Terrier takes center stage in Farmington’s rendition of ‘Annie’

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FARMINGTON, N.M. — The Four Corners Musical Theatre Company is putting on its rendition of the musical “Annie.” One of the stars happens to walk on all fours. – his name is Arrow, a five-year-old Airedale Terrier.

His owner and trainer, Courtney Bess Thompson, says Arrow loves anything “Annie.”

“If I play the piano at home, I can play other pieces, anything, but he will sit there patiently waiting because he wants me to play ‘Tomorrow,'” she said.

Her love for the breed started when she was growing up.

“I was 8 years old, I did three productions of ‘Annie’ and I was an orphan in all three productions, and two of the productions had an Airedale playing Sandy and I fell in love with that dog,” she said.

Almost 30 years later, she got an Airedale of her own – but she never thought acting would be in Arrow’s future.

“I said listen, I don’t want to lead you astray, he is trained but he’s not trained for theater,” she said. “And the director said, ‘Listen, if he can stand beside Annie while she sings ‘Tomorrow,’ that’s better than putting an actor in a dog outfit.'”

So when Courtney, her husband and Arrow moved from New York to Las Vegas, Arrow was itching to reprise his role, and Farmington was the perfect spot to do it.

“Farmington reached back out and said ‘Yes, we’re interested,’ and we looked at this as an amazing opportunity to see part of the country that we have never seen before.”

Now Arrow is enjoying being back in the spot light, and hanging out with his new co-workers.

“When he is around orphans he melts he just turns into a big teddy bear he lets them do whatever they want to him, he will literally go back stage and whine at their dressing room so that he can’t get let in,” Courtney added.

Arrow will be playing Sandy at the Farmington Civics Center until Sunday.

Photos in this story were courtesy of Courtney Bess Thomason and Scott Michlin.