Man’s best friend has stood by him for what is estimated to be 14.000 years. In those years, dogs have helped humanity domesticate livestock, transport goods and keep carpets soiled. They have stood by their masters through thick and thin and through peace and war. With unwavering loyalty, they have even saved human lives. These are some of the heroic canines in history.
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Just Shana’s breed makes for heroic stock, as she is a half wolf and half German shepherd. In a cyclical pattern, the Fertigs saved Shana from a local shelter, but the Fertigs also saved other injured and abandoned animals. During the New York snowstorms of 2006 the elderly couples (both 81 years old at the time) were tending to their injured animals when a tree blocked their way back to shelter. Shana burrowed several yards through the dirt and snow, dragging her owners through the tunnel to their home. After they had returned, she lay with them keeping them warm (and alive) until the emergency service arrived.
Lassie…I mean Honey
Honey and her owners had been in a car accident that left them stuck at the bottom of a deep ravine. In what would resemble a Lassie episode, her owner Micheal Bosch released Honey hoping she would go for help. She did exactly that, finding a man a full mile away and bringing him back to the site of the accident.
During the 9/11 attacks, heroism was on tap like hot and cold water. People were moved by the call of duty to their fellow man. Trakr although not a man (or woman) heeded the call too. The K-9 unit dog dug through 30 feet of unstable, smoldering wreckage to save the last trapped survivor of the World Trade Center attacks.
Rags was the official mascot of the 1st Division during WWI, but he was also a soldier and a messenger. After the soldier, James Donovan, that saved him in the Parisian streets was sent to the front line, Rags tracked him down and engaged the Germans like any other red blooded ally would. But on four legs. After realizing that Rags would run between the embattlements, (trenches) he was used to convey messages back and forth between the soldiers and command. He would even hear incoming mortar shells and warn the soldiers to take cover. Rags passed away at the ripe old age of 20 in a loving American home and even had ‘War hero’ inscribed on his tombstone.
Known as the most decorated dog in military history Sergeant Stubby was also the only canine to be promoted during combat. Stubby served with the 102nd American Infantry Division for 18 months. He took part in seventeen battles, saved his Unit from a sneak mustard gas attack, took a prisoner when he held a German soldier by the seat of his pants and single-handedly apprehended a German spy (which is why he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant). Upon returning to the United States, he met more Presidents than most politicians. When he finally passed after a long happy life the New York Times wrote a half-page obituary for him (which was much longer than obituaries of most notable celebrities of the time).
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Do you know of any other hero pooches? Let me know in the comment section below.