Uggie the dog, a Jack Russell Terrier and the canine star of the award-winning movie The Artist, has now written an autobiography titled Uggie—My Story. And what a tail, er, tale, he has to tell! This is a rags-to-riches story about a dog given up by his family because he was too rambunctious. Luckily he found peace in the world of animal acting.
Omar von Muller, an experienced animal trainer, saved Uggie from being a “pound-bound hound.” He fell in love with Uggie’s smarts, skill, high energy, and canine charisma, taught him how to skateboard, and ultimately how to hone his doggie acting craft, which led to Uggie’s Hollywood stardom.
The path to fame wasn’t always easy though. Uggie’s road to Hollywood was sprinkled with TV commercials and other gigs before he hit the big time—movies! Uggie’s early films include Sniff: The Dog Movie and Mr. Fix-It. Higher up on the ladder to fame, the Jack Russell Terrier landed a much bigger film: Water for Elephants starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. As is the case for so many actors, Uggie fell deeply in love with his co-star, Reese, who he gushes about chapter after chapter in the book.
“They were very close,” said Omar. “When Uggie would come on set, he’d be all over her. She was a real animal lover. And he likes to kiss a good-looking girl.”
During that same year, Uggie’s career absolutely exploded when he starred in The Artist, which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won five. That movie truly launched Uggie-mania.
“We were on top of the entertainment world,” said Omar. “On the red carpet, all you could see were the big stars’ legs because the cameras were all focused onUggie.”
Uggie was such a huge phenomenon that Academy Award organizers were met with pleas and petitions to honor the canine with his own Oscar. But, alas, it was not to be. Despite not winning, Uggie’s star still shone bright that night. He joined the cast onstage when the film won the Best Picture award, proudly showcasing a magnificent and donated gold Chopard collar.
Uggie handled the Oscar snub with grace, which was probably easy because he won a number of other awards including the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, a special mention at the Prix Lumière Awards, and the Best Dog in a Theatrical Film award at the very first Golden Collar Awards.
Uggie’s story and his accounts of what he has experienced in the City of Lights is amazing; his autobiography is jam-packed with fascinating show biz tidbits and celebrity gossip. You’ll most likely devour it all in one sitting. In addition to Uggie’s hilarious story-telling, the book is also very touching in spots, like when he writes about love for his human mother.
“No one looks better than Mom Mercy. The woman is in peak condition day and night. If she’d had four legs, she’d have stolen Best in Show at Westminster.”
This past June, Uggie reached the pinnacle of his career when he was the first dog to ever add his paw prints to Hollywood’s famous cement outside Grauman’s Theatre.
“I have no regrets,” Uggie remarks.
And he shouldn’t. He worked hard and now he enjoys retirement, pawdicures, reclining by the pool, and living on easy street.
Uggie’s book was released October 16, 2012 and it’s still flying off the shelves! Here’s a link to purchase Uggie—My Story.
Written for NBC Petside