TOP DOGS Marlene Parrot’s dogs, Griffin, at left, and Ben are featured in See, a new series on Apple TV+. (Photo submitted)

Dog gets screen role in dystopian series

Leonberger dog, owned by Penticton woman, was selected for role

A dog from the Okanagan Valley has a prominent role in See, an Apple TV series which launched on Nov. 1.

Griffin, a five-year-old Leonberger, was selected for a role in the post-apocalyptic, dystopian series.

Griffin’s owner, Marlene Parrot, said the Leonberger is a large breed, similar to the Newfoundland dog. The breed originated in Germany.

“They were bred for the rich and the royals to have as a status symbol,” Parrot said.

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Parrot was introduced to the breed by her father, who came across them in the years following the Second World War.

At that time, only eight Leonberger dogs were known to exist worldwide.

During the war, the dogs had been used by search and rescue teams.

“They’re strong enough to pull people out of the snow and water,” Parrot said.

After the war, Parrot’s father worked to breed the dogs with Newfoundland dogs, another breed with a low population at the time.

Parrot, who lives at Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton, said Griffin has been a special source of comfort to her in the past.

When the dog was five months old, Parrot was diagnosed with cancer and Griffin quickly assumed a supporting role.

“He learned to be a therapy dog at four and a half months,” Parrot said.

Griffin’s screen role began as television producers were looking for a majestic dog for a role in the series. They were then put in contact with Parrot, who had showed Griffin and his brother Ben at dog shows in the region.

Ben has also taken a role in the series as Griffin’s stand-in. And Parrot has been hired to work with Griffin for various scenes.

While Griffin can be seen in the series, Parrot is often close by. At times, she is standing behind a pillar or curtain or lying under a bed while Griffin enjoys his moment in the spotlight.

The first season of the series, filmed in British Columbia, has been completed.

Has the screen debut gone to Griffin’s head?

“I don’t know,” Parrot said. “He certainly likes a crowd.”

The series, which includes actors Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is available through Apple TV+.

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