Ike did a fine job during his television debut today. Teddy fans will be happy to hear that Teddy did well, too. And Libby, and Maverick. Today was a big day for Hero Dogs, the service dog organization in Brookeville, MD that provides service dogs to veterans.
Holly Morris of Fox 5 (WTTG) here in the Metro D.C. area is also a dog lover and dog owner. She was a natural and didn't mind getting down on the floor with four energetic Retrievers!
We got up at an ungodly hour to make it to the shoot in plenty of time to be briefed about the shooting schedule and get our microphones attached. Wearing a microphone when working with a young Labrador retriever -- who loves to put everything in his mouth -- stressed me out in the beginning. But once we started working, I forgot all about, and thankfully Ike never noticed it.
Hero Dogs wanted to show off some of the specific tasks that the dogs do and I was given the assignment of working with Teddy (ah, reunited) to polish his paw targeting skills before his on-screen debut. As usual, Teddy was a quick study and was paw targeting like a champion in no time. We also worked on tug a little bit, too, in case there was time to show off two behaviors.
Note to self: there is never enough time to show off anything on tv! Four minutes sounded like forever when Holly told me how long we'd be on. Ha! It felt like 10 seconds when it was really happening. I also discovered just how much down-time there is on those morning shoots. They need 30-second teaser shots as they're going to commercial, then there's about 40 minutes between segments. That's quite a bit of time. Time for puppies to get tired. Time for puppies to get over-excited. Time for puppies to need to poop and pee.
But also time to get to know the reporter. Holly Morris is a dog owner and dog lover. I didn't have to twist her arm to get her to get her phone out so I could see pictures of her two dogs. She was very comfortable with all the ruckus that four adolescent dogs brings to the scene and never batted an eye at the chaos. What a trooper!
Ike was a champion Labrador pup. He picked up keys, brought a wallet, and was an all-around crowd pleaser. He was a real treat. We did some work during one of the segments, then also let the pups be pups and roll around on the floor to show everyone that these little guys are allowed (encouraged!) to be pups. It was an exciting day. And I hope Hero Dogs gets lots of interest, puppy raisers, volunteers, and donations!
For Ike: he came home and crashed for three hours after the shoot. This whole filming thing is exhausting! Here's the summary of all the segments we did today.