The More You Know - Dogs of History February 04 2014, 1 Comment

Dogs have been man's (and woman's!) best friend for thousands of years, and I think they will be for thousands more!  Here are a few that have made their mark (although I think you'll agree, all dogs make their marks many times a day...)
Smokey was a 4-pound Yorkshire Terrier who was found in the jungles on New Guinea.  She was taken in by an American soldier named Bill Wynne, and stayed with him for two years during World War II.  In addition to being a loving pet, she entertained troops and even saved Bill's life one time by alerting him to incoming fire.

After the war she went home with Bill to Cleveland, where she became a local hero.  They even erected a statue of her!  You can find out more at her official website: Yorkie Doodle Dandy.

Sgt. Stubby
Stubby was a Pit Bull mix who snuck his way onto the battlefield during World War I in France.  He was quickly adopted by an American division, and he used his keen ears and nose to alert the unit to incoming attacks, giving them time to put on their gas masks.

He had such a great nose that once he sniffed out a German spy, which earned him the promotion to sergeant.  He's the only dog to ever get that honor during combat!

Fala Roosevelt
Fala was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Scottish terrier, and he was so loved by the President that he traveled with him frequently.  In fact, he was so loved that he is the only presidential pet to be featured in a presidential memorial, as his statue is in the Roosevelt Memorial in Washington.

During the 1944 campaign, there were objections that Fala was costing the taxpayer's money.  President Roosevelt was so upset by this falsehood that he gave his famous "Fala speech" in which he said "I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself.  But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog!"

Argos is a very important dog in Greek mythology, and is pictured here with Odysseus and Penelope.  Argos was Odysseus's puppy, and he was strong and fast.  As the story goes, Odysseus left home for twenty, and returned home to find a very old Argo neglected and sleeping on a pile of cow manure. 

Odysseus re-entered his home disguised as beggar, and no one - not even his wife or best friend - recognized him.  Only Argo recognized him.  When Argo saw Odysseus, he wagged his tail, gave one final whimper, and died.

Lady was one of three dogs, out of twelve, to survive the sinking of the Titanic.  As the boat was sinking her owner, Margaret Hays, wrapped the puppy in a blanket and got on the life boat.  Everyone assumed Margaret was a carrying a baby, so she was able to slip the dog onto the lifeboat unchallenged.

There is also a sad story about another passenger who was traveling with her Great Dane.  The dog was too big for the life boats, and so her owner refused to leave her behind, and instead stayed on the sinking ship with her dog.

Hachiko loved his human parent more than anything, and would greet him at a train station in Tokyo as the man was coming home from work.  When the man died one day at work in 1925, Hachiko continued to show up a the train station every day.  He continued to show up at the train station at the same time every day for the rest of his life, even escaping from his new family.

Hachiko's loyalty was so inspiring that there is now a statue of him at the train station, as well as bronze paw prints in the exact spot he waited every day.

Picture Barry
Barry was a Swiss mountain dog who lived in the early 1800s, and was a predecessor of the modern St. Bernard.  Barry worked for the monks at the Great St. Bernard Hospice (hence the breed name) and was trained to rescue people who got lost in the Alps.  During his career he rescued about 40 people, included a small child who got lost in the snow.  He licked the child's face to keep him warm, and barked to get the monks attention.  When they couldn't reach the child because of the snow, Barry carried him on his back to safety.

The Hospice has always maintained one St. Bernard named Barry in his honor.  In fact, Barry is so loved by the Swiss that his body was preserved and is still on display at the Natural History Museum in Switzerland!