Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Preview Clip of Who Let the Dogs Out Episode 3

Check out this preview clip for this week's episode of Who Let the Dogs Out on Animal Planet (Saturday March 3rd)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Military Dog Monument in Washington DC

With over 15 years working in the pet industry, I can honestly say this is something that really moved me. A monument is being built--with private funds to honor military working dogs who have served along side our human veterans. Military service dogs have helped protect our freedoms for nearly 70 years in four branches of the US Armed Forces. As it turns out, my employer, Natural Balance Pet Foods is helping to raise funds for this military dog monument. It is all coming together through our new reality TV show 'Who Let the Dogs Out' on Animal Planet. In the new episode that airs this coming Saturday March 3rd, Tillman, (the world's fastest skateboarding dog) went to Washington DC with the gang to meet with Congressman Jones and A veteran named John Burnam, who is an advocate for the dog monument. You really need to watch this episode to find out what its all about. Anyone who is a friend to the military or has a loved one in the service will appreciate this episode of Who Let the Dogs Out because it highlights the strength of the human-animal and how amazing (and brave) dogs really are.
Also in this Saturday's episode is when Tillman went to visit the training facility for military dogs, who do all kinds of cool things including disaster recovery, search and rescue, etc. Tillman's visit to the 947th Military Police Detachment, of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment was really cool. If you love seeing dogs work, and be trained, and if you love and respect our military as much as I do, you will really love this week's episode of Who Let the Dogs Out.
Set your DVR or TiVo to record the episode on Animal Planet. It airs Saturday mornings 10 am eastern, 9 central, and for the west coast check local listings for your cable company.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cool Stuff this week on Who Let the Dogs Out

This week's episode of 'Who Let the Dogs Out' on Animal Planet has all kinds of awesome stuff. There is pretty much something for everyone! In particular if you live in New York, Philly, or Baltimore, you're going to be proud of your home towns being featured. Tillman meets Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman, and finds he has lots of fans in Baltimore.
The gang enjoys an awesome dinner with Chris Tillman at the famous Bo Brooks restaurant in Baltimore for Blue Crabs, which look so delicious! Too bad Tillman himself couldn't go in to enjoy some too.
Tillman, Wally and Rose take a City Sights bus tour in New York City, thanks to the generosity of Gray Line Bus tours who set it up for the gang. It was a terrific way to see Manhattan and all of New York City, especially from a dog's point of view.
Then Ron Davis and Tillman swing by the famous and legendary Pat's King of Steaks restaurant in Philadelphia. Pat's originated the Philly Cheese Steak in 1930 and still has a great reputation! Ron took Tillman on a tour of Philly, and even re-traced the steps of Rocky Balboa character in the Rocky movies. They went on a tour of the Historic District in Philly too, stopping to see Ben Franklin's burial site and lots more.  I hope you can tune into 'Who Let the Dogs Out' it is really a fun show.

You can watch Who Let the Dogs out on Animal Planet 10 am eastern/9 central For the West coast, check local listings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

NASCAR's Greg Biffle & Tillman

One of the things I especially enjoy in life is meeting people. Between my personal life and professional career, I tend to meet some very cool people and pets too. For instance, NASCAR driver Greg Biffle rode on the Natural Balance Pet Foods Rose Parade float this past year. He was awesome with Tillman, and earlier in the year he welcomed Tillman and Ron Davis to the speedway to check out his NASCAR. Turns out, not only is Greg a really cool guy, but he cares about animals too! The Greg Biffle Foundation was founded in 2005 to "create awareness and serve as an advocate to improve the well-being of animals by engaging the power and passion of the motor sports industry".  Its easy to make a donation to the Greg Biffle Foundation, just click here. Pretty cool huh? No wonder why Tillman likes him so well.

This weekend in the Daytona 500 race...and Greg Biffle will be in it, of course. Check it out Sunday February 26th.

