Local director Gail Mancuso's new film follows journey, impact one special dog has on families it encounters

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In the new film, "A Dog's Journey," a remarkable dog has a series of incarnations and each time, enriches human companions with loyalty that transforms their lives.

Director Gail Mancuso has five dogs of her own and believes in the healing power of pets.

"As a female director I can relate to a young child growing up, having trials and tribulations, going off course a little bit and with the help of Bailey she gets back on track," said Mancuso.

To get the right canine expression, it's all about having the animals in a very safe, nurturing environment.

"They all had their own security detail, they were escorted from the set to their trailers," said Mancuso.

Mancuso hails from Melrose Park, visits home often and credits the Midwest for her work ethic.

"Growing up in Chicago, I bring it over to LA and I feel like I'm one of the nicest people on the set and people tell me that I'm not trying to blow my own horn but I talk to everybody," said Mancuso. "I'm true Chicago, you can't take the Chicago out of me."

The director worked on the original "Roseanne" and the revived series before the implosion of its star.

"Roseanne gave me my first job and she promoted by career throughout, she's been wonderful to me," said Mancuso.

Mancuso is set to direct upcoming episodes of the sitcom "The Conners" on ABC, the premiere of the last season of "Modern Family," and many more movies.

However, she said it'll be hard to top this new film.

"Look, we're working with dogs, I get to pet, kiss on and hug dogs all day long, it was probably the best job I've ever had my whole life," said Mancuso.
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