September 23, 2023



(ABC, September 25, 1982-October 29, 1983)
Ruby-Spears Enterprises, Hanna-Barbera Productions (season 1)


Billy Jacoby – Petey
Nancy McKeon – Dolly
Michael Bell – Duke, Dash, various
Peter Cullen – Lucky
Tony O’Dell – Tommy
Janet Waldo – Tommy’s mother
John Stephenson – Tommy’s father, various


Catherine Woolley was a prolific writer best known for her children’s books under both her name and her pen name, Jane Thayer. Her first book, I Like Trains, was published in 1944 and her last, Writing for Children, in 1989. Within that 45-year timeframe, she had penned 87 children’s books, including 1958’s The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy. It was the story of a puppy named Petey who wanted a little boy of his own for Christmas in a town where they were in short supply. After trying and failing to convince several dogs to give up their boys, he would eventually find Ricky at an orphanage, and found himself with not one but many boys.

The original book.

20 years later, the book got a second life as it was one of the ones chosen for an adaptation into an episode of the anthology series ABC Weekend Specials. Produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises, it followed Beagle mix Petey (Todd Turquand), the only member of a litter not to be adopted, as he searched for a boy of his own. Like the book, he tried to convince a couple of dogs to give up their boys to no avail. In order to expand the story to a full 22-minutes, Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday added Petey encountering two dog bullies and foiling their attempt to steal food; escaping capture from a cruel dog-seller with a group of strays; and attempting to pass himself off as a toy dog so a boy and his mother would buy him. He finally found his boy, now named Tommy, at the orphanage.

The original special title card.

The episode performed well enough to not only earn Ruby-Spears its first Emmy nomination, but gained something the book itself never did: sequels. “The Puppy’s Great Adventure” saw Petey (now Bryan Scott) have to win over Tommy’s dog-hating adoptive parents. “The Puppy’s Amazing Rescue” had Petey and his friend/love interest, a Cocker Spaniel mix named Dolly (Nancy McKeon), try to avoid dangers while getting help for their humans trapped in an avalanche. “The Puppy Saves the Circus” gave Petey (now Sparky Marcus) amnesia and saw him becoming a breakout performer in a struggling circus.

Dash, Duke, Lucky, Dolly and Petey.

With the sequels also being well-received, and reruns of the original still getting high ratings, ABC decided to take things to the next level and greenlight a full animated series. Dubbed The Puppy’s New Adventures, Petey’s (now Billy Jacoby) family decided to move overseas by ship and took Dolly with them. Stowing away were Petey’s friends from his days as a stray: Duke (Michael Bell), a German shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix who looked after the group; Dash (also Bell), a sleek and speedy Greyhound who was both the smartest of the group and also the most cowardly; and Lucky (Peter Cullen), a big and strong St. Bernard who was a little light in the brains department. A freak storm washed the dogs overboard and they had to journey through various counties looking for Tommy (Tony O’Dell) and his parents. Along the way, they encountered people (understanding them perfectly, although they couldn’t speak back) or animals who needed their help before they could move on to the next destination. Each episode featured an opening narration by Petey setting up the circumstances of their upcoming adventure.

The Puppy’s New Adventures debuted on ABC on September 25, 1982. Inexplicably, it was combined with the dissimilar Scooby-Doo and Scrappy Doo (1980) in a block called The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour. Hanna-Barbera, makers of Scooby-Doo, and Ruby-Spears were both owned by the same parent company, Taft Broadcasting, and Joe Ruby and Ken Spears were former employees of Hanna-Barbera and the creators of Scooby-Doo. While Hanna-Barbera continued the pre-production and voice-over work for their half of the block, Ruby-Spears handled the actual production of the entire program, resulting in some of their unique sound effects library being heard in the Scooby segments. The series was written by Mark Jones, Buzz Dixon, Diane Dixon, Jack Enyart, Steve Gerber and Gary Greenfield, with Jones serving as executive story consultant and Michael Maurer as story editor. Dean Elliott and Hoyt Curtin were the musical directors, with Paul DeKorte as the musical supervisor.