I wish I had spent more time chatting with Greg when he was in Pasadena, California in January. He is going to be featured in an upcoming appearance on Tillman's new TV show 'Who Let the Dogs Out' on Animal Planet. If you like Greg Biffle, keep an eye on Tillman's TV show. NASCAR fans will be psyched to see Greg Biffle on Who Let the Dogs Out very soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Jimmy Van Patten

This post is part of a series of 'Behind the Scenes" articles on the various cast members from a TV series on Animal Planet called 'Who Let the Dogs Out'. Today I'm highlighting my good friend Mr Jimmy Van Patten. Jimmy is an accomplished actor, writer, producer and director-- and son of Hollywood TV legend Dick Van Patten. In his role as "The Boss" in Animal Planet's 'Who Let the Dogs Out', he dispatches the Natural Balance Pet Foods canine sports team on a mission to travel the country in search of the most talented dog in America. His talented group of dogs, led by Tillman, the World's Fastest Skateboarding Bulldog lead the way hosting casting calls and meeting all kinds of cool dogs at Petco stores and in US cities nationwide. Animal Planet viewers are in for a treat as they get to know a different side of Jimmy Van Patten, who in recent years has become known for his roles in the wildly popular 'Saw' horror film series. 
I invited Jimmy on my radio show to chat with him about his career, and in particular 'Who Let the Dogs Out'. As usual, Jimmy was a great guest, funny, engaging and full of great stories. The interview provides insights to the man who has demonstrated his broad range of talent across many different formats in entrainment. Independent film buffs may be familiar with his recent appearance in the acclaimed Indy thriller film "A Thousand Cuts". Broadway fans will be delighted to hear him discuss his upcoming Broadway show "The Flunky, the Musical". Either way, Jimmy is a fascinating person who has a passion for animals and pets of all sizes. 
For pet lovers, it was great to hear Jimmy talk about the cool dogs he has been meeting as they travel the country in search of the most talented dog in America. Jimmy speaks with genuine admiration for the natural talent in dogs; clearly he enjoys his role as The Boss and being a judge on Who Let the Dogs Out. For example, 'Kangaroo dog" who was featured in episode 1 was a 3-year-old Australian Kelpie named 'Rox' Jimmy smiles when he speaks about Rox. He combines his admiration and affection for the hundreds of dogs he has witnessed in casting calls nationwide. Tillman, he says continues to impress him every time he takes to his skateboard. "He does it because he loves to ride" Jimmy explained. "He will keep on going until he is exhausted, he isn't doing it for a treat reward or just to please his trainer/dad. It is a true love of the sport for Tillman". Jimmy has spent enough time with Tillman and Friends to know what he is talking about! 

I asked Jimmy what it is like working with his dad, TV legend Dick Van Patten on Who Let the Dogs Out. They both seem to truly enjoy being on this project. 'We worked together on the Sunshine Boys, a few years ago, traveling the country" Jimmy said. "We saw our fair share of theatres but loved working together...and still do". In Who Let the Dogs Out, Dick Van Patten seems to be the voice of reason to Jimmy's whims and directions to Ron, Lexi, Karen and Steve. He comes up with the craziest ideas on where to send the crew, without regard for travel distances or much else. His dad weighs in from time to time and gives Jimmy a good ribbing. They enjoy each others' company and have good chemistry and timing, so it makes perfect sense that both Van Pattens serve as "The Boss" on this amusing and entertaining new reality show. Who Let the Dogs Out can be seen Saturday mornings on Animal Planet. Check your local listings for times.
If you have some free time, tune into The Palm Springs Savant & Co show on BlogTalkRadio to hear my interview with Jimmy, you'll enjoy getting to know him.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Modernism Week in Palm Springs

