Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A star in the making?

Kyrenia Animal Rescue is an organisation very close to Hubble & Hattie's heart. From its headquarters, high in the Besparmak Mountains of Northern Cyprus, it's been undertaking sterling work, helping strays and providing refuge to over 200 dogs and cats. Here, we take a look at one of KAR's residents, who one day could be the next big screen star … 

All owners think their pets are the best, and the same is true of KAR staff and volunteers, and their 'best' 400-plus cats and dogs. However, one of the centre's dogs has recently attracted a movie mogul's attention. The dog in the spotlight is Taggy, and she came into KAR's rescue centre as a puppy in 2012, and has remained there ever since.

Kim Betts, from KAR Pet Travel, saw an appeal from Janine Teerling, a film producer from South Cyprus, asking for a doggy double for a Dutch 'actor.' Animals are banned from travelling between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) in the south, and with a considerable part of the film's plot taking place in the RoC, a doggy double residing in TRNC was the way to go.

Discussing the requirements with Janine, and liaising with the Centre Supervisor, Elaine, it was felt that Taggy could be the perfect pooch. Photos of the Dutch star and Taggy were exchanged, and Janine, and the Director/Writer, Marios Piperdes, agreed that Taggy should be auditioned at KAR's Karakum Office, with Janine travelling over from RoC to meet Taggy.

There were some concerns about how Taggy would respond outside of her 'home' environment, and whether she would remain calm and well behaved for the audition … after all, she had only ever been to the vet, and out in the mountains with walkers – it was all a big, new experience for her.

When Taggy arrived at the office, she was remarkably calm and quiet, but very interested in everything around her. She walked in beautifully on her lead, and then lay down with a bemused look at all the attention she was receiving.

Janine arrived, and the audition began. Most remarkable of all, was that Taggy appeared to listen to everything that was said: her eyes followed whoever was talking about her … and, like a true Hollywood star, she put on her most beautiful expressions for Janine! She behaved impeccably, and Janine agreed that, with a bit of makeup, her colouring and coat – and, of course, her demeanour and expressions – Taggy would make the ideal double for the Dutch doggy star.

Taggy was delighted, standing to attention at the promise of fame and fortune (well, maybe not!). Then, the tape measures came out, camera angles were discussed, and continuity considered … but, alas, Taggy was just too tall … and there was no way they could film her to appear smaller, to suit the size of the Dutch doggy. Everyone was so deflated and sad … Taggy's 15 minutes of fame were never to be.

The audition ended, and a very sad Janine, Kim, Margaret, and Taggy, all said their goodbyes with the promise of keeping in touch – just in case another potential star was found before filming commenced. Taggy enjoyed her outing, and returned home to the centre, still a star, and 'simply the best' in our eyes … and with a few tales to tell her pals about her time on the casting couch!

The film – Smuggling Hendrix – is a black comedy looking at various aspects of the divide between North and South Cyprus from the perspective of an ordinary person, and has already won an award for its script. A release date has yet to be set, but we'll let you know more as soon as we know. 

Catch up with all the latest happenings at KAR on its website, and on Facebook.

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