Old Yeller, or the dog the played Old Yeller, was a homeless dog

found in a shelter in valve Nuys, California. The dog’s actual name to be Spike.

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Spike practically didn’t acquire the part in the movie around Old Yeller due to the fact that everyone assumed he to be too lot of a sweetheart.

The Story the Old Yeller

The 1957 Walt Disney film, Old Yeller, was based upon a book of the very same name by open minded Gipson. The movie was around a boy and also a stray dog in post-Civil battle Texas. Through the father away on a livestock drive, the two sons, Travis and also Arliss, do the finest they can to keep up v all the tasks on the household farm.

Meat is gift stolen from their smokehouse and some pet has been disturbing the hens. The boys soon discover that the culprit is a stray, yellow-colored dog. Travis, the older brothers played through Tommy Kirk, tries to drive the dog off, but Arliss (Kevin Corcoran) protects the dog the calls Yeller.

One afternoon Arliss is do the efforts to capture a black color bear cub by giving it food. Together the cub comes closer and closer to Arliss, the tiny bear’s mommy arrives, angry and determined to get her cub back. Old Yeller appears unexpectedly and drives the be affected by each other away. By conserving Arliss, the entire family embraces Yeller.

After this, Yeller continues to be on the farm, constantly ready to safeguard the boys. More trouble brews, however, when a neighbor stop by come report that pets are dying in the area indigenous rabies.

One night a rabid wolf nears the house and also attempts to assault the family. Yeller is there placing up a solid defense but the wolf keeps coming. Travis finally shoots in ~ the wolf but before the wolf drops he lunges, biting Yeller.

The boys quarantine Old Yeller, hoping the he won’t come to be ill, but one day as they go out to take it him dinner, and also he has changed, snarling and growling at the boys. Through that, Travis has actually no selection but to shoot him. It is just one of the saddest moment in movie history. (To view a trailer for a re-release of the movie, click here.)

The Dog Old Yeller

Spike was located in the valve Nuys animal Shelter by a friend of

Hollywood dog trainer frank Weatherwax (1902-1991). The Weatherwaxes were prominent animal trainers because that the movie industry. One of their most successful present of dog played Lassie in every the various movies and also TV reflects starring Lassie.

Frank’s friend chosen Spike’s look and also called Frank come come under to the shelter. Frank walk so and also thought the dog seemed trainable. Frank paid $3 to bring him home with him.

The dog responded fine to Frank, and soon he was looking prefer a dog with actual potential. It just wasn’t clear just how Spike was going come fit in to Hollywood. In the meantime, Spike to be doing fine in training, and also otherwise enjoying the life of being amongst the Weatherwax family of dogs, finish with kids to pat with.

One job Frank Weatherwax’s wife, Connie, was reading The Saturday evening Post as soon as she came upon serialized story referred to as “Old Yeller” by open minded Gipson (it later became a book). She loved the story, and the summary of the dog made her think the Spike.

Later that year the Disney agency announced the they had purchased movie legal rights to Old Yeller, and also Frank Weatherwax make a call—he want to bring Spike in to audition because that the role.

When Spike came down on the studio, the Disney people saw a flop-eared, really friendly, goofy dog with vast feet…. Just how was this going to it is in the Protector Dog who saves the Texas household from all varieties of threats? Spike had been raised around children and loved people of all ages. The dog just didn’t look vicious.

That’s wherein the Weatherwax training was placed to work. Candid Weatherwax placed Spike v his paces. Spike growled and snarled and also was then able come revert to being his common friendly self.

Spike soon had actually the part.

Huge Success the Old Yeller

Though Spike remained in several various other films and appeared ~ above television, he will always be remembered for his component in Old Yeller, one of the finest boy-and-his-dog films as well as a movie with one of the saddest endings.

Spike also appeared in other movies. He was in A Dog the Flanders, and The She-Creature as well as The quiet Call. On television he make appearances top top The Mickey mouse Club and The Westerner v Brian Keith.

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Spike invested his retirement years in the Weatherwax family members where he live for several more years after coming to be famous. He likewise had offspring that did fine in show business. His son was the dog in Island the the Blue Dolphins (1964) and also his grandson appeared with Steve McQueen and Robert call in Junior Bonner (1972).