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A dog truly is man’s best friend. Dogs are smart. Dogs are loyal. Dogs are brave. They provide companionship, protection and love without asking for anything in return. We spoil them with treats and act as though they are a member of the family, because in reality, they are.
Throughout history, dogs have lived everywhere across the globe. From the North Pole to the South Pole, and even the Oval Office—famous dogs have left their paw print upon the world. Here is a list of famous canines and their accomplishments:
Igloo was the dog that discovered the South Pole with his owner, Admiral Richard Byrd. His gravesite, in the shape of an iceberg, sits in Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery in Dedham, Massachusetts.
Hachiko was an Akita Inu that lived in Japan, near the city of Odete. Every morning Hachi would walk with his owner Hidesaburo Uneo, to the train station where Uneo would board the train to his job at Tokyo University. When Professor Uneo would return home at the end of the day, Hachi would be waiting for him and the two would return home together. Each day the two would follow the same routine until one morning in 1925 when Uneo suffered a hemorrhage and died. Hachi would continue his daily trek to Shibuya Station for the next nine years to wait for his master. The loyal and faithful companion died in 1935. Hachi was cremated and his ashes were buried in Aoyama Cemetery, Minato Tokyo. His final resting place is beside that of his beloved owner.
Appollo and his handler Peter Davis were members of the K-9 Unit of the New York City Police Department. On September 11, 2001, Appollo, a German Shepherd, and Davis, a police officer, were responsible for search and rescue operations at the site of the World Trade Center. For his work Appollo was awarded the Dickin Medal, the AKC Award for Canine Excellence. Appollo died in 2006, between 13 and 14 years of age.
Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier found by Cpl. William A. Wynne in 1944 during World War II. Smoky had been living in the jungle in New Guniea when she was discovered by Wynne. The two became instant companions sharing a tent and rations. Smoky followed Wynne wherever he went, surviving 150 air raids and a typhoon, in Okinawa, Japan. Smoky saved Wynne’s life on several occasions, going on to become a WWII mascot. She was also the first known, recored, therapy dog.
Balto was living in Nome, Alaska, in 1924 with a team of sled dogs. Diptheria struck this small, remote village, on the edge of the Bering Sea in January 1925. The epidemic took its toll on residents living in the village because the nearest town, Anchorage, was more than 500 miles away. Anchorage was also the closest place to pick up the serum needed to save the lives of those living in Nome. Winter that year was brutal. Planes were not flying which meant the only route to Anchorage was by ground, by sled. Twenty mushers were brave enough to volunteer to make the journey even if it meant putting themselves in harms’ way. They followed the 650-mile freight route, commonly known as The Iditarod Trail. This famous trail connected Nome to the railroad station in Nenana, Alaska.
The serum arrived in Nenana on January 27, 1925. It passed from one team of dogs to the next, each team traveling between 24 and 52 miles. The last team to pick up the serum was the team led by Balto, a husky, and his musher Gunnar Kaasen. It took Kaasen and his team five days, or approximately 127 hours to deliver the serum to Nome. They arrived in Nome on February 2, 1925. Balto died in 1933, at the age of 14. He is remembered today, by a bronze statue that sits in Central Park, in New York City. The route Balto and Kassen took in Alaska is recognized every year in March when mushers from all over the world race in the world famous Iditarod Dog Sled Race.
These are just a few of the many famous dog heroes that have left their paw print on history. Many more are immortalized by statues, movies, and headstones. To see a complete list of canine heroes, visit www.dognotebook.com.
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