StarPet: How to Make Your Pet a Star

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9780743491945: StarPet: How to Make Your Pet a Star

Hollywood pet trainer, award-winning animal behaviorist, and bestselling author Bash Dibra offers industry insider advice on how you can turn your favorite four-legged friend into a
STAR PET
Teach your cat or dog to pose for the camera
Train your pet to sit, speak, or raise a paw on cue
Create a professional pet portfolio
Attend local auditions and open casting calls
Go behind the scenes to meet some of America's most famous animal entertainers
Practice the same techniques that Bash uses in his StarPet Workshops
Learn about pet health insurance and animal-actors' rights
Receive expert advice about responsible pet ownership

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One: From Street Dogs to Pets

After I escaped the cold confinement of the internment camp, life in Italy was near idyllic for a young boy with a vivid imagination who loved animals. Images of Italy's most famous saint, St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, were everywhere: icons in churches, statues in gardens, frescos on village walls. The colorful feast days, when entire villages celebrated the life and times of St. Francis with music, theater, art, games, and picnics, filled my head with visions of an everyday "Peaceable Kingdom." My pets were the village dogs and cats. They weren't really strays, but unlike pets as we know them here in America today, these dogs and cats were left more to their own devices. Much like Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's classic A Streetcar Named Desire, these pets depended on the kindness of strangers--the local villagers who embraced them with open arms. I was no exception.

My earliest memories are of playing with these dogs and cats in front of my favorite fresco of St. Francis. This particular one was the largest and most colorful, depicting the defining moments of the life of St. Francis. The series of life-size paintings guided the onlooker through the life of St. Francis, capturing his most memorable times: first, the beloved saint as a young troubadour entertaining in the streets and cafes; next, preaching his famous sermon to the birds; then, imploring the mayors of the villages to pass laws that people must make certain to feed the cats and dogs and other animals on Christmas Day; another, the famous nativity scene; and, finally, the taming of the legendary wolf of Gubbio. That was the fresco that affected me most.

I would take the street dogs and cats and direct them to act the scenes from the fresco. I would have the dogs and cats -- grouped in circles with dishes of food -- "sit" and "stay" to portray the noble men and women in the cafes where St. Francis entertained when he was a troubadour. For the sermon the little saint preached to the birds, I would try my best to train the street cats not to follow their instincts to go after birds and butterflies. I didn't have much success with that, however.

Cats, of course, are "harder" to train than dogs, as you will discover in Chapters 6 and 7, but I think it would have taken the saint himself to train those streetwise cats not to act on their natural impulses! The nativity scene was fun because it required props and costumes, but my favorite scene was the taming of the wolf of Gubbio. To my young mind, the wolf in the fresco looked very much like my dogs from the internment camp, and I wanted to communicate with the street dogs as I had with the camp dogs. Indeed, I found that the street dogs learned their roles very quickly and happily, and always came back for more fun.

When I look back on that time in my life, I realize my childhood games were actually training for my future, when I would train my StarPets for roles in television and films. In fact, depicting each "scene" from the fresco was very much like working from a TV director's storyboard -- which I will teach you to do yourself with your own pets, in the following chapters.

As a young child in postwar Italy, however, I had no knowledge of television, of course, and had never seen a movie. But one day, my mother took me to a museum, which was showing a six-minute piece of film on a loop -- running it continuously throughout the day for the museum visitors. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a piece of history -- the first film ever made purely for entertainment.

Rescued by Rover was shot in 1905 by Britain's legendary Cecil Hepworth (who also cast his own family in the film) and directed by Lewis Fitzhamon. A terrific Collie dog (named Rover, of course!) comes to the rescue of the family baby, who, despite the watchful attendance of the nanny, has been kidnapped by gypsies! Entranced, I watched spellbound as the camera followed Rover's derring-do detective work from the time of the abduction to the discovery of the gypsies' hideaway and the tearful reunion of the baby with her family!

I watched Rescued by Rover over and over, until my poor mother's patience wore thin and the museum closed its doors. But I wasn't finished with the film. My new childhood game was "Rover."

I endlessly cajoled my poor mother to take me to the museum every day for the run of the film. When the exhibit ended, I was bereft. I began to pester my mother to allow me to go into town with the other kids to see the Saturday matinees. Now I was hooked. Maybe I would find another Rover!

Eventually, my mother relented, and the exposure to movies awakened me to a world I'd never dreamed of. That little theater in postwar Italy didn't have access to the modern American films, but that was just fine with me. I saw all the great early films of the silver screen: Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, and all the Mack Sennett funfests, which included, of course, the famous Keystone Cops. But each time the camera's aperture expanded to include animals my eyes really widened and my own horizons expanded: Chaplin's A Dog's Life, Larry Trimble's Strongheart, Lee Duncan's Rin Tin Tin, Our Gang (with Petey!), and all the animal antics of Mack Sennett's irreverent repertoire! One day, years later, I would put together a reel of Sennett's best moments from his movie menagerie for a fund-raiser to benefit service dogs, but at that point I'm not sure I even understood that the dogs were actors! These "reel" dogs had a very real hold on me. They were my pals, just like my street dogs, who were always there for me.

Twenty years later, I would be directing my own dogs in Italian movies.

My father found a great deal of work in Italy, indeed all over Europe. The ancient Romans had built a complex labyrinth of underground drainage tunnel systems. Their work was so ahead of its time that the system had remained in use even up through modern times. But nothing remains in good working order without upgrades, and Italy's system required constant upgrading. Compounding the problem was the fact that the "landed gentry" had built massive estates and villas on thousands of acres of land over these tunnels. Because of this, my father would be called away all over the continent. Wherever the work took him, I had a new opportunity to acquire new skills that still guide me in my profession today.

