I wrote this some years ago and post it on my blog, few years has past now and I am not sure if anyone has read what I wrote, but here it go again......
Pete from "Our Gang"
Pete the Pup was a popular dog character in Our Gang, the ground breaking series of short comedy films depicting 20 minute adventures of a group of poor neighborhood children. The most remarkable characteristic about Pete the Pup’s appearance was the ring it had around its eye, a unique oddity that even made its way to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Produced by Hal Roach at the Roach studio, the Our Gang series began airing in 1922 as silent short films. When in need of a dog to fit the canine character they’d created for Our Gang, Roach hired the original Pete, a dog named “Pal the Wonder Dog” who was already an established actor having started his film career when he was just six months old. He also had experience playing the role of Tige, the dog that belonged to Buster Brown on the Buster Brown series. Sired by Earl Tudor’s “Black Jack,” Pal had an almost complete ring around his eye. His owner made the decision to complete it by using permanent dye. Hal Roach, when he hired Pal for Our Gang, also decided to let the ring stay on, thus creating the most recognized dog in history. Pal acted in 13 silent short films of the Our Gang series before his demise in 1930. Rumor has it that Pal, or Petey as he was also referred to, was poisoned by an adversary who mixed his meat with glass; a result of a grudge against Harry Lucenay. His last OG film was A Tough Winter released on June 21, 1930. Pal also had 13 other feature films to his credit, all of which were released between December 1921 and October 1927.
Petey’s starting salary of $125 was agreed upon by his trainer Harry Lucenay and Hal Roach to be raised by $25 every week. This sum made him exclusive to Hal Roach Studios and also earned him the distinction of being the second highest paid actor next to Farina on theOG series.
On learning of his demise, the child actors on OG were disconsolate. Harry Lucenay, however, happened to be breeding a “Pete” line and therefore had a few of Pal’s offspring to choose from to fill the vacant spot. The pup he chose was nicknamed the second Pete or Lucenay’s Pete. Bred by A.A. Keller, this Pete was a Pit bull with dual registration as both an AKC Staffordshire Terrier and a UKC APBT
(1941) Reg. 22558. Both of Lucenay’s Pete’s parents, Pal and Pansy acted in episodes of OG.
Lucenay’s Pete, whelped on September 6, 1929, had to have the circle painted around its eye by Max Factor to resemble his predecessor. However, the second Pete’s circle is on the opposite eye and the coloring of its ears and front legs are slightly different. In the next two years Lucenay’s Pete who turned out to be the most famous Pete the Pup, acted in 77 OG comedy films (sound had been added by then) after which Harry Lucenay was fired by Hal Roach. Pete 2 then went to New York and worked in Buzzin Around, Broadway Highlights and The Lambs Club. He also spent a lot of time at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, getting himselfphotographed with children. Pete 2 rejoined the OG group in 1936 but only for a personal appearance tour. He passed away in 1946, two years after the OG series ended.
Though Pete 2 has been dead for over 60 years, his memory continues to live on in the hearts of OG fans and his next generation owner Ted Lucenay. The number of websites dedicated to OG and Pete’s memory and the ease with which information related to him can be accessed online all go to prove how much interest this Pit Bull actor still generates.
Ted Lucenay who was 18 when Pete 2 died said that he was “a regular family dog” that “would sleep at the foot” of his bed and was “gentle, playful and warm.” He recalled the times they went on walks in California, people would stop him and request for a picture with Pete. “He was always recognized,” Lucenay recalled. “Everybody loved him.”
While Lucenay confirms that Pete 2 died of old age, he chooses to keep the famous canines final resting place a secret. You can view by clicking PETER pedigree or @ Virtualpedigree