Starting with Pal and breeding scuccessive generations from Lassie Jr on, the Weatherwax Collies were responsible for 11 films, a radio show (1947-1950), three television series (1953 – 1974, 1989 – 1991, and 1997 – 1999), 59 books, countless appearances in the US, Canada and Japan and fans around the world.
The early MGM movies all starred Pal. Pal even starred in the pilot episode for the first Lassie TV series. Each Lassie could do it all. There were other Weatherwax Collies who were used as stunt doubles or for long shots, but there was only one Lassie at a time. That dog was the consummate star, trained for a two-year period before taking on his duties as the world's most famous and beloved dog. Rudd and later Bob insisted on seamless transitions so that when one Lassie retired, the next was ready to take over.
The official Lassies included:
The Old Man
Currently, Bob has "Hammer" who is Laddie's grandson. Laddie only sired a couple of puppies during his lifetime. The first were contracted to be pets in a special product promotion. Late in Laddie's life, he sired a litter of two. "Doonie", the son, was not marked in the Lassie tradition, lacking the blaze on his head from foreskull to muzzle. Consequently, he was placed in a pet home. But in order to preserve the Weatherwax bloodline, Doonie was bred and produced a litter of 10 surviving pups. Bob chose Hammer a puppy that carried the original Lassie markings.
As has been the tradition for decades, established by Bob's father Rudd, each puppy goes to its new home with a certificate of authenticity signed by Rudd until his death and then signed by Bob, and a purchase agreement.
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