Right now, we're smack-dab in the middle of Modernism Week here in Palm Springs. It's actually an 11 day focus on mid-century modern design which includes architecture, art, culture, films, lectures, clothing, home furnishings and much more. Mid-Century Modern refers to the the period of 1940's, 50's and 60's design styles. Palm Springs was a hot bed of growth and development during that period, and has retained much of that style even today. In fact it is embraced and celebrated, this with events like Modernism Week. We have modernism built into the fabric of our community. According to their website, the Palm Springs Modern Committee is a "non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining the heritage of modern architecture and historic neighborhoods in Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. Our goals include community education, outreach, and advocacy in creating a constituency for the appreciation and preservation of Desert Modern design". There is a great article from the LA Times that ran last year about Palm Springs Modernism if you want to check it out.

Adele Cygelman's great book, pics: David Glomb
Palm Springs is recognized as a mecca for all things mid-century modern. People come in droves to tour, shop and relive the era through period hotels, renting homes or dining in retro-restaurants. There are plenty of easy self-guided tours you can take as well. We have an excellent range of shops that specialize in selling  mid-century merchandise, so as resale, some new goods designed in the retro style. 

People from all over the world enjoy renting mid-century modern homes, sip martinis poolside and dream about what it was like to see Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack at local Palm Springs establishments. Friends of mine own a business called 'Vacation Palm Springs', which specializes in such rentals, short-term or long term.

Another great example of this is famed Palm Springs fashion designed Trina Turk. Her clothing and home furnishings are immediately identifiable and unique, but always bring you back to the 50's and 60's era.

A really cool thing to do while visiting Palm Springs is to take a guided tour. There are several good tours, particularly during Modernism week--which offer views of some of the most iconic designers and architects whose work is preserved, and alive and well here in the desert. Albert Frey homes, the Elrod house (made famous in the 007 flick Goldfinger), Numerous Alexander style properties, and much more. These designs will leave you longing to live here!

So if you are within driving distance to Palm Springs, or just feel spontaneous, hop on a quick flight to PSP International Airport and check it out. Incidentally, PSP was named one of the top ten most stress-free airports, by Nifty, huh?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Premiere Episode for Who Let the Dogs Out on Animal Planet

Well today is the big day. Premiere day for Who Let the DogsOut. I hope you are able to tune in and watch the show on Animal Planet this morning. A psychic friend here in Palm Springs told me that today’s date of February 18th is a good day for the show to premiere. I’ll take that confidence, happily. Being part of the team that is bringing the show to broadcast is really something special.  I already have fun things planned for the show’s debut. We happen to have family visiting at the moment, so that means I have a built in audience. Then there are the two dogs, Sheldon and Duncan, and I can’t forget the kitty Owen. So that must account for like 8 viewers, just in my house in Palm Springs alone! 
We’re off to s good start I’d say. I even have some nifty cookies made with the show logo on them to give out to friends and neighbors to promote the show. So today is a day of celebration. I’ve got everything ready for my viewing party.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, I will also be participating in the online viewing party via Twitter. You can follow along using the hash tag #TillmanTV if you want to join in or just RT something and say hi. Most important I hope you can check out the show this morning, and tell a friend or two. I need every viewer out there to tune in.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just One More Day Until The Dogs Are Out

