Jean, a.k.a. “The Vitagraph Dog” is credited for being the first dog actor in the USA.
While working on an article about a new technology called “moving pictures”, 19 year old Laurence Trimble found himself in the Vitagraph Studios production facility watching Florence Turner (a.k.a. “the Vitagraph girl”) star in a film. The director needed a dog to play opposite Florence and Laurence just happened to have his border collie, Jean, with him.
Little did any of them know this seemingly small decision was going to set the foundation for dogs in movies for the next 100+ years. Jean was such a hit with the fans that she starred in 18-20 short films (some uncredited like “A Sailor’s Sacrifice” and “A Tin-Type Romance”) in a short 3 year career. In her career Jean played a companion and beloved pet by some of the most well-known movie stars in Vitagraph’s studios. Sadly, very few films of Jean have survived the times. So far, only “A Sailor’s Sacrifice” and “A Tin-Type Romance” are known to still exist today.
In 1913 Laurence moved to England to start his own movie production company but his plans were cut short by the outbreak of World War I in 1916. Laurence moved back to the USA but sadly Jean died in 1916. While Laurence and Vitagraph did try to continue Jean’s legacy with Shep, he never gained the popularity that Jean had.
I’ve added a political page up (you can clock on the link or the political link in the menu bar). There are many acts and bills in the US Congress that deal directly with animal welfare and should be brought to light. Each entry will have links to PopVox (more popular) and OpenCongress (buggy but lets you email your representatives and senators directly).
I am putting these in their own page because I know not all visitors are in the USA and some do not want to see politics all over this site. This way they are available to those who want to see it but out of the way so not everyone has to read it.
The “Roaring 20’s” was a period in the USA’s history where the economy was booming more than it had ever in the history of the USA and quite possibly of the world. “The Great War” was over and Europe was on the road to recovery while the USA was isolated enough from the war that it was able to continue on with the new advances the war brought. With good times, people want to be entertained and this decade “moving pictures” really took off. Films were no longer short films (10-20 minutes) but actual films (60+ minutes) and a new form of moving picture called a “talkie” (movie with sound) was emerging thus solidifying the moving picture’s place in modern society.
(IMO) One of the most underrated breeds of dog in existence is the greyhound. Most people think of greyhounds as racing dogs and while most are used for racing, many retired (and some not born to racing kennels) greyhounds go on to live very long lives with families. Some, go even further than that. Some have gone on to acting careers like Winnie and Mia who co-starred with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in “Charlie Wilson’s War”.
Greyhounds make great pets and are quite often referred to as “big cats” or “cats in a dog costume”. They have a very short coat so they do not shed that much, are typically not barkers, are smart enough to understand some obedience, and while they do love to be with their people they are independent enough so they are not on you 24-7. Continue reading
Rescue organizations around the world take in abused, abandoned, neglected, and other dogs that cannot be cared for. These organizations are usually run by volunteers who love the breeds (or any dog). They pull dogs out of shelters and work to get them into a permanent and loving home. If you are looking for a dog and have a good idea of what breed you want I highly recommend looking up a local rescue organization. Unlike shelter and puppy store dogs, these dogs are temperament tested to ensure that they go to the right home.
Greyhound rescue is the largest rescue organization in the USA. They take in many retired racing dogs and adopt them out to loving homes. Greyhounds make great pets for many reasons. Typically they are very sweet, are not very vocal and have extremely short coats so there is very little to no shedding. They also love to please their pack members and can usually be trained in basic obedience fairly easily.
Malinois are a highly intelligent and high drive breed (typically). While malinois are not for beginners, they do make excellent and loyal companions. If you are experienced with high drive dogs (like working German Shepehrds) and are looking for such a dog, why not contact malinois rescue?