By Therese Endriga Wigforss on January 1, 2015
As the Beatles once sang, “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog.” For a little four-legged relief for that doggone daily grind, here’s a little encouragement – there are times when working like a dog really does pay off. And these seven canines prove just that.
Bodhi (AKA Menswear Dog)
Five-year-old Bodhi, named for Patrick Swayze’s Point Break character, has been riding high since his human mom decided to start dressing him in human outfits. Better known as his alter-ego Menswear Dog, the Shiba Inu has amassed 148k followers on Instagram and 224K followers on Tumbler. This furry model’s got endorsers like Coach, Victorinox Swiss Army, Ted Baker, American Apparel, Brooks Brothers, Salvatore Ferragamo, Revlon, and Purina eating out of his paw. His lordly looks have graced GQ, Nylon, Time, Esquire, Refinery 29, and Fast Company. And how much bacon does this not-so-little doggie take home? Let’s just say his humans have been able to quit their day jobs (and haven’t seen less than US$10K a month since).
Rin Tin Tin (As Himself)
Talk about a rescue dog! Thanks to the popularity of German Shepherd star Rin Tin Tin, Warner Brothers managed to bounce back from bankruptcy. During his heyday, the World War I rescue was making a woofing $6,000 each week (about $78,000 by today’s standards!). From his early days playing wolves, Rin Tin Tin ended up with 26 films and a radio show under his collar. Rumor even has it that the canine star, also known as Rinty, received the most nominations for an Academy Award in 1929 – unfortunately, the Academy preferred two-legged stars.
Pal (also known as Lassie)
Just call him RuPal. One of the first hes to make a killing playing a she was Pal, better known as Lassie in both TV and movies; and one of only three animals to have “her” own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In Pal/Lassie’s heyday, he was earning as much as $4,000 a week (about $51K today). Even after Pal went on to the big kennel in the sky at the age of 18, he left a legacy through a champion line of Rough-Coat Collies who inherited the role of Lassie. (No word on whether they were also one-take wonders like their sire, though.)
Moose/Enzo (AKA Eddie)
If you loved Frasier, then you’re also familiar with his sometime staredown nemesis Eddie, the show’s beloved Jack Russell Terrier. Eddie was originally played by a dog named Moose, who supposedly earned $10,000 per episode (at 24 episodes per season!). He became so popular that at one point he was getting even more fan mail than his human co-stars! As he grew older, his son Enzo began working as his stunt double, and eventually took over the role in the eighth season of the show.
Brian Griffin (As Himself)
This anthropomorphic 8-year-old white Lab is the voice of reason in a family of clueless humans on Family Guy. Voiced by creator Seth McFarlane, he plays the guitar and the piano (thanks to his opposable thumbs), dates human women, drives a Prius and struggles as a writer. McFarlane has said that actor William H. Macy once auditioned as the voice of Brian. And thanks to his now-cult status, Brian manages to fetch his master a cool 100 million dollars per year.
Scooby Doo (As Himself)
We always assumed Scooby Doo was rich – how else has a Great Dane been flying his whole crime-fighting gang all over the world since 1969? Contrary to popular opinion, it wasn’t his rich friend Daphne or Shaggy who was paying for the Mystery Machine’s gas. Apparently, his 2002 live-action movie earned 150 million (and we haven’t even gotten into the merchandise yet. Zoinks!).
Snoopy (As Himself)
The world’s most beloved beagle and his friends commanded $175 million for their late creator Charles M. Schulz when the comic strip franchise was bought by the corporation Iconix. Since then, with 170,000 Twitter followers and 2.2 million Facebook friends, Snoopy’s popularity has reached heights the Red Baron would be proud of. His mobile game Snoopy’s Street Fair earned over 10 million users and over $1 million worth of royalties in its first 18 months. That doesn’t even include the yearly $12 million he brings in doing life insurance ads for Metlife, or his long-standing deals with Hallmark and ABC (each bring in about $5 million). But perhaps the biggest news so far is that in fall 2015, Snoopy is set for the first Peanuts feature film in about 30 years. You’re a good investment, Charlie Brown!