When we think of heroes, our furry friends may not be the first things to come to mind. But we have dogs to thank for some of the most outstanding achievements in history. There are all sorts of common dogs for jobs, and any pooch—from detection dogs to delivery pups—can be heroic! Check out the most heroic pups in canine history to know which pooches deserved an extra-special treat.
Many people have heard tales of Balto, the wonder dog who brought life-savingmedicine to a town in Alaska. Balto didn’t act alone—he was the leader of his sled team. He had to navigate severe weather and large snowdrifts. Running day and night couldn’t have been easy, but Balto did it and helped save a community as diphtheria spread through the city of Nome.
Togo was another dog who ran across the frozen Alaskan landscape to help Balto save many lives. Just like Balto, he led his team through difficult terrain, running day and night. The dangerous journey stretched over 300 miles. Togo overcame the challenge to save the day.
Most people probably don’t learn about Sergeant Stubby during their World War I history lectures, but they should have. This fluffy hero was one of the most heroic dogs in canine history because of his brave actions in over 17 battles. During his time as a soldier, he saved his troop from a sudden mustard gas attack and found wounded soldiers.
Many astronomy-lovers know about Laika, the dog who gave her life during the Space Race. Scientists in Moscow decided Laika would be the first animal put into space for an orbit around Earth. Sadly, she passed away on this mission, but she remains commemorated because of her great sacrifice.
By the name, you may assume this was another space dog, but that’s not the case. Apollo the German shepherd and his handler helped rescue people on 9/11. As a part of the search-and-rescue team, this heroic pooch sniffed out people among the rubble. Despite nearly losing his life to falling debris, Apollo continued onward, and because of his bravery, he received the PDSA Dickin Medal.
Sure, most dogs aren’t running into burning buildings or treading across frozen landscapes—some work as therapy animals to comfort children in hospitals, while others serve at their local fire stations. But your furry friend is still a hero in your book. Whether your pup barks to warn you of strangers at the door or comforts you through tough times, they’re still saving the day. Heroes come in various shapes and sizes, but above all else, they act selflessly to ensure the well-being of others.