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Valley therapy dog shows natural knack for acting

Posted at 7:48 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 22:48:35-04

Hope is not a diva, but she steals the show without even trying. 

The 9-year-old Golden Doodle has just three legs — she lost one in 2014 after being hit by a car. However, her disability hasn't stopped her from snagging the role of Sandy in Mesa Encore Theatre's production of "Annie" at the Mesa Arts Center starting Nov. 3.

Come the end of November, Hope will have graced the stage as Sandy more than 75 times. 

Despite the chaos of live theater with the bright lights, loud band and screaming kids, Hope remains calm among it all. 

It may be because of her day job as a pet therapy dog off the stage. She has done it for years, both before and after her accident.

"The planets were aligned to have that happen," said owner Pam Reinke. "Ever since it happened...she relates to a whole different genre of people."

Hope makes the rounds from Valley hospitals to our courthouse.

"She helps people at the testify and face their attacker," explained Reinke. 

Hope is also sent to natural disaster zones around the nation, like fires and floods. 

So, it is no wonder why she is such a calm, natural performer, like Ava Willis. Willis plays Annie in this latest production.

"Ugh, she's so cute," Willis gushed about the first time they met. "I remember she gave me a high five. She gave me two high fives and I felt honored."

But, this production of "Annie" will be Hope's last. Reinke said both of them are getting older. 

"There's a time to end it," said an emotional Reinke. "Memories... memories, right?"

If you would like to see Hope in her last production, click here.