is an evil, evil cat.

Tonight, the evil cat came into my yard. I defended my territory and chased him off. I totally would have broken through the fence if Jake hadn't come out and grabbed me.

Two hours later, they let me back out. And guess who was still hanging around? The evil cat. I chased the cat, but this time, the foolish, foolish (though evil!) cat ran toward the back of the front yard. Foolish cat, there is a chain link fence on that part of the yard! Foolish cat, you cannot escape me! I had him cornered! I lunged. And the evil cat made me bleed my own blood! Yes, my poor little pooch nose has a cat scratch.

I am sure the cat would look much worse than me, except that Jake ran out there when he heard the ruckus and grabbed me again.

It has been a crazy night! But I live to fight (the evil cat) another day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

He works hard for the money

Hello fans,
Today in the mail, my first two paychecks arrived. Woo hoo! $64/day isn't bad for sitting around getting fed treats. Nice! Now I'm looking for my next acting gig! Meanwhile, if you're looking for an A-list star to come hang out at your event to provide autographs ($10 each) and generally provide a sense that you're in the hip crowd, contact my agents (Bridget & Jake) and they'll be glad to set something up.

For now, I'll be donating a portion of my earnings to New England Brittany Rescue, the group that got me set up in this sweet 83 Durant location. If you're looking for a good dog, maybe a dog that could help get you into the movie business, definitely check out all the wonderful fuzzy buddies they have waiting for homes.

Here I am, relaxing in my newly re-upholstered bed. Why yes, it was hand-stitched by Grandma, how did you know? Yes, it IS expertly tailored. I'm a very comfortable dog. And Bridget's Mom loves me, even if she won't say so.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just when I thought I was out...

...they pull me back in.

This morning, Bridget got a call at 10:30. It was Tim. Tim the PA from the Fighter. They wanted me back. Not to re-do my scene, but to do ANOTHER scene. I am not kidding. I am now a recurring character in the movie.

I'm going to have to talk to my agent about my residuals. More from Bridget and Jake later.

I am a star.
This is a shot of me with a coffee cup of water while I'm waiting for Bridget to get into wardrobe. Actually, that's the dress and the shoes they gave her to wear. Nice. Luckily, my lovely fur has always been in fashion, so I didn't have to worry about having a special costume.

On the set again

So we thought our adventures in Lowell-Hollywood were over, but apparently, there were other plans. Apparently, David Russell (the director) was thinking about Carter last night. Seriously. There was, apparently, at some point, discussion of Carter amongst the people working on the movie. So much so, that they decided they wanted to use him in another scene, to provide comic relief. Seriously people, I am not making this up.

At 10:30 this morning, I got a call from Tim, a PA on the set. He asked if I was available to bring Carter over. I said that Jake could bring him, and he replied, "well, they want you." Huh? No, this would not be a re-do of the previous scene, but instead, this would be an entirely new scene from the film, and they thought they would like to have ME walking the dog down the street. They needed me immediately. What could I say?

I said yes. I grabbed some clothes and the dog, and Jake gave me a ride over. It was all hurry hurry hurry, and then...the waiting. Today's scene was a lot more involved (stunts and whatnot) and things got very delayed. Everyone seemed a lot more testy today, and there seemed to be some problems. I was taken to wardrobe two different times, and had to change into and out of the same costume three times. Insane. Finally, after several hours of sitting around, I was told that I was too young -- they basically wanted it to seem that the female dog walker was the wife of the previous dog walker (the priest who walked Carter yesterday) and I really wasn't going to cut it. But they still very much needed Carter

At that point, Jake took over, and he's over there now. I haven't heard from him yet, but I'm sure he'll fill us all in when the shooting is over. Apparently this is the last day to shoot at this particular location, so this should be our last film set report. We'll keep you posted about our next publicity tour.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Carter, Star of the Silver Screen

Today I went for a walk, as usual. I was minding my own business, as usual. And then, some dude asked Bridget, "Hey, do you want to be in a movie with your dog?" and that was the end of my day as usual.

