Dog is undisputedly man’s best friend; we give them our best because they give us their all. A lot of times you hear people coin the phrase, “Who saved who?” Well, in this case, I have some pretty special canines here. Canines that have definitely saved their humans. It is incredible how loving and devoted these dogs are to people and leaves no doubt in your mind of how special your dog is.
I know I am totally snuggling mine close right now!
Here are five pretty awesomely heroic dogs throughout history.
Trakr was a search and rescue German Shepherd who, along with his partner, James Symington helped in the chaos of September 11. Trakr is claimed to have found the last survivor of the 9/11 attacks amidst the rubble there. After Trakr passed away in 2009, his owner entered a contest to have him cloned and won. In June 2009, five little Trakr legacies were born; the first litter of cloned dogs. A pretty remarkable feat!
One of my personal favorite stories, Balto is an amazing legend hailing from Alaska. The lead sled dog of a team during the 1925 diphtheria outbreak, Balto had the important task of running his team to Nome for the antitoxin. Due to the extreme weather, no other mode of transportation was possible. The sled dogs took a week to get from Nome to Anchorage where the only medicine was available. This was an incredible journey, especially for that time and done in record time you could say. The modern day Iditarod that mimics this trek takes at least two weeks.
When Balto returned, he was given a hero’s welcome. Many years later, a statue was erected in his memory in Central Park, in New York, USA.
Sgt. Stubby — World War 1
Sgt. Stubby is a unique character with a decorated vest. He was first recognized as the 102nd Infantry’s mascot on the battle lines in France when he stealthed his way in, but quickly grew to much more than that.
A sweet-looking pitbull mix, Sgt Stubby was never suspected as a war dog. However, he was one of the greatest. With his sharpshooter nose and ears, Sgt Stubby’s main task was alerting the unit of oncoming gas attacks; a popular war tactic at this time with severe consequences.
The feat that gained Sgt Stubby his name (and rank) was sniffing out and revealing a German spy. He is the only dog to ever receive such a rank through combat.
There were many heroes on September 11, 2001; both human and canine. It was just another day for Micheal Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle. But as we all know, it would take a drastic turn. Roselle bravely led Micheal all of the way down the first tower after the plane hit it. A complete scenario of trust; Michael, being totally blind, had to rely on his voice commands and Roselle’s strong training.
Amazingly, she remained calm and even allowed other people to pet her to help ease their fear. Michael and Roselle made it to the lobby and out of the building only minutes before it collapsed. For a few years afterward, they traveled together on tours as spokes-messengers for the blind.
Roselle sadly passed away from a blood disorder in 2011.
We all know that while snow is beautiful to watch as it’s softly falling, it can turn deadly in a matter of minutes.
That’s just what happened for elderly couple Eve and Norman Fertig in the winter of 1999. The couple were owners of a Wildlife Rescue and of a half-wolf dog named Shana. Both Eve and Norman were 81 at the time. While a storm ripped through their property, the Fertig’s went to check their surroundings and were trapped by fallen trees.
With nothing but each other to keep warm, the couple were in a bad spot.
Shana, their wolfdog, came to the rescue. Using her powerful paws, she dug a 20 foot long tunnel to where her owners were clinging to life. She urged them to follow with a single bark, and they struggled their way to safety. Without Shana, they would have frozen to death.
It took Shana 5 months to recover from her intense digging mission, but that was nothing compared to the gratitude she received.
I could go on about the heroic feats that many dogs have demonstrated for their owners; but the list would be pages long! Dogs are truly amazing creatures and we are so lucky to have them in our lives. Some of us would truly be lost without them.