September 25, 2020
Famous dogs from history!!!
Dogs are wonderful. If you’re reading this, you already know that. However, some canine companions are extra special! September is National Service Dog Month, so let’s celebrate by learning about some famous dogs from history!
Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier who is considered to be one of the first therapy dogs. Having served during WW2, Smoky is credited with twelve combat missions and eight battle star awards. After her owner, Cpl. William Wynne contracted dengue fever, he smuggled Smoky into the hospital with him. The increased morale among the soldiers, due to the dog’s presence, was so dramatic that Doctor Charles Mayo (of Mayo Clinic fame) ordered that Smoky be allowed to go on rounds. News of the positive effect began to spread amongst other military hospitals, who shortly thereafter, also began to treat depression and PTSD with therapy dogs. Smoky continued to provide therapy service until her retirement in 1955.
The official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment (US) in WWI, he served in 17 battles on the Western Front. Sgt. Stubby saved many lives by detecting surprise mustard gas attacks and incoming artillery by nipping and barking warnings to the soldiers in the trenches. He even captured a German spy by grabbing on to his pants until help arrived. The only dog recognized with an official rank by the U.S. Marines, Stubby left the Western Front with the rank of Sergeant. Sgt. Stubby met three presidents during his lifetime and is memorialized in the Smithsonian.
Born in 1940, Pal became the first Lassie! Pal starred in seven Lassie movies. He (yes, the first Lassie was male) retired after starring in a few TV pilots and lived to the ripe old age of 18 years. Several of his descendants reprised the role of Lassie after Pal’s passing.
Buddy, a female German Shepherd, was the first guide dog from The Seeing Eye guide dog school, the oldest in the United States. Along with her blind trainer, Morris Frank, Buddy traveled the country demonstrating her ability to navigate busy streets, obstacles, stairways, and anything that may injure Morris. After her death in 1938, Frank named his new guide dog Buddy as well (he had a total of six). Through extensive travel in the U.S. and Canada, promoting the benefits of guide dogs, the public slowly began to accept them. In 1935 all railroads in the U.S. allowed guide dogs. By 1956, every state in the country had passed laws guaranteeing guide dog access in all public places. If not for the efforts of Morris and Buddy, we may not have these laws today!
Bud was a Pit Bull who accompanied Horation Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker on the first cross country automobile trip in 1903. Bud became famous for the custom-fit goggles that he wore while driving through dusty roads (the car didn’t have a roof or windshield). Along with the car that made the journey, a sculpture of Bud wearing the goggles is included in the exhibit at the National Museum of American History.
Brock Casper is the Southwest Region Team Manager for Rover-Time and has been part of the RT team for two years. When he isn’t working he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching horror films, and going on walks with his dog, Loki. He lives in the northwest part of Chicago with his partner, Laurel. They enjoy making delicious food together and watching cooking shows.