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The Heidi Chronicles, Chapter 52: Stay tuned ...

October 25, 2009 |  3:19 pm

Heidi blog head shot This is Heidi. Last year, she was "discovered" in the park by a pet talent agency; since then, she has embarked on a one-dog quest to break into the business. This is her Hollywood story as chronicled by Diane Haithman. And this is her "head shot": That longing look was achieved by placing a biscuit just out of reach.

As of last Friday, I am no longer a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. Ergo, this is the last chapter of "The Heidi Chronicles" for L.A. Unleashed. I'd like to thank the blog for unleashing an obsessed doggie stage mother, and providing a forum for documenting the approximate first year of Heidi's attempt to take Hollywood by storm.

I'd also like to thank Heidi's fans and her entourage of one, Layla the Labrador mix, for sticking by Heidi through thick and thin. However, I visited Layla and her parents, Jim and Irene Dorsey, recently and Layla seem thrilled to enjoy a little quality time without Heidi, just this once. Recently, the patient Layla has been somewhat taxed by the many canine guests at the Dorseys, including small and frequent visitor Kiki Newberg, a Norwich terrier cute enough to get away with murder one.

But I encourage Layla, Kiki Newberg and all of your dogs to be sure to tune in for "Don't Walk on the Grass," the Nov. 1 episode of "Desperate Housewives." Heidi and I are waiting to see whether our background appearance in a restaurant scene made the cut.

And despite my own recent career change, let it be said that Heidi fully intends to continue her pursuit of Hollywood stardom.

Heidi with Henson dogs

Recently, we have fallen behind in our consistent training sessions with Sue DiSesso of Animal Actors 4 Hire, who got very busy during her whirlwind courtship and marriage to former Air Force man Dustin Cyril Gordon in the spring. The dog and I have learned enough that we can pretty much do our own training sessions -- but still plan to call on Sue for an important assignment: the "de-squirreling" of Heidi. We are waiting for just the right squirrel situation to set Heidi up to learn not to take off after all things small and furry.  

But back to my most recent attempt to make sure Heidi can support me in the style to which I have become accustomed: I have decided that Heidi should meet Conan O'Brien and have written to the show to express this opinion.

Since arriving in Los Angeles to take over "The Tonight Show,"  O'Brien has done frequent on-air field trips to meet neighbors and merchants in the Universal City-Studio City area, where we live. What better neighbor to interview than Heidi, local starlet of stage and screen?

My thought was that O'Brien should meet Heidi at K's Donut Emporium in Studio City, run by one of Heidi's biggest fans, Theary Thai. Just a suggestion: Try a buttermilk bar.

I also wrote, with deep conviction, "Heidi does not do tricks -- rather, she is devoted to the realistic portrayal of the American canine experience. That being said, she can speak, fetch the newspaper and play dead."

Would I write anything this goofy (and mean it) to advance my own career? I don't know -- yet. But, as always, anything for the dog.

-- Diane Haithman

Photo: Heidi at Jim Henson Studios, where she posed with a number of "dogs" during her visit to the studio to learn about digital animation. (Just using this picture because it's cool and never made
the blog.) Credit: Alan Feldstein (Heidi's Dad)

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