Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Evening News. March 23, 1923. p. 6


There is a new dog star. Ginger is his name and he has an important part in "Broken Chains," the winner of the $10,000 prize in the Chicago Daily News scenario contest, produced by the Goldwyn Pictures corporation and to be shown at the Unique Theater today. Director Allen Holubar was amazed and delighted at the intelligence which Ginger showed in support of Colleen Moore, Malcolm MacGregor, Claire Windsor, Ernest Torrence and other members of a brilliant cast.

Ginger is the only dog that belongs to the Boy Scouts. By unanimous vote, Troop No. 2 of Santa Monica has voted him in and also voted him the smartest dog in the world. He belongs to Dr. E. M. Cowles of Santa Monica. At a slight motion of the doctor's hand, Ginger stood on his hind legs and barked a sharp and incisive "yes" when admitted to the order.

Ginger has various chores which he performs regularly. The chickens are his special charge. As no fence separates his yard from the next, the dog has to watch them. The minute a fowl steps over the line, Ginger, without a word from anyone, carefully herds them into their own domain. He puts on his own collar, which lies on the ground attached to a rope; he turns on the hydrant and drinks when thirsty; runs from the front yard to the back at a word from his master and selects from among his treasures of bones, cans and hoops the one which the doctor has named, rolls a barrel in any direction ordered and jumps through a hoop which he himself first stands upright.

The talented animal is a cross between a collie and a Belgian police dog. From the day he was six weeks old Dr. and Mrs. Cowles have trained him daily, but never have they struck him.

"There is no limit to what this dog can learn," said Dr. Cowles, "unless it is where we are not able to make ourselves intelligible to him, and that is our fault, rather than his. He is alert every instant when with us and he is a fine example of concentration. He will leave his dinner to play ball and will leave the company of another dog any time to go through his tricks. I believe that dogs have souls and that their intelligence is far greater than many of us have thought."

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz County Sentinel. Reproduced by permission.