The life of a hound in Hollywood -- Why it's not much different for four-legged film stars in tinseltown

By Erica Kornberg
Updated April 08, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Instead of having their own measly days, dogs have long enjoyed a hairy, wet- nosed cachet in Hollywood. Take four-legged film stars Lassie and Benji. And aren’t ”son of a bitch” and ”dog-eat-dog” mainstays of Tinseltown talk? But there’s always been something missing…. the tail-all, burn-your-doghouse memoir of a Hollywood hound-until now.

It should have been called: You’ll Never Eat Alpo in This Town Again. Still, Adios, Hollywood: My Story, By Dick, Dog of Oaxaca, as told to Rose Leiman Goldemberg, is pound for pound a satisfying, dog’s-eye view of being furry and famous in La-La Land.

This shaggy-dog story begins with a classic Hollywood discovery. But Dick (ne Umberto) is noticed not at the counter at Schwab’s, but under a table at a Mexican cafe, waiting for falling food scraps. Soon a starlet named Wanda whisks him away to L.A., where he embarks on his canine career.

Thanks to dogged persistence, Dick lands roles in Twin Dicks, a separated-at- whelping Western, and Dog of God, a never-completed religious epic. He also acquires an entourage, and a voice coach to undo his Mexican accent.

But how easily a stray goes astray-especially if he’s top dog in Hollywood! After losing Wanda to a human mate, Dick loses his leash, uh, lease on life. He becomes difficult to work with, engages in random couplings with bitches, and nearly killing his understudy-all the while passing unpleasant ”fartitos” all over town. Moral of the story? Whether you’re human or not, showbiz really is a dog’s life.