Jack LaLanne was such a vital life force that it’s hard to believe he’s gone. A pioneer of the take-control-of-your-health movement, his strong, muscular, age-defyingphysiquewas his own greatest advertisement; he once joked, “I can’t die – it wouldruin my image.”
Throughout history, some of the most interesting, vibrant,magnetic personalities were dog lovers. And Jack LaLanne was no exception.
It makes perfect sense that this handsomeguy whoembodied totalwell-being – in the photo at right, he’s a young man of 60! – would embrace dogs as a natural part of a healthy, well-roundedlifestyle.
I suspect LaLanne’s lovefor dogs, and his easy way of relating to them, were major componentsof the overall emotional and psychological health he radiated so effortlessly. Didn’t he always look completely relaxed, even when hisbulging muscles were flexed taut?
LaLanne offered living, compellingproof that dogs make great workout partners. When treated right,they keep their humans looking remarkably youthful – ageless, even – despite their actual chronological age.
His dog Happy, a White Shepherd, made a memorable appearance on Jack’s TV show, and the clip is now a big hit on YouTube.AsLaLannelies on his back demonstrating arm exercises,handsome Happycomes bounding onto the set, and is greeted with a gracious hug – then he puts his pawon theboss’s mouth!
LaLanne stops what he’s doing for a moment of tender dog appreciation – all while lying on the floor with his four-footed friend. “Hiya boy – aw, lookit: What a team, huh?” he says with genuine, obvious affection.
“A dog’s life – boy, you never had it so good,” LaLanne tells his audience, as “Hap” happilycuddles up againsthis best friend’s impressive chest. “You ought tosee what this dog eats: six pounds of raw meat a day. Four pounds of ground beef and 2 pounds of fresh liver. And he takes minerals, vitamins, some cod liver oil, bone meal, and egg yolk.”
There you have it: Jack LaLanne was ahead of so many modern trends,including nutritional supplementationfor dogs and the raw food diet. Most important, he respected his dog’s intelligence – and had a healthy sense of humor about occasional destructive tendencies. More than anything, I’ll bet that live-and-let-live attitude did much to keep LaLanne so remarkably youthful all his life.
The fitness guru is so proud of his personal fitness grrru: “Smart? He teaches me a new trick every day,” LaLanne brags to”the boys and girls” in the audience. “And he’s housebroken – he’s broken every room in the house!” he adds with a laugh.
Happythen demonstrates his repertoire of tricks: Sit, Carry, Come, Drop It, Get It.After that,he bounds off the set.
Thevideo clipis irresistible – and it’s under two minutes long. Watch it here.