7/14/18

London: The Littlest Hobo



When the US had the famous Lassie capturing the hearts of children and adults alike, Canada had the Littlest Hobo.


London in the 1958 film The Littlest Hobo, sparing a boy's beloved lamb from slaughter.

London, a German shepherd with "reverse mask" markings (where areas on the dog that are normally dark are lighter in color) was owned by Charles Eisenmann. Eisenmann, a professional baseball player and dog trainer, named his dog after the city he was stationed at during the second world war.

London was allowed to travel with the team during Eisenmann's baseball days and even provided entertainment to the fans. He would bow to the crowd, bring equipment to the players and run the bases. London appeared in Life magazine, and it was this article that got him a starring role in the US film The Littlest Hobo.

The film, released in 1958, inspired the Canadian television series (also named The Littlest Hobo) that aired in 1963 for three seasons and was later revived in 1979 for six seasons. London and other dogs trained by Eisenmann played the part of the stray dog who traveled around helping others. The name London was always credited as the star. The show appeared in over 40 countries, and guest stars of the show included well known actors such as DeForest Kelley, Leslie Nielsen and Mike Myers.

London starred in three other films: My Dog, Buddy, The Marks of Distinction, and Just Between Us. He was also featured in the book London: The Dog Who Made The Team.

One writer described London as "the smartest dog that ever lived." Eisenmann, who preferred the word educating than training, taught London and his other dogs to understand three languages (English, German and French) as well as over 1,500 words.