Did you know that dogs have essential traits that can turn a seemingly mythical situation into reality? Being descendants of the wolves, they have a strong sense of being a solid member of the pack and being a devoted sentinel to their masters. Do they have special brain mechanisms that allow them to maintain focus even during the worst cases? How far have their natural instincts brought them? Discover more about them from these dogs who made a name in history.
Rin Tin Tin
‘Rin Tin Tin paralleled the glory of the top artists in his lifetime to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.’
Rin Tin Tin has become a household name all over the world since the first quarter of the 20th century. Warner Brothers credited this amazing dog for their resurrection in the industry after World War I. Rin Tin Tin’s first movie, The Man from Hell’s River broke all the rules by earning millions of dollars when it was released. This dog’s acting ability and gigantic leaps, which no ordinary dog can do, were exhibited in a total of 23 movies in Hollywood films. Not only did it conquer the wide screen, it also dominated the airwaves.
When he died in August of 1932, the United States mourned more for him than they did for humans. His death even had a worldwide response. But Rin Tin Tin’s legend did not end there. Up until now, Rin Tin Tin’s adventure has become the favorite subject of authors and movie makers everywhere.
What began as a wholly humble beginning, a newborn, abandoned puppy rescued by Lee Duncan in a battlefield in France during World War I has turned out to become Duncan’s real gem. Rin Tin Tin gave his master riches and a luxurious life. Good dog!!
‘Hachiko is honored for his faithfulness and loyalty for his master that endured the test of time. He is now known as Japan’s symbol of loyalty. ‘
‘Hachiko-guchi’ a Japanese term for ‘Hachiko Entrance/Exit’ where Hachiko’s bronze statue stands is now one of Shibuya Japan’s famous landmarks. His preserved remains were archived at the Tokyo Museum of Art. A festival is held in Tokyo every 8th of April to pay tribute to Hachiko’s legacy. Indeed, Hachiko has been a significant part of Japan’s culture and is the reason why his name resounds all throughout history.
This white male Akita was owned by Dr. Ueno, a professor in Japan. After being together for nearly two years, the doctor died of a stroke at the university. He was never able to come home when they parted in the morning which kept Hachiko waiting. Since then, all by himself, Hachiko never missed a journey to the Shibuya train station to wait for his master. Every day he made sure that he went to the bridge where he used to wait at exactly the same time. After hours of his vigilance, he would return home exhibiting lonesome gestures. For nine years Hachiko was a common sight in the station. Only death actually stopped him from his nightly routine. Indeed a faithful dog!
‘Chips, the war dog, was the first of its kind in the animal kingdom and is universally credited for his vigilance, his fearless encounters, and his unequaled dedication to his military masters during World War II.’
He was the only dog to receive three distinctive military awards in the U.S.: the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary efforts during the war, the Silver Star for his bravery, and the Purple Heart for the wounds he incurred from the order of battle. Disney released the movie Chips the War Dog to feature his life-saving encounters.
During the war, the Military Police made him part of the troop assigned to defend other nations. Chips was able to cross almost all parts of Europe as a sentinel of the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division. Owing to his unswerving concentration plus his being able to stand guard for long periods, their attackers didn’t manage to fool this alert sentinel, Chips. In Germany, he fearlessly attacked a troop of machine gunners aiming to destroy their camp. Remarkably, he defeated the attackers all by himself. Despite sustaining serious wounds in what can be described as a ‘one-man battle’ he played another major role in the capture of ten more enemies later that day. What a mighty protector!
Laika the ‘mutt-nik’
‘Given the question of how life is like in outer space, Laika gave the world an answer that made her one of Soviet Union’s heroes.’
Close to the military research facility in Moscow was erected a monument of a dog towering on top of a rocket. It was built by Soviet military officials to honor the first animal to live in space, Laika. Stamps honoring the sacrificial mongrel were also issued in different countries. Scientists look up to her as an icon which was instrumental in making the remarkable improvements on space exploration. Her space flight stopped the world, and everybody watched and waited for the update on Laika’s condition since Sputnik II initially launched on November 3rd, 1957. Her death was an awakening to the whole world to fight against animal cruelty.
Why dogs? Having essential traits close to human nature, such as adaptability to the environment and noted for being the best at following orders, Laika was carefully examined and trained to match the possible flight conditions. When the spacecraft with Laika inside circled the universe for the first time, the whole world rejoiced because the sensors attached to her vital organs indicated signs of life. However, after several orbits all connections to Laika were blank. Speculations about the sensational dog’s whereabouts flooded everywhere which later led to the conclusion that the misfits of science took her life away. Had she been wild, she could have been saved from the experiment. Poor dear!
