Friday, April 1, 2011
ELIZABETH TAYLOR'S DOGS
She was born in London in 1932, so that made her British, but her parents were Americans, which made her also American. Before World War II started, the Taylors moved back to the U.S., and they settled in Los Angeles. Mr. Taylor ran an art gallery, which is what he had also done in England. Lots of movie people came to the gallery, and they noticed Elizabeth and how pretty she was.
In 1946, Ms. Taylor was in another Lassie film, which was called The Courage of Lassie. In this movie, Lassie shows that she is much smarter than the Nazis.
In the 1970s, Ms. Taylor and her husband, Richard Burton, were supposed to make a movie together in London, but it was a problem to take their pekingese dogs because England had a 6-month quarantine before a dog could come into the country. So the two stars got around the quarantine rule by living on a yacht that was anchored in the Thames River while they made the movie. Their dogs stayed on the boat with them and never set paw on British soil.
Dogs always seemed to like Ms. Taylor, and they did whatever she asked them to do. But they didn't pay much attention to her husband, Richard Burton, which he thought was annoying. So one time he brought home a Pekingese that he said he had rescued, and its name was E'en So. This dog was the opposite of their other dogs, because he listened to everything Mr. Burton said, and he mostly ignored Ms. Taylor. She could not figure out what was going on until finally, Mr. Burton admitted that he had bought the dog already trained. And it turned out that E'en So only knew commands in Welsh, which Mr. Burton spoke and Ms. Taylor didn't.
For her 60th birthday, Ms. Taylor was given a collie puppy that was a great-grandpup of Pal, the dog who first played Lassie. This was while she was married to Larry Fortensky, and when they got divored, he wanted to keep the collie, but she sued for custody and won.
After Sugar died, Ms. Taylor adopted another Maltese named Daisy. Ms. Taylor had a lot of health problems and other painful stuff to go through in her life. Twice she almost died of pneumonia, and she spent time in some rehab clinics to get better from alcohol and drug abuse. She had at least 20 major operations, broke her back five times, and had both hips replaced. She had skin cancer, a brain tumor, and also had congestive heart failure, which is what she finally died of. And in all the good parts and bad parts of her life, Ms. Taylor had dogs around her. "I sometimes think I prefer animals to people," she said one time. "And I was lucky. My first leading men were dogs and horses."