HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the dog they called the ‘barking arse’: Lassie.
Robert Mitchum had just been telling me how he single-handedly introduced the tin can to Venezuela when there was a knock at the door. The room was full of the smoke from Bobby’s jazz cigarettes so it took me a while to answer, but imagine my delight to find none other than Lassie standing in the porch!
Naturally I invited her in for tea, but there were more urgent matters at hand. Through a series of excited barks it soon became apparent that Dean Martin had fallen down a well, and it was up to Bobby and I to rescue him!
I helped Mitchum to his feet, had a quick brandy and a couple of sandwiches, and we set off to find Dino. I will be honest and say that the search got off to a slow start. Neither of us knew of any nearby wells, and we did get distracted for a couple of hours in one of my favorite cocktail bars. After a while Bobby said we should forget about the wells altogether and so we started lifting up the man hole covers from the road to see if we could find Dino trapped in the sewer system.
The traffic is quite dangerous on Hollywood Boulevard and although we did try to explain the urgency of the situation to passing motorists few if any were sympathetic to Dean’s plight. Lassie ran off as soon as the police arrived, and I regret to say that we never managed to locate Dino.
I was told several years later that in fact he was at home in bed with a slight migraine the whole time, but it’s like Lassie said: better to be safe than sorry. I wish she’d been as safe around Rin Tin Tin, but that’s another story…