Readers, you are not going to believe this, but I am going to be a in a movie. A real movie. I am in a movie in which no less than Christian Bale (yes, he's Batman) talks ABOUT ME! I kid you not.

Lots of people are in town filming this movie in Lowell called The Fighter. It's the story of Mickey Ward and Dickie Elklund, boxers who grew up in Lowell and rose to fame. Today, I hung out mostly with Christian and Amy Adams, and just a little bit with Mark Wahlberg. Everyone was very very very nice to me. Amy Adams came up and talked to me and gave me some love. I am really not kidding. Not a bit.

Bridget will provide further updates, but for now, we're both totally exhausted from a long day of shooting. I am going to be in a movie. I'm an awesome dog.

And now for something completely different!

Today was an unusual day here at 83 Durant. Some of you may know that recently, some movies have been filmed in Lowell. A while back, Ricky Gervais and a whole bunch of other actors we love (Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Martin Star, Jeffrey Tambor) were in town to film The Invention of Lying. There was all kinds of craziness around town, and we saw the film trucks and lighting equipment at times. We talked about walking downtown and trying to get ourselves into a scene, but never did it. I did, however, go to the post-strike warehouse sale, where they sold all of the props and set dressings from the movie. Some of you may recall that I bought some pillows, a lamp, and a dress and a sweater. You may recall that I refer to this sweater as my "Tina Fey sweater" because I like to imagine that Fey wore it during the movie. Though I know it's far more likely that an extra wore it, still, it was a nice dream. Soon, we will get to watch the movie and see who (if anyone) is wearing the sweater. Also, it looks like it will be pretty funny.

But until now, aside from my Tina Fey sweater, the movie industry had sadly ignored the lovely residents of 83 Durant. Hard to believe, I know. You've seen the Flickr pictures and videos of Lucy and our dog. There's tons of potential there. Finally, it seems that we've been noticed.

A movie called The Fighter is currently being filmed in Lowell. There's a lot of info about the filming at this site. We knew it was going on, and that movie is about local boxing legend Mickey Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg) and his brother, also a boxer, Dickie Elklund (played by Christian Bale). But we didn't think much about it. Until today.

Yesterday, while we were walking by the reservoir, we noticed all kinds of signs and way too many cars, and lots of big trucks. We asked this young guy, who looked somehow official (he had a name badge on) what was going on, and he said "construction." Whatever. He was totally lying. We walked up and realized that they were filming right up the street. Cool! But we didn't stick around.

This morning, the same dude who told us it was "construction" looked at me and said, "hey, do you want to be in a movie with your dog?" Surely he was joking. He wasn't. He was talking a mile a minute to both me and to the people at the other end of the ear piece he was wearing. He asked me to get into his car with him and go to the set, and I said, uh, ok. Yes, I got in a car with a complete stranger who lied to me the day before, and who was now claiming that I could bring my dog and be in a movie. Hrm.

The guy is super excited. He pulls up at the top of the street where they're shooting (it's like two blocks from where he told me to get into the car) and insists to other dudes with similar name badges that Carter is THE dog. There is some back-and-forth among these guys (they're called, as I learned, PA's), who it seems, have some sort of bet going on the dogs that, from what I understand, involves $5 and a steak dinner. He gets the go-ahead, and tells me that he's taking me to wardrobe. Wardrobe! Seriously. Keep in mind, please, that I was out to walk the dog. I had not brushed my hair. I actually had not even brushed my teeth. I had no plans to be in a movie.

