Craig Sellier, right, in his 14th Uncle Earl’s T-shirt, with Sly Stallone & his new Catahoula pup
BAY ST. LOUIS — A Lakeshore man got to meet and do business with actor Sylvester Stallone.
Years ago Craig Sellier was injured and could no longer run the family store. So he began to raise hunting dogs — Catahoulas, beagles and bulldogs. His wife, Connie, and his kids, Brandy and Whitney, did all the labor while Sellier researched blood lines and pedigrees. Soon he was breeding and selling Catahoulas from Texas to Alabama.
A couple years ago Sellier received a call from Stallone’s agent.
Stallone, who has an older Catahoula, wanted another and had heard about Sellier’s dogs. At first Sellier figured it was a prank but after a few calls a meeting was set up on the New Orleans lot of Stallone’s new action film “The Expendables.” Sellier took a few of his best pups and Stallone held up the production, came right off the set and examined them.
Very quickly something clicked between man and dog. Sly and “Barney,” as he named him, made eye contact and it was a done deal. Stallone had a new dog.
The actor and the dog breeder struck up a friendship, talking dogs and swapping stories — at least until the production folks complained about the holdup. “This guy is the real deal,” Stallone said of Sellier.
“He treated me just like a neighbor or a friend,” Sellier, 48, said of Stallone. “He’s down-to-earth, a real, regular guy. He invited me back a few days later and we went on the set while he directed some stunt scenes. With all those people there, he took the time to explain, to me, how these shots are made. Can you imagine that?”
“What a real nice guy,” Sellier said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Stallone’s second Catahoula! Here’s an excerpt from an earlier article:
The tough guy, who shares three daughters with his wife, former model Jennifer Flavin, admits he was desperate for a strong male companion to combat all of the female energy at home, and he bought himself the most rugged dog he could find before he went off to make the 2008 war movie.
He says, “Everything in the house is female… I’d like to have one male companion. I looked in the dog thesaurus and it says, ‘Catahoula leopard dog, raised in the swamps of New Orleans, considered the thug of the canine world.’ I said that’s it. I got a thug dog.”