Consider Uggie, Day 7: Is Artist Wonder Dog 'Facing Retirement'?

Even if no awards body deigns to recognize the year's finest screen work by a dog (or anyone else, for that matter), we can all take some comfort in knowing that Movieline's Consider Uggie campaign has attained an apex of some kind: The Artist's wonder-dog sidekick has been featured in that celebrated repository of prestige, glamor and influence otherwise known as Page Six. But that's the good news; another, more troubling report on Uggie suggests that this campaign may be his last shot at golden glory.

I mean, maybe Ramin Setoodeh went a little too deep on Uggie for The Daily Beast, because cue the heartbreak:

Despite all the critical acclaim, Uggie is facing retirement. At 9, he doesn't have any other gigs lined up, and he spends most of his days lounging by the pool or playing with [trainer Omar von] Muller's 6-year-old daughter. "His health is good, but he has a bit of a shaking syndrome that white dogs get, *"Muller says. "People will think he's nervous or cold, but it's a neurological thing." [...]

[Artist co-star James] Cromwell for one thinks the Academy should revise its rules to recognize non-human performers. "I wish there was an award, whether it was an Oscar or not, that demonstrated the contributions that animals make in the telling of a story," he says. "In the Q&A's we have, everyone says, 'Where did you get that extraordinary dog?'"

As mentioned previously, Uggie is due. Pay attention, Academy, before you miss your chance! Don't let an oversight like this haunt you Raging Bull-style for decades to come.

Elsewhere, meanwhile, the New York Post doubled up on its Uggie coverage over the weekend, with both a full feature on the #ConsiderUggie movement and a kind of mindblowing inclusion Saturday in Page Six. He had to share the space with Beginners co-star Cosmo -- the year's other acclaimed Jack Russell terrier -- but still! No one can deny this milestone, which only portends more to come:

If the Oscars had a canine category, it would be dog-eat-dog this year between Jack Russell terriers Cosmo and Uggie. The dogs play key roles in Beginners and The Artist, movies that have won best-picture prizes in the awards derbies leading to the Academy Awards. [...] Uggie's just taped an interview with Ryan Seacrest and is getting ink in W, Time and Newsweek. There's even a "Consider Uggie" Facebook page. Behind the scenes, Cosmo has the advantage for avoiding paparazzi: His hair-and-makeup team on Beginners gave the all-white pooch tan spots with vegetable-based coloring. If the Oscars don't add a category, perhaps they can at least hope for the MTV Movie Awards.

Team Uggie will take it! But for now, keep the awards-season dream alive on Twitter and Facebook. And I guess I should start some kind of PayPal page for his retirement present. Developing...

Follow S.T. VanAirsdale on Twitter.

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