I’ve always related to The Littlest Hobo. The cool, German Shepherd who starred in the late 70's/early 80's Canadian TV series of the same name.
Paw-loose and fancy-free, Hobo was
like a poor man's Lassie; turning up
out of the blue in a no-name town in NowheresVille and helping save the day by
rescuing a damsel in distress – or solving a mystery Columbo-like; aside from
the fact he was a dog, never so much whimpered in earnest, and had two good eyes.
Hobo was an enigmatic hero. A bit like Jack Reacher, Lee Child's
recurring novel character; though less likely to hurl the antagonist through a
plate-glass window if he didn’t play ball. And Hobo was normally naked
(I guess that's just a dog thing); whereas Reacher, though a famously light
traveller, was usually wearing pants and a shirt (bought from Mark's Work
Wearhouse, or somewhere similar).
TLH, based on a 1958
American film of the same name, ran on CTV from October 1979 to March 1985.
It starred an ownerless dog who regularly rolled (or trotted) into town
unannounced, helping good triumph over evil. That's not a bad mantra to live
by, in my book. Plus, if I needed any extra reassurance of the power of our
kinship, Hobo was primarily played by
an ‘actor’ called London.
I was in my early teens when the series was in full swing back in the UK
(during the mid-1980’s); battling it out with my brother and sister to claim
the armchair nearest the TV on Saturday mornings so we could sit snugly (and
smugly), with our bowls of Kellogg’s Start, mesmerized by Hobo and his remarkable deeds.
“There’s a voice, keeps on callin’ me… down the road, that’s where I’ll
aaalllways, beeeeee.” A theme tune for a generation, and one that's been
etched in my DNA ever since.
To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds.