Meet the Breakout Stars of 2019: Shelby, Smarty Pants & Goose

A Dog’s Way Home is based on the novel of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron, in which a rescue named Bella has to cross hundreds of miles to reunite with her person. The film (and novel) address issues such as prejudices and bans against pitbull dogs. Shelby is voiced by the wonderful actress Bryce Dallas Howard. I haven’t been able to see the film yet, but I’m looking forward to it – especially after reading about how its star, Shelby, was cast in her role.

I love that the filmmakers wanted to use a rescue dog for their story! “Shelby is absolutely extraordinary in our movie,” says Howard. “But her true story is also absolutely extraordinary, just as riveting as Bella’s tale in ‘A Dog’s Way Home.'” According to the article at the tweet, Shelby was found skinny, malnourished, and scavenging for food in Tennessee. After being placed in a shelter and her photo online for potential adopters, Shelby was scouted by the organization Paws For Effect. Paws For Effect finds and trains animals for movies. (Note: I don’t actually support using wild animals in films, but I’m okay with domesticated animals such as dogs and cats, assuming they’re treated respectfully of course.)

Related, it was the during the filming of adaptation of A Dog’s Purpose (also written by Cameron) where footage of a terrified dog surfaced. This treatment toward animals is why I’m hesitant to support a movie starring them, unless I know the animal(s) in the film was treated humanely. It seems to be that the filmmakers of A Dog’s Way Home have been doing a good job. From the article:

On the Vancouver set, the cast and crew went to lengths to make sure Shelby and her double, Amber, were treated well. All crew members were given three numbers to call if they saw anything amiss, and could phone anonymously to report any instance of dog mistreatment – such as those that arose in a horrifying video shot on the set of “A Dog’s Purpose.”

“Everybody was hypervigilant because of ‘A Dog’s Purpose.’ It was very clear that the welfare of the animal superseded all other considerations,” Cameron says. “Every time you see Shelby doing something complicated onscreen, it’s because she’s looking forward to praise, affection, treats and squeaky toys.”

Please read the source article for more information about Shelby.

And Shelby had some company on screen!

Joining Shelby in A Dog’s Way Home is Smarty Pants, a rescue cat who has been on the SyFy’s Channel Zero. Smarty Pants was adopted at six weeks old by Courtney Voth, an animal trainer:

“She’s is a really bold, brave young cat,” Voth told CBC Manitoba’s Radio Noon. “Things that would bang and normally scare a cat and they’d run away, she’d always go up to and investigate and find out what that noise was. So I knew right away that she really wasn’t really afraid of things.”

There are a few adorable photos of Smarty Pants at the source!

A Dog’s Way homeis currently in theaters, so check it out! If you’ve seen it already, please let me know what you thought.

And lastly… If you’ve been on Twitter in the past 24 hours, you’ve probably seen quite a few tweets about Goose the cat from the upcoming Captain Marvel film.

Don’t know who Goose is? Well, you’re not alone because as someone who doesn’t watch too many Marvel films, I wasn’t really aware either! This Buzzfeed article breaks it down. We first saw glimpses of Goose in the Captain Marvel promo. In the trailer for the film, Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) gives Goose a quick pet. From the Buzzfeed article:

“Goose is likely not MERELY a cat, but a Flerken. A Flerken is, basically, an alien that closely resembles an Earth cat, but lays eggs and is even more badass.”

But who actually is the cat playing Goose? I found a Forbes article, Here’s What You Need to Know About Goose The Cat, The Cutest Character In ‘Captain Marvel’, that explains:

And since everyone likes to know the who’s who of animals on-screen, Captain Marvel has enlisted four different orange tabbies from Animals for Hollywood to play the role of Goose: Gonzo, Rizzo, Archie, and Reggie. In case you’re wondering, yes, all the cats get along very well with Jackson, as the chemistry we see on screen between the veteran actor and the felines is very real.

So it’s not just one cat, but four playing the role of Goose!

With all the sudden attention on Goose, I wasn’t surprised when I found this tweet from the Palm Valley Animal Center. It’s smart of shelters to capitalize on Goose’s popularity by sharing their own ginger cats who need homes! If you are on Twitter, please retweet.


Captain Marvel will be in theaters March 8th.


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