The wardrobe place was in a series of trailers set up in the parking lot of the local elementary school, the same elementary school, in fact, where we go to vote. Waiting for the wardrobe folks, I met another woman with a couple of dogs, and we were both looked over by someone I assume to be a costume/wardrobe person, who thought the other woman's outfit (tank top and shorts) was fine, but said that my capri pants and slides had to go. I was a bit mortified, until I realized that the reason was that the movie is set in 1990, so my clothes would mark me as way too fashion forward. I was asked to wear a short blue jean skirt and some blue cloth ballet flats. The other woman had to trade in her flip flops for an AMAZING pair of white vintage Reebok high-tops, the kind with laces at the bottom and velcro at the top. NICE. Then they drove us back to the set.

I should note that through all this, Carter was with me. He was amazing. He got a bit barky at a few of the other dogs, but he was great, hopping into and out of vans, and generally have a fine time being fawned over. Also, while hanging at the wardrobe place, I borrowed a PA's iphone to call Jake and let him know that I had not been kidnapped, but that I was going to be in a movie. He was surprised, to say the least.

Next, a bunch of us local folks -- maybe 8 or so people -- waited with our dogs at the top of the street where the filming was happening. At this point, the general sense was that somehow, they were going to use all of these dogs. That seemed pretty weird, but I have no idea how movies are made, and thought, well, maybe we each just parade down the street while they film, and whatever one of us gets into the scene gets in. That is not how movies are made, as I now know. In any case, there was a lot of excitement among the dogs and the dog owners. We saw a friend of ours who we walk dogs with, and she was trying to get me to take her dog, Ginger, with us. I would have, but Carter was getting to be a bit anxious, so I worried, but then a PA grabbed her and had Ginger join the gang. Hooray!

Finally, after much milling about (movies are a whole lot of "hurry up and wait") we were told to walk in a line down to the set, which was in a large house with a huge front porch. We walked down in a somewhat orderly fashion, about 8 people (I think) and 10 or so dogs (at least 2 women had 2 dogs each). We stood there, not really knowing what was going on, but sensing that something was up. I heard the word "Spaniel," then I saw the PAs looking upset and saying, "you mean all of them?" and then realized through various half-heard responses that in fact, only one dog was going to be in the movie, and all the rest would be sent home.

And more importantly, I realized that the one dog who was going to be in the movie was the spaniel. Carter.

O. M. G.

They sent all the rest of the dogs back up the street, and the PA's informed me that they didn't know there was only going to be one dog, and they all congratulated me, and then asked if I could stick around until about 3 or so. Many of you know that in fact, I had no business hanging out on a film set all day, and that by all rights, I should have been in front of this very computer, working on my book. But how often does a chance like this come up? I said yes, I could totally stay for the day. Then they asked whether Carter would walk with someone other than me, and if I was willing to let him walk with someone other than me, and basically, they said, the director has a friend he wants to feature as the dog walker, so would it be OK with me if I wasn't in the film, but my dog was? Yes. Totally fine. But could I please change out of my weird 1990s wardrobe? Sure....eventually. OK, let's go.

And immediately the star treatment began. Carter being the star. They actually called him "the talent." I kid you not. What does he need? Here's some water. He's so sweet.....and on and on and on. I have to say, everyone was so incredibly nice. I really couldn't believe it. There were something like 8 or 10 different PAs who would come by and ask if we needed anything, and make sure everything was fine. It was really interesting to be hanging around the set, watching SO many people working on every detail.

Next, we met the dog walker, a local priest who is a friend of the director, and then the priest and I were brought over to talk with David O. Russell, the director. He explained the movie and the scene to both of us, and talked about what we should do, and was really very nice. His attention was mostly focused on the priest, which is totally understandable, but he was very nice to Carter, and I learned that it was Russell himself who had picked out Carter from the line-up on the street. Wow.

I signed some papers saying I wouldn't disclose all the secret details of the movie, so I won't go into the details of the scene, but it involved Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Mark Wahlberg. So I sat and watched the three of them (most of the scene was Bale and Adams) do their scene over and over again, with the technical crew setting up all kinds of different angles and equipment and whatnot. It was amazing. Every so often, Carter was called upon to do his thing, and he did it very very well. He was incredibly well behaved. Occasionally, he had a hard time walking away from me, so they kept moving me to the opposite end of the set so that he would walk towards me.

