11/02/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET
But before she snacked on shoes at the Delgado-Pritchett household, the adorable puppy, whose real name is Brigitte, was abandoned by her adoptive family and returned to her breeder in Tennessee without a place to go. In true Hollywood fashion, she eventually found a home with trainer Guin Dill and Good Dog Animals, an L.A. rental company that auditions animals for roles in motion pictures and television shows.
As Brigitte’s part on ABC’s Emmy-winning comedy continues to grow, here are five things you should know about the little scene-stealer:
1. She landed Modern Family because of her looks.
During a meeting with Dill and some prospective puppies, Modern Family’s producers mentioned that they’d be interested in hiring a French bulldog, but Brigitte was untrained at the time. “I brought her in and she just ran around the office and did puppy stuff. Within 15 minutes of me leaving, they called and said, ‘She’s just too cute, we have to have her,’” Dill tells PEOPLE. “She definitely got cast on her beautiful looks,” which includes her rare combination of white fur and brown spots, known as pied.
2. Ed O’Neill is her BFF.
As Jay’s beloved bulldog, 1½-year-old Brigitte films most of her scenes with O’Neill, and the pair’s on-screen relationship has translated into a similar one off screen. “He and Brigitte love each other,” Dill says. “He is very concerned about her all the time, and he looks out for her. She’s really Ed’s dog. I couldn’t have asked for a better actor to work with.”