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8 Bravest Dogs in History
5 years ago
| Surprise Me


By Noel Kirkpatrick,


The phrase “man’s best friend” has new meaning when you consider these brave canines. We highlight some of the bravest dogs in history, from a black poodle who fought in the Napoleonic Wars to the most loyal of all dogs. Pictured is the famous statue in Edinburgh, Scotland, of Greyfriars Bobby, a terrier who guarded the grave of his owner for 14 years.





Balto was the lead sled dog on the last leg of a famous, life-saving medical delivery to Nome, Alaska, in 1925. There was a serious outbreak of diphtheria in the city, and medical officials needed antitoxins to prevent the upper respiratory tract infection from spreading. The nearest doses were in Anchorage. Officials were forced to rely on dogsleds to deliver the antitoxins because the extreme cold made other modes of transport impossible. The run took seven days.


By the time Balto and his team were on the road with their cargo, sled driver Gunnar Kaasen (with Balto at left) could barely see in front of him and was forced to rely on the dogs to reach Nome without his direction. Balto was celebrated as a hero upon their arrival in Nome and later with a media tour. A statue was dedicated to him in Central Park in New York City.


Image credit: Brown Brothers/Wiki Commons

5 years ago


This 4-pound Yorkshire terrier lived large. Smoky was found in the jungle of New Guinea and soon was purchased by an American soldier, Bill Wynne. Wynne trained her, according to the Yorkie Doodle Dandy website, and the tiny, 7-inch dog accompanied him for two years during World War II. While abroad, she entertained troops and earned honors for her bravery, saving Wynne’s life on at least one occasion by warning him of incoming fire on a transport ship.


After the war, Smoky and Wynne went home to Cleveland, Ohio, and continued to entertain veterans and the public. She is memorialized with a statue in Lakewood, Ohio.


Image Credit: Copyright Wm. A. Wynne, 2011

5 years ago


Serving with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division, Sgt. Stubby was a pit bull mix who snuck his way onto the battlefields of World War I in France and became the unit’s mascot. Shortly after arriving, Stubby’s unit was hit with a gas attack. After that, Stubby — with his keen ears and nose — would alert his unit to incoming attacks to give the men time to put on gas masks.


Stubby became an ideal search-and-rescue dog. He sniffed out a German spy, earning him a promotion to sergeant, the only dog ever to receive such a promotion through combat.


Image credit: U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons

5 years ago


Hachiko, an Akita Inu, is one of the most loyal dogs in history. Hachiko would meet his owner every day at Shibuya Station in Tokyo as the owner returned from work. In 1925, the owner died while at work and never returned home. Hachiko returned to the train station day after day, even escaping from new owners to await the return of his deceased owner.


statue of Hachiko now stands at Shibuya Station, and the spot where Hachiko stood for many years is marked with a set of bronze paw prints.

Image credit: Wiki Commons



5 years ago


Dogs aren’t only man’s best friend, they also help one another. After an earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan in March, residents scrambled for shelter. The media was stunned by the dog who stayed by the side of an injured dog. The guard dog growled and barked at approaching humans, no doubt concerned for his canine companion’s welfare.


Eventually, rescuers were able to calm down the dog — enough to bring both dogs to safety.


Image Credit: LNeilB2/YouTube/Japan TV

5 years ago


A famous rescue dog from Hungary, Mancs (whose name means 'paw') was a member of the Spider Special Rescue Team of Miskolc, Hungary. Mancs and the team traveled around the world to search for survivors after earthquakes.


Mancs was known for his keen sense of smell and the clear signal he sent to rescuers to indicate if someone was alive under the rubble.


A statue of Mancs (at left) was erected in Miskolc in 2004, two years before his death.


Image: Rodrigo/Wikipedia

5 years ago


Moustache, a black poodle, is perhaps the oddest addition to the list. Parts of his story are believed to be fictitious, but Moustache’s fame spread far and wide, including a write-up in the New York Times.


His most accomplished moments are said to have occurred during the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, during which Moustache not only detected and cornered an Austrian spy (seen at left), but carried back the French flag to camp after losing a leg in an artillery blast. Moustache received a medal for his bravery and dedication.


Image credit: Wikipedia

5 years ago


Rags, a mixed-breed terrier, fought alongside the U.S. 1st Infantry division in World War I. Pvt. James Donovan stumbled upon the dog while he was in Paris — initially using the dog as an excuse to avoid being arrested for being away without leave. He returned to duty, bringing along the dog as a division mascot. Rags soon became a carrier dog, delivering notes across dangerous fields to various posts.


