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Come Super Bowl Sunday, the dogs at one Vancouver park are going to be barking about the Memphis mullet.
Memphis, a three-year-old shepherd-mastiff-Great Pyrenees cross — a.k.a. “a mutt” — lives with Tanya Ebach and two hairless cats in east Vancouver.
She finds herself on the brink of canine celebrity thanks to a chance encounter with an animal trainer who works in the local film industry.
Ebach says Memphis took a liking to agility training and was part of a class full of “really rambunctious, crazy dogs.” In the midst of the puppy-palooza erupting all around her, mild-mannered Memphis remained “very chill,” says Ebach.
The trainer took notice of her gentle disposition and suggested Memphis might be a fit for film sets. That opportunity came this past summer when Memphis landed a role in a Christmas-themed Ford commercial as the family pet.
Ebach points out she’s no pet “pageant mom,” and only let Memphis continue on to another gig because the trainer told her how much Memphis enjoyed her first taste of animal acting.
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Cue the biggest role of her life: Memphis will appear alongside wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Super Bowl commercial for Kawasaki’s Ridge crossover vehicle. Versions and teasers have dropped online, and let’s just say Memphis sports a haircut that can only be described as “all business in the front, all party in the back” — just like every other character and creature in the ad.
“I guess she’s officially in the business now, but this wasn’t planned,” says Ebach, who works in property management and occasionally moonlights as a bartender around town.
She admits Memphis’s moment in the Kawasaki ad — which was shot in December at a Langley farm — amounts to a millisecond in real time. But friends tell her it’s also more or less the punchline of the piece.
They all plan to gather for a Super Bowl party on Sunday at the home of a friend who can stream U.S. TV, and since she’s not a football fan, Ebach dearly hopes Memphis’s millisecond doesn’t end up on the cutting-room floor in the final cut.
Ebach got Memphis after friends had an accidental litter on a farm in 2020, when their mastiff cross was impregnated by a dog from a neighbouring farm before they could get her spayed. Ebach chose Memphis because of her mellow demeanour, and that’s proving to be the makings of a four-legged acting star.
Next up for Memphis is a role in the Fox sitcom Animal Control starring Joel McHale, in which she will be seen with her paws at the wheel of a Tesla in a scene.
The second season of Animal Control debuts on March 6, though when and for how long Memphis gets her latest close-up is still anyone’s guess.
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