Funny, Isn’t It?


By Jeanne Charters


It’s 2014 and time for new resolutions. (Really?). Ahhh, I don’t know. The only bad thing I do is drink red wine at night, and I really look forward to that. It’s how Matt and I close the chapter on another busy day and relax into the evening. It’s catch-up time, music time, joke time, and dinner prep time. Fun! I’ve tried grape juice, but it just doesn’t bring the same panache.


Jeanne Charters

Jeanne Charters

The red wine is problematic only because I had breast cancer last year, and the nutritionist at the cancer center tells me alcohol is b-a-a-d for breast cancer.


The way I figure, though, (and this is an admitted rationalization) is that the Tamoxifen I have to take battles the wine for dominance in my body and the Tamoxifen wins.


Another rationalization—I’m a great, healthy cook. We eat at home most nights and the food is good! Very little red meat, lots of fish and vegetables, organic whenever possible. Also, I eat blueberries every morning for breakfast. Frozen at this time of year, but that’s okay.


So don’t scorn me over a little wine, pleeeeeze.


Besides, I have an exciting story to tell you. Last summer, Bucky and I went to the doggie park with our friends, Suzy and Scooter. Suzy’s the mom—Scooter’s the dog.


Suzy and I met at this same park by necessity when our dogs became fast friends. So Suzy and I had to become fast friends, too. And we did. Turns out we have as much in common as Bucky and Scooter do.


Before I proceed with my story, I should tell you that, as a kid, I always waited to “get discovered.” My mother was a Photoplay (if you’re too young to have ever heard of Photoplay, just substitute People magazine) addict when I was little. I heard the story often about how Lana Turner got discovered at Schwab’s Drugstore in Hollywood just sitting there drinking a soda.


I loved sodas! So why not me?


Now, the fact that I lived in small-town Ohio, not Hollywood, and that Lana’s chief asset was the way she filled out a sweater did not deter my dreaming. So what if my training bra had little in it to train. I’d grow—wouldn’t I—wouldn’t I?


In my daydreams, if I didn’t get discovered in Hollywood, it would happen in New York City. Some talent agent would grab me off the street or out of the automat and star me in a Broadway musical. I could sing (a little). Granted, my dancing needed some work—but that’s what lessons are for, right?


Needless to say, my fantasies did not happen in real life. That’s why this story I’m about to tell you is so exciting.


Back to this summer at the doggie park. Suzy and I had the boys on their leashes headed for play when two young men approached us. “Excuse me,” one of them said. “We’re scouting for a dog product commercial. Could we talk to you and put you on tape?”


One of them had a video camera. “I’m from L.A.,” he said.


L.A.? That’s where Hollywood is!


“Sure,” I said casually, acting as though this happened to me every day of my life. Funny, isn’t it how you try to play it cool when inside, you’re so excited you almost wet your pants?


So anyway, they talked to us and videotaped us and the dogs and off we went.


Months passed. During those months, Suzy and I heard stories about how these guys were all over Asheville talking to dog owners and doing their videotaping. With each tale of “other dog” interviews, my heart sank a little deeper.


Then, just before Thanksgiving, the call came. It was the casting agent. “Could you please bring your dog down to the Renaissance Hotel at 6:00 this evening?”


Could I ever! Suzy got the same call, so we bathed the dogs (and ourselves) and applied makeup for the first time in a month and headed for the big time. We walked into the Renaissance and my heart plummeted. There were 20 dogs in there.


Now, sadly, I am a very competitive person. I love dogs, but this was ridiculous. And it was interfering with my wine time with Matt, so I started to feel a bit cranky.


We all sat down on the floor of the lobby of the Renaissance. There were about 12 people there who drifted from dog to dog to dog and just sat there and petted and chatted. Turns out the 12 of them were agency people from New York, L.A., Chicago, Minneapolis, and Atlanta.


Frankly, I was so busy giving the evil eye to two beautiful malamutes with gorgeous, young owners to match that I nearly lost my Little Mary Sunshine smile.


Each one of the agency people commented on how cool a town Asheville is—that they couldn’t get over the restaurants and friendliness of the people and that it seemed very dog friendly.


Yep, we concurred. Dog friendly it is. Meanwhile, Suzy and I murmured to each other, wondering what is this product that it can afford to bring in 12 creative agency folks from all over the country?


Finally, one of said folks mentioned that they were down to two locations in their site search. Asheville and somewhere in Sonoma Valley, California. They were all flying to the next site in the morning. They would choose a location and start shooting the campaign in January. My hopes plummeted.


Left to Right: Scooter & Bucky

Left to Right: Scooter & Bucky

My first thought? Are they nuts? Why would you want to shoot an outdoor commercial in January in Asheville? I was certain Sonoma Valley would win out.


But ta da! I was wrong! Asheville’s coolness won out. AND both Bucky and Scooter are in the category of “favorite dogs.” Well, of course they are. Just look at their picture. What malamute could be cuter than these two?


So, here’s where it stands. Next week, we sign some final papers and get a schedule. The product is Purina One and we will feed our dogs that product for 28 days. My vet says the food is good.



I will definitely keep you posted on how all this develops. Finally, fame! So what if it’s because of my cute doggie. I’ll take whatever I can get.


Jeanne Charters
Written by Jeanne Charters