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.
Last week, "Heidi Chronicles" readers learned about the late Ginger the Wonder Dog, an ordinary house pet who became a working actor under the guidance of Michele Boardman of Mar Vista (and thanks, Michele, for adding your sweet comments about "Ginge").
Today, we hear from the stage moms of two other house dogs, one on the East Coast, the other on the West, who like Ginger managed to find some success in the industry. Both of them wrote to me after reading the saga of Heidi's showbiz quest in the print edition of the Times. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only dog parent out there who is certifiably insane.
First, meet Gaby (left), a 5 1/2-pound toy poodle owned by Judy Garland of Hermosa Beach ("No, I couldn't name my dog 'Toto,' she says). In my opinion, Gaby is on the fast track to portray Albert Einstein's dog.
While Gaby's resume (note to self: get Heidi a resume) includes such impressive credentials as two Doritos commercials, appearances on Style Network, Access Hollywood and Animal Planet's "Groomer Has It," Garland describes their Hollywood adventure as "dog eat dog." She says she found most of Gaby's jobs through networking and, surprisingly, www.craigslist.com. She notes that professional union trainers look down on house dogs as "the great unwashed."
"This life of finding work for our cherished four-legged companions is more than difficult and ... quite expensive," she writes. "Plus there is a large demand for owners who look like their pets.... I went to one call and ended up literally cutting my hair to look like my Gaby."
If you still have that photo, Judy, please send. Meanwhile, to see little Gaby at work, check out her gender-bending performance as a "homeless boy dog" on this Pet Spa commercial.