Monday, October 6, 2008
Back in the sixties a man named Charles "Chuck" P. Eisenmann got himself a German Shepherd pup to help out in his nightclub as a guard dog. But it soon became apparent that the pup, London, was no ordinary dog! He would go on to amaze talk show audiences, movie-goers, and TV fans alike by starring in his own movie and TV series, The Littlest Hobo. London, as far as anyone could tell, knew actual English. Chuck would give him a string of commands--not "sit, stand, stay" but "London, would you please sit there in that corner. Now please go stand by a picture of a horse. Can you find me something blue? Show it to me, please. London, I need a pencil (London would find Chuck a pencil and bring it to him without further prompting)." If you can find a copy of Chuck's book about educating dogs, Stop! Sit! and Think!, you can read actual newspaper clippings giving examples just like these, written by skeptical newspapermen who met Chuck and his dogs (London had a number of sons with his markings who later joined Chuck's pack and doubled for him in the TV series). Chuck eventually wrote four books and produced a video and an album (cover picture below).
I didn't know anything about Chuck and his dogs until I encountered the Shiloh Shepherd, and then I heard plenty! Many people on our Shiloh forums are fans of Chuck and his teaching methods. The more I read about the Hobo dogs, the more I wanted to know! I started watching eBay and online used book websites for Chuck's books and searching the web for more information. Then Kyrie's pictures came up on Tina's website, and there was Tina saying that she thought Kyrie would be a "masked" dog--that she would look like London and his sons and daughters. I was hooked--I had to have her!! And I'm so glad that Zak gave in and we got her--she is incredibly intelligent, beautiful, an eager learner, and (though I doubt we will ever get her to stop chasing the cats) she is only getting more amazing!
Below: a comparison side-by-side of Kyrie at eight months next to the original London. The London pic is from a publicity photo.