One of the 'actors' in episode six of The Last of Us is from Okotoks.
The actor is a German Shephard dog named BLEVE. It's pronounced Blevie, rhymes with 'heavy'.
Alex McNeil, co-owner with his wife Romy Dupel-Demers of Okotoks dog training and handling business 'The Bark Side', chuckled as he explained what her name means.
"BLEVE, her name, stands for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion. It's a firefighter's acronym to describe a type of explosion that happens and we're looking for a name for her that would describe her personality. And Bleve was the one we came up with because it is kinda funny to tell people when they ask, 'what's her name?' - Her name is boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion and usually it gets a good rise out of people."
Being a dog trainer and handler for the movies and television has its perks.
McNeil says sometimes they even get to be in the scene as was the case in episode six.
"When we're lucky enough we get to use our own dogs and handle them in the show. And with The Last of Us, being a great production, they really understood that in order for us to get the best results we should use the trainer as the handler... and it was a lot of great times on set with the actors.
So, yes that's McNeil in the scene as well.
McNeil and his partner have been training dogs since they were teenagers, and they train for much more than just acting in movies and television shows and commercials.
"Now I get to do search-and-rescue with Bleve, so she's a certified cadaver dog and she helps people, and she helps law enforcement with different cases. So, we've got two cadaver dogs and those were trained by us and certified down in the United States with the International Police Work Dog Association."
The career both Alex and his wife Romy have chosen leads them all over the world from dog shows to different performances such as at the Calgary Stampede and allows them to travel. When we spoke, they were in Houston, Texas enjoying temperatures in the +30's.
*All photos used are courtesy of Alex McNeil