Tillman is one of the world's most famous dogs!
OK so we’re just one day away from the premiere episode of ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’, and still lots to do. In some ways I think even Tillman senses something big is about to happen for him. Tillman has been on TV plenty of times, and with over 30 million various You Tube hits he has been an Internet sensation for several years. Having his own reality television series however is another thing altogether.
Tillman has been busy blogging, Tweeting and posting on Facebook, staying in contact with fans who have been drawn to the news of his new show. In fact on Saturday Tillman will be hosting Viewing parties online with Twitter. Just search for the hash tag #TillmanTV to join in the fun and follow along. Of course, be sure to ALSO tune in to the show.
Wally is still a cute isn't he?
During the Viewing Party for Who Let the Dogs Out, people will be able to answer trivia questions, ask Tillman questions and potentially win prizes just for watching the series. The show is truly a labor of love for Tillman’s dad Ron Davis. His canine sister Rose, and brother Sully are having more fun than they probably ever imagined.  
The dogs have been getting star treatment-- thanks to Tillman’s personal assistant, the stud and young hunk of the show, Eric Presnall. Mornings they have their normal breakfast but after some mid day exercise they get rewarded with a few slices of Natural Balance dog food rolls. Tillman likes the Beef, Rose prefers Lamb, and Sully likes Turkey. When the beautiful and sexy Lexi Beermann drops by with Wally her incredibly cute bulldog puppy, he gets a slice of the Duck and Potato roll. So Eric has his hands full catering to all four dogs. But when you think abut it, they are the stars of the show.
On top of all this, the human cast have been having a blast watching this all come together. Ron Davis, Lexi Beermann, Karen Cobb, Eric Presnall, and driver Steve Clark are about as down to earth as one could imagine. They are really grounded in the fact that this show is about their shared love of dogs, and how dogs can help enrich the lives of people. All you need to do is tune in to the show Saturday morning to see for yourself.  
Who Let the Dogs Out is about to begin a fun journey with you and all the other Animal Planet viewers. I hope you will be able to check it out…and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Having the Best Job in the World

I returned home to Palm Springs after spending a week in New York City on business for Westminster Dog Show. I’ve been attending Westminster nine years now, and yet every year I learn something new about the sport of show dogs. The trek back to the desert was nearly a full day's journey, and by the time my plane touched down at Palm Springs International Airport the San Jacinto Mountains were a sight for my tired eyes.
Lots going on at the moment—all good, just lots happening all at once. One project I’m especially pleased with is our new reality TV series called ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’. Set to premiere this Saturday morning February 18th on Animal Planet, Who Let the Dogs Out follows the antics of Tillman, the world-famous bulldog and star of the Rose Parade. Tillman has been a bit of a phenomenon for sometime now and now has a whole canine sports team of pals. You see, Tillman and Friends have set out on a talent search to find the most talented dog in America.
Me with Tillman
The show follows Tillman and Friends, along with his cast of human trainers traveling the country holding casting calls and making appearances from places like Times Square in New York City, to the White House and the beaches of California. Tillman even has his own personal assistant, named Eric Presnall, an up and coming actor/singer who loves spending time with Tillman. website
I’m involved with Who Let the Dogs Out as a production consultant, but I also head up the social media effort to get the word out about this great new show. Social media marketing and outreach is something I’ve done on a personal level for over six years, and thoroughly enjoy learning new things from fellow bloggers and social media gurus.

At the moment, we’re full steam ahead getting the word out about Who Let the Dogs Out. I’m amazed at how easy it is network a message socially when the content is strong. The preview clip of Who Let the Dogs Out is engaging and fun, which is part of why people enjoy following Tillman.
One of the very cool things I've been working on is the Watch and Win Sweepstakes we have planned around the show. Each week, during the run of the season we will have a trivia question to answer about that week’s episode. Correct responses enter you into a random drawing for a weekly prize package. Then we have one Grand Prize, a trip for two to Hollywood, California to meet Tillman, plus a one-year supply of Natural Balance Pet Food.  If you want to check out the Watch and Win Sweepstakes for Who Let the Dogs Out, click here.

So as you can imagine, developing a show website, launching an official sweepstakes and executing a comprehensive social media marketing campaign for a television series has kept me busy. Keep in mind that Natural Balance is a small, family owned and operated company, so we all pitch in. It certainly helps having the Van Patten family insights to Hollywood television production but that’s part of what makes it fun. If I had to file this post in one of those manilla folders, I’d name it “Best Job in the World” with a sub-folder of "Gratitude".

