Laika, The Space Dog
Laika was a stray dog in Moscow in 1957. This was when the Space Race between Russia and the United States was at it’s height. On November 3rd, 1957, Russia launched Laika into space aboard Sputnik 2. She travel above and beyond in a small, hot, space. She was sent up with one meal and a seven day oxygen supply. The scientist figured Laika would die due to lack of oxygen, a painless death. Sadly she overheated on the descent back to earth and died.
Laika became a part of history as the first living creature to orbit the earth. She gave her life for her country and was seen as a hero for years to come.
Apollo, The First Responder
Apollo is a graduate from the NYPD Canine Special Operations Division. He worked as a search and rescue dog with the New York Police Department. Apollo and his handler, Peter Davis, were the first K-9 search and rescue team to answer the call on September 11. They arrived at the South Tower 15 minutes after it’s collapse. Apollo almost died due to falling debris and flames, when he realized that he was okay he went straight back to work looking for survivors.
His search and rescue work earned him one of the first AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in 2001 as well as the Dickin Medal, on behalf of all Patriot Day search and rescue dogs,
“for tireless courage in the service of humanity during the search and rescue operations in New York and Washington on and after 11 September 2001. Faithful to words of command and undaunted by the task, the dogs' work and unstinting devotion to duty stands as a testament to those lost or injured. “
Apollo went on protecting and serving for the rest of his life. He died in November 2006.
Roselle & Salty, Hero Guide Dogs
Roselle and Salty were two guide dogs that were with their owners in the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
Salty and his owner were on the 71st floor of Tower 1 when the attacks first happened. Salty refused to leave his owner’s side during the whole ordeal and was able to safety guide him down 70 flights of stairs.
Roselle was asleep under her owner’s desk on the 78th floor of Tower 1. Roselle was able to calmly escort her owner to the stairwell despite the smoke, noise and chaos surrounding her. Roselle was able to lead her owner and 30 other people down 1,463 steps to safety. The whole descent took over an hour. Once outside, Roselle kept her calm and continued to guide her owner to the nearest subway station, even stopping to help lead a woman who was blinded by debris to safety. Roselle did not stop until she delivered her owner safety back home.
Salty and Roselle were awarded a joint Dickin Medal by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals on March 5, 2002.
"For remaining loyally at the side of their blind owners, courageously leading them down more than 70 floors of the World Trade Center and to a place of safety following the terrorist attack on New York on September 11, 2001."
Chips, World War II Hero
Chips was one of the many dogs that was trained for guard and patrol duty for the Army and Marine Corps in 1942. Chips spend almost 4 years in the Army. He served in North Africa, Italy, France and other parts of Europe. He also met a lot of influential people like, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
It wasn’t until July 10th, 1943 that Chips would make history. In Sicily, an Italian machine-gun had U.S. Forces backed into a corner. Chips broke free from his handler and charged towards the enemy’s. Moment’s later Chips returned dragging an Italian soldier by his throat. Three other soldiers followed with their hands in the air.
Later in the day Chips will detect 10 other enemy soldiers with his strong sense of smell, leading them all to capture.
For his actions during the war, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. In 2018, Chips was finally recognized for his bravery was awarded posthumously the PDSA Dickin Medal (Animal equivalent of The Victoria Cross) for his efforts during the war.
Dog have always been a part of history… they have the stories that are not as well known or remembered, but they should be remembered.