You’ve may seen the television shows and movies that Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin, have appeared in, but do you know the real story of these fabulous canines? Let’s take a closer look at these dogs, and also introduce a new canine hero, Stubby, who could use a movie of his own!
Although Lassie was a girl on the show and movies bearing her name, the famous Rough Collie was actually portrayed by a male dog in real life. The character originated in the Eric Knight novel Lassie Come Home. The first Lassie was named Pal, and his descendants still portray the character to this day. Pal played Lassie in the 1943 film edition of Lassie Come Home, and after production was done, Pal’s owner, Rudd Weatherwax, and Lassie put on an 18-minute program at dog shows and department stores across the country. They were eventually seen by television producer Robert Maxwell that Lassie’s future lay in TV, and the rest, as they say, was history. Lassie went on to become one of the most memorable canines in Hollywood, and even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hard to believe that her owner sold her to another trainer, then changed his mind right before the movie, and bought her back for only $10!