That was the first question Howard asked me when I agreed to add a dog to the film.
Without any second thoughts I replied, “An Airedale, it’s a terrier.”
Airedales have been part of my life since I was very young. I know what they look like, what their character and temperament is like, and how they move. Indeed, the dog in the film is heavily based on the two Airedales I’ve been lucky enough to have in my family. (I’ve known a few other Airedales too, but they didn’t belong to us.)
Our first family dog was Cooper.
I was only 4 years old when we got him. For some reason Mom thought it would be a good idea to let me name him, so I chose Cooper. It stuck, and he was probably the greatest dog I’ve ever known. For the most part, the dog in the film is based on Cooper, and is in fact named after him. He isn’t quite all Cooper though. My perception of Airedales has been added to by our latest dog, Encore. She’s gentle like Cooper, but is really more of a mush than anything. Whereas Cooper would never even sit on the couch if you were in the same room, sitting on the couch with Encore around will usually compel her to crawl up and lean on you.
What they have in common though is that they’re both chowhounds. It’s a characteristic that drives many dogs, and is also the single biggest motivation of the dog in my film.
Of course, those who know me personally know I've left someone out so far:
Andy and Encore are close buddies.