There is no doubt in my mind that throughout history dogs have shown themselves to be the most heroic animals that have ever stood by mankind. The bond between animals and humans is very strong and there are stories of bravery, compassion and loyalty from many species that surpass even sacrifices of our own. But dogs have been there for us since the very beginning, adapting to our needs and helping us to advance.
Let’s take a quick look at some of these heroic canines as a reminder that even though they are under “our care” they may have given us more than we have reciprocated as a race.
Laika was a dog straight from the streets of Moscow, and the first animal to go into outer space. Her spaceship was the Sputnik 2 and was launched in November, back in 1957. Sadly, her return was never planned, so she was sacrificed in order to have a better understanding of the conditions our bodies would experience in outer space.
Seaman was a Newfoundland dog that traveled with Lewis and Clarke as they explored the United States, saving many lives and keeping their camp safe from predators.
Balto was an Alaskan malamute that led the sled team that saved the city of Nome, Alaska in 1925. The city was under an epidemic outburst of Diphtheria and, given the harsh weather conditions, the dogs were the only ones capable of bringing the town a life-saving serum, and so… they did!
Buddy was a female German shepherd dog that pioneered the concept of a “seeing-eye dog”, she was the first dog trained for the job in United States. Her outstanding behavior made it possible for many laws to be passed in favor of the use of service animals.
Barry was a Saint Bernard raised by the monks located in the Italian-Swiss border that originally developed the breed. Their dogs were bred to locate and save lost travelers in the deep snow and challenging weather, and this particular dog saved over 40 lives. Barry’s body is preserved at the Natural History Museum in Berne, Switzerland.
Even though the list goes on and on, I wanted to close it with a special dog. This one is a Pit-bull, and everybody is aware of the bad reputation that we have given to the breed, forgetting that they can also be victims of discrimination. Sergeant Stubby is the most decorated military dog in history! This pit-bull fought for 18 months in the trenches of France during world WW1 for a total of 17 different battles, warning his fellow soldiers of gas attacks, finding wounded men, and even capturing a German Spy.
These are just a few of the many stories that have been documented throughout history. Animal lovers understand that the love and devotion that our pets exude is yet another trait we should celebrate and imitate!