Category Archives: videos

Bonnie Judd Shows Us Working With Dog Behind The Scenes

Vanity Fair produced this video as part of their Notes On A Scene series on YouTube featuring Bonnie Judd giving us a play-by-play look at how dog-centric scenes from popular movies are filmed. She gives us a detail look at scenes from “Air Bud: 7th Inning Fetch“, “Marley and Me” and explains how she trained the dogs who star in “A Dog’s Journey“.

Bonnie Judd has a long and respected resume of working with dogs, and other animals, on production sets. She has worked on productions like Smallville, Police Academy, Sandlot 2, Racing in the Rain, The Dogfather, and dozens of commercials. She has even contributed to Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York ride at Universal Studios Orlando.

In this video below from Vanity Fair, Bonnie gives us a behind the scenes look at some of the commands that are used to direct the dogs in various scenes. She tells us of the many safety measures in place to ensure the dogs and human actors are comfortable, and safe during the production.

One of the best things she shared with us is that the happiness of the dogs is important. She places a heavy emphasis on ensuring the dogs are not just following commands, but that they are enjoying the experience, and they aren’t placed in stressful or dangerous situations.

Some of the fascinating parts of the video are when she goes in depth in the process of how they trained the dog over time to interact with people and props. In the backpack scene from Air Bud, she tells us that they started with a small bag for the dog to carry, then gradually increased the size of the item until they ended up with a (newspaper-stuffed) backpack that the dog would carry without irritation.

In the hotel-chase scene from A Dogs Journey, she explains that they needed a series of events to occur where the dog would approach the door, sit, speak, dig, then release the dog so they got their reward (a dollar store toy duck!) after doing that sequence.

Another fun quip is that while telling us of training dogs for a basketball scene, she says that the dogs were very easy to teach repetition. They would perform each task exactly the same way, every time, but it was the trainers and the actors who were struggling to, in this case, throw the basket ball to the exact spot where the dog was expecting it!

Bonnie is delightful in this video. She clearly loves the animals she works with, she enjoys the challenge and reward of seeing the dogs show off their skills, and her laughter as she re-lives the scenes is contagious.

I have previous written on this blog about the American Humane Association and the work they do with the “No Animals Were Harmed” initiative to ensure the safety of animals on stage, film, and tv productions.

This excerpt from their website gives a quick overview of their participation

“American Humane works with production personnel and trainers in the pre-production planning stage, monitors the animals on set during production, and enforces American Humane’s Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media. It also investigates allegations of mistreatment and cruelty and sanctions productions that do not meet its standards of humane animal treatment.”

-American Humane Association

I would recommend checking out the other videos in the Vanity Fair “Notes On A Scene” playlist if you like to get a glimpse behind the scenes of some of your favorite movies.

Dogs! A Science Tail exhibit

Dogs! A Science Tail

An interesting podcast that I listen to is “Can I Pet Your Dog” hosted by Renee Colvert and Alexis Preston. This week they had a fascinating interview with Dr. Chuck Kopczak who lead the team creating “Dogs! A Science Tail” that was developed by the California Science Center.

A quick note about the podcast for those not familiar with it, Renee and Alexis host this weekly hour-long rollicking adventure about topics of interest to dog owners. Lighthearted dialog between the two hosts, along with serious interviews with experts make this a podcast worth adding to your playlist.

While “museum exhibits” might not be common water cooler talk, this interview about the contents and development of this science exhibit about this history of dogs and the role they play in society was a definite win on this weeks episode.

Dr. Chuck Kopczak was a great guest who talked not only about the history and background in developing the exhibit, but also walked listeners through an auditory tour of each section of the exhibit and told us why each one is important to feature.

He explained that from concept to opening, that it takes two years to plan and roll-out an exhibit of this size. (Dogs! is approximately 7,000 – 9,000 square feet). He said the planners worked closely with the directors of the Superpower Dogs movie to release both at the same time.

The most interesting fact that Dr. Kopczak shared was that oxytocin is released in humans as we gaze into the eyes of dogs, similar to how it is released when we gaze into the eyes of children or other humans. When dogs smell this hormone, it increases their gaze back at us! (I found this article in Science Magazine for further reading)

This exhibition reveals where dogs came from, how dogs experience the world, what makes our bond with dogs so special, and how to care for our canine best friends. There is also a demonstration area where dogs can show off their talents from police dogs finding scents and agility exercises, to service dogs helping individuals in daily life.

Highlights include an interactive Jeopardy! game show for attendees to challenge each other with, a dog grooming station, and activities where you can see how a dog sees, and hear how they hear.

Also playing concurrently with the exhibit is Superpower Dogs in IMAX.

Join an immersive IMAX adventure to experience the life- saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world’s most amazing dogs. In this inspiring true story narrated by Chris Evans, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners. Follow ‘Halo’, a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America. Meet ‘Henry’, an avalanche rescue expert in the mountains of British Columbia , ‘Reef’, a Newfoundland lifeguard with the Italian coastguard, ‘Ricochet’, a Californian surf legend helping people with special needs, and the Bloodhound brothers, ‘Tipper and Tony’, who are lea ding the fight to save endangered species in Africa. As we discover the incredible abilities of dogs and the astonishing science behind their superpowers, we’ll never look at our best friends the same way again!

The Dogs! A Science Tail exhibit is set to start traveling to museums and science centers around the world after it’s initial run in California, so look out for a stop new you!

