“They say you shouldn’t work with dogs or children,” Natasha Henstridge reflects with a laugh. “I worked with both for this film.” She’s talking about Hallmark Channel’s You Lucky Dog (premiering June 26), in which she stars as a designer who returns to her small-town home, rescues a border collie from a shelter and trains him to herd sheep. “But it was fun,” adds the actress, who is best known for her turn as a human-alien hybrid in Species. "Border collies are really intelligent dogs. There were several who played Lucky: a couple that herded out in the field, one that herded for show and one that was the ‘actor’ dog, that was more about staying on the mark and coming to me."
If there was one hitch, it was Henstridge’s allergies. "I’ve got hay fever," says the actress, who will be featured in a fashion portfolio in the September issue of MORE (on sale August 24). "And we were shooting on a farm. So I was on antihistamines the whole time. Of course I didn’t tell them when they hired me that I had horrible allergies!"
In conjunction with the film, Hallmark Channel has partnered with two initiatives on behalf of homeless animals. In the spring, the network took part in two Pet Super Adoptions sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society, resulting in the placement of more than 1,100 pets. Now they are working with Pedigree Food for Dogs in an ongoing initiative to raise funds and awareness for adoptable pets in animal shelters. (Click here for more information.)
“There are a gazillion animals that need homes,” says Henstridge, whose own household included a Rottweiler she adored for 12 years. “And adopting before buying is certainly the way to go to help cut that down.”
You Lucky Dog premieres June 26 at 9 PM ET.