All About the Dogs Who Play Enzo in ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’

In the movie, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” Enzo is mostly played by Parker, a two-year-old Golden Retriever. But a few other dogs helped out, including two dogs of unknown age named Solar and Orbit.

Puppy Enzo

According to Refinery29, a number of puppies (names undisclosed) played Enzo as a puppy. Denny (Milo’s character) picks him out of the litter after impulsively stopping by a farm with a sign that says “Puppies.” The man selling the puppies tells Denny, “He’s the pick of the litter.” (Enzo — as voiced by Kevin Costner — tells us, in voiceover, “He always says that.”)

PARKER (2-year-old Enzo)

Parker is “the most zen soul”
“You build relationships with people you work with, and you say to them, ‘I’m going to know you for the rest of my life,’” Milo Ventimiglia told EW. “That’s what it felt like with Parker,” his main canine costar. “Parker is the most zen soul I’ve ever seen in my life. So calm, so sweet, so relaxed.”

Parker picked up on Milo’s feelings
They got so close that Parker’s trainer worried that the dog was getting “stressed” by the actor’s energy. (Milo’s character, Denny, goes through some very stressful moments throughout the film.) Said Milo, “It demanded more communication because when you’re working with an animal, they can’t tell you how they’re feeling.”

Milo wanted to adopt Parker
“If Parker didn’t have a home, I would’ve brought him home with me. I’d made a new friend and a close friend, and someone I wanted to be around until the end. Unfortunately, though, Parker did have a home, he had a mom and dad, so it was like, “Oh okay, great, Milo can’t just adopt you, got it.”

Sadly, Milo’s too busy for dogs right now.
I’ve had dogs in my life, but I know I travel around way too much to have the responsibility of having a pet right now. I feel like they’d be hanging out at my parents house or at a doggy hotel more than they’d be with me. Having room for a dog is tough. But it was great for three months every day to have a furry little buddy hanging out with me on set.”

Amanda Seyfried, Milo Ventimiglia, Butler and Parker at the movie’s premiere

BUTLER (9-10 year-old Enzo)

Said Milo,” Butler is kind of like a teenager; he has this energy about him, even though he’s 9, where he just doesn’t know what to do with it.”

As an older dog, Butler is slower and has a lot more gray hair than Parker. And he’s the one who gets the treat of riding in Denny’s race car with him in the emotional scene that’s the image for the film’s poster. (You’ll be crying the most over Butler’s performance.)

4 thoughts on “All About the Dogs Who Play Enzo in ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’

  1. Anyone who loves dogs will love this movie,but especially us GOLDEN RETRIEVER fans. I have a 7-yr-old and am hugging him right now with tears running down my face.


  2. Never get tired of watching this movie…but I’m a dog lover. It takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride from comical, to insightful, sadness and then a happy ending. Do not miss this movie.


  3. I watched this film last night—2021—on my TV, and was at the end in tears—both happy and sad tears. The movie was wonderful, as was Parker. For 14 years (quite awhile ago) I had a very special dog, not a golden but just as astute and loving. That brought my Sheba back to me. I’ve kept it to see it again, now that the initial view has sunk in. Milo was terrific too!


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