The adventures of Nico Panagio and his dog, Harvey
A healthy, adventurous lifestyle should be supported and balanced by a diet that provides pets with sustained energy through high-quality proteins and alternative grains. Our Field + Forest™grain-free, protein-centric, signature recipes come in 3 recipe variants providing something for all dogs. Speaking of an adventure-filled life, we were delighted to be joined by South African actor (Survivor South Africa presenter), Nico Panagio and his dog Harvey, to get a better picture of life out of the spotlight.
Q: Before we get to know you a little better, we’d love to find out more about your four-legged companion, Harvey. When did he become part of your family?
A: Harvey has recently turned 3, so he’s just left his teenage dog years behind which I must admit were a little rough going at times. This is a dog who, after a 20 km trail run, stares at me while I’m chilling on the couch with that “when are we going again?” look on his face.
Q: How did you arrive the name ‘Harvey’? Have you or your family got any other special nicknames for him?
A: Harvey’s name was inspired by the feisty lead character Harvey Specter on the TV show Suits. Sometimes he sits quietly with that perfect posture, staring intently, a distinctly intellectual air about him (he is super smart) and that’s when I see him as ‘The Harvard.’ He often gets into this crazy state of mind when he senses a trail run coming on, he bounces around and does the crazy air-hug, gravity-defying jump thing. When he’s like that I just call him ‘Mountain Goat’. We call him ‘Javier’ as well sometimes…. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s that cheerful and reckless thing he has going on, à la Javier Bardem.
Q: Does Harvey have any particular quirks that you find endearing?
A: He talks a lot. He stares at you, willing you to look at him and when you do, he does this grumble-growl thing which intensifies if you answer him. And if you growl back, he gets seriously amped, like you’re speaking his language or something. It’s very amusing since he really seems to be having a conversation. He loves to cuddle. If you rub his face, he dips his head into your hand and pushes hard, returning the affection. He also watches TV, he finds a spot on the couch with us and stares at the screen, quite unusual indeed.
Q: We so admire your and Harvey’s sense of adventure and active lifestyle, and we know that Harvey’s a fan of our grain-free, protein-rich products. Does Harvey have a favourite Field + Forest™ signature recipe (flavour)?
A: It’s hard to tell since this is the first dry dog food that we have given him which he scoffs down as soon as we place the meal down in front of him. We used to have to mix all kinds of gravies or milk into his food to make it more enticing, but now he loves it as is which is testament to the fact that it’s made of good stuff. If I had to pick one, I’d have to say he probably enjoys the Turkey + Duck most.
Q: Do you and Harvey have a favourite outdoor activity, and what essentials do you take on a hiking or running trail when the two of you go together?
A: Trail running is definitely a favourite activity for us both. I love the mountains and we spend every spare moment we can up there, and Harvey was born to run. Hungarian Vizslas are incredible hunting/mountain dogs, exceptionally agile with loads of stamina. They also love water so whenever he sees a river, dam or the ocean he dives in with gusto. He has a very quirky swimming style and tries to bite the water as he goes, always quite amusing to watch – he wreaks havoc. We also love SUP’ing (Stand Up Paddle Surfing) together. I taught Harvey to hop on and off in the lounge at home and when I put the board on the water for the first time he hopped on as if it was the most normal thing to do. Since then we go out at least once a week. It’s very funny because he is forced to sit still which is not something he does very well. He barks at the seals and whenever the confines of the board get too much, he hops into the water for a quick swim then he clambers back on again. I always take a foldable water bowl along for him especially on the trail runs – and some snacks for us to share too. Another essential is a thermal buff for cold weather. He goes swimming no matter how cold it is and since he doesn’t have a drop of extra fat on his frame, I need to warm him up as soon as possible afterward. The buff does a good job.
Q: From your Instagram account, both you and Harvey seem to have a natural talent for entertaining people. What inspired you to follow your career path?
A: I have always enjoyed drama and took part in every play I could at primary school. In Grade 3 I landed a role in the Pretoria State Theatre production of ‘The King and I’, and that’s when I became hooked. However, as I grew older and moved on to high school, I gravitated more towards sport and outdoor activities. When I left school, after my business studies I realised I missed the arts and decided to get back into it. I decided to study drama and after a year of night school, landed a role on a local soap. That was the beginning of a roller-coaster ride that still hasn’t come to a stop!
Q: We’re pumped for the new season of Survivor SA! Have there been any hair-raising, behind-the-scenes moments while on location that stand out?
A: We filmed the last season (7) in Samoa during the cyclone season and the worst weather hit us in the first few weeks of filming. As such every day was a hair-raiser since you never knew what to expect, and there have been some devastating cyclones in those areas in the past. We also had an earthquake during one of our Tribal Councils. Right in the middle of filming, it was pretty scary with the earth shaking and a few aftershocks, etc. That’s a pretty scary thing to experience when you’re in the Ring of Fire, deep in the South Pacific.
Q: We’ve saved the best question for last. If you and Harvey were stranded on a dessert island, what 4 items would you take with you?
A: Can humans be items? Because that means the whole family is coming along and we all love the island lifestyle! If I was going to be stranded for real, I would hope for a waterproof lighter (flints are too iffy), a machete, fishing line, and a hook. Oh, and a tarp for the shelter! If you have just those items, you are off to a solid start.
Find out more about Field + Forest™’s signature, grain-free nutrition, visit: http://www.fieldandforest.co.za/about/.