At each estate, our family would be housed in modest quarters on the compound along with the other workers -- the household staff, the groundskeepers, and the gamekeepers. As a child who was drawn to the dogs and horses, I hung around the kennels and stables, mesmerized not just by the dogs and horses, but also by the skills of the kennel masters and stable masters. Hungering for any crumb of attention they might throw me, I eagerly sank my teeth into any odd job they might ask of me.

Eventually, they began to teach me what they could, as well as allow me to try my own uncertain hand at dog training and horse training -- even falconry! When the dogs and horses were down for the night -- and I should have been in bed, as well--I would sneak out to the barn to try out my newfound training skills and techniques. Nighttime was showtime for the barn cats! With their keen night vision and physical dexterity, these felines were amazing to watch as they controlled the rodent population and played, pawing at fireflies and jumping at shadows.

As I grew older and practiced my techniques and honed my skills, I had the honor and privilege of apprenticing with some of the most renowned trainers and kennel masters in Europe. Many of the kennels I worked in were devoted exclusively to developing and breeding show-quality dogs, and the experience gave me the unique opportunity to get to understand and work with the different qualities and performance skills of almost every breed of dog.

As I continued my apprenticeships, fine-tuning my craft and learning as much as I could about the trade, what I glimpsed inside the great villas influenced me almost as much as my work in the fields outside those gilded walls. You see, inside were beautiful paintings, great works of art, depicting how the great noble men and women felt about the very animals we were training -- their pets! Wall after wall came to life with pampered pets captured in paint: the master and his hunting dog, the lady and her lapdog, the "nanny" dog in watchful repose at the baby's cradle, a great Newfoundland rescuing a child and her doll from an overflowing brook. I was struck by the power of these painted people and their pets to elicit such pathos from the human heart, the ability of an artist to transmit the power of the human-animal bond -- and how the landed gentry in the paintings could translate the beauty of that intangible bond to others through art.

As I grew older and my world expanded, my father found work in Alsace, the birthplace of the Alsatian -- the German Shepherd -- the breed of Larry Trimble's great dog actor, Strongheart. It was also the birthplace of another icon, Albert Schweitzer. Physician, theologian, musician, and author, the acclaimed Dr. Schweitzer was a consummate humanitarian. His legendary work as a medical missionary serving the poorest of the poor in Lambarene, Africa, had won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, several years before my family and I arrived in Alsace. Much like Mother Teresa today, he became a celebrity of iconic proportions, a universal symbol of altruism, self-sacrifice, and dedication.

Equally concerned for the welfare of animals as for that of human beings, his philosophy of "Reverence for Life" literally came to life in his hospital compound in Lambarene, where he brought life-saving medical treatment, not just to the people, but to their animals as well. And, indeed, when cultural mistrust or misunderstanding threatened to stand in the way of life-saving treatment for the people, he simply allowed his patients to bring their extended families,...

From Publishers Weekly:

Celebrity pet trainer and animal acting coach Dibra, who has trained the pets of everyone from Henry Kissinger to Calvin Klein, reveals the history behind his successful StarPet business and explains how to prepare pets for the stage and screen in this enjoyable guide. Much of Dibra's advice stems from his extensive knowledge of wolf behavior and his experiences with his own beloved wolf, Mariah, who has starred in a TV movie and served as the official mascot and goodwill ambassador for the 1984 Winter Olympics. In addition to detailed instructions on teaching dogs how to sit, wave, kiss or open doors, Dibra's book includes methods for training a more fastidious pet-the cat. The key to training any pet, he writes, lies in understanding the animal's "inner drives." Thus, even felines like Morris from the 9 Lives Cat Food commercials can become great actors. Dibra includes useful tips on guiding your pet through play-acting sequences and lists various events that may prove helpful in "Getting Your Paw in the Door." Though he uses exclamation points profusely ("Always keep the play in play-acting!") and his enthusiasm can be wearying, those looking to teach their pet difficult acting skills like sneezing on cue will find this book both informative and encouraging.

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Descrizione libro Downtown Press, Australia, 2005. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Hollywood pet trainer, award-winning animal behaviorist, and bestselling author Bash Dibra offers industry insider advice on how you can turn your favorite four-legged friend into a STAR PET Teach your cat or dog to pose for the camera Train your pet to sit, speak, or raise a paw on cue Create a professional pet portfolio Attend local auditions and open casting calls Go behind the scenes to meet some of America s most famous animal entertainers Practice the same techniques that Bash uses in his StarPet Workshops Learn about pet health insurance and animal-actors rights Receive expert advice about responsible pet ownership. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780743491945

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Descrizione libro SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Hollywood pet trainer, award-winning animal behaviorist, and bestselling author Bash Dibra offers industry insider advice on how you can turn your favorite four-legged friend into a STAR PET Teach your cat or dog to pose for the camera Train your pet to sit, speak, or raise a paw on cue Create a professional pet portfolio Attend local auditions and open casting calls Go behind the scenes to meet some of America s most famous animal entertainers Practice the same techniques that Bash uses in his StarPet Workshops Learn about pet health insurance and animal-actors rights Receive expert advice about responsible pet ownership. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780743491945

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Descrizione libro Gallery Books. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 416 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.5in. x 1.1in.Hollywood pet trainer, award-winning animal behaviorist, and bestselling author Bash Dibra offers industry insider advice on how you can turn your favorite four-legged friend into a STAR PET Teach your cat or dog to pose for the camera Train your pet to sit, speak, or raise a paw on cue Create a professional pet portfolio Attend local auditions and open casting calls Go behind the scenes to meet some of Americas most famous animal entertainers Practice the same techniques that Bash uses in his StarPet Workshops Learn about pet health insurance and animal-actors rights Receive expert advice about responsible pet ownership This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780743491945

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