A dog named Ned had been stuck in a Chicago shelter, waiting for a home for a year and a half.
At the same time, executive producers Michael Killen and Samm Hodges were searching for the perfect dog to star in their new ABC show Downward Dog. The show is based off of their web series which consists of one-minute shorts that feature a talking dog who speaks of the complexity of relationships, specifically with their owners.
Downward Dog follows the life of a Pittsburgh millennial through the perspective of her hilarious, yet intelligent dog Martin.
Killen and Hodges knew they wanted a shelter dog to play the role of Martin, so they searched in shelters all across the country before stumbling upon Ned. They were drawn to Ned immediately because of his beautiful bright eyes. They knew right away that Ned was exactly the dog they were looking for.
Ned was then adopted by the show’s trainer Nicole Handley, and began his six weeks of acting school. At first, Ned was a little skittish since he was in a shelter for so long without any social interaction, but he warmed up very quickly to Handley and the rest of the cast.
“It’s a thoughtful show about what it is like to be a dog and therefore a human,” Jason Neff, an actor on the show, told People. “How ego meets reality.”
Make sure to catch Ned on Downward Dog, Tuesdays at 8 pm on ABC.