8 Special Dogs Who Used to Live the Hard Knock Life

Written by: Nicole Zalat

December 8, 2014

This post is pawwered by the folks at Sony to promote their new movie, Annie, in theaters December 19th! To celebrate the beautiful relationship between Annie and her rescue pup, Sandy, Sony encourages you to share a pic of your pup with the hashtag #ImARescueToo and tell the story of how your pup rescued you. For every person who uses the hashtag, Sony will donate $1 to the ASPCA to help more people find their Sandy!

We see it all the time in movies: the overlooked underdog overcomes incredible obstacles and lives happily ever after. That story is even sweeter when a pup’s involved.

We’ve put together a list of pups who lived the hard knock life until luck paired them with a human who saw something special.

1. Sandy
Annie Movie Poster

Everyone’s favorite orphan Annie and her pup Sandy have been stealing hearts for decades. Award-winning animal trainer Bill Berloni, who has been working with showbiz pups since the original 1977 production of Annie, had never stepped foot inside a shelter until he went looking for the first Sandy. Seeing the conditions the dogs lived in, he promised himself he would rescue whenever he could. To date, every dog Berloni has worked with has been a rescue.

Berloni with the original Sandy via Coastal Canine
Berloni with the original Sandy
via Coastal Canine

And the newest Sandy on the block is no exception. Trained by Berloni, this rescued pooch will continue the Annie legacy in theaters this December. Meet Marty!

via @anniemovie

For more news and pupdates about the new Annie movie, be sure to check out @AnnieMovie and Facebook.

2. Tuna

This derpfaced Chiweenie was rescued by his best human friend Courtney at a farmer’s market one winter, and he’s been winning hearts all over the internet ever since. His “exaggerated overbite, recessed jawline and a magnificent wrinkly neck (a.k.a shrivelneck)” serve as a reminder that unusual dogs can be amazing additions to the family.

With over 1 million followers on Instagram, his human has partnered with organizations like Best Friends Animal Society to help spread the word about adoption as a great way to find a best friend who needs a home.

via @tunameltsmyheart

3. Higgins
Higgins, best known as “Dog” or “Benji” was discovered by Hollywood animal trainer Frank Inn in 1960. You might remember Benji as the lovable fuzzface who always showed up at the right time.

But did you know this mixed-breed pup came from a shelter? Before becoming the iconic wet-nosed face of the 60s and 70s, puppy Higgins was living at Burbank Animal Shelter in California.

Known for sourcing many of his talent from shelters and having worked with thousands of animals throughout his career, Inn “told reporters that Higgins was the smartest dog he had ever worked with.” News of his humble beginnings led to an increase in shelter adoptions throughout the ’70s.

via Smosh
via Smosh

4. Turbo Roo
Born without front legs, this mini two-legged racer was surrendered to a veterinary office by his original owners.

Now fitted with his own set of custom wheels, Turbo Roo hasn’t let his disability slow him down. And with the help of his human friends, his signature wheels will soon be available for sale through Turbo Roo Designs, a company that will give hope to other pup parents who might otherwise euthanize their disabled dogs.

via @turbo.roo

5. Handsome Dan

Like most of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring in 2007, Handsome Dan was afraid and skittish. Adopted into a loving home, this Pittie became the pawfect nanny to his baby sister, proving that there is hope for victims of animal abuse.

Today Handsome Dan has a dog rescue named after him and, with over half a million likes on Facebook, he’s become an ambassador for all dogkind. Additionally, Handsome Dan was recently voted the “Best Dog on the Web” for the Barkies awards!

via Handsome Dan's Rescue
via Handsome Dan’s Rescue

6. Fifty
Armed with a charming personality, today this pawsome pooch is now an ambassador for Pitties everywhere… But that wasn’t always the case. This two-legged Pit Bull was born into the hard knock life when his pregnant mom dog was rescued. After being shot by a police officer, this victim of breed discrimination lost two of his legs. Now, along with his doggy BFF Rude Dog, Fifty has his own foundation for other pups and their families called 6 Legs Foundation, where the humans who love him tirelessly work to end breed discrimination, one huge smile at a time.

via Facebook
via Facebook

7. Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin was an iconic dog and star of the silver screen appearing in over 27 Hollywood films during his lifetime. What many fans don’t know is that Rin Tin Tin was actually rescued from a battlefield by an American soldier during World War I.

via Woman's Day
via Woman’s Day

8. Uggie
This 11 year old Jack Russell Terrier was rejected by at least two families and was on his way to a pound when animal trainer Omar Von Muller found him and saw raw star potential.

Since then, Uggie’s appeared in movies like Water for Elephants and The Artist, has released a memoir, and even inspired a campaign called “Consider Uggie”, through which Movieline editor S.T. VanAirsdale hoped to sway the rules and get Uggie considered for an Oscar, on the basis that he had “outperformed Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in J. Edgar.” With almost 9K followers on Twitter and almost 10k likes on Facebook, this formerly unwanted pup has certainly arrived.

via People
via People

This post is sponsored by the folks at Sony to promote their new movie, Annie, in theaters December 19th! If you’ve got a story of how your pup rescued you, share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #ImARescueToo and Sony will donate $1 for every hashtag to the ASPCA to help more people find their Sandy!

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Written by: Nicole Zalat

December 8, 2014

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