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Buck the DogBuck - Shaggy briard sheep dog seen on MARRIED...WITH CHILDREN/FOX/1987-97, a domestic comedy that poked fun at marriage and its ramifications.

During the opening credits of the program, Buck joined in line to get money from the head of the household, Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill), a former high school football star now tied down to the banality of married life. Buck's favorite magazine was Bitches in Heat.

On episode No. 168 "Change for a Buck" Buck - feeling neglected - decides to run away from home but gets put in the dog pound as a stray. After a week, the Bundy's realize Buck is gone and retrieve him from the pound just as he is about to be put to sleep.

When Buck's character retired from the series after nine years of loyal service, the show's writer killed off Buck's character. Returning home from Buck's funeral, Al Bundy lamented the cost of the $1200 burial by saying, "They buried King Tut for less and he got to take his wives with him." Still in mourning, Kelly Bundy sighed "Where for art thou Buckio?"

LuckyWhere did Buck go when he died? To Animal Heaven. Unfortunately, he was judged guilty for a life of abusing cats and then reincarnated into the body of a cocker spaniel named Lucky which miraculously appeared in the living room of the Bundy's. So, once again Buck (now Lucky) was sentenced to suffer the indignities of his former owners.

Much the same as Buck, the audience was still treated to the sound of Lucky's thoughts as he routinely insulted the Bundy family. Buck's replacement, Lucky was discovered in a Ventura Dog Show.

Buck's real name was Michael "Mike," a 3 and 1/2 year old briard, a breed of French sheep dog. Mike was trained by Steven Ritt, who originally found Buck through an ad in The Los Angeles Times. A veteran trainer, Ritt apprenticed for several years under animal trainer Bob Weatherwax (of Lassie fame). During the fourth season, Ritt officially changed Mike's name to Buck.

Buck talks for the first time in episode No. 421. While Peggy is sitting on the couch, she asks: "What channel is 'Wheel of Fortune' on?" Buck answers: "Uhh, it's seven, just like yesterday and the day before."

The voice of Buck the dog & Lucky was provided by staff writer/producer Kevin Curran (except for special episodes No. 513, 811, 824, when it was done by Richard "Cheech" Marin).

Buck's last episode No. 1003 "Requiem for a Dead Briard" ends with the following message on the screen: "Dedicated to Buck the Dog who with this episode begins a well earned retirement and hopefully a nice gig at stud. We'll miss you, Buddy, lift a leg. - The Producers."

Retired at the age of twelve-and-a-half, Buck died about nine months later on May 28, 1996.

TRIVIA NOTE: Female rock star Janet Jackson used Michael in the opening of her video "When I Think Of You." Buck later appeared with Bill Murray in the film Scrooged (1988).

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