Sylvester Stallone Reveals He Once Sold His Dog Butkus When He Was Broke, Bought Him Back for $15K

It’s been a rocky road to success. Sylvester Stallone shared two sweet throwback photos of himself with his dog Butkus to Instagram on Thursday, March 30, recalling the time he had to sell his furry pal in order to buy food — before buying him back for $15,000 after striking it big with Rocky.

“I absolutely love pictures like this,” he captioned a black-and-white photo of himself with the Bullmastiff. “When I was 26, totally broke, going nowhere VERY fast, owned two pairs of pants that barely fit, shoes that had holes in them and dreams of being successful were as far away as the sun … 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.”

In the touching image, Stallone, now 70, bends over to give Butkus a kiss on the back of his head as the pair stand together in shallow water. The Rocky star shows off his biceps in the picture in a tank top and cuffed jeans.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards in 2016. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

The Hollywood icon then shared another throwback image of himself with Butkus as a puppy, sharing a sentimental story about his tough beginnings.

“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,” he captioned the photo. “I used to say this apartment had ‘ … Hot and cold running roaches’ 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.”

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" 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 , 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 … He was worth every penny! #New York City #HellsKitchen #BullMastiff #It'sADogsWorld. #MoreToCome#inspiration #ThunderingYourHeart #GoingThedistance

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Stallone famously pitched his idea of the underdog boxer to producers in the mid-‘70s with just $106 in his pocket. Though producers liked the concept, they wanted to cast someone else, offering as much as $300,000 (the equivalent of $1 million) for rights. He refused and insisted on writing and starring in the film himself.

“Since I never went out, I relied on his companionship, and actually it was his idea to write Rocky, but don’t tell anyone,” Stallone continued in the caption. “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 him back, but the new owner knew I was desperate, and charged me $15,000 .. He was worth every penny!”

Stallone would go on to win three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, for his first film, and the movie expanded into a six-part franchise that has brought in more than a billion dollars worldwide, including last year’s Creed.

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