Woof! Woof! Whimper! BARK!
Bark! GROWL. BARK! BARK! GRRR. Baroo?
Wau, wau, wau! AWOOOO.
Actor Week concludes with German Shepherd dog facts, because I had a bad sleep, there’s murder in my heart, dogs soothe me, and this breed is relevant to the theme.
Weirdly enough, this quintessential breed only officially came into existence in 1899 due to the efforts of Max von Stephanitz. His goal was to combine the various German sheepdogs into the perfect, super intelligent, super strong working dog. They were the original top pick for guide dogs, and a LOT of them were used in WWII. Imagine this majestic dog, drifting in from the heavens from a goddamned parachute before proceeding with their mission. So bad ass.
And then breeders of the stupid type did their level best to ruin these dogs by selecting them for crippling physical problems, because who cares so long as they look good. It’s true that the problems came about during the breed’s genesis, but it’s like scratching a bug bite until it’s a big, bloody, pus-filled, scarring mess.
Strongheart here was born in 1917 in Germany and worked as a police dog and Red Cross dog before his broke owner tearfully sent him to a trusted friend in America. While performing in dog shows, he was discovered by a director, had his name changed, and proceeded to star in six films. His success paved the way for other GS stars, like Rin Tin Tin and Canadian icon, the Littlest Hobo. All three did much to popularize this breed.
The second dog pictured is Nico, a German Shepherd / Everything mix of fond family memory. He was a shelter mutt who was intelligent and needy in equal measure. He expressed joy with a sound that put one in mind of a dying moose. When someone came home, he’d make that noise while padding about with a random shoe in his mouth. Nico was good.