“Dogs are man’s best friends.” It’s a saying that we are all familiar with. However, some dogs are more than the faithful companions we will remember for years to come. There are some pooches that manage the performance of making history, becoming parts of the memories of many other people aside from their owners. They’ve impressed the whole world, either through deeds that showed immense bravery, either by proving the extent of their loyalty. These are the 8 Most Famous Dogs Of All Time, which are here to prove us all that humans aren’t the only ones capable of incredible achievements.
The first living and breathing creature that managed to break through Earth’s atmosphere wasn’t a human. Laika is undoubtedly the most famous dog in history, for managing to give us all hope that outer space’s boundaries weren’t impossible to cross. Initially a stray dog, she was recruited by several Soviet scientists with the sole intention of being trained for the space program.
After going through intensive training, she was the one selected to board the Sputnik 2 ship which sent her in a place no other dog had ever been before. Unfortunately, spaceships at the time had no “return option,” but Soviet officials ensured us that Laika was peacefully euthanized soon after the level of oxygen started dropping.
When a dog has had a statue made to honor it, then you know something truly astonishing must have happened. Hachiko’s statue is in Odete, Japan, his city of origins. Hidesaburo Ueno, his owner, traveled back and forth between Odete and Tokyo via train. Hachiko would go to the train station at a precise hour and, every day, he would wait for him at the entrance. Unfortunately, in May 1925, Ueno didn’t show up anymore, having passed away due to a harsh hemorrhage.
This didn’t make Hackiko’s loyalty waiver since he continued to travel to the train station every day, where he continued to wait for his beloved human. He continued doing this for nine years, only being stopped by death. The Akita Inu was found lifeless in 1935, near the vicinity of the Shibuya station.
Appollo was only one of the 350 search-and-rescue dogs that became heroes of the tragic terrorist attacks of 9/11. He and his human partner Peter Davis relentlessly searched for survivors for as much as 16 hours every day. The missions of the SAR police officers and their dogs have been documented by Animal Planet, which noted that the dogs seemed equally heartbroken as their partners when they found victims.
The SAR teams, Appollo included, saved numerous lives in the aftermath of the attacks, and they have undoubtedly become heroes worthy of being celebrated in years to come.
Lex and his partner, Marine Corps Cpl. Dustin J. Lee, were stationed in Fallujah, Iraq. When an explosive attack was launched on their camp, Lee lost his life and Lex suffered serious injuries. The truly amazing part of this story is the fact that the German shepherd refused to leave the side of his deceased soldier, despite being in need of urgent medical examinations. The medics had to forcefully pull him away from Lee’s body in order to treat his wounds. Having been left unable to continue his duty for the Marines, Lex became the first working military dog that was permitted a premature retirement. He was adopted by Jerome and Rachel Lee, and then became a therapy dog, visiting war veterans in hospitals and helping them with their healing process. Lex died aged 13 in 2012.
Having been left unable to continue his duty for the Marines, Lex became the first working military dog that was permitted a premature retirement. He was adopted by Jerome and Rachel Lee and then became a therapy dog, visiting war veterans in hospitals and helping them with their healing process. Lex died aged 13 in 2012.
Unlike his other canine fellows on this list, Benji was a fictional hero on the big screens. The 1974 movie Benji melted the hearts of audiences by telling the story of a mixed-breed pooch that went to great lengths to save two kidnapped children. The part was played by a pup named Higgins, who’d been adopted from the Burbank Animal Shelter. Amazingly, Benji’s impact didn’t stop here since over a million dogs were adopted in the year when Benji’s fame was at its peak.
I’m sure there’s hardly any need to explain Toto’s origins because most of you probably already know. This definitely says a lot about the influence the small mutt has had on the world. Known as Dorothy’s dog in the popular movie adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, Toto was such an iconic figure that over 30% of small dog breed owners have named heir pooches after him. The real life star behind the fictive pup was a 5-year-old terrier named Terry, whose career in the movie industry continued to flourish beyond the success of The Wizard of Oz.
This Collie lived the real life version of Lassie’s story, proving an unshakeable devotion to his family. In 1923, Bobbie was traveling alongside his family, having gotten separated from them at some point. Although his owners turned the world upside down in their searches for him, they eventually had to give up and return home. “Giving up” wasn’t a concept understood by Bobbie, who traveled over four thousand kilometers all across the United States in his quest to return home. Six months since his disappearance, the family found Bobbie on their doorstep, clearly worn out from his long journey.
Despite its small size, this Yorkshire terrier was a true WWII survivor. She was found in 1944 by Cpl. William A. Wynne, who immediately grew fond of her. The two of them became inseparable, sharing everything from food ratios to sleeping bags. Smoky managed to elude over 150 air raids, also surviving a destructive typhoon in Oklahoma.
Moreover, she saved the lives of her owner and his comrades on multiple occasions with her fine danger detection senses. With her help, the soldiers managed to stop in time many incoming fires. Smoky became a mascot of WWII, for her incredible ability to beat odds and be a survivor, and she is considered today as one of the first therapy dogs on record.
These 8 Most Famous Dogs Of All Time have shaped history forever, but if you think about it, every dog is the personal hero of its owner.
Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.