Canine Chronicle

 Download the September 2004 issue of the Canine Chronicle.

Just last year Shadow was nothing but a farm dog, a Border Collie that with a stroke of luck was saved from a messy fate and given a new home and his own wine label. From there he was propelled into canine fame and fortune. Last time we read about Shadow, he was just starting his transition from Fox Creek’s winery dog to Australian wine icon. Since then, it has been nothing but a whirlwind of fun and loving, travel and revelry. Like Kylie, Thorpie, Delta and Naomi, Shadow has been spotted at all of the big events and glamorous parties around the world. From the Oscars, to the Carnival in Rio, to some of the great sporting events, Shadow has been a guest of the most famous and salubrious types in the world. This week the Canine Chronicle caught up with Shadow back home at the Fox Creek Vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale where he has just launched a white wine, simply called ‘Shadow’s run, The White’. CC spoke with Shadow about fame, travels and all those celebrity run-ins.

Welcome back Shadow. We can’t wait to hear, what’s the last year been like?

Yeah well, really amazing. I thought last year was full on after the release of the original Shadow’s run – what with the TV appearance and all those reviews - but it has been nothing compared to the journey I have been on this year. A dog’s life one day; celebrity status the next.

You have travelled to some amazing locations, can you tell us what the highlights were?

Until last year I had never been out of the country so getting to the Taj Mahal and China’s Red Square was truly amazing. I must admit there were a few language barriers in China and as for the Taj, well that’s a decent kennel indeed. And the Carnival in Rio... well I spent most of the time blushing. I thought there were laws against that sort of behaviour.

You have been spotted with some high profile celebrities, can you tell us about some of those experiences?

The invitations to the sporting events were the most fun. I was invited to the Melbourne Cup as the guest of these sisters from New York. Apparently their dad owns some big hotel chain. Anyway we had all sorts of fun shopping before the event and got lots of great pictures. Those two are certainly not camera shy. Another great event was the Grand Prix where I got to run in a celebrity race alongside the F1 cars which was a real rush.

In the last interview, you mentioned talk of a pantomime in London, how did that go?

It was an adaptation of Run Spot Run, called Run Shadow Run… it was actually pretty short, just a few scenes… you know, Dick and Jane watching me, well, run. It was strange because I remember it as an old kids book that my family read aloud while I slept on the fl oor. But as soon as it was a popular show, the critics kept writing stuff like “children’s masterpiece bought to life” and that really blew me away.

What about the Tussaud’s wax museum?

Oh yeah that was a nightmare. I had to stand still for hours and every time I thought I recognised someone from home to have a chat, they were really cold, didn’t even talk back. It took me a while before the penny dropped that Kylie was not being rude, she was just not really there. Good place to see celebrities, not very good to catch up with them.

But you hardly need introduction these days Shadow, what about the invitation to the Royal Danish wedding?

Oh that? Frederik and Mary are old friends. I fi rst met Mary when I was at some collie trials down in Tassie. She was really cool, just a normal person and then ba-boom – there she is on the front cover of Hello! magazine. The wedding was really beautiful and being asked to walk down the aisle as the flower dog was such an honour though it was pretty difficult to just walk and not run.

We saw it reported in all of the tabloids, but can you give us your account of the day with the Beefeaters in London?

Oh I got in big trouble that day. I went to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Now from where I was I couldn’t see that high up and I kept getting glimpses of these brown fl uffy things and I swear it looked just like an old mate from home, a chocolate Labrador from the Vale. So I went the chase - just like at home when I chase the vibrations of the vineyard wires - yapping and barking. What I didn’t realise was that the fl uffy things were the big hats of these beefeaters and I nearly took the nose of one of them clean off. They were calling me the “Beefeater eater”.

Speaking of fashion, you were asked to model some clothes in Milan?

Now that was weird. You see, animal print is really in at the moment. And because I am still in it and it doesn’t actually harm any animals, everyone is having animal fur in their runway shows, but with the animal still in it. Like I said, really weird especially when one of the assistants tried to have me dry cleaned. There’s been all sorts of rumours about THAT event with Ian Thorpe at the Olympic trials.

Can you tell us what really happened?

Oh I still feel awful about that. Ian and I became friends after we both worked at a Dolce and Gabbana show in Milan. I went to see him swim in his 400 metre Olympic trial heat and just as he was about to dive in I couldn’t contain myself. I woofed “Go Thorpeeeeeddooooo!” It gave the poor bugger such a fright he lost his balance, fell in and was disqualifi ed from the race. I felt awful but luckily he is still swimming for Australia in Athens.

But the Wallabies weren’t that lucky.

The result of the game was such a shame but it wasn’t nearly as scary as being in England that night. The city was heaving with patriotism, adrenalin and funny black beer. Anyone looking anything like a wallaby was in trouble. I was hassled so much I ended up telling the locals I was an English sheepdog not a Border Collie just to get out of there with everything intact. And that song, Sweet Chariot, if I heard that one more time I was going to howl to the moon.

What’s it like to be back?

A lot of my friends have started families which is great to see. But there are so many puppies it’s hard to remember everyone’s name – there’s Spot, Patch, Bluey, Dee-Fa ... the list goes on.

Has much changed at the Fox Creek vineyard?

Well there’s a few changes such as the new winemaker, Chris Dix and another dog named Pip. He’s only young so likes to hang out with me which is pretty cute. And of course there’s my new white wine as well as the second release of my red wine. But it’s great to see that all the things I love about the place are exactly the same as when I left them. There are the beautiful wines, the old cellar door, the lovely locals who bring me old tennis balls and come by for a pat and a chat. Yeah, it’s just as beautiful as when I left it. I’ll be home for a while now, you should come by and see for yourself.

Thanks Shadow