Harry Potter: do you know the heartbreaking story of Crockdur, Hagrid's dog who marked the fans?
Author: Clark Tos
Fans of the Harry Potter saga will have no trouble recognizing Crockdur, Hagrid's dog in the film series. But few of them know that the dog had known a tragic story before joining the cinema.
Hugo, Monkey's predecessor in Harry Potter. Credit: Warner Bros.
Julie Tottman, animal trainer for the cinema, officiated for more than ten years on the saga Harry Potter . Between 2000 and 2011, the chief trainer of the animals on the films of the wizard with glasses, trained more than 250 animals: cats, dogs, owls or even spiders.
Among these legged actors was Monkey, a dog better known as Crockdur to fans. This Neapolitan mastiff interpreted the dog of Hagrid on several films, from the fourth part, becoming one of the cult animals of the universe magical , just like the owl Edwige.
In a book she wrote, Rescue Me , Julie Tottman recounts the incredible fate of the canine. It was in an animal protection association that the trainer met Monkey (who was originally called Hercules) just a few weeks before the start of filming for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire .
Crockdur, an abused and abandoned dog
When Julie Tottman first met Monkey, she discovered a dog in poor condition, abused and starved after being abandoned by his master on the grounds that he was aggressive. At first glance, Monkey was not the much sought-after Neapolitan Mastiff suitable for filming with children.
« He was incredibly skinny, like a bag of bones [...] It broke my heart to see how starved and abandoned he must have been by his previous owners writes the trainer in her book.
However, it is a completely different face that the trainer observed. Contrary to the reputation that clung to his paws, Monkey exuded joie de vivre and kindness. Neither one nor two, Julie Tottman decided to take him with her to give him a new life. The trainer knew she had made the right choice: “ He looked at me with such kindness that I immediately knew that everything I had heard about his aggressive side had to be wrong. I realized he was a dog that just wanted to be loved ».
A second life in the cinema for Monkey
Monkey in the Harry Potter saga. Credit: Warner Bros.
A new challenge then began for Julie and Monkey: dressage. According to the words of the trainer, it takes almost 12 weeks between meeting the dog “ before taking him on set, starting with establishing a simple relationship before moving on to simple orders and, finally, the specific moves he would need for the movie. The Goblet of Fire started in less than half that time “, she says in her book.
In six weeks flat, Monkey has nevertheless become a movie dog and the cast's mascot. ' He was a big clumsy dog who had a knack for making you laugh “recalls Julie Tottman at the turn of an anecdote during which Monkey had thrown himself on an automaton in the shape of a dragon.
Successful mission for the trainer and Monkey who discovered the joys of a new life made of love and kindness.
In 2013, the dog passed away and tribute is continually paid to him in the studios Harry Potter From london. « His personality shines through on screen. Even though we had to say goodbye to him, I know he will live on for the fans and the people who remember him, and for me, that's the real magic. Concludes her trainer.