The real orphan in a local production of "Annie" was a dog playing the role of Sandy, but the lovable mutt is about to go home for good.
The 1-year-old Labrador retriever/Airedale terrier mix named Barney was a shelter dog at the Helen Woodward Animal Center when he was cast three months ago for the Starlight Theatre's productions. Rob Kuty from San Diego Pet Training put in countless hours training Barney, transforming him from a rambunctious shelter dog to an obedient showbiz star.
Barney became available for adoption at 11 a.m. on Monday.
"His foster care provider will be filing an application at that time," according to shelter officials. "She will make her way through our standard pet adoption procedure. If all goes as expected, Orphan Annie's dog will no longer be an orphan.... He will have a family."
It's been a happy but emotional transition for the orphan pup, who has melted the hearts of cast, crew, trainer and audiences.
"It's just a very sweet thing to know this dog will have a home," said Dan Mojica, director and choreographer of "Annie." "It's moving for everyone because the dog has been special to everyone in the cast."