It’s been almost two weeks since Uggie was put to death. He was the dog actor who charmed the hell out of the world in the film, The Artist. He was suffering from prostate cancer. He was 13 years old. I’m told that is 91 in doggy years, but I wonder. The average life expectancy for a dog is 13 years. And according to The Jack Russell Terrier Canine Companion Or Demon Dog the life expectancy range for Uggie’s breed is 13 to 16 years. So Uggie did okay, but he was hardly like a 91 year old human.
Terriers (not just Jack Russells) are probably my favorite kind of dog. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that I used to have a friend who had such a dog. And I took care of him often. And I loved him. I don’t think there has ever been a dog that I’ve been so fond of. He seemed very much like me: excitable and smart — for a dog. In addition to this, terriers don’t especially look like a breed; they look like muts. And that is especially true of the ones like Uggie who have the much better rough coat.
But ultimately, I like terriers because they’ve been used in so many movies I like. And I thought that I would share a few of them with you. The first, and greatest terrier was Skippy. He was a Wire Fox Terrier, born in 1931. He played in some of the best films of the 1930s: The Thin Man, The Awful Truth, and Bringing Up Baby. Here he is as George in that last film:
Then there is Milo in The Mask. He was played by a dog named Max. But I haven’t found much information about him. That seems pretty strange, given that the film is basically a buddy picture with Max getting the good part and Jim Carrey playing the straight man. This has a translation on it, but it doesn’t matter:
And to finish it out, how could we forget Flealick, the handicapped terrier in Babe: Pig in the City. He exhibits all the qualities we expect in a terrier (except working back legs). “Feeling good! Feeling peppy!” (Point of order: I don’t think the dog in the dream sequence is not a good double for the animatronic Flealick.)
Rest in peace Uggie!