Friday, September 4, 2015

From Wags to Riches celebrates a man who cares about animals

When a reality show takes a look at real people, making positive efforts, especially when it involves animals, I'm there. I love to see people who really care about the welfare of animals highlighted. That's especially true of this TV series about Bill Berloni.

I met Bill when I helped him bring his story to Guideposts magazine. He had rescued a scruffy shelter dog, and trained the dog to become the canine star of Broadway's Annie. But Bill Berloni's story is so much more. Because he really cares about dogs. Now an award-winning theatrical animal trainer, the dogs Bill works with come to live with him on his farm in Connecticut.

It's at this farm that the show, From Wags to Riches, is filmed. It follows Bill, along with his wife and daughter, and the house and barn full of dogs, a llama, a donkey and more!

From Wags to Riches premiered on Discovery Family Channel August 6. There have been four episodes so far. I'm not sure if there are more planned. In last Thursday's episode, Bill worked with a despondent 8 year old St. Bernard at the Humane Society of NY where he volunteers as Director of animal training and match making. He came up with a plan to help bring him around, and eventually Titus felt better, and even found his forever home.

He also searched for the perfect rescue dogs to play a role as Toto in a production of the Wizard of Oz. All Bill's canine actors and actresses are rescues. He evaluates the dogs' ability to focus, ability to learn, and ability to remain calm in stressful situations. Two dogs are used for the role of Toto. "A dog who is feisty enough to run away from the Wicked Witch is not the same dog who will sit calmly while Dorothy sings Somewhere over the Rainbow," Bill said.

It's fascinating to see how Bill evaluates and trains his canine stars. And then returns home to his own brood, giving them all the love and attention they deserve. I especially appreciated hearing him discuss the joys of senior dogs, and his own senior cairn terrier Snickers. I love my senior dogs Kelly (13) and Ike (9).

One of the funniest lines in the show was when Bill was getting his English Bulldog Nigel ready to appear in an event, Broadway Barks, hosted by Bernadette Peters. As he was rushing out the door he called out to his wife, "Oh! Nigel needs his hat!"

And his wife responded, "Which one?"

haha, how many dogs have several hats to choose from!

Turns out it was his bowler.

From Wags to Riches is a show that showcases a man who cares about animals, and who does much good for animals. And that's definitely worth watching.

Bill Berloni- Facebook


  1. Thanks for sharing this. It's nice to see a reality show that focuses on good and positive things instead of some of the garbage you see today. I'm going to have to find this show on my cable network and check it out.

  2. What a fun idea for a show, something positive and uplifting. And yes, how many dogs own several hats.

  3. So fun! I loved the story you wrote about Bill in Guideposts. I think it's so sweet that all the animals he trains for Broadway are rescue dogs; what an amazing transformation for all of those dogs to experience. It's a beautiful mission, and it sounds like a really sweet show.

  4. What a fun idea! And a lovely animal loving man.

  5. Hey! This sounds like a great show -- finally, a reality show that shows someone actually doing good work! Love that comment about the hats, lol -- dead giveaway they're the real deal =) Thanks for highlighting this -- I would not have known about it otherwise.

  6. What a great story. Now I'm going to have to check out the show! Sounds like my kind of job - work all day with dogs and go home to a barn full of dogs . .PERFECT!!

  7. I've heard radio interviews with Bill Berloni and he sounds like a fascinating person. This is the kind of show that makes me regret not having a tv.

  8. Sounds like a great show and Bill sounds like a great person to feature. Thanks for sharing this - I hadn't heard of it before but will be checking it out now.

  9. Oooh - I'm intrigued! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. This sounds like one reality show I would watch. I love that the dogs have too many hats. Sounds like our house. I need a dog hat rack.


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!