We heard this one straight from the legendary actor’s mouth (or Instagram page, which in 2022 is roughly the same thing).
It’s a pretty sad fact, actually. Having to sell your dog for food because you’re both starving must be heart-wrenching. And making the journey to repurchase him, paying out some of the first money you’ve laid eyes on in years sounds like it comes straight from a movie.
But here’s the skinny from Sly himself, which he posted alongside a photo of him and Butkus as a pup from 1971:
“1971… Since we’re on the subject of ” man’s best friend” this is myself and Butkus as a puppy, we were both, thin, hungry and living in a flophouse above a subway stop, I used to say this apartment had ” … Hot and cold running roaches” anyway there was not much to do except spend time with each other and that’s where I started to learn the craft of screenwriting. Since I never went out, I relied on his companionship, And actually it was his idea to write Rocky, but don’t tell anyone…. Years later when things got even worse I had to sell him for $40 in front of a 7-Eleven store, because I couldn’t afford food, then like A modern day miracle, the screenplay for Rocky sold, and I could buy and buy him back, but the new owner knew I was desperate, and charged me $15,000 … He was worth every penny! #NewYorkCity #HellsKitchen#BullMastiff#It‘sADogsWorld. #MoreToCome#inspiration#ThunderingYourHeart#GoingThedistance“
Now, to be completely honest, we were most surprised that Stallone was a screenplay writer and that he wrote the screenplay for Rocky. In fact, he wrote it in 3-and-a-half days, right after watching the championship match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner on March 24, 1975.
If you’re confused by the dates, only the photo itself is from 1971; the story is from 1975.