Sylvester Stallone had some four-legged help coming up with the idea for Rocky.
The 70-year-old actor shared two sentimental Instagram pictures on Thursday, emotionally recalling his younger years when he was struggling financially in a run-down New York City apartment with nothing but his dog, Butkus.
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"I absolutely love pictures like this. When I was 26, totally broke, going nowhere VERY fast, owned two pair of pants that barely fit, shoes that had holes in them and dreams of being successful were as far away as the sun," Stallone captioned the black-and-white pic. "But I had my dog, BUTKUS, my best friend, my confidant, Who always laughed at my jokes, and put up with my moods, and was the one living thing that loved me for who I was! #man's best friend#BullMastiff #Loyalty #NewYorkCity#AmericanDreams."
Then, in another even sweeter photo, Stallone told the story of when things got so desperate he had to sell his beloved pet -- only to buy him back after selling the Rocky screenplay.
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"1971... Since we're on the subject of 'man's best friend' this is myself and Butkus as a puppy , we were both, thin, hungry and living in a flophouse above a subway stop, I used to say this apartment had '… Hot and cold running roaches,'" he wrote. "Anyway there was not much to do except spend time with each other and that's where I started to learn the craft of screenwriting."
"Since I never went out, I relied on his companionship," he continued, joking, "And actually it was his idea to write Rocky, but don't tell anyone."
"Years later when things got even worse I had to sell him for $40 in front of a 7-Eleven store,because I couldn't afford food, then like A modern day miracle, the screenplay for Rocky sold, and I could buy and buy him back, but the new owner knew I was desperate, and charged me $15,000," Stallone revealed. "He was worth every penny!"
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With a canine like that in his corner, it's no wonder Stallone was inspired to write about an unlikely champion with the courage to go into the next round!
Check out the gallery below for more sweet photos of celebs and their pets.