Allen and Endal pictured with Wallace and Gromit at the premier of
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at the Odeon, Leicester Square
A media scrum of flashing cameras, the paparazzi and TV crews greeted Allen Parton and Endal on their arrival at the Odeon Cinema Leicester Square on Wednesday. Normally this sort of media interest is reserved for major celebrities and film stars, but why then was there this sudden focus on this well known duo of the canine world?
Endal, who hardly needs an introduction these days, was voted Dog of the Millennium, the world’s most intelligent dog and holder of the highest award for animal bravery in peace time (PDSA Gold medal, the Animal George cross) and is about to celebrate ten years as a working assistance dog.
Allen, a Royal Navy Gulf war veteran, suffered a head injury in the 1991 war which left him with severe physical and mental trauma, wheelchair bound and with short and long term memory problems.
Often affectionately called the Wallace and Gromit of the doggie world Allen Parton and his canine companion Endal have finally achieved a dearly held ambition to meet with their screen idols "the real Wallace and Gromit". it was only a matter of time before a get together of both these amazing dogs and their partners happened!
Here at the Odeon, Leicester Square, the famous partnerships met up at the premier of the Schools film festival at Leicester Square to celebrate National Schools Film Week TENTH year.
It has been noticed and commented on by many how uncannily striking the similarities are between these ‘hapless’ owners and their faithful hounds. The relationship between the both man and dog is so strong that is difficult to see where one starts and the other ends. Both Gromit and Endal are extremely intelligent canines, both celebrating 10 years of working partnerships and both highly gifted with the most amazing wicked sense of humour. Both the dogs are working tirelessly with unquestioning devotion for their owners, beavering away in the back ground and enabling their masters every day. Wallace an inventor as was Allen, who in his Navy days was an Electronics Engineering officer and who used to design Weapon systems for Navy vessels.
Allen said "I have so enjoyed watching W & G since they first appeared on television and have followed each new release avidly. Watching Gromit is so like watching a carbon copy of Endal, the facial expressions, the ability to do some amazing things and the sheer unwavering devotion that both dogs give to their masters is so heart warming. It was a photoshoot of a life time and such fun to do.
‘On a serious note though... it also helps us promote how important the human animal bond is and argue the dog's place in today's society. Allen is now a UK representative of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) www.iaadp.org and has been promoting the work of this international organisation which represents the interests of all assistance dog partnerships around the world.
‘IAADP encourages the individual partnerships to have a voice that is listened to, an opportunity to take control and shape their own destinies and overcome the many instances of discrimination that they might face going about their daily chores.’
Allen added "Throughout the film I am sure I spotted Endal smiling and wagging his tail at Gromit's antics and I don't think I have ever laughed so hard for ages. It truly is brilliant film with so much attention paid to detail, it's humour that will appeal to young and old alike and I'd recommend everyone to go and see it (especially dog owners). We had a great time and felt very privileged to be able view the film prior to the release date, a truly grand day out and yet another memory filled picture for our album.’