Indie film ‘Dog Jack’ gets local screening

Tracy Doyle of Loves Park demonstrates a dog’s obedience and ability to answer hand signals oar visual commands following a screening of the film. (Photo by Jon McGinty)

By Jon McGinty
Free-lance Writer

Dog Jack, an independent film about a runaway slave and his dog who join the Union Army during the Civil War, was shown in Sycamore, Ill., Jan. 13-16. Encore screenings are scheduled for 5 p.m., Friday-Sunday, Jan. 20-22, at The Sycamore State Theater, 420 W. State St., Sycamore, Ill.

The movie, narrated by Louis Gossett Jr., was filmed partly in this area during the summer of 2005, using such locations as Midway Village Museum and the Apple River Fort at Elizabeth. Several local re-enactors were used as extras in the film, including Terry Dyer, Del and Phyllis Tedrick, and other members of Battery G re-enactment group.

Jack” is played by Piglet, a 3-year-old deaf pitbull, owned and trained by Tracy Doyle of Loves Park. Doyle “rescued” Piglet from an animal shelter in Janesville, Wis., when the dog was only 8 weeks old, and began her obedience training at 6 months, using hand signals. Piglet has since become a certified therapy dog and visits patients in local hospitals and nursing homes. Doyle and her partner, Richard Zimmerman, own American Ragtime Company, in which they preserve and perform historical music from the ragtime era.

Dog Jack is scheduled for release by Screen Media films Jan. 31. It will be available on DVDs, Netflix and cable, in stores and online. Visit

From the Jan. 18-24, 2012, issue

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