And the winner is ... Tessie!
A Yorkshire terrier whose signature attire includes goggles, a tiny leather jacket and motorcycle helmet has wagged her way into the hearts of fans, said Prudence Emery as she revealed the canine star of Hattie's Heist.
It was a "dog fight to the finish," with Ollie the pug and Arthur, a Pomeranian poodle cross, not far behind, said the writer-producer of the short comedy, starring Maxine Miller (Robson Arms) as a senior who becomes an unlikely bank robber.
Sixty-five dogs unleashed their talents at a casting call in Oak Bay last month to determine who would become top dog.
The five-year-old canine star was born in Cumberland and is a registered therapy pet who works with owner Kristine Ash at Oak Bay Lodge. Ash has trained Tessie, who often rides in her own seat on Ash's Harley-Davidson, since she was 11 weeks old.
Tessie will play Hattie's scooter-riding sidekick who inadvertently introduces her to a suitor - a kindly RCMP officer.
Runner-up Ollie has been cast in a supporting role as the Moun-tie's canine companion. The other finalists - Arthur, Bandit the long-haired chihuaha and Papillon Marcel - will be offered roles as background performers, Emery said. "This has been a great deal of fun," she said. "Everybody, including humans, [was] well-behaved."
The film's crowd-funding campaign at indiegogo.com/ hattiesheist ends Nov. 30.