Just a little lite something this morning:
A Hollywood animal trainer’s secrets for getting dogs to act on cue. (H/T PT) I’m definitely going to see that movie White God, though it sounds as if it’ll be painful to watch.*
The latest place therapy dogs (or even just well-behaved family pets) are showing up: funeral homes.
* It’s true and a relief what she says at the end about the differences in training movie animals today vs in the past. She uses horses as an example, how they’re now trained to fall in battle scenes rather than cruelly tripped. I had a friend you probably saw in a dozen or so movies, though you never noticed him; you just saw a cavalryman (usually) or an anonymous Indian or western gunslinger and his horse crashing spectacularly to the ground.
Amazingly enough, this kind of work is often not done by professional stuntmen. It’s done by people like my friend, whose hobby was Civil War (sic) re-enacting. When not participating in equestrian mayhem, he was a sleazy salesperson, event promoter, and part-time money launderer. He was also the only person I ever knew who had the brake lines on his car cut by a) gangsters or b) a jealous husband; he was never sure which. (He ended up in the median strip on a highway, relatively undamaged.) He was quite unflapped about the prospect of breaking his neck, though he was a bit upset when, during a re-enactment campout, a rattlesnake bit him within an inch of a very precious bodily part.
Not surprisingly, he died young. Surprisingly, it was a quiet, sedentary, and downright boring death.