Carmen and Ginger, we are ready to start listing our annual dog listings! Last year I highlighted the Terriers, and, specifically, Skippy the dog. This year, I decided to highlight Collies, and, of course, Lassie! Geez, I wish I'd thought to call Lassie earlier, 'cause she would have been right on my computer problem!
|Elizabeth Taylor was only 11 when she was brought in to replace the original actress scheduled to play the role of Priscilla in the 1943 film Lassie Come Home. According to IMDB, her wages for the film were less than half the dog's wages!|
|Rudd Weatherwax, Lassie's owner, trainer and lifelong friend, works with Lassie and another dog on set.|
During the course of filming, a decision was made to take advantage of a massive flooding of the San Joaquin River in central California in order to obtain some spectacular footage for the film. The female collie was still in training and refused to enter the raging waters created by the flood. Weatherwax was on the site with Pal and offered to have his dog perform in a five-stage shot in which Pal would swim the river, haul himself out, lie down without shaking the water off his coat, attempt to crawl while lying on his side and finally lie motionless, completely exhausted. Pal performed exceptionally well and the scene was completed in one take. Weatherwax said director Fred M. Wilcox was so impressed with Pal during the sequence that he had "tears in his eyes." In response, producers released the female collie and hired Pal in her stead, reshooting the first six weeks of the filming with Pal now portraying Lassie. (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Lassie was destined for stardom and fans were not content with just the movies! Television was inevitable and the first of several versions of the series began in 1954 with Pal playing the role of Lassie in the two pilots and his son, Lassie Jr. taking on the role after that. Surprisingly, although Lassie was always written as a female role, the character was always played by male dogs. Remarkably, the part of Lassie has been played by Pal, or, a direct descendant almost exclusively - aside from one short-lived contract dispute - for the past six decades!
Although I grew up as a child of the seventies, the opening I recall is this earlier one from the original version of the show - a classic! When my husband learned I was writing about Lassie, he said to be sure to highlight her heroic nature, and, there is no shortage of heroic images of Lassie, especially in the comic stories!
|Lassie saving a deer from drowning!|
|Lassie bringing the medical supplies!|
|Lassie saving a man from drowning!|
|Lassie saving the boy from a bear attack!|
|Lassie saving a cat from a burning building!|
And if you want a bit-o-memorabilia for yourself, there are lots of great Lassie and Collie related items on Etsy right now. Here are a choice few:
|Great Coloring Book from ManateesToyBox|
|Lovely Brooch from JennyLooms|
|Lassie Golden Book from SunshineBooks|
|Majestic Bookends from MySweetiePiePie|
|Another charming photo from Maclancy|
|Kitschy fun from VoltaVolta|
|Collie meets mid-century barware from Luola|
|Large and gorgeous chalkware bank.|
|1950's Flannel Collie Doll Blanket|
|Majestic Collie Figurine|
|and many more amazing dog items!|