Saturday, November 20, 2010

Future Kyrie Puppies??

Could it be? Yes, it's true! This January we will be breeding Kyrie with our Champion sire, Leo, for the first time! Cross fingers with us that we will have a happy and healthy dam and litter of pupsters in March, everyone!

This, our first litter, will be a co-own with Tina and Lisa Barber of New Zion Shilohs. This means that if you would like to get on the list for a Kyrie/Leo pup, you will need to fill out the New Zion puppy application, which you can find here on the NZS site.

Above you'll see the collage of littermates and ancestors of Kyrie and Leo. We put together these collages because often pups will resemble their ancestors more than their parents! From left to right and top to bottom, you can see:

Row One: Acer, Leo's sire; Tucker, Kyrie's twin brother
Row Two: Chester, Kyrie's younger brother; Granddam Tang; Grandsire Grizz
Row Three: Scout, Kyrie's sire; Leo's littermate MC and littermate Nana
Row Four: Leo; Leo's dam Holly
Row Five: Kyrie; Grandsire Storm

Because Holly looks quite a bit like Kyrie, we expect quite a few brown sables with cream in this litter. Because Leo has reddish coloring and so does Kyrie's grandpa Storm, we may get some reddish pups in this litter, too! We have the chance for white/buff pups, and a small chance for solid blacks. We may even get a "Hobo" pup with markings like Kyrie...I am crossing my fingers!

We hope you're just as excited about this litter as we are!! Please join us in wishing luck to the happy couple on their upcoming "wedding" day! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chuck Eisenmann & The Littlest Hobo Tribute

Many other sources have already reported that Charles P. Eisenmann, owner and trainer of the Shepherd dogs who played London, The Littlest Hobo, in TV and movies from the fifties through the eighties, died on September 6, 2010, at the age of 91. I would like to dedicate this post to him.

The photos that you will see throughout are scans from Chuck's books or actual Littlest Hobo dogs publicity prints I own, distributed over the decades from the sixties to the eighties. I have obtained some of them via a Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America board member who was kind enough to put them up for sale to benefit the club; others, most especially the beautiful color print from 1984, I received when a friend of Chuck's died and some of his estate was liquidated at auction. Possibly the most precious ones I received from Chuck's secretary once upon a time, a lovely lady whose auction I managed to win--gaining a photo which included the only two female Hobo dogs, Raura and Venus. I hope she finds the time to write up her memories of Chuck, as she told me she wished to do while we corresponded.

For the Christmas of 2008 I sent Chuck a Christmas card--it may never have reached him at his Oregon nursing home, but I enclosed a photo of Kyrie and a heartfelt thanks for the books and tours he had done with his dogs over the years. Now he is gone, but he lived a great life. He was one of "the most important figures in American military baseball in Europe during World War II" according to Gary Bedingfield's "Baseball In Wartime" blog (thanks Mr. Bedingfield for digging up so much about Chuck that I never knew!). You can find that post in Mr. Bedingfield's blog (and some lovely photos of London farther down in it) at .

Chuck gave up professional baseball when "the dog started showing signs of greatness". London, his German Shepherd, had accompanied him everywhere--he was even included in contracts Chuck signed with the teams he played for! Born in 1951, London was five years old before he was first mentioned in the Bismark Tribute, when Chuck came out on the field and did a show with him for the entertainment of the crowd.

The newspaper notes that London ran the bases when asked to. Later, after an incident with London that cost his team a game, London got a Life magazine spread, and was asked to perform at Watertown, again to entertain fans. There, Chuck tried to prove his dog's intelligence by doing everything BUT specifically asking him to "run the bases". Biographer David Malcolmson writes about it in London: The Dog Who Made The Team:

"London," asked Chuck, "Do you know where you are?"
Here was a concept he had never put into words with his dog, but it was within London's power.
Even Chuck could never quite get used to the way his dog would respond. London looked around him, not at the stands now, but at the two dugouts, then at the diamond behind him. To London, the best of all places in the outdoor world was a baseball diamond. His tail wagged a little.
The people could not help but see something of this. Probably to many of them it would be merely another sign that the man had rehearsed his dog well. It would do no good for Chuck to have Hank broadcast: "My dog has never before been asked this question."
Chuck went on, "Suppose, London, suppose out there on this diamond a game is going on. Suppose you are on the team. London, you're playing baseball!"
The spell was on them both. Chuck told himself, go slow! go slow! They must be made to see it. If it happens too fast, it will look like just another trick. If the stands could be made to see..."

