A Dog’s Life: Uggie From The Artist Set to Retire

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Uggie, a Jack Russell Terrier, visits The Empire State Building with his trainer Omar von Muller

Many Oscar-watchers have bemoaned the fact that the adorable Jack Russell Terrier, Uggie, has not snagged a Best Supporting Actor nomination in this year’s Oscars for his role in The Artist. How they’ll react to the news that he’s calling it a day is anybody’s guess.

His trainer, Omar von Muller, has said that the pup is now retired. “He may do a couple of little things here and there because he enjoys them, but I don’t want to put him through long hours anymore. He’s getting tired,” von Muller told Life & Style.

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In fairness, Uggie is unlikely to ever top the past 12 months, which didn’t just see him charm audiences worldwide in the current front-runner for Best Picture but also cropping up in Water for Elephants. Sadly for Uggie, the mean ol’ Academy has drafted rules that specifically exclude animals from being nominated.

Von Muller already has a plan in place to ease the transition (and the pain we’ll all be facing) by — spoiler alert! — using Uggie’s brother Dash to step into the breach. Dash has already been limbering up as Uggie’s stand-in on set and the trainer said that, “I think he will be fine with Dash stepping in. Uggie is 10 years old and has done a lot of work; he wants to relax at home. If somebody wants to do a movie with Uggie, they’ll just have to deal with Dash!”

But fear not: There remain at least two major events for Uggie to sink his paws into. Despite the Oscar snub, von Muller hopes he at least gets to go (“They should give him an envelope to bring to Billy Crystal”). And most excitedly, Uggie has been nominated for two Golden Collar Awards (yes, they actually recognize the best performances by dogs on TV and in film) on February 13 for his performances in both movies.

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