“Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog” :The Making of Disney’s “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog

The contracts have been signed. Bob as co-producer and screen writer is in Los Angeles Monday-Friday working on the animated production. Dillie the Westie and I miss him and the walks he took us on in the neighbourhood. Fay is more likely to put us out in the backyard which we enjoy but we love catching up with our circle of canine friends and leaving our pea mail to mark our territory.

But Bob is back for the week-ends very tired from the 5 hour flight from Los Angeles and the three hour time difference. But we get a guaranteed walk at the local golf course! It is late autumn and the golf course is closed so we can walk off leash. Many rescue dogs are bolters as they specialize in escaping from humans who have treated them so badly. In fact some 90% of dogs reported missing in Toronto are rescue dogs. I could be mean and say what stupid dogs they are not knowing how lucky they are to be under the care of masters and mistresses but often many of us dogs are guided by instinct and the instinct of a street dog in Egypt is to escape from humans who cause so much suffering.

Bob has written my story but wanted to go to Cairo to speak with rescue societies and animal activists about the life of street dogs in Cairo. He spent some two weeks there learning how close his fictional portrayal of some of my life was accurate. He was quite accurate they say in Egypt but his time there allowed him to fine tune the screenplay. When he returned I could smell the stink of Cairo on him and this terrified me. My mind has been scarred by my time there but I know my story is about the story of many street dogs in Cairo and Alexandria. My story must be told!

Bob told Fay about what he thought were the nightly firecrackers and cheering in Cairo. In a shaky voice he explained that these were not firecrackers but rather soldiers shooting street dogs and those barbaric Egyptians celebrating the death of each animal. I would like to say I hate these barbaric Egyptians but Bob reminds me I survived and came to Canada because of a small group of Egyptians that care about dogs like the policeman that brought me to the animal hospital after the Rottenwhiler took a chunk out of my leg.  And the dedicated animal doctors that rely on medicine sent to them from Canada so dogs can be cured of diseases.

Bob tells Fay he is always debating with the other screenplay writers and producers who want to make the story line sweet and childlike but the story is not so sweet. Bob has had to compromise so as not to frighten the audience many who will be children but he swears this will not be a “Lady and the Tramp” syrupy feature but one with a cutting edge that will educate its viewers of the rough life street dogs face in Egypt. After 8 weeks of being in Los Angeles and two weeks in Cairo Bob has taken it as far as it can go and agrees to have his story transformed into a Disney animated film. This is so good as he is at home with us although he is back a few days a week to supervise the animation and ensure the script is as agreed upon by the producers and writers. And he is also involved with the musical score to sure it sets the right tone and the voice overs are true to the tone oof the film.

In 16 weeks the final version is ready for distribution which means me Bob, Fay and Dillie the Westie are going on a promotional tours. Bob is clearly so very tired but wants to ensure the success of the film not for the money but to accurately portray my life in Cairo and the life of street dogs that live there and to show the dedication of kind souls in Egypt and Canada that work to rescue me and my bothers and sisters. All of us in this household are going to Los Angeles for the film premiere.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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