View Full Version : Extreme makeover for dogs-PBS Sunday nite

01-29-2006, 04:11 PM
Tonight (Sunday, Jan 29) there will be a wonderful show about Herbie and Holly, and how they were rehabilitated from their Dickensian lives to realize their full potential as working dogs. The hour-long show promises to be very inspirational! It is called "Underdogs."

Check PBS.org for your local listings; here in the midwest (Ohio) the program will air at 8:00PM. Enjoy....I know you will!

01-29-2006, 04:21 PM
Is this (http://tv.yahoo.com/tvpdb?.src=my&d=tvp&lineup=us_FL09413d&channels=us_WFSU&id=169718220&chspid=166031156&chname=PBS+5&progutn=1138582800&.intl=us) what you're talking about? I'll have to watch!

01-29-2006, 04:46 PM
Yes, that's it. I'm going to tape it, because one of my dogs likes to watch dog programs on TV!

Here is the review from the Wall Street Journal. It's kind of long, but well worth reading for background on the program:

Hope and Glory


WSJ, January 27, 2006; Page W4

Herbie And Holly are the subjects of that rare television event -- a reality
program whose participants you don't yearn to see hauled off to some
treatment center in restraints. Not that the stars of this program aren't
acquainted with restraints, as Sunday's "Nature" series presentation,
"Underdogs" (8-9 p.m. EST on PBS; check local listings), reveals. Herbie, a
rogue bearded collie, age three, has never had a secure home (or quiet
moment), much like Holly, a year-old bloodhound with a checkered past woeful
to contemplate. In truth both lived Dickensian lives, canine variety, till
enterprising specialists found them.

In detail as frank as it is enchanting, the film chronicles Holly's and
Herbie's day-by-day transformations by rescue trainers who know that it is
only by restoring them to the roles for which nature had intended them --
i.e., as workers with jobs -- that these animals can survive. This is one
makeover show that dwarfs any other you're likely to see -- and one whose
fascinations are instantly clear.

That's not surprising given the introductory scenes, which star the lead
actors: Herbie, tattered in his black-and-white, never-groomed coat, eyes
radiant. The silken Holly, prancing in her cage. The dogs, considered
unmanageable by families that owned them -- Holly's in America, Herbie's in
England -- are both residents of shelters.


One of those working breeds with a genetic memory of their old function (or
the absence thereof), Holly didn't take to the placid life of a house pet --
which rebelliousness made no end of trouble. A former master provides
accusatory testimony. For instance, the incorrigible dog had pushed a bone
under a chair, then decided to get to it by eating her way down to the floor
through the seat; then, when that work was done, she started on the chair
frame. By age one, Holly had been thrown out of six homes.

Herbie, a former miscreant, finds a new career path.

Herbie had no easier time as a member of a working breed, though in his case
the problem arose from his unhappy tendency to attack sheep instead of
herding them. Before being taken to a shelter, he had spent three months
chained up, to keep him from assaulting the sheep. Which is how it happened
that he was finally abandoned, and was found, ultimately, by the rescuer who
took him off to her Yorkshire farm, determined to restore him to his
function as a herder -- one, above all, who didn't try to eat the sheep.

The film is somewhat vague about what, exactly, Herbie did to the sheep when
he went at them -- nothing good, we can guess. What is entirely clear is the
job confronting that rescuer-trainer, Barbara Sykes -- namely, getting
Herbie to follow her commands when he's around sheep, and not his own dark

The road ahead, before Herbie can qualify as a serious herder, will be long.
You get the picture when the trainer emits a celebratory shriek -- "Look, he
did it without eating the sheep!" -- after a successful run in the corral.
Before heading off on that road, though, there will be a grooming session,
in which the long-neglected Herbie is transformed into the debonair rake he
knows himself to be, in his heart. It is a mesmerizing sight, much like
every other in this story of life redeemed.

Holly's own route to success -- under the tutelage of trainer Larry Allen,
who finds her in a bloodhound rescue center and decides she can be turned
into a first-class tracker for the police -- isn't much less complicated.
There is, for one thing, her terror of loud sounds -- noises, as in the
sound of guns going off, that would preclude any career in law enforcement.
But Holly's rescuer, who takes her to his West Virginia farm for lengthy
training, is, like Herbie's, determined that the dog will overcome -- as she
does, triumphantly.

There can be no other way to describe her performance in the one final --
impossible -- test given her before she can qualify as a state employee.
Here we're shown Holly given a whiff of a man's scent, then required to find
the place where he sat, the night before, in a baseball stadium filled with
thousands of people -- a search undertaken after an all-night rain. One that
ends with the former unwanted terror of six households standing purposeful
and assured before a particular seat -- the right one. Holly, we're not
surprised to learn, is now gainfully employed as a sleuth for the
Massachusetts State Police. No viewers tuning in to this saga of stout
hearts and indomitable wills should be surprised, either, at its power to
keep them glued to the screen.

Cinder & Smoke
01-29-2006, 05:31 PM
Tonight (Sunday, Jan 29) there will be a wonderful show about Herbie and Holly,
It is called "Underdogs."

Check PBS.org for your local listings;
here in the midwest (Ohio) the program will air at 8:00PM.

:confused: ??

Double-Check that TIME ...

Youngstown, Arkron, and Cleveland are listing "Underdogs" showing at 7:00 PM.

/s/ Phred

01-29-2006, 05:52 PM
Thanks, Phred -- I'll be ready at 7:00, but my Spectrum mag says "Nova" (Lost Empires) at 7:00 and "Underdogs" at 8:00. I'll watch at 7:00 in case the magazine is wrong.

Dot :)

01-29-2006, 06:08 PM
It's 7:08 here and I'm on PBS but it's just people singing. :confused: :confused:

01-29-2006, 06:23 PM
Go to PBS.org and click on "TV schedules" tab. Then search out the schedule for your area.

You should be able to find the schedule for after midnight, too, by clicking on the "next" arrow. Even if you've missed it this evening, PBS usually re-runs their specials during the wee hours, at least they do here in Dayton, Ohio. Sometimes, they even run them twice during the early morning, just to fill air time. If so, you can set your VCR to record it while you sleep.

Good luck!

PS: If all else fails, it will probably be available for purchase on CD/VHS. Most of their special are.

01-29-2006, 06:37 PM
I just went to PBS.org and clicked on "Find another PBS station", then on "Station Finder". I tried a couple of Florida PBS stations, clicking on their TV schedules, and didn't find "Underdogs" listed, but I don't know what city you are in. :confused:

You might try other stations in your area. If you don't find it tonight, you should probably contact your local station and ask if and when they will be running it. I also found the place on PBS.org where you can purchase the video.

01-29-2006, 06:40 PM
Thank you very much! :)

01-30-2006, 08:51 AM
That was a pretty amazing show. It's so nice to see that in such a short time a "problem" dog can become such a valuable companion & work dog. All they need is a little love & understanding.

01-30-2006, 09:00 AM
I loved it! Oh Holly was such a sweetie pie! I'm so glad she found somewhere to work!