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Star of Disney's Eight Below Visits Berea

It’s a perfect rags-to-riches story. Truman is in the doghouse… literally, that is, until a Hollywood casting agent came knocking at a shelter Truman called home. It seems the agent thought Truman’s red hair and pale blue eyes were perfect for the part.

V.P. of College Relations Bill Laramee greets Wicky.

Truman, whose real name is Wicky, was bound for stardom. Trading in his kennel for a chance to take Hollywood by storm, Wicky left the shelter with nothing but some tags and a fur coat. And storm it did. Wicky began intensive training and secured a lead role in the Disney movie Eight Below, a story about Wicky’s character Truman who, along with the other pack dogs, fights for survival after being abandoned in a snow storm.

For the role, Wicky learned many stunts, which can only be seen in the movie. “He knows a lot of tricks,” says Assistant Director of the Berea Fund Amy Harmon, whose brother Tom Burkhardt came to own Wicky after the movie. ”But no one knows the commands. He has a lot of hidden talents that no one knows.”

Like many former movie stars, life for Wicky was uncertain once the lines at the movie theatres dwindled. Whether he had no staying power in the constant glare of Hollywood’s lights, or whether he simply wasn’t suited for the dog-eat-dog world of movie making, the canine star was returned to the rescue facility. Shortly afterward, Tom learned of Wicky’s plight and adopted the pooch.

Nowadays, you’ll find Wicky happily visiting hundreds of fans who want to know everything about the dog’s life. But Wicky is reluctant to speak about his past. He’s content just being a human owner.

Guess every dog does have his day.

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