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German Shepherd

Leica - White female German shepherd that often appeared with her master, Jack Paar, the host of the NBC late night talk show THE TONIGHT SHOW/NBC/1957-62.

In a two-hour PBS "America's Master's" TV documentary special entitled "Jack Paar: As I Was Saying...", Jack recalled a humorous story about Leica as she played by the family swimming pool.

Apparently, the dog loved to play fetch, but one Sunday morning Jack was tired and decided to just wad his feet in the pool, which was rather cold at the time.

When his dog tried to entice Paar into a throw and retrieve scenario, Jack declined the dogs' invitation. Suddenly, the dog ran to the deep end of the pool, dropped the ball into the water and began to do a loud "screaming" bark. The dog was, in essence, playing ball and blackmail.

To assuage the dog's desire and to shut her up so that the neighbors didn't complain, Jack complied to the dog's demands by repeatedly jumping into the pool and giving the ball back to Leica (who immediately dropped the ball back into the water).

Eventually, Jack got wise and concluded "There is something wrong with this arrangement here? I mean God did not put me on this earth to go after a ball that my damn dog keeps dropping into my swimming pool and has me go after it!"

On the final broadcast of THE JACK PAAR SHOW (1965), Leica was the only audience member. Paar's final words: "Come on, Leica, come on. We're going home."

TRIVIA NOTE: In space exploration history, Laika was the name of the Russian dog that orbited the Earth in Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.

Laika was sent into space to study effects of weightlessness and radiation on animal life forms. Reportedly, he lived in space for seven days nourished on a liquid diet.

The name of Jack Paar's dog (Leica) was a sly spoof of the Russian space dog, Laika (meaning "Barker"). Laika was a female mutt and part Siberian Husky.

In 2002, it was revealed that Laika died roughly 5 to 7 hours into the flight from overheating and stress.

Eventually, after 2,570 orbits around the earth, Sputnik 2 burned up during reentry on April 14, 1958. See also CENSORSHIP: "Jack Paar's Water Closet Joke"


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