By Jordan Taylor. Reel Dogs Press. $19.95.
Granted, this well-researched, engaging gem is designed for a niche audience of film buffs and German shepherd fans, but rest assured, its vivid snapshots have general readership appeal, too.
Taylor, a Western Washington writer, begins this chronological by-decade work in 1921 with Strongheart (“Silent Call) and puts a wrap on it in 2010 with “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2,” which features two GSDs.
Taylor tracks the roller-coaster film ride of the GSD from Westerns, war, crime and wilderness Silver Screen features to Euro Westerns in the ‘60s and ‘70s and humor, independent and made-for TV films of the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century.
Each entry begins with a listing of the film title, year, German shepherd featured, trainer, director, co-stars, country and status of availability for purchase. She follows with a brief account of the film, the role of GSDs, the number of dogs used and anecdotal information.
The 233-page work includes an extensive list of empowering resources - web sites, books, magazines and other electronic sources – for additional information on the role of German shepherds in film.
“Wonder Dogs” packs a bite and a can-do spirit while serving as an impassioned homage to one breed’s incredible run of powerful – and entertaining – performances.