Move over Doug the Pug, there’s a new canine celebrity about to take over the Internet — in this case, a pair of them! Meet Daisy and Dallas, two 6-year-old Pug and Shih Tzu mixes who now star in their very own YouTube series. Aptly named Daisy and Dallas, the clever and creatively scripted series features the furry siblings “talking” — or rather “bantering” — back and forth through several adorable episodes, which include the pair going for a walk in heavy snow, telling jokes, and going to the grooming salon.
The series is the brainchild of their human dad (and first-time dog parent), Brad Yurcisin. A news editor and videographer by trade, Yurcisin has made a longtime hobby of creating fun and unique family videos starring his wife, Cathy, and his three kids, Daniel, Sloan, and Scarlett, and posting them on YouTube for family and friends. But after the family adopted Daisy and Dallas last November, Yurcisin knew it was only a matter of time before the canine duo would become the object of his creative imagination.
“It was last New Year’s Eve, and I was in the process of making a potato salad for our New Year’s Eve party when I noticed Daisy and Dallas lying in their spots on the couch and looking out the window, which is what they love to do,” he explains. “I always have my camera around, and the light was so pretty coming in on them I just started shooting. A week later, I went through the footage and realized it looked like they were talking to each other. So I thought, I’m going to write a script and put something together.”
Although Yurcisin had originally planned to have his daughters create the pups’ voices, Cathy suggested he ask her parents, Kitty and Tom Forde, who live nearby. After many years of listening to his Irish in-laws’ hilarious banter, Yurcisin knew the funny duo would be a perfect choice. They enthusiastically agreed, and the rest is history.
“The Daisy and Dallas videos would be nothing without Tom and Kitty Forde,” says Yurcisin. “Of course, they supply the voices, but they also supply the inspiration. Daisy and Dallas are brother and sister, but they lovingly tease each other like an old married couple. And thanks to Tom and Kitty, I know exactly what that sounds like.”
When making the videos, Yurcisin’s creative process is simple: film his dogs in different situations, review the footage, and come up with a humorous storyline.
“I just shoot them, and then it turns into a typical creative writing class scenario of: Here’s a picture from a newspaper, you tell the story,” Yurcisin explains. “I watch the video, watch them, and see if I can come up with a plan. That’s pretty much it. It’s basically my attempt at silly comedy.”
And the results are amazing, considering Daisy and Dallas aren’t exactly the most active or animated of dogs. If anything, they’re more like cats, jokes Yurcisin.
“When you come home, 99 out of 100 dogs will come up to you with their tails wagging and want to be petted, but these two don’t even get off the couch,” he laughs. “You can pick them up, snuggle and kiss them, but they’re not coming up with their tails wagging. When I’m videotaping them, maybe I’ll throw some cues at them, like, ‘You want a treat?’ or ‘Want to go out?’ and they’ll look at me or cock their heads, but it’s the only thing I can do because they really don’t do anything else.”
Unlike the plethora of cute and funny dog videos littering the Internet, Yurcisin’s “pet project” is considerably more labor intensive. In fact, each video takes a month to produce, with Yurcisin spending hours shooting, editing, and scripting before adding in voices and music.
“When I make them, I’ll watch the video, start to record my voice, and do both dogs’ voices so it’s timed out perfectly,” he says. “I don’t bother Kitty and Tom until Cathy and the kids approve it and think it’s funny, then I’ll go to my in-laws and have them voice it. The first one they did was kind of rough, as they were reading a script, but now they’re two pros — they do it in one shot, they’re animated, and they know to be loud and crazy.”
With four Daisy and Dallas videos under his belt so far, Yurcisin is in the process of brainstorming more cute and clever scenarios for his two canine actors. And from all appearances, it seems like Yurcisin has begun an adorable new chapter in his family video avocation.
“I do this because I love the process,” he says. “The whole viral thing doesn’t make sense to me, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and keep putting more videos out. Whatever holiday it is — or whether we’re at the beach, taking a walk in the woods, or, since we’re 30 minutes from New York City, doing a day in Central Park — all I have to do is shoot and get the creative juices flowing. I’d also love to have my viewers give me cool ideas about what they’d like to see Daisy and Dallas say or do next. That would be incredible!”
About the author: A devoted dog mom, journalist, and animal activist, Lisa uses her writing to spread awareness about animal welfare and cruelty issues. She lives in Atlanta with two spoiled German Shepherds, one entitled Pug, and a very understanding husband. Read more of her work at her blog and website, and follow her on Twitter.