Chuck tried his best to make the stands see--and London, using only the words Chuck told him: "Home Run" "You've hit the ball out of the park" "you've hit your homer. Go ahead" DID understand what Chuck was asking. He ran the bases! Even after that, most in the stands seemed to not understand that the dog had been reasoning out what to do based on English words--not on a memorized command. But, Malcolmson writes, one person at least who saw a tape of later, similar performances did:

"One of the shows that followed was seen by a woman who wrote in to the "You Asked For It" television program. She asked for the dog who thinks like a man.
Her letter opened up, for London and for Chuck, Hollywood's golden gate."

"You Asked For It" was London's big break, and he was soon in demand for other shows, other appearances, and then a 1958 feature-length movie: The Littlest Hobo. It was a short step after that to the TV series in the 60's, acted in by London's sons and grandsons and daughters. The series was revived again with more London descendants, from the late seventies to the mid-eighties.

These later dogs are the ones behind the original Shiloh Shepherd outcross: Samson, the dog that took Tina Barber away from registration with the AKC and into the territory of creating her own breed. She has stuck to her dream through fire and flood, thick and thin, endless betrayals (but she has been shored up through it all by some honest Shiloh-loving folks, some very good long-time friends, and the love of these amazing dogs). Every ISSR Shiloh Shepherd living today has the Hobo dogs behind them, but only a very few have inherited the unique facial markings. Among them is my Kyrie. Below, a Hobo pup from Chuck's book "The Better Dog; The Educated Dog":

And London, circa 1984--the star of the revamped TV show:

I hope that you have enjoyed our brief history, photos, and tribute to Chuck. I would like to thank Tina Barber for working with Chuck and integrating the Hobo lines into the Shiloh Shepherd, and Chuck himself for all that he did to push the cause of educated dogs. He was a man far ahead of his time--a man who believed that by educating instead of training dogs, by teaching with observation, faith, and empathy instead of shoving them around with brute force, you could teach them to think like you or I. And every owner of a real Shiloh Shepherd today knows that he was right.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kyrie's Wonderful Winter!

Time to catch up on some blogging! Kyrie had a winter full of her favorite thing--SNOW! Snow is very rare here in the DFW area; we didn't get any at all during the Winter of 2008-2009. Usually we get one snow day, with a few inches of snow. This year, we got three or four days of it--and once we got eight inches, crazy for this area! We even had snow on Christmas morning, which hadn't happened in 80-some years!

Without further ado, we would like to share some photos of Kyrie enjoying her snowy winter. :) Here is the very cute snowy-faced Kyrie, blinking:

Kyrie at a full run with her "I love snow!!" face:

Kyrie is deeper in the snow than she's ever been! Her face is full of snow in these photos because she runs and eats it at the same time!

More running, Kyrie's favorite thing to do:

Running with her new little "brother", Thorn:

Running with her older housemate, Leo:

All three dogs, having a BLAST!

So much snow made Kyrie want to bounce...

And chase...

And catch...

And eat...

And practice her ballet...

And do the twist!!

Here's a nice profile shot:

Kyrie would like to thank you very much for reading and for looking at her photos! 'Till next time!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kyrie!

For Kyrie's second birthday we wanted to make little chicken crab cakes but with chicken! Our housemate John suggested doing them in a cupcake pan...and they became "Pupcakes"!

First I chopped two raw chicken breasts and added some shredded cheese.

Then I added one egg and mixed it all together. A little bit of flour was added to stiffen the mixture; you could also use other things if your dog was allergic to grains. Ground up kibble might work?

The mixture was spooned into cupcake spaces treated with a little bit of oil so they would come out easily after baking. I also could have used butter or another type of fat, I'm thinking. I put them in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees, the temp I would normally cook chicken breasts at.

I kept them in for twenty minutes, until the juices running out were clear. I took them out and put a knife in one to make sure they were done. Then I let them cool for five minutes before dumping them out onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.

I took a Kraft Single and tore it into thin strips and made crosses for the tops, just to dress them up! Then I put them back into the 400 degree oven for two minutes, to melt the cheese on.

Here are the pupcakes!!!

I put them on a bed of dry kibble since they were not enough of a portion to be dinner by themselves.

Then I mashed them so that they would cool faster and so the dogs would find it easier to eat them. The juices flavored the dry kibble a bit this way, too.

The final touch: Kyrie's favorite, a little bit of cottage cheese for a topper!

All dogs cleaned their bowls in record time!! Happy Birthday, Kyrie!!