FROM A LAND­FILL TO STAR­DOM

THE WAGS-TO-RICHES STORY OF A MAG­NETIC MIXED-BREED NAMED SHELBY, WHO STARTED LIFE IN A TEN­NESSEE LAND­FILL

People (USA) - - CONTENTS - —ALEXIA FER­NAN­DEZ

The in­spir­ing story of Shelby, a res­cue who stars in A Dog’s Way Home

While shoot­ing A Dog’s Way Home, Shelby, who plays a res­cue pet trav­el­ing 400 miles in search of her owner, en­joyed the star treat­ment. She had a team of min­ders and two stunt dou­bles, not to men­tion plenty of flat­tery and treats for a job well done. But Shelby is brand­new to Hol­ly­wood. The mixed-breed dog was found in a land­fill in Ten­nessee be­fore be­ing taken in by a shel­ter, where she at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the film­mak­ers. “She’s just the most re­mark­able dog,” says nov­el­ist and co­screen­writer W. Bruce Cameron. “We don’t know that she had any prior hu­man con­tact. She was dirty and skinny, and yet she im­me­di­ately warmed up to the peo­ple that she met.” Shelby ex­em­pli­fied the “good­ness and kind­ness” that di­rec­tor Charles Martin Smith was look­ing for in his star for the film, out this week­end. But she needed help for some other traits that the role re­quired. Looka­like Am­ber per­formed the high-en­ergy stunts, and male dog Luke stepped in when Bella had to look fierce. A puppy named BB por­trayed baby Bella, and she was trou­ble. “She licked ac­tor Jonah Hauer-king, and these big red welts ap­peared,” says Smith. “He was al­ler­gic. I let her lick my hand, and I got welts too. That lit­tle dog was lethal to be around.” Mean­while Shelby’s tal­ents are be­ing put to good use in an­other field. “Shelby is a ther­apy dog now,” says Smith. “She brings com­fort to vet­er­ans and peo­ple in hos­pi­tals, like Bella brought­com­fort­tothechar­ac­ters in the movie.”

Bella’s Jour­ney When Bella be­comes sep­a­rated from Lu­cas (Jonah Hauer-king, right, with Alexan­dra Shipp), she has an ad­ven­ture.

Be­hind the Scenes Dog trainer Teresa Miller (left), di­rec­tor Charles Martin Smith (cen­ter) and ac­tor Ce­sar De Leon prep Shelby for a scene.

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