Petey, or Lucenay's Peter (his United Kennel Club registered name) was whelped September 6th, 1929. He was bred by A.A. Keller, and owned/trained by Harry Lucenay. Petey was put into films at around six months. He is the son of Pal, The Wonder Dog -- a dog owned by Petey's trainer, Harry Lucenay. Pal was actually the first dog to appear regularly in OG shorts. Pal's screen credits include 13 feature films released from Dec. 1921 to Oct. 1927.
Petey was signed in 1927 to a three-year contract with six month options. His starting salary was $125 per week, which would be raised in increments of $25 per week to make him exclusive to Hal Roach Studios -- making him the second highest paid actor in the OG series (next to Farina).
The first Pete was poisoned by an unknown assailant. His last film was A Tough Winter. One of his offsprint carried on beginning with the next film, Pups Is Pups. Pete's real name was "Pal," and he was owned and trained by Harry Lucenay. The distinctive circle around his eye was originally unplanned. When the spunky pit bull made his "Our Gang" debut, a circle had been painted around his eye and would not come off. It made sense to keep it there - it made him stand out. That circle often migrates between the right and left eye from film to film. This was obviously a dog with a lot of tricks! However, if the truth be known, there were other Petey's that were used as standins for some stunts and other duties, like close-ups.
Pete first got his break in show business in the 1920s when he took over Pal's(his dad) place in the Buster Brown silent movies. The Buster Brown director, Hal Roach, went on to direct Pete in the Our Gang comedies. Infamous for the ring around his left eye and his funny antics, Pete quickly stole the show. Daintily attired Buster found himself in innocuous misadventures along side his faithful canine companion, Tige. (Petey to you and me!) Unlike Our Gang, the series was obviously aimed at very young audiences and offered very little for adults. I have no doubt that youngsters were thoroughly entertained by Buster Brown, however it seems strange watching our most popular Little Rascal elsewhere, but he is well-trained and skillfully shows off his abilities with Buster Brown.
Pete's last appearance was in "A Tough Winter", released June 21, 1930. "He was poisoned, probably by someone with a grudge against Harry Lucenay. The OG kids were inconsolable upon learning of Pete's death. But since Lucenay was breeding a "Pete" line, he was able to substitute one of Pete's descendants. The second Pete has the circle on the opposite eye and the ears and front legs have a slightly different coloring. The second Pete only stayed at Roach Studios for two years, because Lucenay was fired.
The last 'true Pete' OG comedy (meaning Pete #1 and his son) was "The Pooch" (1932). All subsequent Pete's were from an entirely different bloodline. After leaving Roach, Pete (#2) went to NY, and appeared in the Fatty Arbuckle short "Buzzin' Around" and in Paramount's "Broadway Highlights" newsreel, in which he is seen drinking a mug of beer as his initiation into The Lambs Club. In 1936, he once again joined OG, but only for a personal appearance tour.