Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TELEGRAPH: Story of Injured UK Gulf War Veteran's Hero Dog to be Made into Movie

The story of an "heroic" dog who helped his owner cope with life after he was injured in the Gulf War is being turned into a multi-million pound Hollywood film.

Written by Lucy Cockroft, The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Endal pictured at the graveside of a cat named Simon
Endal pictured at the graveside of a cat named Simon

(London, UK - The memoir of Allen Parton's assistance dog, Endal, was noticed by producers after it became an international best-seller.

Mr Parton, 50, from Clanfield, near Portsmouth, wrote the book about how his labrador, Endal, helped him adjust to life as a wheelchair user.

He had suffered head injuries in the first Gulf War and was in hospital for five years.

When he woke form a coma he did not even know he was married.

But with the help of Endal, who passed away in March, he regained his independence and family life.

Mr Parton said: "The book was an international best-seller – it touched so many people.

"We were approached earlier in the year because they wanted to do a movie about it.

"They have been working on it for quite some time now and the producers have been sending contracts across London in the back of taxis. It's all very exciting."

Endal was hailed as one of the world's most intelligent dogs after it emerged he had learnt to help Mr Parton use a cash machine and a washing machine.

He could even put his master in the recovery position if he fell unconscious and would then get help.

A documentary about Endal captured the imagination of producer Simon Brooks who said he wants either Colin Firth or Michael Sheen to play Allen with Kate Winslet or Rachel Weisz as his wife, Sandra.

Mr Brooks, owner of Canyon Creek Films, said: "I'm a dog owner as well and one night I was flicking through the channels when I came across Endal's story by accident.

"The more I looked into it, the more moved I became and I thought: 'this is a movie'.

"Allen and Sandra's story is simply extraordinary. I can't comprehend how they have made it through."

Work has started on the first draft of the script by Calendar Girls scriptwriter Juliette Towhidi.

Filming should begin in Britain or Ireland next year with a budget of up to £5 million.

Mr Parton said it will end on a high note with his new assistance dog, EJ, taking Endal's place.

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