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24 Aug

Famous dogs of the world

Dogs and human beings have always been the best of friends. They have shown their utmost loyalty towards human beings over centuries and in return, human beings have treated them like their family members. These social animals are indubitably the most popular pets among humans. They are famous for their loyalty, their unimpeachable ability to sense and smell things and their way of doing work. On the other hand, some are famous because of their celebrity owners. This article, hence, presents some of these famous dogs of the world till date.

Famous Dogs of the world

1. APPOLLO

Appollo was one of the Search and rescue dogs used by the K-9 unit of the NYPD (New York Police Department) in the early 2000s. This German Shepherd is best known for being deployed in the Search and Rescue operation (SAR) conducted in Twin Towers and Pentagon after the September 11 attacks. He was the first SAR dog to arrive at the site after the attacks.  Appollo almost got killed by a falling debris during his work. However, he survived the debris attack and started working immediately after the debris was removed off his body.

He was one of those SAR dogs who worked with their handlers up to 16 hours a day. Later in his life, Appollo worked in the Dominican Republic for a search and rescue operation post a hurricane disaster. After the September 11 attacks, he was felicitated with the American Kennel Club Ace award for his heroics. Moreover, he was awarded the Dickin’ Medal , the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross for the work done prior to the September 11 attacks. Appollo died in 2006 at the age of 13.

Apollo with his handler, Source; Wikipedia

2. BO OBAMA

Yes!!! You guessed it right. Bo is family to none other than the first African-American president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. This Portuguese water dog got his first mention in Obama’s acceptance speech back in 2008.

“Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.”  – Source; The Telegraph

Though the Obama family initially expressed a strong interest towards shelter dogs, they had to take daughter Malia’s severe dog allergies into consideration before bringing home a new canine member. The Obamas also faced a lot of criticism following the adoption of a neutered dog. This Portuguese Water dog now has a canine company, Sunny, who also happens to be a Portuguese water dog. The Obama family adopted Sunny in 2013. However, Bo steals all the limelight and was also known as the ‘first dog’ of the United States during Obama’s regime. Sunny is his younger sister.

Bo Obama, Image source; Flickr

3. HACHIKO

Well, what do we say about this dog? He is probably the most loved and famous dog of the world even after 82 years of his death. He is a national hero of the Japanese people. Hachiko was born in 1923 in Japan. His owner was Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo. This Akita would go to the Shibuya train station, a train station in Tokyo, to greet his owner everyday when Ueno would come back from work. This continued even after his owner’s death. Hachiko would go to the train station everyday and wait for his deceased owner.

He was two years old when Ueno died and he waited for him everyday at the train station till his own death. When he died, he was eleven years old. So, he waited for nine long years. Well, this does break our heart, doesn’t it? A bronze statue was built in front of the Shibuya Train Station in his honour. His popularity can be justified just by the number of movies that have been made on his life. Hachi: A Dog’s tale (2009), is a biopic on Hachiko’s life. The movie had popular stars like Richard Gere and Joan Allen.

Hachiko, Image source; Wikipedia

4. CAPITAN

Well, Capitan can be called as Hachiko of the 21st century as their stories are similar in some ways. This German Shepherd from Argentina has left the world in awe by showing his utmost loyalty to his owner. After the death of his owner Miguel Guzman in 2006, Capitan has been living with his owner in his graveside. Capitan ran away from his home on the day of his owner’s funeral. This made the family think he got lost. However, on their visit to the graveyard a few days later, Captain was seen grieving by the tombstone. This came out as a big shock to the family as they had never taken him to the graveyard and how he managed to get there became a mystery.

According to the cemetery’s director, Capitan turned up at the cemetery one day and began searching till he found out the tombstone of his deceased owner. The family tried several times to bring him back to their home. But, Capitan would simply refuse. He would sometimes follow them to their home and would stay for a while. However, he would be back to the cemetery by evening and at 6 o’clock sharp, he would lie down on the top of the grave. This super loyal GSD has been taken care of by the cemetery caretakers who provide him with food and immunizations.