Rags and Donovan were both involved in a serious gas attack and were shipped back to the United States. Donovan died in the hospital, but Rags survived and became a celebrity around the country, eventually ascending to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was buried with military honors in Silver Spring, Md.

Image credit: U.S. Army Signal Corps/Wikipedia

Read more:

5 years ago

The last two are heartbreaking.

5 years ago

"Man's Best Friend"  


I think God spelled backwards is Dog is no accident 

5 years ago

Dogs love us no matter what ... they complete us and bring us peace (when they aren't going through the trash or chasing anything that moves.)  

5 years ago

(or getting into the cat box)

5 years ago

Ewwwww ~ Isn't that the truth. We need an emoti of dogs eating cat poo from the litter box.

5 years ago

I have to have a cat litter box with a lid and cat flap to prevent that. But it doesn't work! The number of times I have had to rescue a stuck dog!

5 years ago

Dogs are man's best friend but they sure do like to eat some nasty stuff


5 years ago

Lynn, we have the cat boxes in the garage (it's a huge garage, where the humans have a 'smoking lounge' and the cats also have their 'dining table') but if the dogs find their way in there unattended, the first thing they do is head toward the cat's toilet

5 years ago

Katii......sounds like my balcony!!


Taking the pair of them for a walk is a complete joy! There are a lot of cats here. Every time they stop and sniff I have to check if they are doing their "business" or eating something disgusting!


People say that having pets relieves stress............all I can say is, they don't have pets like mine!

5 years ago

People say that having pets relieves stress... -Lynn


I think we can amend that to say "pets relieve the stress they cause"  - so, it's a wash

5 years ago

We have chairs and hang out on the front porch too - weather permitting, but when it's 100 degrees w/90% humidity or -2 degrees, the garage it is, but even under those harsh conditions we don't 'linger' there either .... it's 'puff puff, OK, I'm outta here'


5 years ago

War Dog


Dogs have been fighting alongside U.S. soldiers for more than 100 years, seeing combat in the Civil War and World War I. But their service was informal; only in 1942 were canines officially inducted into the U.S. Army. Today, they're a central part of U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as of early 2010 the U.S. Army had 2,800 active-duty dogs deployed (the largest canine contingent in the world). And these numbers will continue to grow as these dogs become an ever-more-vital military asset.


So it should come as no surprise that among the 79 commandos involved in Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in Osama bin Laden's killing, there was one dog -- the elite of the four-legged variety. And though the dog in question remains an enigma -- another mysterious detail of the still-unfolding narrative of that historic mission -- there should be little reason to speculate about why there was a dog involved: Man's best friend is a pretty fearsome warrior.


Above, a U.S. soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his dog leap off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during water training over the Gulf of Mexico as part of exercise Emerald Warrior on March 1.




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5 years ago

There was a movie made about the Japanese dog Hachiko.  Well worth a watch.

5 years ago

Thanks, Jim!  I didn't know about the movie.  I found it at Netflix and added it to my que


Hachi: A Dog's Tale

Our best guess for Katii:

 4.3 stars

Average of 415,575 ratings: 

4.1 stars
Hachi: A Dog's Tale
(Hachiko: A Dog's Story)

2009 G 93 minutes

When his master, Parker (Richard Gere), dies, a loyal pooch named Hachiko keeps a regular vigil -- for more than a decade -- at the train station where he once greeted the man every day in director Lasse Hallström's touching drama based on a true story. Hachiko's faithful routine teaches the station's patrons about true love and commitment. Joan Allen stars as Parker's wife; Sarah Roemer, Jason Alexander and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa co-star.

Cast:Richard GereJoan AllenSarah RoemerJason Alexander,Cary-Hiroyuki TagawaErick AvariDavenia McFadden,Bates WilderKevin DeCosteRobbie SublettDirector:Lasse Hallström
5 years ago

View trailer HERE

5 years ago

Oh jeez, just reading one of the reviews left by one gentleman (no giveaways, just his response to it) has my eyes leaking ... I'm such a sap ...

5 years ago

Yes Katii ... your heart is easily touched, especially when it comes to nature and all of it's critters and beasties. This is the softer side of Katii and it is precious and comes from deep within.  

5 years ago

Don't forget those wonderful dogs fighting in Afghanistan and they saved many a soldier from USA; they are so phenomenal that the motto is NO DOG LEFT BEHIND. The troops bring all these heroes home with them. So many have alerted our boys to the enemy in the dead of night.

This post was modified from its original form on 01 Jun, 5:33
5 years ago

Katii:  "Thanks, Jim!  I didn't know about the movie.  I found it at Netflix and added it to my que "


You're welcome.  Have tissues handy.

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