Snowbear Great Pyrenees
International Great Pyrenees Review

Sonya Larsen and Paul Strang
Volume 1 Number 1
June 1972
International Great Pyrenees Review
Editors/Publishers Sonya Larsen and Paul Strang
Volume 1 Number 1
June 1972

Presented with permission of Paul Strang
Cover Art
Artist Joan Butler
The Power Of The Pages

A Special Feature Article
Steve Berman

The International Great Pyrenees Review was created by Sonya Larson and Paul Strang in 1972.

Paul recognized the need for a quality publication that would present the breed to the Pyrenean fancy both on the national as well as the international scene.

As a decades long world traveler to all points Pyrenean, Paul recognized the wide communications gap between serious breeders and exhibitors that were separated by oceans.

Breeders primarily communicated by hand written letters or letters rolled off of an Underwood or a Smith-Corona during the early 70s'.

Costly minute by minute long distance telephone calls too occasionally connected breeders.

Up-to-date information about available puppies, young show prospects, stud dogs, and bloodlines was often time consuming and difficult to find.

Paul was primarily the editor-in-chief of the I.G.P.R, overseeing the procurement of interesting articles, photographs and other content, while Sonya oversaw the many business and subscription aspects of the new publication.

Given the instant success and the time demands of the new publication, Paul and Sonya often "wore all hats".

The magazine was launched to a world-wide Great Pyrenees audience in June of 1972 and, the first issue was an immediate sell out!

Demand for the new I.G.P.R. exceeded supply and the June, 1972 issue became a highly desired breed collectable within just a few months of its release.

The I.G.P.R. featured a variety of articles and regional news by the foremost breed authorities and serious fanciers of the day, including: Mary W. Crane; Edith K. Smith; Paul D. Strang; Dr. James Giffin; Carol Kentopp; Carolyn Hardy; Dorothy Magoffin; John Cobb; Evelyn Stuart; Joyce Stannard; Constance Prince; Lady Celia Morris; Sqd. Ldr. Pete Gilbert; Helen Weller; Guy Mansencal; Dr. R. Giralt; Denise Tudhope; Ranee van Eck; Karen Harrison; Renee Millington and a cadre of other notable Pyrenean personas.

Photo: Gift of Paul Strang  Collection of Steve and Mary Berman

Center: Sonya Larsen to the left of Julie the Pyrenean and Joyce Stannard to the right of Julie the Pyrenean.

Standing from left to right:
Constance Prince, Renee Millington, Pete Gilbert, Mary W. Crane, Joan Passini-Birkett, Denise Tudhope, Helen Weller.

Sonya's trip to England in 1973 included attending dog shows and a dinner at which Mary Crane was the guest of honor.

This is an outstanding photograph of some of the illuminaries of the breed who were also important contributors to the I.G.P.R.

Historic articles and photographs were the magazine's forte over the years and were always eagerly anticipated by the readership.

In the I.G.P.R. the world could read the translated writings of Mons. Bernard Senac-Lagrange, learn about "the spike collar", and see rare and and fascinating early French photographic postcards of the breed.

Articles and historic photographs featuring such prominent kennels as Basquaerie, Cote de Neige, Quibbletown, Soleil, Balibasque, Laudley, Bergerie, Pontoise, Langladure, Comte de Foix, and others filled the magazines' pages and kept subscribers renewing year after year.

Excerpt from I.G.P.R. Oct 1973, Volume 2 Number 3
Presented with permission of Paul Strang

Marjorie Butcher, Cote de Neige, was one of the most important breeders in USA history.

This outstanding Cote de Neige article by Edith K. Smith is representative of the outstanding history articles featured in the I.G.P.R.

Prominent and educational topics included the outstanding Great Pyrenees health articles, structure articles and, articles on breeding, grooming, Junior Showmanship, tracking, and obedience.

Articles about the Great Pyrenees as a working dog and a predator control dog, illustrated the livestock guardian dog heritage of the breed.

Many subscribers were first introduced to the Turkish Sheepdog, the Slovakian Chuvatch, the Pyrenean Sheepdog, the Kuvaszok, the Maremma and other breeds whose duties parallel or compliment the Pyrenean, in the I.G.P.R.

Show results from Great Pyrenees Specialties gave the I.G.P.R. readership up-to-date news of important wins.

Some Favorite Covers

Left - October, 1975:  This antique  steel engraving, "The Morning Ride", started a collector's run on the 1851 Godey's Lady's Book in which it appeared;
Center - February, 1978: Sonya Larsen, Helen Weller, and others traveled to Bagneres de-Bigorre, France and encountered this charming local lady in her native dress with her magnificent Pyrenees;
Right - October, 1977: This engaging lithograph, circa 1834, was discovered in a St Savin's, France shop by Sonya. 

