Kabar, the Doberman Pinscher Ghost

Since 1927, there has been a memorial service every August 23 at the Cathedral Mausoleum for Rudolph Valentino. It begins at exactly 12:10 PM, the time of Valentino’s death from perforated ulcers mimicking appendicitis, a condition now called “Valentino’s Syndrome.” Of late, it’s even been live streamed on Facebook. There are speakers, readings and displays of Valentino memorabilia, and by now, younger readers may be wondering; Who the heck is Rudolph Valentino?

The “Latin Lover” was film’s first sex symbol, a silent screen movie star who was said to have invented sex appeal. Known as the “Great Lover” of the 1920s, the 31 year old actor carried the punch of Zac Efron, George Clooney, Chris Pine, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one.

Valentino’s sudden death in 1926 made headlines across the world. It’s probable that some of the same women who fainted when they saw him in The Sheik were among the thousands who showed up at his funeral home to grieve and say good-bye. Estimates are that some 75,000 people were rushed past his bier during the 23 hours he was on display, and an estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of New York City to pay their respects at his funeral.

Perfect, he wasn’t. Valentino was said to be a lothario, and because he failed to wait a full year before remarrying after his divorce, he was arrested on bigamy charges. That said, Valentino loved animals, especially horses and dogs, and while he had many “special” dogs, his “heart dog” was a Doberman Pinscher named, “Kabar.”

“Kabar,” born in France, was given to Valentino by a Belgian diplomat when the pup was a few months old. From the beginning, Valentino and his dog were inseparable. “Kabar” went everywhere with his owner, traveled in First Class, and slept in his master’s room.  We’ll never know why Valentino didn’t take “Kabar” with him on his last trip heading east in 1926, but though the two were 3,000 miles apart, “Kabar” started a mournful howling at the time of Valentino’s death and remained inconsolable.

When Valentino’s brother, Alberto, arrived, “Kabar” improved marginally, but only for a time. “Kabar” was almost constantly sick after the death of his beloved master, and even ran away only to return months later at Valentino’s Hollywood house in rough shape. A veterinarian was called in, but “Kabar” refused to eat and died within a few days on January 17, 1929.  Like his owner, “Kabar’s” passing was reported in newspapers, including the Chicago Daily Tribune

Alberto wanted to bury “Kabar” at Falcon Lair, Valentino’s estate, but city regulations forced him to bury the Doberman at a pet cemetery, and the nearest one was 22 miles from Hollywood, the Los Angeles Pet Park. There, “Kabar” was laid to rest alongside MGM’s lion, “Tawny,” and the Pit Bull, from ‘The Little Rascals.”

Kabar,Doberman Pinscher,Rudolph Valentino,ghost,grave,

Spiritualists say that “Kabar” is still tied to this world because he wasn’t able to reunite with his owner.  His ghost has been seen at Valentino’s mansion, especially around the actor’s birthday, and a group of mediums saw the dog while celebrating Valentino’s life in 1948. Mostly, however, “Kabar” haunts the grounds of his cemetery where people have heard him barking and panting, and some have even reported that their hands were licked while visiting his grave. “Kabar’s” grave has been described as one of the most haunted graves in California.

Images from Pinterest and credited upon receipt of information

9 thoughts on “Kabar, the Doberman Pinscher Ghost”

  1. I am so impressed with the love an animal has to be tied to their master, in such as way as this. I wonder if in the spirit world if Valentino was attached to Kabar? This is a unique and inspirational story. So many questions come to my mind about others who have felt Kabar’s presence. I wonder how recently this has happened? Thanks for writing such an intriguing story as this. I thank you very much.

    • Thank you for writing, Patricia, you raise some intriguing questions, and we guess we’ll have to become spirits, ourselves, to find out….

    • Valentino died in 1926 so it was a long tme ago. I don’t know if the hauntings are still happening.

      • We don’t know with certainty either, Lisa, but our romantic streak hopes so….(unless it means the poor dog is still not at peace…)

  2. I hope Valentino and Kabar are together. Nothing like the unconditional love of a dog,and what a lucky dog at that,

    • We choose to believe they ARE together, Jacqueline – a devotion that strong?

  3. Yes, it was a long time ago … in our present lives … but there is no time in the Afterlife. Only “Now.”

    • Since we haven’t had anyone come back and tell us one way or the other, we’ll never really know what happens when our pulse stops beating….

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