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Old Yeller

Old Yeller was a children’s book adapted for the screen by Disney in 1957. The story is about a poor post-civil war family who is very poor. While tending to the livestock one day, the older son (Travis – played by Tommy Kirk) notices a stray dog. He tries to shoo the dog away but the younger son (Arliss – played by Kevin Corcoran) becomes quite attached to the dog. Their mother (Katie – played by Dorothy McGuire) reasons that they could use a good dog around the house. The dog was named “Old Yeller” (yellow) due to his yellowish color. He was played by a mixed breed (yellow lab / mastiff mix) adopted out of the Van Nuys Animal Shelter in Van Nuys, California by trainers Frank and Rudd Weatherwax named “Spike” (he wasn’t credited for the role). Spike also had an uncredited role in the 1957 fantasy-horror film, “The She-Creature”. In the book Old Yeller was a Black Mouth Cur.

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Buck and Lucky- Married With Children

For 11 seasons the Bundy family has their loyal companion, Buck the dog. For many seasons Buck was a mutt (briard mix until the character’s death untimely death (the dog “Buck” was retired when he reached 12 1/2 years of age in 1995 – the dog died 9 months later) but (un)luckily he was reincarnated as a cocker spaniel named Lucky and (re)adopted by the Bundy family and stayed with them until the end of the series.

The briard mix Buck (real name Michael) was voiced by Kevin Curran and, on occasion, by Cheech Marin. During and after season 8 he was voiced by Kim Weiskopf. He was trained by Steven Ritt. Michael also had an uncredited cameo in the 1988 movie “Scrooged”.

The cocker spaniel “Lucky” was voiced by Kim Weiskopf also.

Buck is a lot like the rest of the family – lazy, miserable, and extremely sarcastic towards the other characters in the show except no one else understands him so he, quite often, is able to get in the last word.

Look Who’s Talking Now

The 1993 film, “Look Who’s Talking now” was the third installment of the “Look Who’s Talking” series. In the previous two films you heard the “thoughts” of the two children but the third installment you heard the thoughts of their two dogs, “Rocks”, voiced by Danny Devito, and “Daphne” voiced by Diane Keaton.

Rocks, the first dog who is adopted into the family (by James and Mikey) is a run of the mill typical street mutt (shepherd mix most likely). In the beginning (and throughout the film) he is dirty, messy, clumsy, and always getting into trouble. This portrays one end of the dog behavior spectrum – chaotic.

Daphne is the second dog adopted into the family (by a few minutes – adopted by Mollie and Julie). She is a standard poodle and is the exact opposite of Rocks – polite, well trained, neat, proper, polite, and does not get into trouble. She displays the other end of the dog behavior spectrum – completely orderly. Continue reading

The Vitagraph Dog

Jean, the Vitagraph DogJean, the Vitagraph Dog, was the first canine film star. Owned by Laurence Trimble (also owned Strongheart) where he ended up at the Vitagraph Studios to do a story for a local magazine on film making. His timing was perfect, he was there with his pet, Jean, when they needed a dog on the set to play opposite of Florence Turner

Jean became quite popular and was soon known as “the Vitagraph Dog”, starring in her own films along with “the Vitagraph Girl” all directed by Larry Trimble. One- and two-reelers with titles such as, Jean and the Calico Doll, Jean and the Waif, and Jean Goes Fishing were made by Trimble as their troupe filmed along the coastline in his native Maine.

Jean died in 1916.