The Legendary Bernie Shine, Who Has Performed At The Magic Castle Has A New Passion, His Beloved Maggie, Highlight Hollywood News

Bernie Shine is one of Hollywood’s most beloved and distinguished gentlemen. He’s multi-talented, an artist and magician, who was a regular at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood, and he’s a mutual friend of my dear mentor,  the elegant Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created with her late husband Bill, “The Young And The Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” TV’s most popular and successful daytime dramas in television history.   Bernie and I have debated over which of us is going to run the official Lee Bell Fan Club. And everyone in the office is debating which of us will run Bernie’s as well.   The handsome and talented Mr. Shine has been dog lover since he was a little boy, as you can see.  And now, he is owned by his beloved pooch, named Maggie.  And we have more on that to share with you as well. 

Catching up with Bernie earlier this week, he told me about his latest social event. Shine, the man who is on everyone’s guest list,  had dinner with the legendary actor and TV host Tom Hatten, who still looks incredible.  Hatten, was honored at a special dinner  on Thursday night at the Musso & Frank Grill for his decades of great work.  Councilman Tom LaBonge joined with Jimmy Pappas (Fox executive aka “The Mayor of  Musso’s), Greg Williams (author of “The Story of Hollywood”), Bernie Shine  and others to celebrate Hatten’s remarkable career.
You can read more about Thursday’s fun event by going to Hollywood Patch.    Bernie tells Highlight Hollywood, “Tom  [Hatten] is still driving, at 87, and he looks great!” 
Everyone at Highlight Hollywood loves pets, and one our friends and favorite readers is the legendary Bernie Shine, who recently shared an essay that he wrote, which was so moving and even entertaining,  we just had to share it with you. [Below]

“That’s Not My  Dog”

By Bernie  Shine


In the 1972  Peter Seller’s film “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” there is a memorable scene  with Inspector Clouseau, a hotel clerk, and a dog; the script reads as  follows:


Clouseau: Does your dog  bite?

Hotel  Clerk: No.

Clouseau:[bowing down to pet the dog]Nice  doggie.

[Dog barks and  bites Clouseau in the hand]

Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not  bite!

Hotel  Clerk: That’s not my  dog.


This scene  particularly resonates with me. Cesar Millan bills himself as “The Dog  Whisperer.”  All of my life I have  been “The Dog Borrower.” It seems every time I am seen with a canine, I find  myself clarifying “That’s not my dog.”


This phenomenon  began very early in my life growing up mid-century in mid-America. I was about  two years old when I had my first professional photo in the Medlar Studio in  Spencer, Iowa, with dog named “Rainor”—who was not my dog.  “Rain or Shine” belonged solely to my  oldest brother, Bruce, who allowed my mother and me to borrow him for my  photograph.


During the  remainder of my childhood, I really never had a dog of my own. My mother had a  small dog named “Risin’ Shine,” who wanted nothing to do with anyone but her. My  brothers each had dogs at various periods.   I was the youngest of three boys, and by the time I came along, I think  my parents grew weary of children, dogs, and puppy name puns. (I am just  thankful that they had dogs, otherwise I may have been named “Rainor” and my  brother “Risin.”)


This pattern of  non-commitment to dogs (and all other living things) followed me into  adulthood. Many years ago I was living in Bel Air, California, and I was in the  best shape of my life as a devoted runner. Nearly every day I would trot down my  cul-de-sac street, requiring me to pass by a home where a rather large canine  would sit, unleashed and unrestrained. For reasons only known to him, he seemed  to like me. (I was recently divorced at the time, and perhaps we unleashed mutts  were kindred spirits.)


When I would  merrily jog by, he would join me for the remainder of my run. Unfortunately this  was a very unruly dog, who would chase bicyclists, bark at people, and make  messes on lawns. I was constantly being yelled at to “Get your dog on a leash”  and “Take control of your $#%$# dog!” This was excellent for my workout; as a  result of cowardice, I would run faster.   However, I would defend myself by shouting back “That’s not my  dog.”


Eventually I  would have to sneak by that particular house so as to attempt to go unnoticed by  this ill-behaved dog, but he was not so easy to deceive. Ultimately I had no  choice but to give up running and grow old and fat graciously. 


I now live in  the flats in a fenced property with lot of lawn. A guy named Francisco has  worked for me for over 12 years resides in a guest room in my house. One day he  asked me if I had any objection to him dog-sitting for a few days for a Shar-Pei  named Maggie. I had no strong opinion one way or the other, and Maggie  arrived—and never left. She is “The Dog Who Came to Dinner.” 


