You Lucky Dog by Kate Kelly
Famous dogs and how they went from nobody to stars
This book is very interesting, tells the stories about all kinds of dogs….go behind the scenes to the real tales…
It is an uplifting compilation of true stories about homeless dogs that survived and thrived against the odds to become celebrities.
Dogs like Terry, the female Cairn Terrier, who had mean owners. She was born in 1933 in Alta Dena, CA and adopted by a couple from Pasadena with no children and no patience. She was not housebroken so the owners hired Carl Spitz who ran the Hollywood Dog Training School. He got the job done but the owners refused to pay the bill and did not want the puppy back so she stayed with Spitz.
Spitz took Terry on auditions to be in movies and she was hired to be in Shirley Temple’s “Bright Eyes.” Terry performed in five other films. Then Spitz heard about The Wizard of Oz. He trained Terry to become part of the cast. Terry was such a success that she made it into almost all of the scenes in the movie. Terry was paid $125 per week, more than the Munchkins made.
Terry’s performance as Toto was courageous and outstanding. She followed her directions like a pro. By the end of the film, everyone called her Toto and her name was changed to Toto.
Toto was best known for The Wizard of Oz but she went on to do seven more films.
She died in 1945 and a book was written to memorialize her.
Benji was a shelter dog who also became a movie star. A veteran Hollywood animal trainer found the mixed breed dog at the Burbank Animal Shelter. The dog originally worked on the TV show Petticoat Junction. Every week, he learned different tricks. When the movie Benji was being cast, this dog hit the spot. His offspring were cast in the original films sequels.
There are many stories about Rin Tin Tin. Lee Duncan was his owner and trainer and obtained the dog who was born in Germany. When fighting ended, Duncan could not leave without the pups so he brought back Rinty and Nanette (his sister). He came back to California and got a job at a high end sportings good store in Hollywood.
Duncan trained the dog and took him to dog shows. Eventually the dog made 26 films for Warner Bros. Rin Tin Tin worked hard most of his life. Eventually, the stress got to him and he nipped someone on the set of a film. He died in 1932 but Duncan still had contracts for a dog. He kept the dog’s career going with Rin Tin Tin Junior and successive dogs.
Besides famous movie and TV dogs, there are also inspiring stories of dogs with extraordinary stories such as the dog mayor, Civil War mascot, the dog who delivered the mail, a dog who traveled across the USA by train, and a deaf bull terrier named Patsy Ann who became a harbor master in Juneau, Alaska. In Part Two, there are the stories of dogs who lived at the White House, starting with Bo Obama going all the way back to George Washington’s dogs.