Meet 'Peter Pan Live' Breakout Stars: Nana The Rescue Dog And Dog Trainer [Video]

Joanne Eglash

When it comes to training dogs and other animals to act in productions such as Peter Pan Live, William Berloni has become the entertainment industry's version of the dog whisperer. He's received cheers from animal rescue groups for his decision to use only shelter pets in productions, carefully selecting each dog -- or other animals -- and then training it to become a star. And that's why when the producers of Peter Pan Live decided to use a real dog rather than the traditional actor in a dog costume for the role of Nana the dog, Berloni got the call, reported the Daily Herald.

Named Bowdie, the dog wowed viewers of Peter Pan Live with its perfect performance. From barking on cue to playing with the adorable children who learned to fly from Allison Williams, Nana the dog earned praise from reviewers for a breakout performance.

In a review listing the high points of Peter Pan, Nana earned the number one spot from the Oregon Live.

"Nana, the dog: The furry member of the Darling household was a total pro. Not only did this canine turn down the missing Darling children's bed -- hey, Nana, if you're looking to make some extra cash, there are hotels that would value your services -- but the dog barked on cue. Give this animal an Emmy!"

"Honestly, the real champion of #PeterPanLive thus far has been the dog trainer. Berloni is well-known for rescuing shelter dogs and training them for theater and TV productions.

"#love much that there was a real #dog in #PeterPanLive…trained by the wonderful WilliamBerloni"

"#love much that there was a real #dog in #PeterPanLive…trained by the wonderful WilliamBerloni"

"It's the first musical to star a dog," Berloni said. "It's my ultimate dream come true."

In terms of canine history, Bowdie is the first real dog to take on the role of Nana in Peter Pan, reports Woofipedia. A rescue dog from Utah, Bowdie is a 2-year-old poodle mix.

And although Berloni felt positive about Bowdie's performance, his human co-stars weren't so sure.

"'We have sword fights, flying, children, a dog, and Christopher Walken. What can go wrong?' mused Christian Borle, who played Smee and Mr. Darling."

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