Regional columnists representing the far and wide corners of the Pyrenean world brought their localized news to faraway Pyrenean mailboxes.

Via the popular regional columns, Pyrenees news from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, India, Denmark, Sweden, "The Pyrenees" and, the USA was delivered to your living room for a $4.00 annual subscription for 3 issues.

The "original" subscription price was to be $3.50 per year for 3 issues but, higher than expected Volume 1 Number 1 publication costs and postage costs necessitated a "rate hike" to $4.00 per year.

Many advertisements featured fine photographs and highlights of heralded show winning Pyrenees as well as the up-and-coming dogs of the day.

Those great breeder and kennel ads remain today, more than 40 years after their publication, excellent references and resources in pedigree and historic research.

Paul's vision for a quality publication in which to engage the world-wide Pyrenean fancy was realized and realized beyond his expectations.

Great Pyrenees breeders who would otherwise never have met nor communicated came to learn of each other's dogs and bloodlines in the I.G.P.R.

The I.G.P.R. articles and advertisements sparked interests in dogs and bloodlines that may otherwise have remained unfamiliar or unknown to many breeders.

Many pedigrees and photographs were mailed across the county and across the oceans as breeders sought to improve and enhance their breeding programs.

The I.G.P.R., the creation of Sonya and Paul, provided an outstanding opportunity to bring the far corners of the Pyrenean world closer together during its 10 year run.

More Favorite Covers

Left - February, 1974: Five charming bitches from Mme. Giralt's Elevage du Comte de Foix;
Center - February, 1973:  Quibbletown Mighty Peer, C.D.X., owned and trained by Fances Pavey, Ohio;
Right - February, 1979:  Joan Gross, NY, provided this cover photo of the painting of John Foyston Grantham, in his robes as "Gentleman's Commoner",  and his dog at Oxford, England, c. 1830s. 

Dr. Jim Giffin, the prominent author and an I.G.P.R. advertiser, told this writer that his advertisements in the I.G.P.R. produced more inquiries for puppies, stud service, pedigrees and his Elysee kennel brochure than any other advertising resource.

And the inquiries came to Jim from breeders around the world, a true testimonial to the far reach of the I.G.P.R. 

Jim authored a number of outstanding articles for the I.G.P.R. and became a Contributing Editor to the publication.

Articles by Jim included "Structural and Topographical Anatomy in the Pyrenean" (February 1976) and "What Happened to the Brown Bear Head?" (October 1974) were among his outstanding contributions.

Through the success of the I.G.P.R. Paul recognized there was a demand for a new and comprehensive Great Pyrenees book.

Paul had long envisioned editing a Great Pyrenees Encyclopedia, a comprehensive, massive single volume tome, or perhaps a multiple volume set.

The proposed Great Pyrenees Encyclopedia would include several chapters by Paul as well as an additional 15 - 20 chapters contributed by Great Pyrenees authorities from around the world.

Although several contributed chapters and an array of historic and interesting photographs arrived for inclusion, time and other constraints unfortunately curtailed the proposed encyclopedia.

Paul discussed with Jim Giffin, the outstanding contributing author to the I.G.P.R., their joint authorship of a traditional breed book, comprehensive, authoritative, and featuring an outstanding array of photographs.

The collaborative effort of Paul D. Strang and James M. Giffin, MD, resulted in their heralded work,  The Complete Great Pyrenees, Howell, 1977.

The Strang Giffin book was the first major Great Pyrenees publication since the 1949 Mary Crane 3rd edition and the Strang Giffin book became a classic in its own right.

And so the I.G.P. R. brought together two outstanding authors who would eventually write their outstanding breed book that would achieve acclaim and success world-wide.

"The International Great Pyrenees Review brought together,

in word and in photography,

the world of the Great Pyrenees."

Steve Berman
About the Author

Steve Berman with Paul Strang
April 1983

Reminising about past projects
and discussing new ones.

Steve Berman was involved with the I.G.P.R. during it's pre-publication inception, assisting Paul in article and photograph procurement as well as serving for several years as a proof reader, historic fact checker and also, as the interpreter of the historic photos and documents that appeard in the IGPR.

Paul was very pleased with this online tribute to his International Great Pyrenees Review.

Steve was also a contributing Regional Columnist to the International Great Pyrenees Review during the magazine's early years.

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