Who Let the Dogs Out can be seen Saturday mornings on AnimalPlanet starting February 18th. 10 am E, 9 Central, For west coast viewers check your local listings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dog Judges Canine Talent Search

New evidence that the world is going to the dogs surfaced at a recent canine talent search held in Los Angeles, California. Norman the Scooter Dog was one of the judges on the celebrity panel for the newest TV series 'Who Let the Dogs Out', which premieres Saturday morning February 18th on Animal Planet. Show producers have been conducting a nationwide search for the most talented dog in America, as part of their new reality TV show storyline. Norman the Scooter Dog sat at the judging table observing the dogs and their human trainers perform, in hopes of being selected for a final competition this year. 
Who Let the Dogs Out features an amazing canine cast, led by Tillman, the World's fastest skateboarding bulldog. Joined by fellow pups Rose, Sully, baby bulldog Wally and Norman, they travel across America in Tillman's rock-star RV in search of talented dogs. Their human pals, Ron Davis, Lexi Beermann, Eric Presnall, Karen Cobb and Steve Clark help keep the dogs in line as they march across the country. Hollywood TV veteran actor Dick Van Patten and son Jimmy Van Patten also star in Who Let the Dogs Out, as bosses to the whole team. You can follow Tillman on Facebook and Twitter under the name: TillmanSkates.
Who Let the Dogs Out even features a Watch and Win Sweepstakes, so watch the show an then check the website to learn how to enter the sweeps. Check your local cable provided TV listings for air time on Animal Planet Saturday February 18th.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dog Wedding in New York

Dog Wedding Announcemen
Sunday was an certainly interesting day for me. At the moment I'm in New York attending the Westminster Dog Show, but today I had the opportunity to attend a fun event for pet lovers at the Petco store in Union Square, New York. It was a 'Dog Wedding' between a Chihuahua named Zoe and a Puggle named Reese. Before I go any further I should just point out that this was merely a whimsical distraction for people with a sense of humor, so if frivolity upsets you, or you are generally a crabby cynic, then it may be best to skip this post. But if you are aligned with the majority of pet lovers, you will likely find this to be really cute. Judging by the number of attendees and wedding guests who witnessed the event, it was a real hit.
The store did a great job decorating, creating a little altar setting with paper wedding bells, and tufts of pink paper satin flowers. The white "rose petals" were tissue paper, and the rosettes along the posts were all hand made with white and pink tissue paper. Here are a few fun photos:
Maid of Honor: "Baby"
Groomsmen Luke and John
Wedding Party: Seamus the McCaw
Groom: Reese and Best Man: Ziggy the Guinea Pig
Bride Zoe was radiant in white
Wedding Guest Miss Peach
Distinguished Guest Mr Poopy
Father of Bride walks Zoe down aisle
Once all the guests were settled in their places, and tails stopped wagging, the wedding party assembled to prepare the big moment.
The wedding processional music played "Here Comes The Bride",  Zoe's father walked her down holding her up high for all the guests to see more easily.
Reese, the groom checked with Ziggy his best man for the wedding ring collar. while Baby the Maid of Honor checked Zoe's veil before the ceremony began. As I looked around the room, I noticed one or two of the female (human) guests shed a few tears of joy.
After a brief "officially unofficial" ceremony, with very amusing vows, Zoe and Reese were pronounced "Dog and Wife". Reese looked over to his Best Man and smiled with approval, while Zoe showed off her happy face with a few licks of joy, stamping her feet too. The wedding guests barked, purred, squawked, flapped wings, wagged tails and fluffed fur to express their happiness...but demanded the outward sign of their new matrimonial puptials.
The guests didn't have to wait long for that. The wedding official announced the new couple, Mr & Mrs Reese Kraft. With that, she told Reese that he could kiss the bride, which he dutifully performed to the delight of everyone in the audience.
Once the wedding ceremony was out of the way, the attendees decided to party like animals, so they headed to the Wedding Reception. The humans passed trays of hors d'ouevres which were slices of Natural Balance dog food rolls, turkey, lamb, beef and duck, along with a few dog biscuits too.
As the guests milled around the reception, I went over to check out the wedding cake, which was in the shape of a bone. The guests were all snapping photos of the cake, and began asking when it would be served. I wondered how they would handle this part, but soon that too was revealed...
The happy canine couple dispensed with the traditional "bride feeds the groom" nonsense. and instead they both tore into their wedding cake. The guests were very excited. Lots of tails were wagging in approval, and tapping on the floor. I thought I noticed some drool on the floor near the Maid of Honor, but that may have just been wedding party gossip from the in-laws.
For their Honeymoon, Reese and Zoe are planning to curl up together on the sofa next Saturday morning to watch "Who Let the Dogs Out" TV show on Animal Planet. I think Tillman is their idol. They posed for wedding photos with Tillman's TV show poster in front of them. I gave the happy couple a few bags of Tillman's Treats as a wedding gift to enjoy on their Honeymoon. I hope their paws can work the TV remote control. I suppose they have a human on hand to handle that sort of stuff. It was a fun day, and certainly a first for me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Karen Cobb

