Photo above is of Freud and 2 of his chow puppies from Yofi’s first litter, Tattoun (named for Marie Bonaparte’s chow Tattoun) and Fo, named for Freud’s Stone Dog of Fo. The photo was taken in the summer of 1933 at Hohe Wart. Read more about the puppies in the outline below
Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939
was an Austrian neurologist, now known as the father of psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud became the owner of a series of Chow Chows, falling in love with canines not until he was in his 70’s when his daughter, and acclaimed psychotherapist, Anna, bought a wolfhound named “Wolf”. In 1928, Dorothy Burlingame, a close friend of Anna, gave Freud his own dog, a chow named Lün-Yu. Sadly, Lün-Yu died 15 months later, having wandered off on a train station in Salzburg en route to Vienna and turning up dead on the tracks a few days later. Freud was devastated and grieved for seven months before he was able to welcome Yofi (many times spelled Jofi), Lün-Yu’s sister, into his home.
Yofi was with Freud the longest time and often sat through therapy sessions and Freud noticed that the presence of his dog helped reduce tension in the room. Patients would open up more when Jofi was there, especially children and adolescents. Yofi was non-judgmental and a focused and silent observer. Yofi was also a good gauge of the mental state of Freud’s patients; he would sit farther away from the couch depending on how anxious the patient was. If a patient was depressed, Yofi would sit close to him or her, available for petting. Yofi was also a surprisingly accurate timekeeper, yawning and walking to the door at the 50-minute mark. SOURCE
Yofi died in 1937 and despite being devastated over her loss, Freud acquired another chow named Lün. By then, the war was upon them and the very next year the entire Freud family was forced to flee from the Nazis. Together with the new chow, they moved to a spacious brick house in North London with a large grassy garden. Today their home is a museum but Freud’s office was preserved as it was when he saw patients there, complete with the famous tapestry-draped couch and his round-framed spectacles. The house is also littered with the ghost traces of the family dogs. There is a framed photo of Anna as an old woman with her chow (named Yofi II after the first Yofi), a needlepoint portrait of Yofi II hanging in Anna’s old bedroom, a picture of Wolf hanging behind her loom, and a copy of the poem that “Wolf wrote” to Sigmund on his 70th birthday. SOURCE
BELOW THIS DETAILED OUTLINE LISTS ALL THE CHOWS THAT CAME INTO SIGMUND FREUD’S LIFE. SOURCE
NOTE: AFTER LUN -YU DIED IN 1929 ANOTHER “LUN” WAS ACQUIRED. I do need to find out more about the second Lun as this list shows both being Yofi’s sister?
1925. Anna Freud gets a German shepherd named Wolf. Her father is besotted, jealousy ensues. Anna writes poems to her father in the persona of the dog and gives him a picture of Wolf for his 7oth birthday.
1928. Dorothy Burlingame, a close friend of Anna, gives Freud his own dog, a chow named Lün-Yu.
August 1929. Lün-Yu dies about 15 months after Freud gets him, having wandered off on a train station in Salzburg en route to Vienna and turning up dead on the tracks a few days later. Freud is devastated and grieves for seven months.
March 1930. Freud brings Yofi, Lün-Yu’s sister, into his home. She has, presumably, been in the care of Dorothy Burlingame.
February 1931. Yofi has a litter of puppies (father not yet identified). Only one, Tatoun, survives.
October 1931. Tatoun dies, probably of distemper.
April 1933. Yofi has a second litter.
These puppies meet a worse fate than those in the first litter. Yofi eats part of her litter and the puppy Freud has designated for Bryher, the partner of one of his patients, the poet H.D., bites someone and has to be put down.
1936. Wolf dies.
January 11, 1937. Yofi goes into the veterinary hospital to have a pair of ovarian cysts removed. The surgery seems successful, but on January 14, three days after being released, Yofi dies of a heart attack.
January 15, 1937. Freud reacquires Lün, Yofi’s sister, from Dorothy Burlingame. (This is Lun II)
Lün had belonged to Freud for a time but had to be given away — first to the Deutsch family and then to the Burlingames — “because Yofi could not tolerate a rival.”
June 1938. The Freud family moves to London with Lün, who is quarantined for six months. Freud is often photographed visiting Lün in the quarantine kennels in the summer and fall.
September 1939. Sigmund Freud dies, outlived by Lün, who has avoided her master in his final weeks, most likely because of his necrotic jaw.
After his flight from Vienna because of fear of the Nazis, he went to London and there his chow was quarantined for six months. Freud, whose health was declining, visited his chow as often as he could. Lun, the four and a half-year-old chow bitch who arrived in London with her famous master, Professor Sigmund Freud, had taken up residence in North Kensington at the only quarantine kennels in London, and the only kennels in London which have been formed out of human dining and drawing rooms. Professor Freud made telephone inquiries about Lun’s health and the dog has barked happily back. SOURCE
THESE VIDEOS I FOUND BELOW ARE PRICELESS TIDBITS OF CHOW HISTORY WITH CAMEO APPEARANCES OF HIS CHOWS
BELOW FREUD AND HIS CHOW YOFI CAN BE SEEN AT TIME MARKER 1:26
BELOW FREUD AND YOFI ARE AT TIME MARKER 0:06 AS WELL AS 2:15-2:21
THE NEXT CHAPTER IN MY SIGMUND FREUD ARTICLE IS ABOUT THE BOOK –
TOPSY: THE STORY OF A GOLDEN HAIRED CHOW….CLICK HERE TO READ
The story reflects on Sigmund Freud’s own affection for, and use of, dogs in his analyses. It goes on to describe the relationship between Freud and author Marie Bonaparte and how dogs played a significant part in that companionship.
Caryl Myers says
Fabulous work, so pains takinly done with love, it shows through………………
Thank you so very much Caryl! I really appreciate you taking the time to read the article and comment. I wish I had more time in my day to work on the archive non stop!! I love this kind of “work”
Hi Dear Sandra, well I am sure you will be in the History Books as the most expert Lady in making resurch on this special and incredible Breed….The Chow Chow. My compliment for your work! We love you dearly! Your Original… Chow Chow “Rescue” ❤️Shirin.
Awww thank you so much for the very sweet words Helene and Shirin!!! just think so much of this started with your Lady Dunbar book with those pedigrees and photos. After doing this for longer now I realize they are even MORE important than originally thought. I need to do an update soon.!!!! Love you both to pieces!!!
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