(Lots of pictures below!) About a year and a half ago, Brad and I were extras for a Hollywood movie called Gigi and Nate. They wanted a whole bunch of service dog teams to be in the background shots for a movie about a service monkey. It was all very hush hush—we didn’t even know it was a service monkey until we arrived on set to shoot! My friend Sabrina and her service dog Indy were in the movie as extras, as well as several other friends of mine. Yesterday Sabrina, Indy, Sabrina’s husband Russ, Brad, Hestia, Alice, and I went out to lunch and then to see the movie!
We met up at The Roasting Co, a restaurant with a great outdoor patio for when it rains. Luckily we had great weather with it being in the upper 70s and only raining a little bit while we were eating. I brought both dogs with me since I couldn’t decide which one to bring.
When we arrived, Indy was already lying down next to the table, and behind us at another table there was a big doodle. I was so proud of Hestia!!! Since I had Alice on my lap, Hestia had to sit on the floor, which she is still learning how to do. She did a very good job of staying mostly on her mat and ignoring the doodle and Indy.
It was so good to see Sabrina again—I’ve really missed her lately! We placed our orders and started talking. Eventually they brought out my food and Brad’s—but not Sabrina’s and Russ’s! So while our food was on the table, I tried to have Alice lying down in my lap.
We’ve already been working on restaurant behavior with Alice—getting her used to lying down on my lap while I am eating. She’s been doing OK but she just couldn’t understand lying down while I wasn’t eating. There was food on the table, so I wanted her to lie down, but apparently to her the cue to lie down is me eating! So that was a bit of a challenge!
Before we started eating, Brad got some pictures at the table of Hestia (black and white) and Alice (sable and white), who are Japanese Chin wearing green harnesses. Alice is lying down on my lap and Hestia is in various positions on the floor.
Eventually Sabrina and Russ’s food came out, and we were able to eat. Once I started eating, Alice settled in pretty well on my lap.
When we were about halfway through our meal, the doodle and their owner got up to leave. They had to walk RIGHT behind me to exit the patio area. I gave Hestia a stay command, and she did it wonderfully as they walked by and exited! I was so proud of her!
Then when we were almost done with our meal, a person came onto the patio with a medium to small mixed-breed dog. That dog was EXTREMELY interested in Hestia, Alice, and Indy. It reared up on its hind legs and was pulling with all its might to try to get to them. Instead of walking past us and dragging their dog on by, the owner stopped right next to our table!
I was reminding Hestia “good stay” and feeding her treats, while Sabrina was doing the same with Indy. We were obviously concerned about this dog invading our dogs’ space and trying to have our dogs ignore this overly excited dog straining to get to them. But their owner just stood there and smiled at his dog. Ugh!!! I was too focused on training Hestia to stop and tell the man to move on, but eventually after what felt like a long time, he did.
I was extremely proud of Hestia for staying in her stay under the table with that distraction! She got lots of treats!
We had a big mix up with the bills, but eventually we got all paid up and headed over to the movie theater.
We got some pictures of us outside the theater. I am wearing a pink and orange dress. Sabrina is in a manual wheelchair and wearing a grey shirt with a pink jacket in her lap. Russ is wearing a teal shirt. Brad is wearing turquoise pants with a red steampunk jacket and red hat.
When we headed inside the theater it was a bit chaotic. Brad got some shots of Sabrina and me hanging out while waiting for tickets. After a while my hips were getting sore, so I leaned against an air hockey table. Then a lady wanted to talk with me about the dogs, so I went over and since she was nice, I practiced a visit command with Hestia (which means Hestia goes over to her and then sits and looks at me waiting for her treat LOL!). Then a man and his daughter came over to talk with us, but the daughter didn’t ask and just got down and started talking to Hestia and trying to pet, so I let Hestia get out of the daughter’s way.
We found the movie poster for Gigi and Nate, though it was right in front of a window so it was hard to get good pictures. Brad got a few shots of Sabrina, Indy, Hestia, Alice, and me next to it, though.
When we got to the theater, we realized we were the only four people in there! It stayed that way for the entire movie! I was so pleased because I really didn’t want to be in a crowded theater. And Brad’s CO2 monitor said the levels were really good, too (that’s a good indicator for if it’s an environment COVID is likely to spread in). We were committed to leaving if it was crowded, so it was wonderful having our own private screening.
Since no one else was in the theater, during the previews Brad was able to use his flash and take some pictures of us!
The movie itself was pretty good. I think the actors did a good job. Brad was easily recognizable in it twice!!! One of the times, he was talking to me, but I was just cropped out of the picture. Bummer. My back was in the background of another shot. And Sabrina with Indy was in the background of a few shots, too. We were all really excited to see ourselves and shouted out (since there was no one else there) whenever we were onscreen. We also were excited to see our names in the credits (though no pictures of that!).
Alice wasn’t super happy about the movie. It was pretty loud at first, and she was not super comfortable. She did relax more as the movie went on, though. And she and Hestia both enjoyed watching the screen when the capuchin monkey’s face was big on the screen!
Hestia did fine in the movie, though she wanted more room on my lap. I tried putting her on the floor, but there was some spilled popcorn and she found it hard to resist, so she had to stay on my lap.
Afterward we headed outside to potty the dogs. Brad got some interesting shots of me and the girls from a really low ground angle. They look really good! He also got some good shots of the girls and Indy all standing around as we talked. I got a couple of pictures of his brooch which was a monkey holding a gem stone.
It was a really fun outing, and great to see Sabrina (and Indy and Russ!) again! But boy did that outing wear us out! We were exhausted when we got home.