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Special Celebrity Interview: Gracie & Bruiser

By Lynn Stacy-Smith

Canine Caviar is honored to have had a chance to sit down with Grace and Bruiser, stars of the independent film Wiener Dog Nationals. Gracie is  sweet, easy going and laid back but energetic at the same time. She is six years old and adores people. Bruiser is a charming cowboy who is a pup at heart with old fashioned manners and the smarts of an old timer.

Canine Caviar (CC): First of all, I want to thank both of you for being with me today to talk about Wiener Dog Nationals, Canine Caviar alkaline based dog food, and the upcoming Aloha PAWmehana event. How long have you been involved in acting?

Gracie: I have been acting all my life and I have my own YouTube videos that are so much fun! Wiener Dog Nationals was my first movie, though.

Bruiser: I started acting as soon as I could eat solid chow. Been acting like I’m starving’ every day of my life since.

CC: I watched some of your videos, Gracie. My favorite was the sneaky dachshund! What type of training did you have?

Gracie: My Mom started training me to do tricks at 10 weeks old. She made it fun and I was very eager to learn because there were yummy treats involved!

CC: And what about you, Bruiser?

Bruiser: Trainin’? Why, I don’t need no trainin’. I started runnin’ when I was a pup and was chasin’ them cows.  Bein’ in a racin’ movie came as natural to me as courtin’ the little lady I love!

CC: What about that handshake trick? Did you already know how to do that?

Bruiser: It’s not a trick ma’am, it’s a common courtesy. My mama learned me to be a “gentledog” when I was just a pup. My amigo Aiden learned me to play dead too ‘case there’s ever a shootout.

CC: Well, we sure hope you don’t get involved in a shootout although a Western seems like it should be in your future! How did you get the role in the Wiener Dog Nationals?

Bruiser:  My mama told me, “load up, we is goin’ for a trail ride.”  I’ll tell you what, she wasn’t talking ‘bout the ankle express, no sirey, we was burnin’ the breeze to get to them there Holly Woods! That was the first time I laid eyes on my purty lil’ Gracie.

Gracie: Oh, Bruiser, you’re so sweet! My Mom brought me to an audition in Studio City. There were lots and lots of other wiener dogs there. Bruiser was there with his Mom and Grandma and they were very friendly to us.

CC: What sort of special star treatment did you receive on the set? Special treats? Pawdicures?

Gracie: Ohhhh, they gave us LOTS of special treats!! We even had an air conditioned trailer for us dogs. We filmed during the summer and had very high temperatures so it was important we did not overheat!

CC: Oh, that’s good to know! Heat stroke is a very serious matter for dogs! Did you have a stunt double for any of your scenes? Or do you do your own stunts?

Gracie: There were a couple of Dachshunds that did the racing scenes…I don’t really race.

Bruiser: Gracie doesn’t race but I sure as heck do! They had me a double for the racin’ but I hog tied him out back. No varmint was gonna rescue my Gracie from a stampede of long lil’ doggies.

CC: What about the scenes where you had to pretend to be hurt?

Gracie: Pretending to be hurt was a bit of a challenge, yes. You can see in my YouTube videos that I know how to play dead like Bruiser does, but to hold my paw up like that was something new.

CC: Tell me about being allowed to tear things apart for the role.  I imagine you don’t get to do that at home!

Gracie: No, I would never think to do that at home! My favorite thing in the movie was the sneaker that I got to get rough with! The secret was bacon sewn into the tongue of it. That got me so excited. At home, I wouldn’t get any treats for that! Besides, Mom doesn’t keep bacon in her shoes!

CC: Did you enjoy acting with children?

Bruiser: Comes natural to this ol’ boy, I have a special posse of my own at the homestead with two lil’ rascals. I have fun wrasslin’ with the lil’ buckaroos!

Gracie: I love kids and kids love me!!!!! Who doesn’t love a wiener dog?? Both Julian Feder and Caitlin Carmichael loved visiting all of the dachshunds during breaks, and Austin Anderson has a wiener dog of his own.

CC: Gracie, are you as energetic as Shelly is?

Gracie: Yes, I can be VERY energetic! My high energy was a big reason I was cast as the main Shelly. It was such a compliment at the audition when Kevan Peterson (writer, director) told us that I was exactly as he pictured Shelly to be.

CC:   I’m going to ask the question that I know all of your fans want to know. Shelly and Handshake play love interests in the movie; any chance of a real life romance between you?

Bruiser:  I’d get down on one knee and ask for her paw, but my mama always told me, “Don’t kneel down with spurs on”!

Gracie: I love my Bruiser. We met at the Wiener Dog Nationals movie auditions and we go on parent chaperoned dates as often as we can. I like to give my Bruiser kisses.

CC: I’m happy to hear that you are still together! We are so excited that both of you will be joining us on the Red Carpet on Saturday August 24 at Posh Pooch, Inc. in Huntington Beach, California for the Aloha PAWmehana fundraiser for the Canine Caviar Cancer Research Foundation. Are you ready? Do you have your outfit picked out?

Gracie: Yes, I love dressing up and strutting myself on the red carpet…or any carpet, for that matter! My Mom makes all of my outfits for me. It is my favorite color, purple! It really means a lot to me to be a part of something so important.  I’m honored to be involved.

Bruiser: I’m rarin’ and ready to go, maybe they’ll get a shot of me n’ my lady friend. Cowboy up, City Slickers, and join us for the cause!  Ya’ll gather ‘round the water trough, dance the two step, sing some old time jigs; we’re gonna have a hog-killin’ time! I reckon I oughta hang up my spurs for the night and get my dancin’ shoes on.

CC: Are you excited to see the human actors from the movie?  

Gracie: Yes, I can’t wait!!

Bruiser: You bet cha, they did a bang up job!

CC: They were great, I agree! And do you eat Canine Caviar already?

Gracie:  Yes, my parents are very picky with what food & treats I’m allowed to have.  I have a lot of allergies.   I like both the Canine Caviar grain free dog food in Wilderness and Open Sky.  I like the CC sweet potato natural dog treats.  I was SO excited to receive the special VIP gift from Canine Caviar holistic dog food on the Red Carpet for the Wiener Dog Nationals premier because I could eat everything in it!!!!!

Bruiser: I like gnawing on them Canine Caviar buffalo bully sticks…reminds me of my cowboy days out on the range.

CC: Thank you so much for talking to us today and for supporting the Canine Caviar Cancer Research Foundation. Any advice you would give to dogs who would like to become canine actors?

Gracie: I would tell them to go for it!  It’s a lot of fun, hard work, but the treats are so worth it!

Bruiser: It’s a dusty trail, but you’ll meet great partners.  Be sure to pack lots of treats in yer saddlebags!