I don't want to give anything away here, but at one point, Christian Bale (well, his character) NOTICES Carter and TALKS ABOUT HIM. In the movie. Or at least, in the filming of the movie, who knows what will happen once things are cut.

We worked on the scene until about 3:30, then there was a lunch break, which involved being shuttled back to the elementary school and eating a really very good meal in the gym. I was sitting with a bunch of guys who were there because their cars are being used in the movie. Wow. Everyone fussed over the Carter and offered him food, and was having a grand time of it.

Then we went back to the set to do a few more takes, and we were out of there around 5pm. It was a long, hot day of sitting around in the sun, waiting to be told to wait somewhere else. Carter had many admirers, and Amy Adams actually walked across the street to come over, say hi, and ask questions about Carter. She gave him some love and was really very very nice. The thing that struck me about all of the stars was how very SMALL and very normal they seemed. Bale has apparently lost a lot of weight for the role, but really, all of them, just seemed so much more normal and human-scale than we see on the screen or TV or tabloids or whatever. Also, they weren't all glammed up, since the movie is supposed to have these gritty characters from real-life Lowell. In fact, when the actors started rehearsing the scene on the porch, I actually thought (and actually said to someone else) "those must be the stand-ins for the actors" because these people did not look like famous people. I felt a bit silly when I realized that the weird skinny looking dude was not just some random stand-in, but was, in fact, Christian Bale. He was Batman. And now he looks like this.

Carter is actually going to be paid for his work, too. I had to fill out paperwork for him, so he'll be showing some bling once his check rolls in, I'm sure. We had a long, exhausting day, but it was incredibly exciting. I never could have imagined something like this happening, but there it is.

Special thanks to Jake and my Mom for taking care of Lucy and everything else so that I could go hang out all day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Carter's Doing Fine

We're very happy to report that Carter seems to be doing just fine, showing no ill effects from his attack. He has mostly stopped licking the wound, so we can leave the lampshade off sometimes.

But this morning, we got some sad news. The owners of Homie, the dog that attacked Carter, surrendered him to the city's Animal Control officer on Saturday (the day after the attack). This was actually before any of the paperwork about the attack went through (at that point, we didn't have the owner's information). The Animal Control officer believes the dog was involved in a prior attack on a person (though he did not elaborate). All this means that Homie was euthanized on Saturday after being surrendered. We feel very sad about this. It is not at all what we wanted. They've sent out for rabies tests on him, which we'll hear about once there are results. Hopefully that will come out clean.

That's the sad update on this sad case. Hug your dogs.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The saga continues

We've been trying to get in touch with the owners of Homie, the dog that attacked Carter. We knew that he lived in a particular building, but there are six units in the building, and we didn't know the owner's name. After Jake made several unsuccessful tries of talking to people in the building, he left notes in every mailbox this afternoon. We were not expecting a response, but, to our surprise, the phone rang, and it was Homie's owner. We asked if Homie has had his shots, and she said yes, and offered us the records. Jake went to pick them up so we could copy them to take to the vet. All seemed fine, until, after scanning the copy they gave us, I noticed that while Homie had indeed had a rabies shot, it expired in January of 2009. Jake went back and said, uh, hey, his shots are out of date. Her response; "oh, the shot is good until January of 2009!" To which Jake, somewhat awkwardly had to point out, "uh, that was five months ago."

To her credit, Homie's owner was apologetic, and has asked for a copy of Carter's bill. Once the paperwork at the vet goes through, Animal Control will get her info, and there will no doubt be a fine of some sort, as the dog isn't licensed (he can't be if his shots aren't up to date) and he attacked while not on a leash.

Meanwhile, Carter seems to be doing OK. We have to keep him in his Elizabethan collar, which Lucy, with great distress, keeps calling "HAT!" "HAT!" She seemed very upset, and actually put on her own hat, perhaps in solidarity with the dog, or, perhaps to make fun of him.

