I read about this actor, crazy actor. Multi-talented.
Surfer, skateboarder. Paints landscapes, plays the piano. Full deck of tricks, been known to walk down stairs using only his two arms. Even heard once he’s a synchronized swimmer. He’s done everything. Movies, TV, Commercials. Real special.
Oh, and he’s also a dog.
So that’s why they call him Jumpy.
But he’s much more than that. Most recently, Jumpy was featured in the film “In The Valley Of Violence” starring alongside Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, among others.
Referring to an incident in which Ethan Hawke’s hat flew off his head while the camera was rolling (which would normally be means to stop everything, and reset the shot) only to have Jumpy, turn around, grab it, and bring it back to him. It was pure improve:
“He was participating in the creativity of the film, which is insane,” says Hawke. Jumpy knew that he was acting, that today he was Paul’s dog. “Usually, even if the dog is really well-trained, he might do that if the trainer’s hat went off his head. Jumpy did it when my hat went off my head. And he didn’t bring it back to his trainer — he brought it back to me.”
Jumpy’s story is an intersting one, and like most actors who make it to stardom, it involved just a little luck.
His trainer, Oman von Muller, is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, following his brother to Miami shortly after high school. A life-long lover of animals, and a self-taught trainer, he was surprised to see an ad for a Canine Academy in the newspaper. “I was like, ‘What? You get paid for doing this?!’” says von Muller. He applied, and a few weeks later he was promoted to head trainer.
After Hurricane Andrew wiped out the gulf, encouraging him to make the move to Los Angeles, von Muller started to assemble a roster of talented dogs. Superstars of various breeds, under his guidance. But what he was wanting, was a Border Collie.
When he saw a paper advertising an 8-week old puppy for 50 bucks, he knew it was worth the two hour drive. But when he got there, it was a disappointment. A teenage boy had posted the ad, and the pup wasn’t even a purebred, but a mut. It wasn’t what von Muller was looking for, so he left empty handed.
“The next day, the teenager called in a panic. The puppy wouldn’t stop barking. If von Muller didn’t take it, his dad was going to throw him out on the street. Von Muller said he’d rescue the dog for $20 — if the kid met him halfway on the road.
“I bought him mainly to get him away from that situation,” says von Muller. “I wasn’t planning on keeping him.” Von Muller’s daughter asked what a dog like that was good at. “Jumping,” he answered. “Jumpy!” she cried. OK, the puppy can have a temporary name, thought von Muller. For now.”
Von Muller began posting videos of Jumpy on Youtube, and they got real popular real fast. Soon, Hollywood was knocking at the door and the offers were coming in.
Jumpy would be a star.
One of the greatest things about von Muller is that he doesn’t take in new dogs unless he personally connects with them. Because every dog he works with is also his pet.
So it rings true once again:
True success, stems from true passion.