5 Reasons to Love Mac Mount, Canine Mascot of TV Show "Hell on Wheels"
Mac Mount has quite the life. On most days, the French Bulldog accompanies his human to the office, a picturesque valley in Calgary, Canada, that serves as the Hell on Wheels set. Proud papa and series star Anson Mount regularly shares their adventures together at work and play on his WhoSay page.
Fans of the show -- myself included -- can't get enough of the sweet pup. I asked Anson to tell all about Mac, and now I adore him even more. You should, too!
With that in mind, here are five reasons to love Mac Mount:
1. He's a rescue
Anson made adopting a dog his top priority after buying a home in Brooklyn earlier this year. He decided on Frenchie as the breed because he flies frequently and wanted a pup small enough to bring along, but not so tiny or fluffy as to be an odd fit for him. There are more than a few similarities between the outdoors-loving Southerner and the frontiersman he plays on TV, Cullen Bohannan.
With the breed decided, Anson began researching rescues and learned of French Bulldog Rescue Network.
"It's a fantastic organization with foster families all over North America," he said. "They totally vet the dogs and deal with any behavioral problems before rehoming them."
Anson went through the same rigorous application process all potential adopters do. In fact, he applied for three other Frenchies -- each can have 20 or more applicants -- before seeing eight-year-old Mac on FBRN's website.
"There were pictures of all of these perfect, powerful-looking dogs," he recalled. "Right in the middle, because his name starts with an 'M,' was this slightly out-of-focus picture of a dog who was clearly being propped up. His tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth. He looked drunk. I said, 'Who is that? I need to meet that dog.'"
Anson did exactly that in April. On his way to Calgary for filming of the current Hell on Wheels season, he stopped in St. Louis to visit with Mac at his foster family's home. The two hit it off and headed north together.
2. That tongue!
Mac was a stud for the first seven or so years of his life. When he became sterile, the breeder stuck him in a backyard cage and left the dog there. He tried to bite his way out, cracking many teeth in the process.
After dental surgery, few were left to keep his long tongue in place. It hangs out but only adds to Mac's charm. It also gives Anson the opportunity to share his rescue story, as he regularly gets the question, "What's up with that tongue?"
3. Mac can sleep anywhere
I talked with Anson by phone during their commute to the set one recent night. Like many dogs, Mac has no trouble falling asleep in a moving vehicle.
"He's on the floor in the backseat right now, completely passed out," Anson said.
In the photo above, he was caught snoozing on a wardrobe cart. Another favorite spot for napping is in his human's arms. Check out this adorable video of Anson trying very hard not to laugh at the snoring pup and wake him.
4. He still enjoys the simple pleasures in life
Mac has not let his new life as an A-list canine companion change him.
"I have so many friends who have bought him so many fancy toys, and he's just not that interested," Anson said. "On the set, though, he really loves to bite on the rubber end of the hammers carried by the grips. He also likes to attack the doorstop in the makeup trailer. And ropes, he loves ropes."
5. Mac can act!
Fans were pleasantly surprised to see him in the "Chicken Hill" episode, which aired Aug. 16. As Bohannan rolled back into town with his new wife and son, they passed the Comfort House and its working girls lingering outside. One holds Mac, dressed smartly in a paisley smoking jacket.
"It all started when a member of the crew made him the jacket out of the kindness of his heart. Then the writers wrote him into an episode as the Comfort House pet," Anson explained, adding that fans should keep an eye out for the Frenchie later in the season as well.
When not in front of the camera or with Anson, Mac hangs out with the actor's assistant, Chandler, both on set and at her Calgary home, with her two dogs, Oskar and Buddy. He will head back to Brooklyn with his human after season four wraps in September.
Win a chance to meet Mac! And Anson, too!
Anson supports the Fighting Duchenne Foundation, which raises money to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The rapidly worsening disease puts those with it in a wheelchair by the age of 12 and results in paralysis by late teens. Life expectancy does not go beyond mid-twenties.
The actor grew up in White Bluff, Tennessee, with Terry Marlin, founder of the foundation and father to two boys with DMD. Anson returned home earlier this year to take part in multiple fundraising events, and he currently has a Hell on Wheels contest running through Sept. 3 on omaze.com to benefit the cause.
The winner and a guest will fly to Calgary for a behind-the-scenes visit to the set as well as skeet shooting, fly-fishing, and horseback riding with Anson and Mac before enjoying a six-course dinner with them prepared by celebrity chef Ned Bell. Omaze works a bit like Kickstarter, in that the more you pledge, the more entries you receive and the greater the reward. Alas, the $15,000 pledge for a dinner with Anson has already sold out.
Even if you don't win the grand prize, you can still feel like a friend by following Anson on WhoSay, Facebook, and Twitter. See what the pair get up to on set and off, including Mac meeting the Hell on Wheels chickens for the first time and searching the dolly track for sticks, as well as taking walkies and chillin' like Bob Dylan on days off. You'll soon discover that there are more than just the five reasons listed above to love Mac.
Read more interviews on Dogster:
- We Ask a Comedian About Pit Bull Rescue -- And It's No Laughing Matter
- We Chat with Veteran Actor Dabney Coleman About Our Favorite Subject: Dogs!
- We Chat With Bill Berloni About Training Dogs on Broadway
- Meet the Daredevil Canines of Stunt Dog Productions
- At Ed Begley Jr.'s Home, Even the Dog Takes Green Living Seriously