Norman does lots of TV gigs
This post is part of a series of 'Behind the Scenes" articles on the various cast members from a TV series on Animal Planet called 'Who Let the Dogs Out'. 
One of the newer members of Tillman's K9 Athletic Team includes a very cool dog named Norman, better known as "Scooter Dog”. You only have to see Norman once to immediately recognize that he is one awesome dog. His mom, Karen Cobb is one heck of a dog trainer, and she is now a member of the cast of TV’s ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ reality show on Animal Planet. It wasn’t long ago when Tillman and friends met Karen. They were so impressed they invited her to join the team.

Karen is a native New Yorker, she was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Later she moved to Florida and Graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Video/Film production and graphic design. She worked briefly at an ABC affiliate doing graphics for live news. 
Mom and "son"
After rescuing her first dog Smokey, a  Shiba Inu, she discovered that her real love was training dogs. This impressed me, because my previous dog was a Shiba Inu named Koshimi who was a great dog but very independent. If Karen could train a Shiba, she must be good, I figured. She and her husband Chris started a Shiba Inu Rescue in Georgia and opened her own dog training  company called Courteous Canine.  She began doing in home private  lessons handling issues from housebreaking & Basic Obedience to aggression problems. Her Shiba Inus, which are known to be difficult to train, (I can personally attest to this fact!) became the top Shiba Inus in Agility and Obedience  competitions.

Knowing how difficult it can be to train a Shiba Inu, I asked Karen about her secret to successful dog training. She told me
"I use  positive motivational training methods. The key is to make it fun for the dog. If they are having fun they will want to learn and will try their very best.  Another important part of training is to break every behavior down to the smallest parts possible and teach each little part separately before you try to put it all together."   Awesome advice and a great approach to training, I thought. No wonder why I like Karen so much, she is a genius, and practical too.
Me and Norman New Years Eve
So how did Karen switch from working with Shiba Inus? 

After training a client's dog named ‘Norman’ in 1997, Karen fell in love with the breed. Carefully researching breed traits for many years, she finally got her own "Norman". When Karen found Norman, she decided it would fun to teach some unique tricks, that she had not seen done before.  Norman learned to wipe his feet when entering the house, wipe his beard after a drink and of course, he learned to ride his scooter.
The Cobb family which also includes animal lover Kaylee, 9 and hot rod loving Bryson 6, just finished an 8 month tour around the USA and Canada, where Norman performed his scootering skills to the delight of millions of fans.
Me with Karen & Norman!
As the newest member of ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’, Karen is a great fit to the show. She has a warm personality instantly puts you at ease when you meet. I first became acquainted with Karen in 2011 through work, and then had the opportunity to spend some time with her while preparing for the 2012 Rose Parade, where Norman performed on the Natural Balance Pet Foods float, surfing his way along the parade route. But it was two nights before the Rose Parade when I spent time with Norman and Karen on New Year's Eve. Norman sure is one crazy party animal!

