Dogs have become famous throughout history for various reasons. Maybe they appeared on the silver screen or won our hearts for their courage or loyalty. Here’s a few that resonated with me:
•Lassie: first appeared in 1943 as a devout Collie who goes on a 500-mile journey in order to reunite with her family. Played by a rough Collie named Pal in the original movie, on retirement ten generations of his descendants filled in for the role in subsequent movies.
•Rin Tin Tin: was a German Shepherd who was rescued from a French battlefield during World War I by American soldier, Lee Duncan. Upon returning home to the U.S., Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin to star in Hollywood films. His breakout role was in the 1923 film, Where the North Begins. After the film’s success, Rin Tin Tin went on to star in 28 films.
•Capitan: one of the most loyal dogs in history. After his master, Manuel Guzman, died Capitán’s family thought he had run away. But a few days later, when the family was visiting Guzman’s grave, they found Capitán devotedly waiting near the gravesite. Capitán returned home to visit his family briefly, but always returned to Guzman’s grave before nightfall. This happened continuously for six years.
•Laika: was a stray dog found on the streets of Moscow who trained for the Soviet space program in 1957. She was chosen to be the sole occupant of Sputnik 2. Unfortunately at that time, the space program didn’t possess the technology to de-orbit the spacecraft and bring Laika back to earth after the mission so she died on-board the space craft.
•The Littlest Hobo: is a Canadian television series (French title: Le Vagabond) based upon a 1958 American film of the same name. First aired in 1963, the concept of the show was that of “an ownerless dog” whose destiny was to befriend those who needed help. Despite attempts of the many people whom he helped to adopt him, he appeared to prefer to be on his own, and would head off by himself at the end of each episode.
•Balto: is famous for a life-saving medical delivery to Nome, Alaska, in 1925 where a serious outbreak of diphtheria happened. Due to extreme cold weather, all forms of transport became impossible so officials were forced to rely on dogsleds to deliver the antitoxins.
•Barry: the St Bernard, was famous in the early 19th century for reportedly saving the lives of forty people in the Swiss Alps, thus performing more mountain rescues than any other dog in history.
•Appollo: and his handler were the first K-9 unit to respond to the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks.
• Pavlov’s Dog: was involved in the study which led to the idea of classical conditioning. In 1890, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov’s study found that dogs would not only salivate when eating but also whenever he entered the room. This became one of the platforms for dog training in later years.
Your dog may not be famous right now but, who knows, maybe we’ll be writing about him/her in the next ten years!