Friday, June 5, 2009

back from the vet

Carter is back from the vet, wearing his full-on Elizabethan collar (photos to follow, maybe, though it's so pathetic, it seems exploitative to photograph him). He's drugged up a bit with antiobiotics and painkillers. He had some x-rays, but it seems like there's no serious damage. We'll be watching him closely for the next few days to make sure he's OK.

To follow up on the comment rant, we are also VERY frustrated by the non-leash dog walkers, who claim their dogs are well behaved, when really, they aren't. The dog that attacked Carter today has run at him before, and the owner has done nothing to restrain him. It's very scary, and could have been much worse, too.

Now we have to go find and talk to the owner about whether the dog has had shots (we're guessing he hasn't). It's a very frustrating situation.


A dog attacked Carter today. Our fuzzy buddy is doing OK. We're still trying to get the details about the attacker, a neighborhood dog that has gone after him before. The owner did not have the dog (who goes by the name "Homey") on a leash, so there are some issues here. We've called Animal Control, and Carter is at the vet right now. He has some bite punctures on his back legs and underside. He's getting x-rays right now. He's been a sweet trooper through it. Updates as we get more info.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Here I am, in all my shaggy, majestic glory:

I guess you all knew this was coming, if you've seen any of the recent updates on Flickr. Clearly, I had become a very fuzzy beast. Here I am, then:
And here I am, now:
I have been shorn. Sigh.

That kid, Lucy, is still hanging around me a lot. Now she knows my name. She yells at me and wants to hug me all the time. Here she is getting awfully close -- actually, she just put that ball there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smile! I'm a dog!

My visit to the dentist was a success, if you call being drugged and having stuff stuck in your mouth a success. At least they didn't take out any of my beautiful chompers.

I'm home now, a bit groggy, but mostly myself. Let's face it, I'm not the most energetic pooch out there. I like to relax.

But Bridget and Jake said something about brushing my teeth in a few days. I think this is ridiculous. I doubt I will put up with such things. There better be treats, man, lots of treats.

In fact, I have a pretty good idea of what kind of treats I would like. Can I please please please please please have one of these? Or maybe three?

These are the rats that live at my Aunt Paula's house. Last time I stayed with Aunt Paula, she let me sleep in the same room with them because I was so obsessed. I am a focused dog. Focused. RATS!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hi There.

It's been a while.

All's well here. Tomorrow morning, I go to the dentist. I'm not thrilled about this. I just hope I don't come back sounding like this kid:

Oh, if you're wondering about my twin here, that's just a painting of me. By a real painter. Yup. An oil painting. A portrait. Of me. I rule.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Totally. Gross.

It was bound to happen at someday. I'm almost surprised that it took her this long. To our knowledge, up until today -- for the first 13.75 months of her life -- Lucy ate food intended for humans. Today, all that changed.

Lucy ate dog food today.

She was playing contentedly in the dining room, eating Cheerios out of her snack-trap. When I saw her chewing, I assumed she was eating Cheerios. Then I looked at the "Cheerio" in her hand, and realized


It was a piece of kibble. As was the "cheerio" in her mouth.

Totally. Gross.

Turns out, the snack trap was empty (perhaps Carter ate the rest of them?) and Lucy moved on to the nearest source of snackage, which happened to be the remaining kibble in Carter's bowl.

She has not shown any ill effects so far. No barking, no lifting her leg.

[FYI, for those not in the know, the "snack trap" is this supposedly handy cup with a lid that kids can put their hands through to take out a snack. It's supposed to prevent the snacks from spilling out everywhere. Lucy, however, seems to have perfected a snack-trap technique that evades the product's supposed spill-prevention mechanism, and she regularly dumps the snack trap contents everywhere.]

Here, you can see her demonstrating her technique, triumphantly.