The Littlest Hobo was a television series that had 2 distinct runs—3 if you count the feature film.
It originally ran in 1963 and up until 1965—a short span for sure. What many fans do not know, is that it was based on a film from 1959 and it bore the same name, as per Wikipedia.
It was later revived in 1979 and it ran all the way until 1985 in its second and final run. Of course syndication would keep the show alive and it was enjoyed by many children of the eighties and nineties (this writer included), and it still runs in some markets.
What was The Littlest Hobo after?
The premise was simple: A stray dog—a gorgeous German Shepherd—rambled from town to town, in search of only he knew what. But along the way, he helped legions of people like some hero all-knowing dog, and as children we bought it big time (I still do).
For so many of us, this dog kept us company as children. For those that lived through the original or even second run and perhaps even syndication, we were collectively fascinated as this stray dog moved on from adventure to adventure—some scary, some touching—and along the way, he left an imprint not only on the characters he helped, but on all of the viewers that were so moved by those adventures that played out on screen.
And so, what was it that he was in search of? In the lives he saved and interacted with he had opportunities to find a forever home, but yet at the end of every episode and adventure, there he was, back on the road, back in search of yet another adventure, and I always had the impression that he was looking for something in particular. Didn’t it seem like it?
To me, he was like a cinematic character of the mind that he was looking in the far off distance for something in particular…something concrete that only he knew was out there, but what?
And yes, even as a small 6-year-old kid, eating my mother’s rice pudding in the evening hours, the dusk falling on the cold Montréal snowy streets, I knew that there was in fact something he was after; at least I always felt so…
So, for the sake of this dedication to that hero dog, all these years later, this ode is for him, his adventure and in the end his ultimate goal…and while the torments of age, and the oppression of this life invade us all, those that watched him struggle from adventure to adventure, and maybe we struggle as well, this ode’s for him and if nothing else I hope he found piece.
Where is he now?
Well, perhaps it’s a tad cliché, but I always associated him as a military dog…his owner perhaps being a Vietnam vet…someone that lost his dog after being enlisted into the military…but for our hero dog, he was always in search of his owner, and ever since they were split apart.
That’s why he never settled down.
But shortly after the show went off the air, he was out there, in the later portion of the eighties and he ascended north, all the way to Alaska. That’s where his instinct bought him, and a few days after saving some little boy that dropped down into a well, he was called to a distant mountain by his instincts; he followed those instincts to that mountain, and atop in the distance sat a cabin…the smoke billowing out the chimney, the warmth of that cabin almost and seemingly leaking out of the windows, the light burning ever so slightly in the distance.
The Littlest Hobo makes it only so far, about 40 feet from the cabin and stops…the door suddenly opens, and there, a tall, trim and athletic man, his hair graying and beard graying too. He’s wearing a plaid shirt and jeans, work boots, his hands rough and worked…he steps out onto the porch…and he looks out, squinting his eyes.
The Littlest Hobo lets out a bark.
The man looks at the dog and smiles. “Henry…? Where’ve you been boy?”
The Littlest Hobo barks again and runs for the porch and into the loving arms of his adoptive father here on Earth. He licks his bearded face, his tail wagging.
The man stands and leads the way inside. The door closes gently and the image fades to black…our Littlest Hobo, Henry (the name I’ve decided to give him), finally home where he belongs. Fade to black….
I like to think we all deserved a happy ending to that tale, so there it is, my interpretation of what happened.
What about you, dear readers? Where did The Littlest Hobo end up?