3/24/20

Daisy: Blondie and Dagwood's Dog



When the popular comic strip Blondie started its long-running film series (1938-1950), Spooks played the part of the family dog Daisy.


Penny Singleton (Blondie), Spooks (Daisy) and Arthur Lake (Dagwood)

Spooks, a male cocker spaniel/poodle/terrier mix, was born around 1937 and belonged to Rennie Renfro. Renfro, an animal trainer, rescued the dog from an LA animal shelter and gave him the name Spooks because of his timidness. With the help of Rudd Weatherwax, the famous dog trainer who trained Lassie, the nervous dog went on to appear in over 50 films - Blondie being the most well-known. Spooks had a great personality and was able to express a number of emotions ranging from excitement to fear.

Spook did 27 of the 28 Blondie films, and became known as Daisy to Renfro and the world. In the episode Blondie's Blessed Event (1942), Daisy gives birth to five puppies. Daisy fathered many puppies, but none of the dogs portraying the puppies were claimed to be of relation to him. Other films Daisy appeared in include National Velvet (1944), Follow the Boys (1944), Hollywood & Vine (1945) and The Red Stallion (1947).

Daisy (Spooks) passed away in 1955 at about the age of 17, and his body was cremated.


3/5/20

Argos: Odysseus' Faithful Dog



Argos, the only one to recognize Odysseus when he returned home, lived long enough to see his master before passing on.


Odysseus and Argos

Odysseus was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and one of the most influential Greek heroes during the Trojan War. He spent 10 years fighting in Troy, having left his wife Penelope, his newborn son Telemachus and his dog Argos behind, and another 10 years getting back to his homeland. Before returning to his home, he disguised himself as a beggar so he could spring a surprise attack on Penelope's suitors who had taken over his home.

When Odysseus approached his home, he saw his dog Argos lying neglected on a pile of cow manure and infested with fleas. Immediately, Argos recognized his master. According to an excerpt from the Odyssey:

As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master [being old and weak]. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaios [a close friend of his who did not recognize him] seeing it, and said:

'Eumaios, what a noble hound is that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?'

'This dog,' answered Eumaios, 'belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.'

So saying he entered the well-built mansion and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had fulfilled his destiny of faith and seen his master once more after twenty years.


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