Dewey is a six pound, five year old Chihuahua who loves to be held and has a cute little skip when he runs. While he rarely barks, he makes up for it in cuteness overload. He is very food motivated, a quick learner, and is making his GREAT stage debut in Legally Blonde the Musical. In a written response, his mom JoAnna talked about Dewey, his involvement with Legally Blonde and his plans for after the show!
Q: Tell us Dewey’s story– how did Dewey come to be a member of your family?
A: I was a foster mom for dogs when I lived in Phoenix, AZ. My family specialized in fostering litters of puppies without mamas. We were between litters when we were asked if we could foster a 9-month old Chihuahua named Dewey. At first I tried to politely decline, but I finally caved in and agreed.
I was completely surprised to get the amazing puppy you see today. He was potty trained, he only barked when someone knocked at the door, and he was social with people and other dogs. Then and now, he just wants to be held. My heart knew before my brain that this was my dog! As people came to meet him at adoption events, I found myself hiding him away!
Q: What does Dewey do for fun? Tell us about his personality.
A: Dewey enjoys play-wrestling with other dogs his size, walks, car rides, and traveling in a body carrier attached to a person. He is very social! He loves to give attention to other people and get loves in return!
While Dewey is practically perfect, he does fear thunderstorms and absolutely refuses to step on anything wet, especially snow.
Q: Has Dewey performed before? What made you think that Dewey would do well onstage?
A: Dewey has never performed before, and I really didn’t know how he would respond to the theatre environment. But I did know that he loves people, is very good about greeting everyone in a room, and loves to be held and carried.
Q: Dewey is training, or going to train, to become a therapy dog. What traits make him well-suited for that? Are any of those traits being developed through this experience?
A: There are several basic requirements to complete the process of becoming a Therapy Dog. Dewey has to know the basics, like sit, stay, wait, and others. He also needs to be able to walk through a crowded and noisy room without being overwhelmed. That’s hard to practice. But it turns out, loud noises have not been a stressor for Dewey!
I wanted Dewey to do this show so I could see him respond to the stressors of this environment. Once I know what stresses him out, we can start to work on it. So far, the only thing that gave him anxiety was the opening dance number. To work on that, I held him and offered comfort during that song– he’s not showing any signs of anxiety during that number now!
Q: What are Dewey’s favorite treats?
A: Dewey loves food. His favorite is cooked green beans and his favorite treat is jerky.
Q: How does Dewey respond to being in the rehearsal room?
A: Dewey runs over to greet everyone as they enter the room. He also walks around to visit everyone through rehearsal. He has responded well to the actors, whether they’re sitting, standing, or singing. I often find him falling asleep while the cast is singing… That makes me wonder what he thinks of the whole experience!
Q: How is Dewey getting along with his Legally Blonde castmates (both the humans and the other dog!)?
A: He loves going to work and seeing his people. Dewey has clicked with everyone. The cast has welcomed him and they seem to look forward to spending time with Dewey.
The first time Dewey met Trooper, I was holding him. Dewey gave a little growl, which I had never heard from him before. I put Dewey on the ground and he ran right over to Trooper nose-to-nose. They greeted each other and were instant friends. Now they hang out like old pals!
Q: Tell us what this experience has been like for you and Dewey so far.
A: The entire cast and crew of Legally Blonde has been so warm and welcoming to both Dewey and I! They are such a talented group of people, and we have enjoyed watching the show take shape. This has been a unique opportunity to see all the hard work involved in getting a show to fruition. I am honored that Dewey was able to be a part of that process and the show.
Join Dewey’s fan club and come see him and the rest of the cast of Legally Blonde this weekend thru April 23rd at the Paramount Center for the Arts!