The Actor & Director With Her Pup, Bernie
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
They say you know you’ve made it when people start recognizing you, and we would say the same applies to our pets. Katherine Barrell, most known for her killer role in the dark fantasy series Wynonna Earp, has been experiencing a new level of fandom over her adorable pup, Bernie! He’s got his own fan account and Instagram hashtag – #berniebarretti. We caught up with Katherine and Bernie in town from LA at one of our favorite dog-friendly hotels, the Fairmont Royal York. Even the doormen couldn’t help but show us photos of their own pups on their camera rolls. Friends from Liberty Pooch, the dog concierge Katherine uses when she’s in TO stopped by, including Bernie’s best buds, Poyo, a 4 year old Havanese and Finn, a 1 year old Cockapoo. The lobby was overtaken by cuteness which delighted Fairmont guests. Read on as we take a peek into Katherine’s busy life with Bernie:
Thanks for chatting with us, Katherine! How did you get into acting? What projects are you currently working on that we can catch you in?
I went to theater school at George Brown College. I specialized in film and when I graduated, I got an agent and started auditioning, and got into acting professionally from there.
I’m in an upcoming Hallmark Channel Movie called A Nutcracker Christmas, which comes out on December 10th. I’m also going to be in CBC’s Workin’ Moms, which airs January 10th, 2017.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
Each day differs greatly – if I’m shooting it involves an early morning pickup around 5 or 6am, then I’ll be in hair and makeup, get dressed, and head to set for the day.
On days when I’m not filming, I’ll get up, take Bernie to the park for an hour, then settle in at my office and start working on producing or directing projects, press requests, fan mail, and all the clerical stuff that comes with running my business.
Please tell us a bit about Bernie. How did he come into your life? Is there a story behind the name or particular breed?
My fiance and I had wanted a dog for about a year, but didn’t know how to fit one into our lifestyle yet. We knew we needed a small, portable dog, and one that would be very smart and easy to train. We didn’t want to go through a breeder, but were also wary of rescuing an animal who may have anxiety issues and would be stressed by our lifestyle, as we travel often. We knew we needed a young dog that we could train from the beginning. We had a friend of a friend who had a litter of puppies and my fiance started checking them out before telling me, so I wouldn’t get too excited. This guy was very selective about who he would give the dogs to, and after about a month of back and fourth, he had vetted us and we got Bernie at 10 weeks old! The litter of pups were in West Hollywood and we were living in LA. After 2 weeks with Bernie, we flew him to Canada with us. We don’t know Bernie’s breed mix for certain as his mom was a rescue. His dad is a Mini Australian Shepherd, and his mom may be a mini or toy Aussie or Collie.
We hear you’ve had some fan moments with Bernie. Can you tell us about some of the more memorable ones?
Bernie was with Helga, my dog walker from Liberty Pooch, while my fiance and I were away. She took him to the dog park and was calling out his name. Someone asked if he was Kat Barrell’s dog! That was his first fan spotting. He has his own fan-run Instagram account. Fans will send me drawings of him and write him into fan fiction stories. He’s basically the official Wynnona Earp mascot! He also receives gifts sometimes from fans which is just so sweet. He really makes people smile.
How would you describe your personal style when you aren’t dressed in character?
My style is very causal, comfortable, and functional! I’m very minimalist in style, and clean and classic. I go for things I can move in because I run around a lot!
How did you meet Liberty Pooch?
Helga was based in my neighborhood and I when I first got Bernie, I was asking around at the dog park who a good dog walker would be. I would always notice their teal shirts and got a lot of wonderful recommendations for Helga. We board Bernie with her and have loved having her as a dog walker!
What does your ideal weekend look like?
I really love going to a water spa like Body Blitz as a treat! It’s very calming and relaxing. I also enjoy lounging around and taking a rejuvenating nap on a Sunday. I used to design and make my own leather bags, so I love making things and refinishing furniture, crafting, and doing things for the house.
My partner and I are big foodies so we love to try new restaurants and watch cooking shows as well.
What inspires you?
I like working in a team – I couldn’t do a job just me on my own. Acting can feel solitary but on set there’s such a team atmosphere. It takes a village to get something off the ground. When you have a team depending on you, you’re much more motivated to meet grueling deadlines.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about Bernie?
Our nickname for Bernie is the Wal-Mart greeter. At the dog park, whenever anyone new comes in, he runs over, sits by the gate, and waits to greet them. We also get stopped a lot by people asking what breed he is because he’s so tiny!