I met up with Karen and Norman in San Diego, California recently for an appearance on the local Fox News morning show. Everyone in the newsroom, from the crew to the anchors watched in total amazement as Norman hopped on his scooter and did his thing. Karen beamed proudly as she watched her ‘son’ perform for the TV cameras. She has plenty to be proud of—not only is Norman a super cool dog, he is a member of her family too. Be sure to tune into Who Let the Dogs Out every Saturday morning on Animal Planet to see Karen and Norman. They sure are a lot of fun.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Eric Presnall

Eric Presnall appears in 'Who Let the Dogs Out'
Today is another installment in my 'Behind the Scenes' series about the characters in a new TV series. During the past year, I've had the privilege of working with most of the actors in the new reality TV show 'Who Let the Dogs Out', which premieres on Animal Planet February 18th, 2012 (10 am/9am central).
When you first meet Eric Presnall, his sparkling blue eyes command attention. At just 22, Eric is a star-in-the-making in Hollywood. Playing himself on 'Who Let the Dogs Out' Eric is working as a personal assistant to the world famous celebrity bulldog Tillman. Eric was born September 26, 1989. He enjoys talking about growing up in El Dorado HIlls, California with his family. His interest in music was spurred by his father, a singer and musician, who  Eric loved to watch perform. When he was just eight years old, Eric gained an appreciation for performing arts, while on a family on a trip to San Francisco to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Orpheum Theatre, which was starring Brad Little (who remains Eric's favorite actor in Musical Theatre). The experience of live musical theatre was so exciting to Eric, he asked his parents to study voice and dance, and soon auditioned for several musicals along the way. His first audition was for Grease with the El Dorado Musical Theatre. To his surprise, he earned the lead role of Danny Zucko, which launched his career in performing arts. Most recently, Eric toured with the company of 'High School Musical' for Disney productions. In some ways, Eric reminds me of Zac Efron. Like Zac, Eric has a fresh, wholesome, youthful image yet with a classic young Hollywood leading man look. He walks with a natural swagger that can charm the birds out of trees.  Yep, he is sure to collect a whole lot of new fans!
Music is definitely one of Eric's passions
Eric has also been gaining experience working in front of the camera in film and most recently television. His film credits include 'Clown Town', 'PLAY', 'F.U.B.A.R', 'Anxiety', 'Hatched', and 'Mirror Man'. He was also recently just cast in Power and Pride, starring Stephen Baldwin, Eric Roberts, and Helen Slater. He will be playing Luke Fletcher, the son of Senator David Fletcher (Baldwin), set to commence filming this summer. "Who Let the Dogs Out' is Eric's television debut, which he already seems to be enjoying immensely.

Eric is charming and easy to talk to. He smiles easily and often, and has a knack for putting people at ease. Whether on set or waiting for the cameras to roll Eric is focused and professional. He believes that by hard-work, anything can be possible, and revolves his life around the quote, "To spend your time wisely, aim to have none of it free."
Eric Presnall with Tillman
Who Let the Dogs Out offers an interesting perspective of Eric Presnall. Since this is a reality show, he is encouraged to be himself and relax when the cameras are rolling. He adapts easily to scenes and virtually any environment. During the 2012 Rose Parade, Eric rode on the Natural Balance Pet Foods Float, working with Tillman and other celebrity dogs surfing on the float with a specially designed wave machine. Even veteran actor Dick Van Patten is impressed by Eric. I asked Mr Van Patten about Eric's performance on camera. Dick reports that Eric is a "real pro, always smiling and loves working with the dogs too." The dynamic on set between co-stars Ron Davis, Lexi Beermann, Karen Cobb and driver Steve Clark keeps Eric on his toes. He says that everyone gets along really well, but being all together on Tillman's tour bus can present some challenges. No matter what, Eric is enjoying being part of Who Let the Dogs Out. He loves working with the dogs, and is excited about the talent search for the most talented dog in America. 