Later I learned  that I had been had. Maggie was a rescue dog, of sorts. Her sister would  constantly try to bully her. Maggie is a pacifist and ignored her sister’s bad  behavior. However this created some angst for Maggie’s prior owner, and thus she  was gifted to Francisco.


For the first  few days Maggie wanted nothing to do with me, and would go give me a wide  berth. I was perfectly content with this arrangement. We happily ignored each  other, except to exchange the occasional scowl and slight growl. (Ok, to be  completely accurate, I did not return the growl.)


However, my need  to feel loved proved to be my Achilles’ heel, and I decided that Maggie and I  should live in harmony. Besides, I was actually fascinated by the fact that she  did not immediately try to ingratiate herself to me. I grew to love this little  dog, and she reciprocated by learning to tolerate my presence in my home. 


When Maggie  reached 8 months of age, it was a widely held opinion that spaying was  mandatory. I was not anxious to remodel a perfect animal, but I did understand  the need. I began doing research, including reading various veterinarian  journals, and soon discovered that the best spaying method was the least  utilized in this country—laparoscopic spaying.  With this procedure, very small  incisions are necessary, and only the ovaries (not the uterus) are removed. This  is widely used in Europe, and is much less painful or intrusive to the animal  Being a bit obsessive compulsive, coupled with a tenancy to be overly  protective, I began calling manufacturers of endoscopic equipment to see if they  had a veterinarian customers. The nearest I could find who came highly  recommended was in Encinitas, California.


There I was, in  my car, driving this dog, who was not my dog, 100 miles away from Los Angeles so  could be have the laparoscopic spay. We had to spend the night in a hotel so  Maggie would be ready for her $900 surgery in the morning. The procedure  certainly was pain free for Maggie; I cannot say the same for myself. I was a  nervous wreck while Maggie was in surgery. The years I added to her life will  likely be deducted from mine, balancing the books for the grim reaper. 


Sometime  later I noticed three little flea bites on Maggie’s hindquarters. Yikes! All I  could think about was the old kids’ piano tune “My Dog Has Fleas” (or, in my  case, “NOT My Dog Has Fleas). Google to the rescue. My research disclosed that  it is best not to use the “poisons” but rather to use natural treatment. This  consisted of creating multiple sprays using ingredients such as rosemary,  cloves, peppermint oil, and apple cider vinegar. In addition, I was required to  treat my lawn with something called “beneficial nematodes” to rid the grass of  fleas.


My  lawn became a biology experiment, and Maggie smelled something like a French  hooker or a Christmas tree (not that  I would know what a Christmas tree smells like). The final result—Maggie was mad  at me and the fleas were ridiculing me.


Maggie has  become the Princess of the Palace has unrestricted run of the house. One night I  was getting ready for bed and looked down, surprised to see Maggie sitting on my  bathroom floor intently watching me go through my bedtime ritual of flossing and  brushing my teeth, then washing my face. (I like to periodically practice good  hygiene.)   This canine  voyeurism continued for several nights, at which point I decided to see if  Maggie was interested in emulating my bedtime protocol.


I held out a  length of dental floss, and Maggie immediately opened her mouth and ran her head  back and forth along the floss like a typewriter carriage. I next offered her a  toothbrush, which she gladly accepted and allowed me to brush her teeth. NO, it  was not the same toothbrush I used—that would be rather unsanitary (although I  suppose Maggie would get used to it).  


Maggie simply  wanted to do everything she saw me do. After flossing and brushing, I gave her a  washcloth, which she quickly took and spread on the floor. She then put her face  down on the washcloth with her butt facing upwards, and proceeded to wash her  face. (I can offer every assurance that I do NOT wash my face in a similar  position; this technique was her own invention.)


This has now  become our nightly bed-time routine before Maggie leaves me and goes to her  owner’s room to sleep. She very much likes me, but the truth is Maggie is  completely head over paws in love with her owner, Francisco.  I am  crazy about this little mutt, but at the end of the day Maggie  knows– she’s not my dog.


I feel like I am  back in high school— he got the prom date, but she does want to be my  friend.


And here, Mary Simich sings a lullaby to Bernie’s beloved Maggie!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW THE IMAGE:Mary Simich Sings a Little Lullaby to Maggie”


Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett and Bernie Shine
Photographs are Courtesy:   From Mr. Shine’s Private Collection
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