Capitan has certainly shown an example to the whole world regarding the love and loyalty of dogs. Miguel’s family has moved on but this poor thing…. Well, he is a legend for sure.

Capitan waiting for his deceased owner, Image source; Dailymail

6. LAIKA

Laika was a stray dog used by the Soviets in Sputnik-2 in the year 1957. Soviet scientists were looking forward to perform an animal mission to the space before any human mission. And thus, Laika was chosen. Laika was a female mongrel. She was chosen along with a number of other stray dogs and was trained as per requirements. She was chosen because Soviet scientists believed stray dogs had seen the extremes of hunger and cold and thus were perfect for space conditions.

This mission was a suicide mission for Laika as technology had not advanced since Sputnik -1 for the Russians. When subjected to an extensive training, Laika excelled among the three chosen dogs. She would be confined in a small cage for 15-20 days in order to cope up with the cabin conditions of Sputnik-2. It is said that her survival was never expected as there were no possibilities of a return trip. She died in a few hours because of extreme heating. However, until 2002, this fact was hidden.

Laika became the first animal to orbit in space. However, the Soviets were dragged into animal rights debate for obvious and legit reasons. Nonetheless, a monument was unveiled in 2008 in her honor, near the Military Research Facility where she was trained for the space mission. Laika was three years old before her one-way voyage to the space.

 

Laika, Image source; Wikipedia

7. ZANJEER

Well, for all you Indian readers, you already might know the story. Zanjeer can be considered as the most popular dog in India. He actually served his country and India owes him big-time. Zanjeer’s heroics in the 1993 Mumbai blasts garnered attention from everywhere. He was not just an ordinary retriever but rather was the best bomb detector in Mumbai Police. He detected a number of explosives during the ’93 attacks. However, he rose to fame when he detected a scooter that contained RDX explosives and gelatin sticks at Dhanji Street, Mumbai. Mumbai Police immediately got into action and disposed it. Similarly, Zanjeer helped Mumbai Police to detect 200 grenades, 3 AK-47 rifles, five 9 mm pistols and a number of cartridges from other locations.

Mumbai blasts killed 257 people and got 713 injured. Had Zanjeer not been there, the number would have easily reached four figures. Zanjeer, who sniffed 3300 kg of RDX in his whole life, died out of bone cancer in 2000. When he died, he was honored with a full state funeral. The story of Zanjeer inspired the other state police forces to have bomb detection dogs in their squad. He is a true hero and will always be remembered by India. Jai Ho!!

Zanjeer, Image source; The Better India

8. RIN TIN TIN

The story of Rin-tin-tin, a German Shepherd from the French battlefield of WWI to one of the most popular and celebrated animals in Hollywood history is a movie in itself.  Rin-tin-tin was rescued by Lee Duncan, an American soldier in WWI who brought him to California. With some amount of training, Rin-tin-tin managed to bag small roles in a number of silent films back then. In the era of silent movies, Rinty was considered to be as good as human actors. He was popularly known for his expressive face.

However, Rinty rose to fame from the movie ‘Where the North Begins’. The movie was a big success in the US and Rinty was a star overnight. This also led to the popularity of German Shepherds in America. This movie is considered to be the one that rescued Warner Bros. from bankruptcy. Well, WB Pictures owe Rin-tin-tin a big time then, don’t they? Rinty went on to star in 27 films before his death on August 10, 1932. His death was a big loss to the Hollywood fraternity and was honoured by an hour-long national broadcast a day later. After his death, Rin-tin-tin Jr. (popularly known as the son of Rin-tin-tin) was brought into the silver screen. Nonetheless, he did not reach the same heights.   

Rin Tin Tin in the movie ‘The Frozen River’ (1929) Source; Ebay

 

These dogs have been declared as heroes by the world. However, we believe that every dog is a hero in himself. Dogsee Chew salutes all those heroes and we are concerned about their well-being.

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