When a reality show takes a look at real people, making positive efforts, especially when it involves animals, I’m there. I love to see people who really care about the welfare of animals highlighted. That’s especially true of this TV series about Bill Berloni.
I met Bill when I helped him bring his story to Guideposts magazine. He had rescued a scruffy shelter dog, and trained the dog to become the canine star of Broadway’s Annie. But Bill Berloni‘s story is so much more. Because he really cares about dogs. Now an award-winning theatrical animal trainer, the dogs Bill works with come to live with him on his farm in Connecticut.
It’s at this farm that the show, From Wags to Riches, is filmed. It follows Bill, along with his wife and daughter, and the house and barn full of dogs, a llama, a donkey and more!
From Wags to Riches premiered on Discovery Family Channel August 6. There have been four episodes so far. I’m not sure if there are more planned. In last Thursday’s episode, Bill worked with a despondent 8 year old St. Bernard at the Humane Society of NY where he volunteers as Director of animal training and match making. He came up with a plan to help bring him around, and eventually Titus felt better, and even found his forever home.
He also searched for the perfect rescue dogs to play a role as Toto in a production of the Wizard of Oz. All Bill’s canine actors and actresses are rescues. He evaluates the dogs’ ability to focus, ability to learn, and ability to remain calm in stressful situations. Two dogs are used for the role of Toto. “A dog who is feisty enough to run away from the Wicked Witch
is not the same dog who will sit calmly while Dorothy sings Somewhere over
the Rainbow,” Bill said.
It’s fascinating to see how Bill evaluates and trains his canine stars. And then returns home to his own brood, giving them all the love and attention they deserve. I especially appreciated hearing him discuss the joys of senior dogs, and his own senior cairn terrier Snickers. I love my senior dogs Kelly (13) and Ike (9).
One of the funniest lines in the show was when Bill was getting his English Bulldog Nigel ready to appear in an event, Broadway Barks, hosted by Bernadette Peters. As he was rushing out the door he called out to his wife, “Oh! Nigel needs his hat!”
And his wife responded, “Which one?”
haha, how many dogs have several hats to choose from!
Turns out it was his bowler.
From Wags to Riches is a show that showcases a man who cares about animals, and who does much good for animals. And that’s definitely worth watching.