Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImageThe tale's a familiar one in Hollywood -- rejected twice while growing up, rescued from a pound after biting a goat, honing skateboarding and waterskiing talents for that big break, and then being paid in sausages for the biggest role of his career.
Uggie, a Jack Russell terrier, has found fame late in his canine life as a silent matinee idol's best friend in "The Artist." Yet his appearance at the Golden Collar Awards on February 13 will likely be his last big public appearance. (Contrary to rumors, Uggie has not received an invite to the Academy Awards.) Age and a "mystery shaking syndrome" are contributing to Uggie's premature retirement from the silver screen. And, as with any Hollywood tale, there's an understudy -- or underdog, if you will -- ready to fill in Uggie's pawprints.
Mystery shaking syndromeRead More »from Uggie the Dog from ‘The Artist’ is Suffering from a ‘Mystery Shaking Syndrome’
Media attention has focused on Uggie's shakes, a neurological condition which isn't debilitating but reinforces his age. "It's very sad but he is suffering from a mystery shaking syndrome. It is a neurological disorder and we've spent thousands on vets' bills trying to figure out what is causing it but the experts don't really know," owner/trainer Omar Von Muller said to the Daily Mail. "This is beyond what is normal for the breed, but all the vets can tell us, after all the scans and tests, is that it is neurological and he is not suffering." The condition manifests itself most when Uggie's kicking back. "It is a shame this has happened when he is getting the biggest success of his career but we feel the best thing to do is to retire him after the Oscars."