Malamute Vs. Zombies!

    Imagine yourself alone in an arctic military post.  The world has gone insane with a zombie virus effecting everything in its way.  You missed the last plane out, the plane that was evacuating personnel and sled dogs.  Something goes horribly wrong on-board and the plane crashes.  You are stranded.

     This is the side story of PFC Simon Cruller (played by DJ Qualls, aka Citizen Z, a former hacker who is stranded at an arctic military listening post.  He fights for survival as he directs a group of survivors across the zombie infested country in an attempt to deliver a man who has antibodies against the zombie virus.  Citizen Z must fight against the odds, his supplies running out, zombie sled dogs are on the prowl, and the only thing keeping him from slipping into madness is a Malamute he has named Wizard.


The following is some backstory about Wizzard, the Malamute star of SyFy channels hit, Z-Nation, now entering its third season:

     It was a lovely sunny day in August of 2013 that our lives changed forever.  My wife Julie and I had talked about getting a dog for some time and I had been doing some research into the various local rescue organizations as we both agreed that we wanted to adopt rather than buy. I found the Washington Alaskan Malamute League (WAMAL) online and forwarded the link to Julie…. From the moment she saw them the die was cast, a Malamute it had to be.  We arranged a home visit with their adoption coordinator who looked over our yard and told us the improvements we needed make in order to make it ‘Mal proof’ and we were set.  We drove down to the ‘Holiday’ kennels down in Kent to meet once more with the adoption coordinator and the guy who was currently fostering the dog that the coordinator described as a good fit for us… Wizzard.

  • 10636586_945206112181945_3807295172844742239_o
  • tuck
  • wizzcitz
  • I have my own trailer on set.
  • Those guys behind me are the zombies, but they're on break so no need to worry
  • On the way to the set in my limo
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  • Hoping for jerky!
  • Enjoying a bit of down-time at Christmas.  No zombie dogs!

     From the moment we saw him strutting along, he had us. We walked him a little and he was so friendly and playful that it was a done deal. We were all very happy as we drove off with Wizzard going to his ‘furrever’ home.  Things were not all plain sailing at first. We had been told that he had been returned from two previous failed adoptions because he was boisterous and prone to chewing items to pieces when he got anxious and he did indeed to this with us, he got through a cell phone case, a wallet and a very expensive pair of eye glasses. He also jumped up on us and everyone he met. But he was a 10 month old Alaskan Malamute, what did people expect? With lots of reassurance and love he stopped this destructive behavior, I think he realized that this was his home forever and he was safe.


     In 2014 Julie started working with a dog training / day care company and the owner Jeff, it transpired, had provided dogs and dog training for the film and TV industry in the past. When she jokingly said. “Well if you ever get the call for a Malamute then you know where to come”, she didn’t realise what lay ahead.  Around a week later she got to work and the owner said.  “You’re not going to believe the phone call I’ve just had”.  The SyFy channel were producing a new zombie TV show called ‘Z Nation’ and one of the characters, based in the Arctic, rescues and befriends a sled dog.  And they wanted a Malamute! Julie emailed a few photos of Wizzard and before long word came back… he was hired.


     For the first season it was just Jeff who traveled over to Spokane, where the series is shot, and worked with him on set. For his debut he had to fight an ex buddy in the sled team who was now a zombie dog! With some clever editing and sound effects the fight was pulled off and Wizzard lived to tell the tale.

     You can see more of Wizzard on his facebook page:  Wizard-Dog on Z Nation.

     Co-written by Phillip Keiman


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