A stray South Bronx mutt who was “discovered” in a shelter and went on to appear in the hit musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” is enjoying his retirement in a posh home on the upper West Side.
Found wandering the streets as an 8-month-old pup, Fred landed at an ASPCA shelter in New York in early 2005.
There Bill Berloni, a theatrical animal agent who has trained stray dogs for Broadway shows for more than 30 years, found Fred, took him home and spent a year working with the dog.
Berloni, who also is a behavior consultant for the Humane Society of New York — a no-kill shelter that supports rescued animals — took Fred, a terrier mix, to try out against dozens of other canine hopefuls at the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” auditions.
The New York Daily News recounted Fred’s “wags to riches” story in an article today.
When the show closed in 2006, Berloni arranged for Fred (third from the left in the photo) to be adopted by Chris Grabenstein and his wife, J.J. Myers.
Grabenstein, an author of adult mysteries and childrens’ ghost stories, has created a character based on him. The couple also built a rooftop dog area, where Fred can continue to enjoy the bright lights of the big city.