To begin, let me tell you about Teddy, a Great Dane who worked for Mack Sennett. Teddy could without any help, fill a kettle, light a stove, make coffee and sweep the floor. Teddy performed these tasks every day for a fee of forty dollars per week.
The Original Rin Tin Tin earned an average of $44,000 per film and died in the arms of Jean Harlow in 1932 at the age of fourteen. He appeared in fifty films before he died, earning him the title of Movie Star. In fact, he was known to the competitors of Warner Brothers Studios as the “mortgage lifter” due to the fact that any film he appeared in was sure to be a box office hit. His story is truly amazing with an equally dramatic beginning. He was found abandoned as a puppy in France in a front line trench during World War I. The spirit of Rin Tin Tin is alive and well. He even has a web site. Click here to visit his site, which is full of interesting information. It even boasts a fun activity page for kids.
In July, 1978, an elderly woman in Johannesburg, South Africa was seriously injured when she was struck on the head by a falling dog. The animal, a miniature Pomeranian, had been thrown from a thirteen story window by vandals. Amazingly, the dog survived.
The first Lassie was, in fact, a red-haired male dog who sired a son that took his place in the TV series. The various Lassies (nine generations of them at last count) won eight Patsys (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year Award) in eight years, an unbroken record. Lassie earned sixty thousand dollars in 1960 alone.
Dogs who travel frequently on the buses and trams of Hague, the Dutch capital, can hold a young person’s season ticket. All they need is an identity card with their photo, name, and owner’s name.
So many American dog lovers requested the paw print of Patsy, who was owned by President Gerald Ford, that a rubber stamp was used to sign the dog’s autograph.
Benji was a real film star. He won the Patsy in 1977, and was so popular in Bangkok that a picture of his head five stories high appears on permanent public display. His handler reports that when he took Benji on trips, people would stop the bellhops and ask for the dog’s room number. He also inspired the Benji’s Buddies Program which has measurably improved adoption rates for homeless pets.
A Great Dane named Caliph won a place in British legal history for his antics in the courtroom. He bit the hand of the judge while on trial for his life – for biting.
In Australia, a black Labrador called Rastus mastered the art of water skiing. I wonder if he knows any other strokes except the dog paddle.