Fortunately, to cheer her up, Hugo came to mind, and with a squeal she runs to the car, calls me to join her, and we’re off to get Hugo, who was getting a check-up at the local kennel. One could never tell by looking at him whether or not these sudden reunions pleased him. His face would mask every emotion; like a great actor he kept you guessing. At times—I had seen this reunion often—he would almost smile, but a stiff upper lip got in the way, leaving Hugo with nothing, absolutely nothing.
Hugo loves Marilyn, and she adores him. Beauty and the Beast—Hugo bore out this maxim perfectly. At the kennel, released, he stares at her for a moment, hesitates, comes forward, notices me and takes two steps backwards, stumbles, forward again, almost falls, takes a deep breath, and runs into her arms. She embraces him. “Hugo, how are you? You’re beautiful!” (The dog is ugly.) “Good dog, pretty dog, why don’t you smile? You’re depressed, aren’t you?” (He was born depressed. My God, I think, Miller and DiMaggio often have that same look!) “Come, we’re going home, you’ll run around and see Arturo and have fun.” Hugo nods grimly and enters the car, shrinking from my touch. She talks to him all the way home, and though he doesn’t answer, I’m sure he completely understands.
- Norman Rosten, poet & friend
During her long stay with foster parents Ida and Albert Bolender, Norma Jeane had her very own pet, a little black and white dog- a stray in some accounts, a gift from Albert Bolender in others- which she named Tippy. The little dog faithfully followed Norma Jeane to school and waited patiently for her to emerge at the end of the day. In early 1933, a neighbor shot Tippy dead, either because he was kept up one night by the dog’s barking, or because he was angry at damage done to his garden, depending on accounts. Norma Jeane was almost inconsolable. Her mother Gladys Baker came to help her bury the pet; she paid the last installment on her daughter’s room and board, and took her little girl away to live with her. Marilyn remembered that dog to the end of her life; she named the cocker spaniel brought in for some scenes of Something’s Got to Give Tippy.
Soon after marrying James Dougherty, Norma Jeane got a new pet, a collie called Muggsy (other sources spell it Muggsie). Accounts differ as to whether she found it as a stray or was given it by her new husband to keep her company while he was with the Merchant Marine. Muggsy died not long after Norma Jeane began her modeling career, and had no time to visit the dog, who was living with her mother-in-law at the Dougherty family home.
For her twenty-fourth birthday, studio chief Joseph Schenck gave Marilyn a female chihuahua called Josefa, which Marilyn pampered and fed calf’s liver. The dog, however, was never house-trained, and caused quite a lot of friction with Natasha Lytess, with whom she stayed at the time. Josefa was less trouble at the Palm Drive home Marilyn shared with Johnny Hyde. The dog died within a year. Also, Marilyn reportedly had a Persian cat called Mitsou when she first lived in New York in 1955.
A basset hound called Hugo lived with Marilyn and husband Arthur Miller in the late fifties, at their New York apartment and at their country house at Roxbury, Connecticut. After they divorced, Marilyn thought it was best for the animal to stay in the country. In 1958 Marilyn and Arthur bought a horse called Ebony from Miller’s close friend Frank Taylor. Marilyn rode Ebony around their extensive grounds only a few times. A Siamese cat called Serafina joined the Miller household in 1959.
Marilyn’s last pet was Maf Honey(pictured in the photograph), a small white poodle she was given after her brief sojourn to a psychiatric hospital. Maf, like other dogs Marilyn owned, was not properly house-trained. Maf moved with Marilyn back to Los Angeles. At her final home, on Fifth Helena Drive, Maf slept in its own room on an old beaver coat of Marilyn’s, said to have been a gift from Miller. After Marilyn died, Maf was taken in by Gloria Lovell, Frank Sinatra’s secretary.
-The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor
Marilyn (and Arthur; and possibly Serafina the Siamese cat) during the filming of ‘Let’s Make Love’
Marilyn always loved and empathized with animals. Throughout her life she had a succession of pets, and she would be deeply affected if she ever came across an animal suffering or the victim of cruelty.
This sensitivity was evident during her marriage to James Dougherty: when he once came home with a rabbit ready to skin and eat, Norma Jeane refused to touch the animal and was inconsolable for hours. Things were worse when he came home after a hunting trip with a deer that was still alive. Heartbroken, Norma Jean pleaded with him no to harm the mortally wounded creature, but it was already too late to save its life. One rainy day Norma Jeane reputedly took pity on a neighbor’s cow tethered outside the house and tried to bring it into her own house so it could dry off. Dougherty was not amused and prevented this plan from being put into action. On Norma Jeane’s very first extended photo shoot in 1946, touring the California desert with Army photographed David Conover, she came across an injured terrier and insisted that they take it to a vet.
Stardom did nothing to diminish her sympathy for defenseless creatures. Arthur Miller tells of Marilyn being moved to tears at the sight of a wounded seagull. One day along the beach at Amagansett she ran herself almost to exhaustion, picking up fish- which fishermen had left on the sand because they could not sell them- and throwing them back into the sea.
In the late fifties in New York Marilyn frequently went to Central Park to feed the birds and squirrels. One day she came across some boys who were trapping pigeons. She tried to reason with them, to no avail, and then resorted to a second plan: she bought the birds’ freedom. Pigeons were not even her favorite- she once told a friend that she identified far more with the timid sparrows- but she simply could not bear to see violence being done to animals.
Marilyn’s love of animals, and indeed abhorrence of killing any living thing, even plants, extended to her literary tastes. She could not abide Hemingway, who glorified the deeds of bullfighters and hunters. Arthur Miller’s screenplay for The Misfits (her character, Roslyn, is appalled to learn that the cowboys who are rounding up wild mustangs intend to sell them for dog food) and his short story entitled ‘Please Don’t Kill Any Thing' touched upon Marilyn's empathy for all living things.
-The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor
Dogs: Tippy, Muggsie/ Muggsy,Josefa,Hugo,Maf Honey
Cats:Mitsou, Serafina , Sugar Finney
Birds: Butch, Bobo
After Marilyn Monroe’s death, these photos of her white poodle Maf were found. Marilyn had taken these photos of her puppy herself.
In autumn of 1950, Marilyn economized by accepting an invitation from Natasha (who now had a modest income from private students)[one of Marilyn’s acting coaches] to share her tidy, one-bedroom apartment in an attractive duplex on Harper Avenue, a few steps north of Fountain in West Hollywood. There, Marilyn slept on a living room daybed, helped care for Natasha’s daughter Barbara, read books, studied plays and generally demolished Natasha’s neatness. She also brought along a female chihuahua named Josefa-after Joseph Schenck, who had given it to her in June as a gift for her twenty-fourth birthday- and on this tiny creature Marilyn lavished (so it seemed to Natasha) inordinate time, attention and money. ”She fed Josefa expensive calf’s liver and bought her a quilt to sleep on. But the dog was never house-trained, there was excrement all over the place, and Marilyn could never face cleaning it up.”
When Natasha complained of this unsanitary mess, Marilyn simply looked her: “her eyebrows shifted, her shoulders drooped and there was a look of unbearable guilt on her face. The simplest correction she took for a sentence of damnation."