Resources mentioned in this post:

The Shelter Pet Project – #AdoptPureLove

I saw this video as an ad produced by The Shelter Pet Project on YouTube and had to share.

The Shelter Pet Project is the result of a collaborative effort between two leading animal welfare groups, the Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, and the leading producer of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, The Ad Council.

Our goal is to make shelters the first place potential adopters turn when looking to get a new pet, ensuring that all healthy and treatable pets find loving homes. We do this by breaking down misconceptions surrounding shelter pets and celebrating the unique bond between every shelter pet and parent.

The Shelter Pet Project’s new #AdoptPureLove campaign celebrates the special qualities of shelter pets and the incredible bond between every shelter pet and parent. Through the stories of actresses Olivia Munn and Rachel Bloom, NFL player Logan Ryan and everyday people, #AdoptPureLove encourages audiences to adopt from shelters and rescue groups nationwide.

Top Therapy Dogs 08.12.18

Check out these great stories of therapy dogs for the week ending August 15, 2018

Children Read to SwedishAmerican Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs from SwedishAmerican Hospital gathered at Klehm Arboretum where little children were able to bring in their favorite book to read to the dogs. The dogs spend their time visiting cancer patients at the hospital. Check out the video on the 23WIFR site!

Baltimore PD’s new K-9 Is A Therapy Dog

It’s great to see that dogs are taking a more active role in policing, not only in catching criminals, but also comforting law enforcement! Their work is stressful and emotionally draining, so having this cute goldendoodle to comfort and calm them will be a huge benefit.
Check out the video at the site above how Dugger Union School brought on a certified therapy dog, Maggie, to help ease the anxiety of reading in front of others, or to help calm nerves.
This is a bittersweet moment for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Max is a crisis and therapy dog working for the Prince George RCMP’s Victim Services Unit. In fact, Max was the RCMP’s first professional therapy dog in Canada. The RCMP recently hosted a retirement party for Max. Check out the article above for Max’s accomplishments and the details of his celebration!

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Therapy Dogs Bring A Calming Paw To An Airport Near You

With studies suggesting that interacting with dogs can reduce anxiety levels, what better place for them than in airports! Long lines, tight deadlines, rigid procedures, and last-minute changes can all make for a stressful situation; especially during busy holiday travel times. In looking for ways to ease the frustration of travelers, many airports are inviting therapy dogs into their concourses to help sooth frazzled nerves.

Vane Airport Magazine complied a list of therapy dog programs available in U.S. airports. Check out their infographic here.

Here is a sampling of news articles of therapy dog airport ambassadors.

Albany International Airport’s Canine Therapy Ambassadors

Albuquerque International Sunport Ambassadors

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Buffalo Niagara International Airport

Denver International Airport – DEN CATS

Gerald R. Ford International Airport: Gentle Fur In Action

Orlando International Airport 

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Syracuse Hancock International Airport

This article on Syracuse.com says that the first airport therapy dog program started in San Jose after 9/11 to ease the fear of flying passengers were experiencing.

Given how expansive the program has become across so many airports in the United States and around the world, it seems that the presence of therapy dogs will continue to maintain a significant presence for a long time.

According to Syracuse.com, the first airport therapy dog program started in San Jose, California after 9/11 to help overcome the fear of flying passengers were experiencing.

Some of the benefits of the mental health benefits of emotional support animals and comfort pets, from Redbarn Inc, include the list below. Given the benefits listed below, it’s very obvious why dogs are appearing in airports.

  • lifts spirits and lessens depression.
  • lowers feelings of isolation and alienation.
  • encourages communication.
  • provides comfort.
  • increases socialization.
  • lessens boredom.
  • reduces anxiety.
  • aids children in overcome speech and emotional disorders.
  • creates motivation for the client to recover faster.
  • reduces loneliness.

If you are traveling through any of these airports, be on the look out for a fuzzy friend to pet or hug. Who knows, maybe it will improve your day more than you think!

Dog Therapy Programs

The Dog Alliance – Texas
Paws For Love – SPCA Serving Erie County
West Michigan Therapy Dogs Inc.
Careing Paws
PAWS of CNY

Top Therapy Dogs 08.05.18

Check out these great stories of therapy dogs for the week ending August 15, 2018

Therapy dogs celebrate retirement at Regions Hospital

After a combined 12 years of service at Regions Hospital and more than 700 hours of volunteering, 12-year-old Daisy, a golden retriever, and 11-year-old Stella, an Afghan hound, are taking time to unwind.

Baltimore Police Department welcomes a furry new recruit: Meet Penny the therapy dog

The eight-month-old mini Goldendoodle is the Baltimore Police Department’s first therapy dog and will be on call to comfort officers and supervisors, police announced Tuesday.

Therapy Dogs Benefit Those with ADHD

TheBark …interacting with dogs may help these kids by heightening their arousal and emotional states and leading to increased attention and interest in the environment in which therapy takes place.

Nanticoke Welcomes 4-Legged Volunteers As Part Of New Pet Therapy Program

The goal of the new pet therapy program is to provide Nanticoke’s employees, patients and visitors interaction with trained, tested and certified handler and dog teams, promoting positive mental health and reduce the effects of stress in a medical environment.

Animal Therapy Proves To Be A Paw-sitive Program For Local Seniors

The Enclave, a senior rehab and living facility just partnered with the therapy dog and his handler to bring the residents some extra sunshine.

 

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