The series was renewed for a second season, this time airing independently as The Puppy’s Further Adventures. The globe-trotting storyline was ended in a two-part episode resulting in Petey being reunited with his family and his friends being adopted by them. Their new adventures usually involved joining Tommy as his father (John Stephenson) went on scientific expeditions or visited friends. A new recurring dog character was introduced named Glyder (Josh Rodine), whose enormous ears caused him to constantly trip when on the ground, but allowed him to glide in the air. Writers for this season included Jones, Gerber, Flint Dille, Michael J. Reaves, Marc Scott Zicree, Janis Diamond, Martin Pasko and Sheldon Stark, with Diamond serving as story consultant. Although no new episodes were made for the third season, a third season of reruns did air as The Puppy’s Great Adventures from September 8-November 10, 1984. Great Adventures would return for a final run on CBS from September 13-November 8, 1986.

Ad for CBS Saturday morning's initial 1986 line-up.

While Puppy has never seen a home media or streaming release, various episodes have resurfaced online on sites like YouTube. It did, however, receive other merchandise across four years. In 1982, Etone International released stuffed toys of Petey and Dolly. The following year, Antioch Publishing Company released three books—ABC with Petey (a Little Shape book), Hide and Seek (a What’s Inside? Pop-Open book), and The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy (a sticker book)—and Playskool a 15-piece jigsaw puzzle. In 1984, Milton Bradley released a board game and four 25-piece frame-tray puzzles, while Hestair Puzzles released an 80-piece jigsaw puzzle. 1985 saw the release of a coloring book by Western Publishing, and a French language 7” vinyl single titled “Les Poupies” performed by VĂ©ronique Bodoin from Polydor Records.



Season 1:
“The Treasure of the Ancient Ruins” (9/25/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Puppy’s Dangerous Mission” (10/2/82) – The dogs must keep a serum meant to heal an ailing young king out of the hands of enemy spies.
“An American Puppy in Paris” (10/9/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Puppy and the Pirates” (10/16/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Mystery of the Wailing Cat” (10/23/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Puppy’s Australian Adventure” (10/30/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Puppy and the Reluctant Bull” (11/6/82) – The dogs must rescue a gentle bull that has been abducted to participate in a bullfight.
“The Puppy’s Hong Kong Adventure” (11/13/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Honolulu Puppy” (11/20/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Puppy’s Great Escape” (11/27/82) – The dogs attempt to reunite a grandmother separated from her grandchildren by the Berlin Wall.
“The Puppy’s Great Race” (12/4/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Puppy’s Amazon Adventure” (12/11/82) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Petey and the 101 Seals” (12/18/82) – The dogs must protect a baby seal from some poachers.
Season 2:
“Glyder, the Misfit Puppy” (9/10/83) – The dogs try to keep a puppy with enormous ears from becoming a sideshow attraction.
“Puppy Goes Home” (9/17/83) – Thieves kidnap Petey’s family to get inside a top-secret government crate.
“Puppy and the Badlands” (9/24/83) – Petey’s family goes on an archaeological dig where bandits happen to be looking for lost Civil War gold.
“Puppy in Omega World” (10/1/83) – Tommy and the dogs are taken on a tour of futuristic theme park Omega World where things are mysteriously going haywire.
“Puppy and the Spies” (10/8/83) – Duke, Dash and Lucky get themselves “recruited” into the scheme of enemy spies looking to steal plans from NASA.
“Puppy Goes to College” (10/15/83) – Glyder ends up performing at Tommy’s father’s old college where a plot is in the works against the governor.
“Puppy and the Brown Eyed Girl” (10/22/83) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Biggest Diamond in the World” (10/29/83) – Tommy ends up kidnapped by a pair of jewel thieves whose crime he stumbles across.

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