Lights, Camera, Meeka!

February 18, 2013  

From streets to stardom, Meeka has taken show biz by storm

By Deanna Savidge

I met Meeka on January 27th, 2010, during a very difficult time of my life. I was going through a bad breakup with a boyfriend and was finding out my mother was terminally ill. At this time, it had been 10 years since my dog, Missy, passed away and I was so bonded with my Missy that I thought I could never replace her. One morning, I woke up and it just came to me that I was ready for another dog.

I was struggling from a depression and I knew that I needed, and was ready for, a dog in my life. So, I called out of work and drove to the local shelter and there she was, all curled up and skinny lying in the back of her kennel. She was very sick with kennel cough, her bowl full of food, she wasn’t eating, and she barely wanted to come meet me at the gate. They told me she was lucky because she was being moved on that very day. I can only assume she was being moved to death row because of her illness. At the shelter, I took her out in the yard to meet her and there no question Meeka was my baby dog. I left her there that day so she could be fixed before she went home. I was so excited to finally be ready for a dog that I spoiled her rotten before she even came home. I picked her up on January 29th, just a couple days later, and we have been inseparable ever since. She came home and couldn’t even walk up the steps. She was a stray so I didn’t know her history, but according to my vet she was probably about 6-7 months old.

Meeka can be very goofy. When I come home, even if I have gone for only ten minutes, she wiggles like every other silly dog but she must have something in her mouth, so she usually grabs a ball or her toy to run around with in her mouth while barking (muffled). If she can’t find a toy fast enough she will grab the closest shoe. It doesn’t matter, as long as she can wiggle while carrying something in her silly mouth. She is all about kisses and hugs (literal hugs) – you must get down on your knees to get a hug, and she loves hugs and kisses any time of the day. She is independent in the house and will lie on the sofa while I cook or am on the computer, but when I am watching TV on the sofa she is right next to me, curled up with her little brother. Meeka and Monte do everything together. They sleep together, eat together, drink water at the same time out of the same bowl, and share toys together. Meeka watches out for Monte as if he were her kid.

After a couple of months of Meeka being home with me, I started realizing that she was so smart and would learn things so quickly that I got her involved in search and rescue (SAR).This is where I knew Meeka was really talented. She was fully trained in seven months, and it usually takes a dog eighteen months to train for SAR. I had adopted her in January, and by October of the same year she was fully trained to find live human scent. This is when I decided to start looking for an animal agent and sending her beautiful pictures out to talent scouts. It didn’t take long. In February of 2011 Saturday Night Live (SNL) was looking for a pit bull, and because Meeka is so outstanding in looks they chose her! Of course her formal SAR training helped get her paw in the door. She did great on the set, and we took it from there. She started trick training the week after SNL. The day of SNL rehearsal was definitely not a fun-filled day because we were in an old dilapidated building with no heat in the middle of February during a very cold winter. But the SNL cast made sure Meeka had a bed to lie on and blankets to be wrapped in. This was an all day event and we were freezing! The cast and crew was the very best and all got joy from being with Meeka for the day. They even referred to her as the star of the show and once mentioned she should have received an Emmy award for her performance. My goal for Meeka is for her to be in a movie, but she is a pit bull so my agent thinks she will probably never have that opportunity.

If Meeka weren’t a pit bull she would have a lot more work. She is extremely talented and trainable, and I can usually train her to do something within a couple hours to just a couple days for more complex requests. All I can hope for is someone like us to be on the deciding factor of which dog gets the job. If they are open-minded and know dogs as I do, then I am more likely to get Meeka in for an audition. She misses out on a lot of work that I know she could do because of her look. When Target cast Meeka for the Converse advertisement, it was amazing. Meeka had to lay down with her head on the model’s ankle and she nailed it. Some of the models were afraid of her and so were some of the cast, but I think by the end of the day everyone was quite happy with her.

Meeka has many talents! She can turn lights on and off, open and close doors or objects, will tug on pants legs, limps on command, will work from a distance, barks on command, sits up on hind quarters, she will put her toys away in the box, wave hello, play dead, hold any item in her mouth for a picture, she will look at the camera on command, crawls, high five, hugs and kisses, she will pick stuff up off the floor and hand it to you, she does so much I lose track. She can do pretty much whatever you want her to do and believe me, she wants to do it for you. This dog would do back flips if I asked her to just to make me happy.

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