Sleddog Rescue

After 12 years & 700 dogs, Sleddog Rescue is CLOSED.
TNAMR has dogs available.



Last updated 01/22/2006


From Tennessee to Hollywood
How two unwanted rescue dogs end up in Disney's movie Eight Below

Rescued Malamutes Troika & Nikki have come a long way from their humble beginnings.  All the way to Hollywood.... and from Hollywood to British Columbia where they filmed the Disney movie Eight Below, released in February 2006.

Where they started

Troika was a stray on the streets of Knoxville, TN.  He was found emaciated and neglected by animal control and taken to Knox Co Animal Welfare Center.  Sleddog Rescue gets this email from our friends at Knox Co. and it is full of praise for this dog who was so sweet, and a leaner, and a crooner, and.... so we made room for Troika.  His first pictures he is still drunk from the anesthesia and looking a little rough from his days on the streets....

(Click on thumbnail for larger picture)

But Troika was a real sweetie and would croon for everyone.  He had a real joy of living and appreciated every bit of attention, and food, that he got! 

Then there was Nikki.  She came from a hellhole puppymill.  That story is online already under Chattanooga Puppymill where we took in 22 Malamutes at once.  Here are her intake notes:

4yo (4/4/00), gray/white, female Alaskan Malamute
Nikki is the mom of one of the litters we currently have and the post-weaning coat shed has not done her any favors in the glam department.  But she's got such a sunny disposition despite running around in her underwear.  And she's wonderful with people, her skinny little tail is constantly wagging as if she were always thinking "I'm just happy to be me."  Heartworm negative, lyme negative, e. canis negative, fecal negative, Rabies & booster, bath.  To do: microchip, & spay.

And this is what Miss Nik looked like when she arrived:

But Nikki smiled all the time... 

And this is Nikki a few short weeks later -- look what food and a bath will do for you!

So we get a phone call from a talent scout for a Disney movie from and we talked about what they were doing.  We called some dog people we know who have worked with Hollywood before and they were very positive about this company in particular.  So their scout came out and met Troika and Nikki.  Michael was blown away by them both -- and said so.  They were kenneled together and were already bonded, so that made things easier housing them.  And he thought Troika in particular had a wonderfully outgoing and trainable nature.  So we talked some more after he went home to California and we did the paperwork.  

Troika was to be a hero dog -- you can't call them actors or the Actor's Guild says you have to pay them scale -- and get the close-ups and the billing on flyers.  Nikki would be one of his 3 doubles.  

You can't come further than these two dogs have.  Troika was unwanted, unloved, and neglected as he wondered the streets of Knoxville scrounging for a skimpy meal.  Nikki came from a terrible puppymill situation where she was used for breeding and fed only 2x/week.  Both dogs were battling parasites and neglect and malnutrition and complete lack of love....

And now....

(gray Malamute) Troika, aka Shadow in Disney's new movie Eight Below
(His double Nikki is off camera here, but you can see her in the action shots running in harness at the wheel position next to the sled.)

What's next for these two?  More print media, possibly another movie, but a grand future where they are cared for and cherished as the stars they truly are.

Good Dogs Deserve Second Chances -- and Troika and Nikki certainly got theirs.

If you are interested in adopting another good dog, check out the Dogs Available at Sleddog Rescue, or go down to your local animal shelter and find the next dog waiting to be a star...

Homepage for the Disney movie Eight Below



Return to Top

Good Dogs Deserve Second Chances