Uggie, the talented Jack Russell canine movie star, will take his final bows this awards season, appearing at the Golden Collar Awards and then will retire from his feature film career.
Nominated for two Golden Collars for his performances in The Artist and Water for Elephants, the perky Jack Russell stands a good chance of stealing the canine movie awards show on Feb 13, just like he did onstage at the Golden Globes.
But after the Golden Collars (and -- one of his trainer tells us -- his appearance at the Oscars on Feb. 26), the beloved canine star, age 10, is retiring, according to his trainers, Omar Von Muller and Sarah Clifford at Animal Savvy.
Clifford booked Uggie for The Artist and was one of his on-set trainers working long 15 hour days. So she knows first hand how hard he's worked. Plus, retirement at age 10 (which is mid-70s in small dog years) is not uncommon.
"We don’t force our dogs to do this," Clifford tells The Hollywood Reporter. "And it always has to be fun for them. Uggie's still enjoying it but he’s getting up there and he’s slowing down a little."
She says he can still do little jobs, like short films and TV commercials. But no more months long feature films.
"He’s at the stage where he just says, "I think I want to go and lay in the sun by the pool," she explains. And yes, his house (he lives with Omar) does have a nice pool. Uggie’s protégé, his brother Dash, is training hard and will be able to jump in and fill Uggie’s pawprints soon.
Alan Siskind of Dog News Daily, who arranged for Uggie to attend the Golden Collar Awards, already knew about the star's upcoming retirement plans. "So from what I gather, one of his last hurrahs will be at the Golden Collar Awards," he said.
Siskind also told THR that he is having ongoing discussions with William Morris Reality TV Department and that several networks are already interested for the broadcast rights for next year's awards. And yes, Animal Planet is one of them.
"We're still in the discussion stage with their reality TV department and Amir Shahkhalili and hope to have things finalized soon," says Siskind. "They will be an incredible asset to the Golden Collar Awards if we are fortunate enough to have them represent the Golden Collar Awards in all areas including branding and licensing opportunities beyond television."