The Amazing Story of Marshall’s Jim The Wonder Dog
I've been really interested in local history lately. I've found a lot of stuff that I feel like I SHOULD have known about. Stuff that makes me feel like I grew up under a rock.
This story is one of them! I've been to Marshall probably dozens of times in my life. Yet, have I ever really SEEN Marshall? I guess not, because I didn't see this story.
Apparently back in the 1920's this little guy was born. He was trained to hunt quail. His owner was a guy named Sam VanArsdale.
Turned out he was pretty good at it! He just didn't like to train for it, I guess. His owner noticed after a while that Jim seemed to understand everything he said. According to the website, he was extraordinary:
Mr. VanArsdale found, quite by accident while in the field one day, that his dog could understand what he was saying to him and carried out his commands. It was a hot day, and Mr. VanArsdale said, "Let's go over and rest a bit under that Hickory tree". Although in a woods of numerous kinds of trees, he went to the Hickory. Surprised by this, he asked Jim to go to a Walnut, then a Cedar, a stump, and a tin can, which he did rapidly and perfectly.
He could do it with just about anything you asked him to do. He could find a person, a car, just by a description. And not something like "find the guy with the head", I mean, "Find the man that helps sick people" or "Find the Ford car". Amazing!
He could understand commands in other languages, too! People eventually started asking Jim to predict things. He ended up being able to predict things like the Kentucky Derby, what sex your baby is, The World Series.... just craziness!
But....how is this possible?! It might not be. They might be pulling my leg. But hey, I don't care. I love the story. Maybe I wanna believe that a dog can understand me when I speak to him. Is that so bad?
Jim now has his own monument and memorial park. You can buy merch! You can see his grave site at 804 E Yerby. There's a whole day festival dedicated to him, too. How did I not know about this? This is probably one of the best things ever. Next time I go to Marshall, I'm gonna look for him.
What stories have you heard about Jim The Wonder Dog? Tell me all about em!