26 January 2010

Doggie Surfing! Filming for Dog Movie "Marmaduke"

She is as happy in this frothing ocean as a Thoroughbred at the racetrack. She adheres to the surfboard as if her feet are made of Velcro.

How does an Australian Kelpie, bred to be a hardworking ranch hand, do an about-face and become an aimless surfer dude?

Easily, says her owner, Michael Uy. She has many talents, only one of which is herding sheep. The girl also enjoys mountain biking and rock climbing.

"But surfing is her No. 1 love," says Uy, 39, a software program manager in San Diego. "We surf together almost every day after I get off work."

Abbie girl is front and center in a dog-surfing craze spreading along California's beaches. These coastal canines fuel the real-life action scenes in the film Marmaduke, due in theaters June 4 from 20th Century Fox.

One of the story lines about the popular comic-strip character centers on the Great Dane being pressured to enter a surfing contest after his family moves to Southern California. Lee Pace, William H. Macy and Judy Greer are human stars in this live-action comedy in which the dogs speak. Owen Wilson is the voice of Marmaduke, an awkward teen Dane who is a very reluctant surfer up against champions such as Abbie.

Abbie got the nod to be a film extra (and earn $400) when the professional animal trainers who work with the Great Dane that plays Marmaduke saw Abbie surf in a contest, Uy says. Several of the other surfing dogs cavorting in the rough water with Abbie and Uy this particular day also will be extras in the film, which Uy says will show dogs surfing some spectacular waves.

Dog surfing is mostly recreational, but Uy and the dedicated followers bouncing up and down in these San Diego-area waves are taking it to new heights. Five competitions, up from two the year before, were held in California last year, drawing hundreds of dogs and thousands of spectators. The number of surf classes for dogs also is growing.

[Source: USATODAY]