The Bowser

As Elbee and I were “making rounds” at Providence Hospital, a young man named Holden came running down the hall to ask if we would visit his younger brother. When we got to the room we met Fred and also their mom Amanda. Turns out that all three were total animal lovers!

With Elbee on the bed cuddled next to Fred, the hospital room seemed to disappear as we told stories and showed photos of our dogs. Both of the boys were planning to become veterinarians. Holden had even studied videos on You Tube so that he could deliver their dog’s puppies. Now that was impressive.

As I occasionally do when talking about the Doods, I mentioned that Charley was in the movie I Love You Man.

ELBEE Occasionally?? She has gotten more mileage out of that cameo than some actresses have gotten out of their Oscars.

Okay, so maybe I do drop it into conversation every chance I get, but their reaction was beyond anything that had ever happened before. The three of them stopped talking, stared at me, and then shouted “OMG you’re the bowser!” The level of excitement in the room skyrocketed.

ELBEE For those of you who have not seen her “blink and you might miss it” cameo in the movie, I’ll explain. Jason Segal’s character points at Pack Leader walking with Charley and calls her a “bowser,” his name for people who look like their dogs. 

The bowser and her look alikes

As I stood there in disbelief, thrilled that my 15 minutes weren’t up, Amanda started quoting lines from the film. A few years ago she had been very ill and feeling really down. A relative offered to bring her a movie that would cheer her up. That movie was I Love You Man.

As she watched it over and over, it became a big part of her healing process. She even showed it to the boys when they were old enough to see it. Our whole interaction was so much fun. For a brief period, the stress of being in a hospital was gone. I may have made their day but they definitely made mine. I was truly touched to have been a small part of something that was so significant to them.











Dogs Do It

I was the soul of discretion in my last post about the Thanksgiving chaos at our house. I left out a whole issue. I’m talking about humping, yes humping.

20160525_091431_1472427293345_resizedELBEE Again with the issues. And why is humping an “issue?”



Nicole, the middle daughter and the one who actually likes them, opened that door. She shared a photo that lit up Facebook.

THE DOODS We have mixed feelings about this. We admit that we’re partly proud but also just a little embarrassed. Is there no privacy? We’re also confused. Why is Riley so disinterested?

20141230_185755_resizedRILEY Hey, I’m old. I have better things to do…like sleep.

My son-in-law Jay commented that he recalled my “well trained Doodles” humping Nicole and was curious about why I hadn’t included that in my Thanksgiving post. He also wanted to know if they encouraged that sort of behavior in the hospital. Come to think of it, I don’t know UCLA policy on dog humping. I also wonder if this once again puts me out of the running for mother of the year.

20161125_200905_resizedThis is the same son-in-law photo bombing his wife Danielle in this picture, although it could easily be her sister Jennifer. They look a lot alike and feel pretty much the same way about the Doods. Well, Danielle is a little more tolerant although she did say, and I quote, “They were trying to attack me.”

THE DOODS Are you kidding?” Attack” is not in  our vocabulary. To be fair, we may have been trying to hump her.

If I’m going to be completely honest, I did have a major humping episode with Charley during the filming of I Love You Man. Charley was having a diva moment  and was shutting down, tired from all of his “fan” interaction.

The assistant director asked permission to get him fired up. Do you see this photo? That’s what happened. No, we were not dancing.


CHARLEY Excuse me, but where is the appreciation for getting her on the gag reel?


Pit Bulls, Parolees and a Doodle


Charley has quite the resume, especially for a dog. He was in the movie I Love You Man. He’s been in several parades.


He’s been on TV, in magazines and newspapers. He worked at an academy awards gifting suite.

He was even in the Bedhead pajama catalog.

Image 16







CHARLEY I regret that I’ve never been asked to do a radio interview. I actually think I could pull it off.

What few people know is that he was on the tv show Pit Bulls and Parolees, a program about a woman who rescues Pit Bulls and has parolees help train and rehabilitate them.

20160525_091431_1472427293345_resizedELBEE I’m sure Pack Leader was wondering if there was an audience for her blog in prison.


During our episode a parolee was testing a large Pit Bull to be a therapy dog. Charley and I were there as the neutral dog team.  It’s the exercise in the Pet Partners evaluation where the two teams approach, the handlers greet each other, and the testing team then walks on by. The dogs aren’t supposed to show more than passing interest in each other.

Unfortunately, Fido, the Pit Bull and Fred the parolee (fake names) failed the test. After walking by, “Fido” circled back to get Charley. A big no no.

CHARLEY I was terrified. I’m a lover not a fighter.

Since the producers knew the outcome, when they were editing the show, they made a big dramatic deal about the neutral dog exercise coming up. “Fred” had to say how nervous he was about it. It was like the obligatory part of a cooking show where someone says, “this is a disaster.” As they went to commercial, they had a shot of big, scary Charley with a kind of Jaws music playing.

  20161006_193948_resized CHARLEY It was humiliating, almost as humiliating as this shirt.

After “Fido” failed, they went to “Fred” for reaction.  He commented that the big, fluffy white dog had been their downfall. Maybe I should have used fake names for me and Charley instead.

Fortunately he was a very sweet parolee and said he totally understood. Hey, maybe he would like my blog.





Ready for Our Closeup


Cool Hollywood Doods
Cool Hollywood Doods

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?

Scan 5
Ms. Venice Beach

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.




GUS I’m the new kid on the block and I’m confused. Who or what is that?



get-attachment.aspxCharley I know, Gus. I wish I could explain but there are just no words. And this is our self-appointed pack leader. I’m concerned.


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.