Now that Trouble, Leona Helmsley's pooch, has entered the world history books as a rich and famous dog, I was thinking this would be an appropriate time to list 12 other famous dogs of the modern era.
The Taco Bell chihuahua (born c. 1995) was a popular advertising figure and mascot used by Taco Bell, which is a division of Yum! Brands. The Chihuahua is a breed commonly associated with Mexico, as are the tacos the restaurant serves. The name of the dog used as a model is "Gidget". [WIKI]
Spuds MacKenzie, the original party animal, made his debut in a Bud Light beer commercial during the Super Bowl in 1987. Spuds, who also functioned as senior party consultant for the Anheuser-Busch Company, purveyors of Bud Light beer, was an affable rake with an egg-shaped face and a black circle around one eye.
He became a marketing sensation almost faster than you can say, "This Spuds' for you." Nearly every time you turned on a sporting event on the tube, there was Spuds -- water skiing, skateboarding, lounging by a pool with a bevy of beautiful women or doing something else that was more glamorous than what you were doing. His image and likeness appeared on T-shirts, sweaters, mugs, posters and stuffed animals, outfacing those of other popular television creatures of the time, including the redoubtable ALF and mighty Max Headroom. [Dog and Kennel Magazine]
Asta is primarily known for his namesake role in the "Thin Man" movies. Asta was the ever-present brainy canine sidekick who played alongside Myrna Loy and William Powell in the popular detective comedies. The characters for the Thin Man films were based on the 1933 novel "The Thin Man" by Dashiell Hammett. It's interesting to note that in the book, the dog is a actually a schnauzer. [I Love Asta]
The new Benji was adopted from the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport after being picked up on the streets of Pass Christian, abandoned, lost and alone... and she began filming her first movie a year and a half later.
The original Benji was rescued from the Burbank Animal Shelter and the American Humane Association says that fact is directly responsible for the adoption of more than one million dogs. [benji.com]
The character of Lassie was created by British-American author Eric Knight in the short story "Lassie Come Home" published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1938 and as the novel Lassie Come Home in 1940.[WIKI]
Pete's real name was "Pal," and he was owned and trained by Harry Lucenary. The distinctive circle around his eye was originally unplanned. When the spunky pit bull made his "Our Gang" debut, a circle had been painted around his eye and would not come off. It made sense to keep it there - it made him stand out. That circle often migrates between the right and left eye from film to film. This was obviously a dog with a lot of tricks! However, if the truth be known, there were other Petey's that were used as standins for some stunts and other duties, like close-ups. [pet pitbull]
The first of the line (c. September 10, 1918 – August 10, 1932) was a shell-shocked pup found by American serviceman Lee Duncan in a bombed-out dog kennel in Lorraine, France, less than two months before the end of World War I. Named for a puppet called Rintintin that French children gave to the American soldiers for good luck. The dog returned at war's end with Duncan to his home in Los Angeles, California.
Nicknamed Rinty by his owner, the dog learned tricks and could leap 11 feet 9 inches. He was seen performing at a dog show by film producer Charles Jones, who paid Duncan to film Rinty. Duncan became convinced Rin Tin Tin could become the next Strongheart. The dog's big break came when he stepped in for a recalcitrant wolf in The Man From Hell's River (1922). Rin Tin Tin would be cast as a wolf or wolf-hybrid many times in his career, despite looking little to nothing like one. His first starring role, 1923's Where The North Begins, playing alongside silent screen actress Claire Adams, was a huge success often credited with saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. It was followed by Shadows of the North (1923), Clash of the Wolves (1925), A Dog of the Regiment (1927), Tiger Rose (1929) and The Lightning Warrior (1931).[WIKI]
Toto belongs to Dorothy Gale, the heroine of the first and many subsequent books. In the first book, Toto never spoke, although other animals, native to Oz, did. In subsequent books, other animals gained the ability to speak on reaching Oz or similar lands, but Toto remained speechless. In Tik-Tok of Oz, continuity is restored: Toto reveals that he is able to talk, just like other animals in the land of Oz, and simply chooses not to.[WIKI]
Paris Hilton and her Chihuahua Tinkerbell, or so she says.
Old Yeller takes place in a small town in central Texas in the late 1860's. It is the story of a 14 year old boy named Travis Coates who must take care of his mama and little brother Arliss while his papa takes the cattle to market. An old yeller dog wanders onto the farm and steals the family's meat. Travis's hate for the old dog soon turns to love when the dog rescues Arliss from an angry mother bear.[Thinkquest]
Det Scott Turner played by Tom Hanks teams up with Hooch, the slobbering mischievous dog who could be the only one to help Turner solve a murder. Hooch played by Beasley the Dogue de Bordeaux.[Famous Paws]
My personal favorite: Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones may get top billing, but any Men in Black fan knows the real star of the franchise is Frank, the fast-talking, female-chasing alien pug. [USA Today]
This has been a Thursday 13 post [# 25] and is updated on certain Thursdays.