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
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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