Which Pet Had the Best Week in Hollywood? Lorraine Bracco's Dog

Lorraine Bracco and Dog
Photo courtesy of TNT

Each Saturday, we'll comb the week's celebrity pet news and declare which animal had the best week in the media. Feel free to shout out suggestions on our Facebook page!

When actress Lorraine Bracco brought her dog to the set of Rizzoli & Isles, everyone fell in love with the yellow Labrador Retriever. So much so that they wrote Elsie into the script.

"My dog Elsie comes everywhere with me. She is a star on the Paramount lot," Bracco, who plays Angela Rizzoli, told PeoplePets. "There's nobody who walks by this dog that doesn't stop to talk to her, pet her."

The much-loved pup made her debut on the TNT police drama Tuesday night, playing a lost dog found by homicide sergeant Vince Korsak (Bruce McGill) who promptly named the pooch "Barney Miller." The dog quickly exhibited many helpful skills, which made sense in the plot when it was revealed that Barney Miller was a service animal at a nearby veteran center.

According to PeoplePets, Elsie's performing skills come from an unusual place — her days in a maximum-security prison. The 2-year-old Lab had been part of Puppies Behind Bars, a program that uses inmates to train service dogs for soldiers returning from war. Because Elsie was spooked by certain sounds, she failed the certification test — even though she understands 35 commands, from turning on lights to retrieving keys.

But that just meant that Elsie was destined for television. She even did some good with the handsome paycheck she received for her on-screen work: Elsie and Bracco donated it back to Puppies Behind Bars.


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