Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 21, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 21, 2013 


 I’ll never forget how embarrassed I was, when at age 
7, I cried openly while watching the movie, Lassie Come 
Home. I was spending the night at a friend’s house, and 
it was the last scene of the movie, where Lassie appears 
at the hilltop and runs down to meet Timmy, who takes 
her into his arms and begins crying his own tears of joy over having her back home. Well, there I was, 
centered between my friend and the rest of her entire family of 5, sobbing sloppily about a fictional 
dog who’d gone missing and ended up as the harrowing hero of the show. I mean I was a basket case! 
The next morning at breakfast, I was ribbed by my friend’s two older brothers for my open display 
of emotions, after which I packed my bag and headed home. The hardest part was living it down at 
school the following week, when my girlfriend’s two brothers shared the ordeal with the rest of my 
class mates. At the time, I guess I considered myself to be a big baby, blubbering over Lassie, but now 
I give myself a break, and even a pat on the back for caring about the welfare of a dog, any dog, even 
an actor dog!

 This recent nostalgic memory inspired me to look up some of my favorite famous canine characters, 
hoping to find as much information as I could about who they really were. I started my search with 
Lassie, since she was my first favorite dog in film and I found out that although the Lassie character 
was a female in the movie, the dog who played her part was actually a male Rough Collie named 
“Pal”! Pal was born on June 4, 1940 at Cherry Osborne’s Glamis Kennels in Hollywood, and had his 
first film debut in Lassie Come Home (1943) - the one that brought on my embarrassing blubbering 
ordeal. He went on to play the same part in 6 more MGM Lassie features, after which he starred in 
two pilots of the TV series, then retired and finally died in 1958. During his life of 18 years, “Pal” must 
have touched the hearts of more youngsters than any other canine ever cast in film.

 My second favorite famous dog was “Duke” on The Beverly Hillbillies. The part of Duke was 
played by a wrinkly purebred Bloodhound named “Stretch”. At 13 years of age, Stretch was replaced 
by a younger bloodhound who continued to play the part of Duke until the final episode. Following 
his 10 year career as Duke on The Beverly Hillbillies, Stretch appeared in the military comedy film 
entitled No Time for Sargents (1958), starring Andy Griffith as newly recruited army private, Will 
Stockdale. I couldn’t find any information about who owned Stretch, or how he was discovered, but I 
will say he is one of the reasons I fell in love with bloodhounds, and chose that breed as my own pet. 
My dog Tater is so much like Duke. The resemblance is undeniable, and like Duke, Tater would much 
rather lay around than take a walk or perform a service, such as hunting or tracking, as bloodhounds 
are bred to do.

 During my quest to identify the canines that were cast as Hollywood characters, I remembered a 
show that featured an enormous dog with bigger-than-life facial features, but because I was only about 
5 when I watched the reruns with my parents, I couldn‘t remember the title. After a little internet 
research, I finally figured out that the TV comedy series was Topper, all about a couple who were 
buried in an avalanche with their guide dog, “Neil” while skiing in Switzerland. After the accident, 
they return as ghosts (including the dog) and carry out a plethora of shenanigans that keep the new 
home owner, “Topper“ on his toes.

 The part of Neil was played by a gorgeous Saint Bernard named “Buck”. Buck was raised by Beatrice 
Knight of the Sanctuary Kennels in Oregon. I couldn’t find much information about Buck, but I did 
learn that there was a feature film entitled Topper, based on the same novel, and in the movie the 
canine character is a Wire-haired Terrier named “Mr. Atlas”, played by a dog named “Skippy”, and that 
Skippy later played the part of “Asta” in the TV series, The Thin Man.

 Another Hollywood-cast canine character, that I really liked while growing up, appeared in the 
movie trilogy, Benji. To my delight, I found out that the remarkably talented pup who played the part 
of Benji was a mixed-breed, rescued shelter dog named “Higgins”, who was trained by Frank Inn, and 
that one of his offspring, “Benjean” played the same part in subsequent films.

 There are so many other doggie actors that I could include in this article, but unfortunately I 
don’t have the time or space, so I hope you’ve enjoyed the bits of information that I did share about 
the famous canines I treasured growing up. I am personally very impressed with a dog’s ability to 
be trained to entertain, and it means a lot to me have had so many canine characters who played an 
important part of entertaining me as a child.


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Sarah: Animal ID #A4628995

Sarah is a sweet little dog that will rock 
your world! Sarah (A4628995) is an 
exuberant one year old black and white 
spayed female Whippet mix puppy who 
was dumped at the Baldwin Park Shelter 
by her former owner on September 6th. 

Weighing thirty-five pounds, Sarah is 
part way through leash training and 
seems to be housebroken. She should 
be an only pet because other dogs excite 
her too much, and her former owner says 
she is great with small children. She is 
vivacious and enthusiastic, and will be a 
fantastic outdoor sporting companion. 
Sarah is the perfect indoor pet for an 
active individual or family living in a 
private home with no other pets. She is 
a doll! To watch a video of Sarah please click here:

To meet Sarah in person, please see her at the Baldwin Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, Baldwin 
Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-430-2378 or 626-962-3577). She is currently available now. For any 
inquiries about Sarah, please reference her animal ID number: A4628995. The shelter is open seven 
days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is a high-intake 
shelter with a great need for adoptions. For more information about Sarah or the adoption process, 
please contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at Samantha@ 

To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ partnership with the Baldwin Park Shelter through its 
Shelter Support Program, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes available for adoption 
in local shelters, visit 

Looking For A Best Friend??

Mr. Tibbs is too! Mr. Tibbs is estimated to be about 
2-3 years old and is an adorable boy. He can be a little 
shy at first, but he is sweet and happy, and gets along 
well with his kennel mates. He likes people, too, and 
seems to enjoy hugs and gives kisses in return. He 
loves going for walks, and if you stop to sit on the 
grass with him, he’ll come over to put his paws on 
your leg to get some petting. Mr. Tibbs loves the 
ladies! (humans and dogs, both). He is neutered, 
up to date with all routine shots and ready to move 
in. Please consider making Mr. Tibbs part of your 

He currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue in 
San Gabriel with his new roommate. We are located 
off San Gabriel Blvd., north of Mission and south of 
Las Tunas. 

To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Mr. Tibbs (aka….SG07292), please stop by any time from 
10:00am to 4:30pm Tuesday thru Sunday. His adoption fee is $120 which includes his neuter 
surgery, a microchip, first vaccinations and a free wellness check-up at a participating veterinarian. 
Feel free to call us at (626) 286-1159 for more information on Mr. Tibbs. 

See our website at for information and photos of all our available pets. 

We’d like to hear from you! 

What’s on YOUR Mind?

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