Friday, April 1, 2011


Elizabeth Taylor was a beautiful and famous actress who loved dogs and horses and also other animals, such as cats.  Last week Ms. Taylor died, so everybody has been talking about her, and I decided I should talk about her, too.

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.

Soon she was acting in movies, and one of the first movies she was in was Lassie, Come Home, in 1943.  The next year, when she was 12, Ms. Taylor starred in National Velvet, which was a film about a girl and her horse.  While she was working on this film, Elizabeth fell off a horse and hurt her back.  Later in her life, she had lots of back problems because of this accident.

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.

After that, Elizabeth Taylor made a whole bunch more films, and they were about people, not about animals.  But she always had one or more dogs of her own, and one of her very most favorite breeds was  the pekingese.

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.

Elizabeth Taylor was married 8 different times, but she only had 7 husbands because she married Richard Burton twice.  Anyway, after her second divorce from Mr. Burton, she had a couple of new husbands, and also some different dog breeds.  The first dog of a new breed that she owned was a Lhasa Apso named Elsa.

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.

Later on, Ms. Taylor discovered the Maltese breed, and she had a Maltese named Sugar.  "I've never loved a dog like this in my life," she said in 2004.  "It's amazing.  Sometimes I think there's a person in there.  There's something to say for this kind of love -- it's unconditional."  Sugar went everywhere with Ms. Taylor, and a Christmas ornament was made that looked like Sugar.  When anyone bought the ornament, the money went to help people with AIDS, which was a cause Ms. Taylor raised a lot of money for.

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."


  1. Great post. Thank you!

  2. Dear Melanie,
    I am very glad you liked my post about Elizabeth Taylor and her dogs. I think Ms. Taylor probably spent way more money on her dogs than Mom spends on us, but I am trying not to be jealous.
    Sincerely, Piper

  3. Dear Piper,
    I think I like this woman! She loves animals which makes 'er a good woman ha ha! I like her quote and I agree with her because animals are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY More trustworthy than PEOPLE! L☺L! Thankyou for writin' about her! Also, if you were my dog, I would give you whatever you wanted except it has to be #1 Healthy and okay and not too much! I think you deserve to be pampered once in a while! HA HA!
    Your friend who is scared of dying also your #1 fan,

  4. oopsy! spelled think wrong!

  5. Dear Tas,
    You have the right idea about how I need to be pampered. I will tell my mom you said that! LOL I think Elizabeth Taylor must have been a very nice person, on account of her love for dogs, and I'm sure her dogs thought so, too!
    Love, Piper

  6. Hi Piper....sorry I haven't been online the past few days. I'm baaaack! Whenever I hear about an "animal lover" passing away, I can't help but wonder (and hope) the person made arrangements for her/his pets!! I wonder if Ms. Taylor had any pets when she passed away? I realize that's NOT what your blog is about today...just thinking outloud! You did a great job writing about Ms. Taylor's love of animals!! Thanks.
    Love, AP

  7. Hi, Aunt Patty,
    It's me, Barry! Piper said I could answer her fan mail while she's busy getting hydrated at the vet's office. Anyway, I think that Elizabeth Taylor probably had at least one dog when she died, and I can't imagine that she didn't arrange for it to be taken care of. She had 4 children, and they were all there when she died, so maybe one of them can adopt their mom's dog(s).

  8. Very nice story about a great lady and her furry friends.

  9. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!

  10. Liz also had cats through out her life. She was both a dog and a cat person. I am emphatically positive that this great lady made sure that all her precious babies were taken care of. Her four children probably took them and shared him. Liz loved everything in life and she was loved in return. Still miss her.

    1. Dear Les,
      I am sure Liz Taylor took very good care of both her cats and dogs! I think that when my sister Piper wrote this blog entry, she was mainly doing a series on celebrities' dogs, and that is why she didn't mention any cats. Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and write a comment!
      Dorrie the Chihuahua