Hubert O’Hearn is a well-known essayist, editor and playwright. His most recent books include For Freedom: A Human Rights Reader 1948-2015 and Do Angels Breathe? Born and educated in Canada, he moved to Ireland in 2012 along with his faithful Border Collie named Stella. They currently live in a quiet village in County Mayo.


Want to know more? You can purchase Hubert’s book on by clicking on the link below!

Want to see Fly and Rex in the movie?  Buy your copy of Babe (1995) on DVD!

Do you know your famous collies?  Best-selling author, Hubert O’Hearn sure does!  In fact, he dedicates an entire chapter of his book, The Friendly World of the Border Collie: Inside the Minds of the World’s Smartest Dogs, to highlighting some of the more famous dogs in film, TV and even comic strips.  

In this post, we’ve asked Hubert to tell us about some of his favorite celebrity border collies and he’s kindly obliged via this Q&A style article for y’all to enjoy! 

Fly and Rex


So is Fly a boy or a girl?
Ah, you’re learning to ask the right questions. Fly is indeed a girl and she played the surrogate mother to Babe the pig, the titular character in the 1995 film, Babe.  In case you don’t remember, Babe received a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was nominated for seven Academy Awards (winning for Best Visual Effects), and pulled in over $250 million at the box office on its initial release.


Remind me of Fly’s part.
Gladly! Babe, an orphaned piglet, is chosen for a “guess the weight” contest at a county fair. The winning farmer, Arthur Hoggett, brings him home and allows him to stay with a  Fly, her mate Rex and their puppies, in the barn. Later on, Arthur sees Babe sort the hens, separating the brown from the white ones. Impressed, he takes him to the fields and allows him to try and herd the sheep. Encouraged by an elder ewe named Maa, the sheep cooperate, but Rex sees Babe’s actions as an insult to sheepdogs and confronts Fly in a vicious fight for encouraging Babe. He injures her leg and accidentally bites Arthur’s hand when he tries to intervene. Rex is then chained to the dog house, muzzled and sedated, leaving the sheep herding job to Babe.


Was Rex a Border Collie as well?
Of course! Check out the clips below, which highlight his part!


Anymore interesting facts about Rex & Fly?
Their voices were provided by Miriam Margoyles (Fly) and Hugo Weaving (Rex). The two Border Collies were also in the sequel Babe: Pig in the City released in 1998, however they were fairly minor characters in that film. It did $80 million in box office receipts, or roughly a third of the original. I suspect a lack of ‘Border Collie-ness’ as the cause. 😉

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