More About the Author
Oh where do we begin when truth is greater than fiction?
Bill Wynne, of Irish descent, spent his early years in an orphanage and running the streets of Cleveland where he learned much about dogs. A poor school student, he found his way into an elective photography course in high school. That developed into his main career for 50 years as a photographer and journalist with NASA and The Cleveland PLAIN DEALER ~ eventually leading him into the nation's second largest High School's Hall of Fame (2006) and the 2009 class of the Ohio Senior Citzens' Hall of Fame (for life time achievement as a journalist author, inventor, and decorated WWII Veteran). After his acceptance speech in the State House, he was asked to tell about how he got Smoky, "YORKIE DOODLE DANDY."
This is an incredible memoir about a miraculous tiny dog. Named miraculous by the foremost dog authority of the 20th Century, Maxwell Riddle simply states, "Smoky became a miracle, the greatest dog I ever knew and far greater than any I have read about." Smoky began as a miracle find in a New Guinea jungle foxhole in 1944.
Bill Wynne, a 21 year old airman from Cleveland in MacArthur's 5th Air Force, purchased Smoky - a four lb. Yorkie - for 2 Australian pounds ($6.44) so the owner could get back in a poker game. While in Wynne's hands, Smoky became the greatest trained dog of her time. In the meantime, Smoky gained a series of untouchable titles by her wonderous ability and exploits both deliberate and accidental. More amazing, they both had to learn her training by trial and error: in New Guinea's steaming jungles; on the baking coral rock Island of Biak at the equator; and while always moving on as part of the most forward airbase stations with the 26th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron.
The little dog's training done in spare time was mixed with deadly adventures of air raids and flying on combat missions to Borneo and those islands in between, and up into the lower Philippines. During this period Smoky lost her good conduct medal for a year when she had a surprise puppy. Bill reluctantly took her along on 12 combat missions with the 3rd Emergency Rescue Squadron Catalinas. Settling arguments among his friends who questioned who'd get Smoky "if Wynne gets knocked off," Wynne declared, "The heck with you guys, if we go down, we'll go down together."
Smoky's credits are massive. Some are:
- "Champion Mascot in the SWPA" -- YANK Magazine 1944, for parachute jumping;
- "Most Useful Dog in America" -- AMERICAN MAGAZINE, 1950;"
- The first Therapy Dog of record"-- Animal Planet;
- "She is the dog credited for drawing attention to a then obscure breed with 65 AKC registered pups in 1945," -- Yorkshire Terrier, - POPULAR DOG , to the now second most popular breed in the U.S."
The 41 photos are both testimonials and sensational. Yorkie Doodle Dandy is "a keeper" among avid readers, those with military interests and dog lovers. The book has inspired six memorials nationally, two Animal Planet shows, a 3.5 minute special historical spot during the broadcast of the WESTMINSTER Dog Show, 2008 and documentary. Readers say, "You'll laugh and you will cry when reading about Smoky, who is still a true celebration of life. Bill later wonders, "Was she an angel in a foxhole?" With a smash ending you'll find it easy to decide.
(Photo of author, Bill Wynne, at the "Smoky and Dogs of All Wars" Memorial located in Rocky River Reservation in the Cleveland Metroparks (Ohio).