Everyone knows that Lassie had several husbands (Jeff and Timmy being the most notable) but how many of you knew she had three mothers?
Since (widow) Ellen Miller was her first mommie, starting with the premiere of the TV series, we'll assume that she was her natural mother. Her son was Jeff, who saw to it that Lassie was always in position to run for help whenever he and his friend Porky fucked up.
When "Gramps" died of a heart attack in Vegas in 1957 (well...maybe not in Vegas, but in the barn) Ellen and Jeff sold the farm as quickly as they could to a couple of rubes from out of town (they couldn't make a profit with rutabagas) and moved to Capital City where I'm sure Ellen became a waitress and Jeff met an early death, since as we now know they left Lassie on the farm with the rubes, and he probably got shot in a botched liquor store robbery.
This is where the inspiring story of Lassie becomes a little confused. But follow along. I promise a powerful climax.
Before "Gramps" died, the family adopted Timmy, who was an orphan. When Ellen and Jeff left for Capital City, there wasn't room in the truck for Timmy AND Lassie, so they left quickly before anyone noticed. Ellen left a nice spread for Timmy in the ice box and some dog food for Lassie. Luckily the Martins were to arrive the next day.
When Ruth and Paul Martin got there they took Timmy and Lassie in. But these two people were aliens. They must have been, because these two "Martins" were not June Lockhart and Hugh Reilly like they were supposed to be, but CLORIS LEACHMAN and JON SHEPODD! If Lassie hadn't been a family show, I could have sworn I heard the narrator say "what the f..." when these two impostors showed up.
They moved in, ate the food, kept house, raised some crop that kept gas in the car and movie money in their pockets. They acted like they belonged there. I said to the TV, "no..no, watch out Lassie, these two are up to no good. They don't even look like country folk".
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Martin stayed on the farm for a year; raising Lassie and Timmy as their own and then on the first show of the 1958 season they disappear and June and Hugh show up, as if nothing had happened and take over the farm. They live there for several years until they get tired of Lassie and escape to Australia, and make up some story about "dog quarantine" that prevents them from taking her along. Timmy and the second Mr. and Mrs. Martin leave her with somebody who loses her and Lassie runs off and then and then...then, let's just say she saves the world and doesn't give a crap.
That's the story of Lassie's three mommies. I hope your children enjoy it.