Being in the Hollywood Christmas Parade and doing my fabulous wave was a huge moment for me, especially since I grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. where I’m not even sure if they had parades. What could be better? I’ll tell you what…being in a Hollywood movie!
I received an e-mail about a casting call for dog/people look alikes. That was almost too easy. When I showed up with Charley, the casting director burst out laughing (I just noticed there’s a theme of people laughing when they meet us!) and called me a “bowser.” I wasn’t sure whether or not to be offended. I mean, had I gone too far wearing a royal blue shirt and putting Charley in a royal blue scarf? Was it all the product I’d put in our hair?
Turns out that it was a very good thing. A few weeks later we were called and asked to come down to the Venice Boardwalk for filming. A return to the site of my bodybuilding glory and prior 15 minutes of fame! Coincidence? I don’t think so.
The first day we arrived, I had to park in the main lot with all of the extras, walk quite a distance and then get on a bus to go to the location. Once we got there, Charley took over. Within a few hours, everyone from catering to extras to crew knew Charley and assumed that I was his leash holder. People were actually waving to him and calling out his name. He was thriving on the attention. I was surprised he wasn’t giving out paw prints.
I don’t know how he did it, but somehow we went from being extras to having a “major moment,” as a friend called it, in I Love You Man, a DreamWorks picture. Charley probably had his own major moment with the director while I was picking up his dog poop. And they call people with umbrella holders, “divas.”
In our cameo, we’re walking along the beach when our co-star Jason Segel points us out to our other costar, Paul Rudd, and says, “Look at those two. You know those people who look like their dogs? I call them bowsers.” Okay so we weren’t exactly costars, we were a punchline. My daughters were so proud.
What I probably shouldn’t over share is that my wonderful dog and I ended up on the gag reel. By the time we filmed our scene on the second day in Venice, my diva dog was worn out from interacting with all his fans and wasn’t in the mood for his close up. The assistant director asked if it was okay to get Charley a little pumped up. I stupidly said, “sure.” He got him so pumped up that Charley stood up on his hind legs, wrapped his front paws around me and started humping me.
Charley: Just because I’m a therapy dog doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of humor. That was perhaps one of my finest moments.