Things begin as a fairytale romance for 14-year-old Priscilla when she meets Elvis Presley, who seems to be interested in her. Sofia Coppola’s ‘Priscilla’ follows the young girl’s story as she falls in love with and eventually marries Elvis. Over the years, Elvis showers gifts upon gifts on Priscilla, but perhaps the most precious gift that she receives is a dog. As Elvis goes away on tours and film shoots, it’s the dog that remains her constant companion. Was there such a dog in real life?
Priscilla and Elvis Shared a Love for Animals
Much like in the movie, Priscilla received a dog as a gift from Elvis in real life as well. The pup was named Honey by her, and she took the dog everywhere with her. While the film captures the essence of her love for the dog, it ventures into fictional territory while portraying the dog’s entry into her life. In the movie, Priscilla receives the dog as a gift when she visits Graceland for the second time. In real life, however, the dog was gifted to her by Elvis during the 1962 Christmas. This was before he had convinced her parents to allow their daughter to come to Memphis and Graceland with him. In the movie, the role of Honey is played by an adorable dog named Chewy, who was only one year old during the time of the filming and was starring in his first role.
While the film might have tweaked the entry scene of Honey, there is another scene featuring him that the movie gets right. In one scene, when Elvis is yet to come home to Graceland, Priscilla is seen spending most of her time with the dog. She is still unaware of the rules of the place and is rather carefree about which part of the property she hangs out at. At one point, Elvis’ stepmother Dee catches her playing with Honey while being in view of the gate. Dee asks Priscilla to move away and not make a spectacle of herself. This scene happened more or less the same way in real life as well.
Apart from Honey, Priscilla also received two Great Danes from Elvis, named Snoopy and Brutus. The couple shared a love for animals, and Priscilla has dedicated her life to the cause of animal advocacy. She has raised money for organizations that help animals, especially when it comes to rescuing them. She supported Last Chance for Animals, in which she joined a demonstration against the Dog Meat Trade. In 2014, she was awarded Humane Horsewoman of the Year. This recognition was bestowed on her after she fought against the practice of “soring” in the Tennessee Walking Horse show world and the “big lick” challenge in Graceland. She raised a voice against these cruel practices and supported the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.
A dedicated animal lover, Priscilla has had many pets over the years. Reportedly, one time, she had six dogs. She was once featured on the cover of a magazine with her five dogs— Jerry, Mojo, Stella, Luna, and Winston, for whom she said that everything they do brings a smile to her face. She also has dogs named Boz and Ridley and has owned four horses at one point. Back when she was still with Elvis, he’d given her a 4-year-old quarter horse for Christmas.
While Priscilla advocates for having pets, she insists that people should only get them if they are absolutely sure. According to her, pets are a part of one’s family and must be brought only when a person knows that they can afford the pet, not just the finances that go into taking care of the animal, but also the time, attention, and love. Sharing a story about how her dogs have been a great source of comfort for her, Priscilla revealed that when her horse, Max, died, her dogs, Boz and Ridley, comforted her during the time of grief.
She has also talked about how she would rescue animals when she was five and would sneak them into her closet even though her father didn’t approve of the practice. But no matter what he said, Priscilla still helped the animals, and she continues to do so even now. As for her dog, Honey, we assume he lived a long and happy life with his owner and was properly taken care of.