• On The Set

    Posted on September 12, 2012 by in News

    We are pleased to announce that our Star, our Ryder, and our Iceman were all performers in a movie which finished shooting (for us) on November 11th, 2005. The name of the movie is “Light Chasers”

    All three dogs used were very wonderfully trained and treated by both trainers, Jane and Vi, and I was proud to call them mine. Star and Ryder were the main dogs used, and Iceman did a short fast running scene. Star walked away from shooting after the first weekend thinking she was a Diva. The Monday when she did not have to work on set, she sat in our yard and howled…I know she thought she should still be the center of attention like she is on set, and not be just “one of the girls” here at home.


    What a WONDERFUL experience we had once again, all thanks to Jane Conway and her great assistant Vi!

    Thanks Ladies for making our fall of 2005 so very special !!!!
    Marion, Star, Ryder, and of course Iceman.

    Thought I would like to share my tale with you. It’s about a moment in time in the humdrum life of a little old hausfrau and how it changed overnight into a fairy tale – of rubbing elbows with the kings and queen of moviedom.

    The adventure of our lives (Nikki’s and mine) started suddenly on a Thursday evening about nine o’clock. The phone rang and a gentleman called Rick Parker asked me if I had any obedience trained White German Shepherds. He explained that Joanne Chanyi and Lynda Proulx had given him my number and that he was in search of a White Shepherd for a movie role. The movie was to be called Getting Away With Murder. Starring Jack Lemmon, Lily Tomlin and Dan Aykroyd. Could he come the next morning and see my dogs?


    Jack Lemmon, Marion Lopizzo and Nikki
    He didn’t have to ask twice! Keeping my cool-as-a-cucumber composure (while halfway thinking this could be a joke), I said sure. Upon hanging up the phone, I called the Chanyi household and was told by Lynda that yes, indeed, he had called there.

    Maybe he was for real.

    I told her I’d let her know what happened.

    By the time Mr. Parker showed up the next day, I had spit and polished up three dogs to look the best three molting, shedding, hairy dogs can. He looked at all three, took pictures of all three, and got them to do some of their doggy tricks for him. He thanked us and said he’d get in touch and let me know, as he also had a couple other dogs to look at first before he made up his mind. One was a white Irish Wolfhound and the other a Labrador Retriever.

    For the next week we were all on pins and needles, waiting for THE CALL. Finally, the next Friday Mr. Parker called and said that the dog he had chosen was our own Nikki! Well, you could have blown me away, what a surprise. I had already made up my mind that Mr. Parker had made his choice and had just forgotten to call me.

    But Nikki it was!

    The next few weeks Nikki and I trained together and learned what we were to do. Her name in the movie was to be Schatize, which means something like sweetie or dear one in German. That was a sign for me because my dear dad used to call me that. I sure hoped it was a good sign.

    Our first day of shooting came much too fast, for I was afraid we were not ready yet. But Rick wasn’t worried in the least. I watched as the director did his thing with Lily, Dan and Jack until they had their scenes down pat. Boy, are they pros.

    Then it was “Bring in THE DOG.”
    Lily Tomlin, Marion Lopizzo and Nikki
    My knees were shaking and I couldn’t watch, but SHE DID IT!

    After that first day, it became great fun to go to work. David and Michael, my two sons, were both able to come. Unfortunately, my husband John only got to listen to our stories. The boys both were able to come watch and talk to the stars. Our last shoot was a night scene (on Dan Aykroyd’s birthday) and we didn’t get home until 6:00 a.m. UGH. I think one of the boy’s favourite things was the food and treats truck. This truck is full of treats for the stars and accompanying troope. The boys looked like chipmunks every time they came back from that truck. Even Nikki gained five pounds.

    Well, I won’t soon forget our movie debut. Lily was ever the funny lady and always smiling, Jack was soft spoken, a lovely gentleman, and Dan was full of vim and vigor. A happy man, even with White German Shepherd hair stuck on his clothes!

    And as for Nikki, she’s proud as could be that she was able to buy a used pop-up camper for our yearly pilgrimage to the Hoof Print Farm’s annual White German Shepherd Show with her paycheque.

    Dan Aykroyd, Marion Lopizzo and Nikki
    (I didn’t tell her that she also paid for the Hoof Print Hellion puppy we have added to our family.) If she knew that, she might refuse to ever do another movie.

    Heaven forbid.

    Written with love and much pride in our now nine White German Sheperds: Nikki, Monte, Brandy, Star, Cally, Ryder, Dallas, Sky, and Dyna.


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