Following a few nutritionally-focused blogs, we thought we'd share something a little lighter for the Holiday season!
We all have our little stories about things our paw-kicks have done to brighten our day. However, sometimes a dog does something so incredible or so touching that it becomes immortalised.
Here are 4 of the most incredible examples.
(WARNING: Before proceeding, we recommend you have a pack of tissues to hand - or at the very least, make sure your doggo is within cuddling distance!)
Stubby was adopted as a stray by Corporal Robert Conroy, when he found him wandering around Yale campus while Conroy was training for World War 1.
They formed such a bond, that when it was time to ship out, Conroy smuggled Stubby onto the troop ship and hid him under his overcoat when when they disembarked in France.
When Conroy’s commanding officer discovered Stubby, he was saluted by the dog (as he had been trained to do) and so was allowed to stay!
Stubby served in 17 battles on the Western front and became a great morale-booster for the troops. Injured several times, he always insisted on returning to the front line to join his men - wearing a specially designed gas mask after injury from a mustard gas attack.
Stubby's special skills were warning his unit of poison gas attacks, locating wounded soldiers in no-man’s land and letting his men know when to duck from incoming artillery shells . He even captured a German spy, resulting in him being nominated as Sergeant!
After the war, Stubby returned home with Conroy and became somewhat of a celebrity. He led and marched in parades across the country and rubbed shoulders with three Presidents. After his death in 1926, he was honoured with an obituary in the New York Times and, this year, an animated feature-length film inspired by his story was released.
Bobbie the Wonder Dog
In August 1923, Bobbie accompanied the Brazier family on a trip from their home in Silverton, Oregon to visit relatives in Wolcott, Indiana. While in Indiana, Bobbie was attacked by three other dogs and ran away.
Devastated, the Braziers searched everywhere but he could not be located and the heartbroken family had no choice but to return home without him. A sad ending to the story of their beloved pet.
Well, Bobbie had other ideas!
One February day, 6 months later, the family were astonished when Bobbie turned up on their doorstep. Mangy, thin, toenails worn down to nothing and exhausted, Bobbie showed all the signs of having walked the whole way back by himself.
This would have involved a journey of between 2,500-3,000 miles, crossing the Continental Divide and swimming through rivers in the coldest part of Winter!
This incredible achievement was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not and an investigation by the Oregon Humane Society was able to confirm the veracity of the story. Bobbie was given the keys to cities, medals and a jewel-studded collar. He was the guest of honour at the Portland Home Show, where over 40,000 people came to visit him in his custom-built dog-bungalow.
After his death in 1927, he was buried with honours and the eulogy given by the Mayor of Portland. Rin Tin Tin, a famous German Shepherd movie star of the time, laid a wreath at his grave.
Zanjeer: Protector of Mumbai
Zanjeer was a Labrador Retriever Detection Dog who began his career with the Mumbai Bomb Disposal Unit in 1992. He was just a 3 month rookie of the Unit when the 1993 Bombay Bombings took place.
These were a series of 12 car bombs that went off across the city on 12th March 1993, resulting in the deaths of 257 people and injury to a further 713.
However, according to experts, these figures were likely to have been in the thousands were it not for the extraordinary skill and bravery of Zanjeer. Where other dogs became skittish and confused, he is said to have averted at least 3 more attacks, one of which was by alerting his handlers to a massive scooter bomb nearby. Later, outside a temple, he detected rifles, pistols and grenades left in unclaimed suitcases.
His career numbers are astounding recovering:
- 11 military-grade bombs
- 57 improvised bombs
- 175 petrol bombs
- 600 detonators, and
- Over 3000kg of explosives!
Police became so dependent on Zanjeer they often left their tech at the station and just brought him. He became the standard-bearer for what a Detection Dog should be and a national hero in India. Upon his death in 2000, he received a full state funeral and was buried with honours.
Perhaps the most famous of all these stories is that of Hachikō, a golden brown Akita born on a farm near Tokyo in 1923.
A professor of agriculture at Tokyo University, Eizaburo Ueno, took Hachikō to live with him as a pet in 1924 and the two quickly became inseparable. While still young, Hachikō began accompanying his friend to the train station in the morning to see him off on his commute to work and would be there to greet him every evening on his return.
On May 21st 1925, Hachikō was waiting at the station, as usual, but Ueno never turned up.
Sadly, it turned out that he had suffered a brain hemorrhage at work and died.
After the death, Hachikō moved in with a former gardener of the Ueno family. He never forgot his friend, though. Every single morning and evening, for the remainder of his 10 year life, Hachikō arrived at the station at the precise time the train was due, hoping to greet Ueno. He would sit there patiently for hours waiting for his beloved owner.
Haichiko passed away peacefully and alone on the street beside the station in 1935. The dog who never gave up on his owner became a hero to the Japanese people and there is a bronze statue commemorating him outside that train station- Shibuya Station in Tokyo.
He has inspired countless books, artworks, a museum and films- including a Hollywood version starring Richard Gere.
If that one doesn't get you a little welled up, we don't know what will!