Dogs are known for their quality to trust human beings: they lick your feet, play fetch, wag their tails and bring you the morning paper. However, history is replete with instances when dogs have risen to the occasion, saving lives. Here are 5 heroic dog stories to fortify your love for your canine friend:
1. Cairo, the Belgian Malinois
When in 2011, 6 US Navy SEALS broke into Osama Bin Laden’s secret compound in Pakistan, Cairo guarded the compound’s perimeter with 4 other SEALs as other commandos quietly entered the compound from above. Cairo was trained to track down hidden passages, and to alert the SEALs to approaching security forces and anyone trying an escape. For the task, Cairo wore a high-tech vest fitted, four of which cost the Navy $86,000. Sadly, when President Obama asked to meet the canine hero of Operation Neptune Spear, Cairo was introduced with his muzzle on and couldn’t say hello to Mr. President.
2. Sgt. Stubby, Pitbull Mix
During World War 1, a pitbull mix by the name of Stubby got attached to the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division which was then posted in France. Stubby lived his years as a cute mascot but one day when the unit was hit by a gas attack, Stubby’s fate took a turn for better. Stubby’s heroic sense of smell enabled him to alert the unit about incipient gas attacks and to put on their gas masks. Sgt. Stubby must have saved hundreds of lives and is written down in the history as the only canine to become a sergeant through combat.
3. Moustache, a Black Poodle
This one is a historical celebrity with a mention in the venerable New York Times. Moustache tracked and halted an Austrian Spy during the Battle of Austerlitz. He lost one of his legs in an artillery blast but still carried the French flag back to the camp. Moustache was awarded a medal for his heroism.
4. Swansea jack, a Black Retriever
Swansea Jack lived with his owner near the River Tawe in Swansea, Wales. During the 1930s, he detected a small boy drowning in the river and pulled him to safety by his neck. In the next 10 years, Swansea Jack braved, what are called the most dangerous water of Wales, to save more than 27 people. He received a silver cup from the Mayor of London, and was named the Bravest Dog of the Year. Premeier League football team Swansea FC, The Swansea Jacks is named after him.
5. Laika, Mongrel (Husky and Terrier Mix)
We all know this one from our school books. When in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, the second aircraft to be launched into earth’s orbit, it had on board a street dog named Laika. For a while the world cheered at the cute mongrel, marveling its luck. However, the mass revelry turned into sadness when it came to be known that Sputnik 2 couldn’t de-orbit and bring Laika back to earth. The dog died on 6th day when oxygen ran out and was incinerated when Sputnik entered earth’s atmosphere. He has been branded by many animal rights activists as the bravest dog on earth because he spent the days leading to his death without any human or animal company.
Heroic Dog Stories
One thing that this list proves is that all dogs, no matter what their breed, are capable of heroic acts. Cairo the Belgian Malinois proved that its breed is nowhere less superior than German Shepherd, as it is commonly made out to be. Sgt. Stubby and Laika prove that mix-breed dogs are as good as pure breed ones. Moustache, the French poodle tells us that a pretty dog doesn’t have to be liver-hearted. If you have a dog, treat it with love and respect. Who knows, a few years from now you could be posing beside it as it accepts a medal acknowledging its heroism.
Top Photo: Unveiling the war dog memorial built at the KAF boardwalk in honor of military working dogs killed here in the line of duty. creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by The U.S. Army