Throughout history, dogs have proven that they are man’s best friend. Ever since, they have been our companions, and have shown great loyalty, devotion, and heroism.
Because of his ever-faithful devotion to his owner, university professor Hidesamuro Ueno, Hachikō became a legendary figure. Hachikō’s story dates back to the 1920’s in Japan. Every morning, as his owner Ueno went to work, the loyal Hachikō would accompany him every day to the train station. Hachikō would patiently sit there until the end of the day, waiting to greet Ueno upon his return. In 1925, Ueno unexpectedly died at work, leaving Hachikō still waiting at the train station, hoping for his owner’s return. Over the next 10 years, Hachikō continued to patiently watch trains arrive and wait for Ueno’s arrival, until his own demise in 1935. Deemed to be the most famous loyal dog, Hachikō has been considered a true testament to the profundity of loyalty and love dogs have for their human companions.
Laika, mostly-Siberian husky, had been a wandering stray before she became the first living thing to go into orbit. She was rescued from the streets of Moscow, and was then prepared for a space mission. Soviet scientists supposed that a stray dog would have a stronger immune system and would better endure harsh conditions of hunger and extreme temperatures. Thus, Laika, with two other dogs, was trained for space travel by being kept in small cages. She was also prepared to eat nutritious food that were in jelly form, that would be her food in space. On November 3, 1957, Sputnik 2 was launched, and aboard that small satellite is Laika, the first animal to orbit Earth. Unfortunately, Laika’s trip into space was only one-way, and it is unknown how long exactly she lived in orbit. Sputnik 2 burned up in space in April 4, 1958. Laika, the first animal to go into orbit, played an important role and contributed much in understanding the impacts of microgravity on biological functions.
K9-Apollo was the first SAR dog to arrive and be in action at the South Tower when the call came on September 11, 2009. Together with his handler, Peter Davis, Apollo arrived about 15 minutes after the collapse. At age 9, most police dogs would have already retired, but Apollo wasted no time and selflessly served in operations. He optimistically searched and looked for signs of life - for survivors - and assisted injured victims. He was almost killed by fire and falling concretes, his paws cracked and bruised by jagged debris… He was exhausted from seemingly endless shifts, but in hopes of finding living victims, Apollo continued and bravely worked hard for about 18 hours a day for several weeks. Even before his heroism in 2009, Apollo was already considered to be one of New York’s best police dogs and was a member of the first NYPD K9 team to train in Urban Search and Rescue Settings.
Not many are probably familiar with “Bobbie the Wonder Dog” of Silverton, Oregon, but he is one of the most loyal dogs. According to an investigation led by the Oregon Humane Society, Bobbie travelled alone for 2,800 miles in the dead of winter to return to his home and his owners. On February 1924, Bobbie one day appeared on the doorstep of his owners’, Mr. & Mrs. Brazier’s, home, after not seeing him since he got lost six months earlier from a road trip in Indiana. A local newspaper that time printed the story of Bobbie’s long journey and it quickly spread across the country. Bobbie became a national sensation, and the Brazier family received hundreds of letters from people addressed to “Silverton’s Bobbie” or “Bobbie, the Wonder Dog,” some claimed that they had seen Bobbie in his journey.
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