Through a series of talent casting calls and reviewing video submissions online, Tillman and Friends--along with Eric will find the most talented dog in America, one way or another. For the moment, Eric has his hands full as Tillman's personal assistant. Eric Presnall is a bright new talent and one to watch closely. Look for Eric during the premiere episode of Who Let the Dogs Out on Animal Planet, Saturdays starting February 18th at 10 am/9am central.

Click Here to hear my radio interview with Eric Presnall on Blog Talk Radio!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Ron Davis

Today is the second post in a series I'm presenting here about the cast of the upcoming reality show "Who Let the Dogs Out" on Animal Planet. Today is all about the show's lead person, Ron Davis, dad to the World Famous Bulldog Tillman.

I've known Ron now for several years-- well before I started working at Natural Balance Pet Foods, I got to know him while he would make public appearances with his amazing bulldog Tillman. Ron is a real-deal Southern California skater  and surfer dude; but despite his passion for extreme sports, his life revolves around his family and the ocean. You can tell he loves the ocean, his son's name is 'Reef', pretty cool huh? Ron was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, and soon found his true passion in working with dogs. In 2008 Ron and his English bulldog Tillman, (certified by Guinness World Records as The World's Fastest Skateboarding Dog) were discovered and invited on the CBS reality show Greatest American Dog. Though they didn't win that competition, it helped Ron launch a career in dog training. As the lead trainer at Natural Balance Pet Foods, Ron heads up our world-famous team of action sports bulldogs to skateboard, snowboard and surf. 
Ron and his buddy Tillman
As you watch Who Let the Dogs Out on Animal Planet, you'll enjoy getting to know Ron Davis. He is a genuinely cool dude with some really awesome dogs. I love it when Ron comes to the Natural Balance office with his dogs. They roam around freely, exploring what's going on, saying hello to all of us and looking for snacks. Of course, each has their own personality but sometimes I swear I can see a bit of Ron in each of them.

I asked Ron how Tillman got into skateboarding, which is his own passion.  He explained that even when Tillman was still a young pup in the family, he showed interest in Ron's skateboard. He started chewing on the wheels, and getting excited whenever Ron would take the board out. "Tillman was initially inspired by my Rottweiler, Stoli, who lived for
that skateboard, but never able to put all four on the deck", he explained to me. One day Ron took a chance and showed Tillman how to skate. In no time at all, Tillman was able to hop on the board and take to the pavement at home to practice skating without help of his dad. Not surprisingly, Ron sees himself and Tillman along the lines of fraternity brothers who are inseparable.
Ron and Tillman being interviewed
After wondering why I can't my own two dogs to stop jumping on me all the time, I quizzed Ron about his training philosophy, particularly compared to some of the other trainers on Who Let the Dogs Out. Ron says quite simply: "the more you put into it the more you get out of it". Its obvious he knows what he is talking about. With his track record of skateboarding bulldogs, he carved out a true niche in dog training and is the envy of dogs everywhere. To this day I am fascinated by Ron. He and his dogs make media appearances all the time, appearing on programs such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS, FOX, ESPN, Fuel TV, and have performed in four Rose Parades, the 2010 Winter Olympics, as well as Major League Baseball events with The Mets, Dodgers, Rangers, Angels and Giants. 

In addition to his three dogs, Tillman, Rose and Sully he and his 12-year-old son Reef live in Oxnard, California where they enjoy surfing, skateboarding, tennis, volleyball. If you love extreme sports, skateboards, skim boards or surfing, you'll want to get to know Ron. He and Tillman practically ARE the show, so it won't be hard to follow Ron each week on Who Let the Dogs Out on Animal Planet.

PS: Click here to hear my radio interview with Ron Davis on BlogTalkRadio


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