Rescue Is Golden

Chatting With Broadway’s Victoria Clark

By Adrianne Frost and Lori Zelenko

Named for the great Laurence Olivier, Victoria Clark’s Ollie, a Golden Retriever rescued from China, is playfully majestic. Appearing in his owners’ lives as if by magic, they say Bernadette Peters cast a spell, Ollie is an ode to joy they cannot sing enough.

Tony winner (and multi-nominee) Victoria Clark has the voice of an angel. The Texas native has been sparkling on the Broadway stage since the early 1990’s. But next to the song in her heart is her love for Golden Retrievers.

Last June, Victoria and her family lost their dear Golden Retriever and didn’t know if they were ready to adopt right away. “So, broken hearted”, she said, “(we were) trying to recover; thought it was too soon for another dog.” Like an animal rescue gypsy, Bernadette Peters, creator of Broadway Barks and star of stage and screen, appeared and, according to Clark, “cast a spell. She has natural powers. The next thing you know, Yankee Golden (a Golden Retriever rescue) was in touch”.

Chances seemed slim, though, that an adoption would happen. “They do not take applications outside of New England, so we were sure we’d be ruled out...but we got lucky thanks to Bernadette.” Living in New York City didn’t prove to be an issue, “They did a video vetting process with us”, she says, “and shared pictures of a young Golden rescued from China.”

Those pictures did the trick, because they soon had a new rescued Golden Retriever in their home. She beams, “We adopted him. His name is Ollie short for Olivier, as in Laurence.” Ollie keeps up with his Mom’s talent. “For sure he had a prior life as a member of the Ballet Russes. He is always in first position, continually in turn out.”

Ollie’s life wasn’t all tutus and pointe, though. Before he came to the states, he was rescued in China off a food truck on the way to the slaughterhouse. Apparently, she says, “Goldens are such sweet tempered dogs they are easy to dog nap. In China not every dog is on a leash; they may run free on a farm, so they are not difficult to capture. Remarkably there are activists who are quite intrepid; they stop these trucks – literally by lying down in the road - and save the dogs. We are forever grateful for their work. After all, it brought us Ollie.”

Now, though, lucky Olivier lives with warmth, song, and tons of love. “Our home is very musical, which Ollie enjoys.” She adds, “The longer he is with us the more social he becomes. Though people are always coming and going and there is always music he knows when to stay quiet and just watch and listen”.

If music be the fruit of love, happy Oliver now has the opportunity to say, “Play on.”

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