‘To early men, Barry was a divine gift or a saint dog for his noble service of rescuing a total of 41 lives buried beneath the snow in the Alps. Later the breed which succeeded his blood lne was officially named ‘St. Bernard.”
The Natural History Museum of Bern officially classified Barry as the most famous St. Bernard in history. To date, the Great St. Bernard Hospice has continued to keep one St. Bernard named Barry. In this way the legacy of this heroic dog stays alive. But it is not only in Switzerland that Barry has widened his popularity. The poem ‘Barry, the Great St. Bernard’ by Samuel Rogers lighted many parts of the globe. Nearly everywhere it seems, men, women, and children are fascinated by the movies and books featuring Barry’s saintly achievements of all time.
Barry’s natural instincts maneuvered him to exactly where an avalanche was taking place during snow storms in the Alpine. His special senses pinpointed the very spot where people were buried alive. His strong hunting techniques and stamina kept him digging for life swift and manageable. Barry may well be dubbed as an ideal detector as he was fearless enough to deal with the roaring snow storm while taking the survivors to safe zones. Gentle in nature as he was, his rescue toll was at a taxing rate because the survivors tended to be submissive to his manipulations.
Smokey ”œ The World War II Mascot
‘Thanks to Smokey, this four-pound terrier had such captivating tricks that inevitably she became one of the first, ever-recorded therapy dogs in history and had been a star in the entertainment world without repeating any single trick during her ten-year career by showing off her high level of intelligence. It was by no means obvious that she was deserving to be honored as a World War II little heroine.’
From the earliest days when World War II ceased, Smokey’s contributions have dominated the world in astonishment. Chronicles and films of her remarkable achievements in a total of 12 combat missions have sprouted like mushrooms all throughout history. Because everybody in the world knew that her magic was the key to the recovery of the victims of war, the Animal Planet honored this small but terrible dog as the ‘First Therapy Dog on Record.’ For being World War II’s littlest soldier, she was awarded eight battle stars, and a special monument in her honor was unveiled in Cleveland after her death.
Little did we know about where she originally came from because her unexplainable, irresistible nature saved her from starving to death in the jungle of New Guinea and even brought her to the hands of Bill Wynne. Over the period of 18 months in the middle of the war, before the eyes of stunned, thrilled soldiers, Smokey’s funny tricks and stunts came to life and moved across the military camps. So ordinary and routine had this become to her that what seemed to be extraordinary or even magical gestures came out naturally from her. No wonder she became the most effective and dynamic joy giver not only during the war but years after it ended. Smokey’s sustained attention was the key to successfully setting up communication cables in the war zones. With her phenomenal concentration, nothing distracted her from pulling a string with the wires attached through an eight-inch pipe under the runway and climbing through piles of sand thus making a three-day digging job for secret communication cables into only a couple of hours.
‘Balto became an international hero for saving the whole town of Nome from a life-threatening epidemic by transporting antitoxin, better known as the ‘serum run,’ with his sled team across the raging force of the snow storm, hurricane-force winds, and minus 50-degree temperatures.’
The heroism of Balto has been on world record in massive detail since 1925. Balto and his team became a familiar sight in most traveling shows in the United States. The team was also given a new lease on life for the idea of putting them alive on display in a museum where they were perceived to be mistreated. The whole of Cleveland successfully worked together to purchase these dogs for $2,000 in just 2 weeks. Hence, the rest of the lives of this astounding sled team was dignified in Brookside Zoo. To credit his heroic race to save a town, Balto’s body can still be seen to date at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. His statue was erected in New York City’s Central Park, and campaigns to reclaim his body have risen over time.
During the famous serum run, another leader of the pack named Togo was actually believed to have overcome the longest and most dangerous stretch of the run. However, as a result of overcoming the dangers of the final stretch and being the final handler of the antitoxins to Nome, Balto received all the popularity. It all happened almost unbelievably. His ability to spot sounds while ignoring visual cues perhaps made traveling a literally black trail safe from the dangers of falling through Topkok River. Although a blizzard ruined their plight and swung them away, his obedience to his master Kaasen proved to let him stay in focus that not even exceedingly low temperatures and strong winds could hinder them from being homeward bound.
Lucky and Flo
‘Lucky and Flo are Labrador Retrievers who are making the work of combating motion pictures and DVD copyright infringement much easier that allegedly they are now much sought after by several bounty hunters for a price.’
The female black Labradors are now highly regarded as the world’s anti-DVD piracy sniffers. The Motion Picture Association of America credits their special sniffing skill for saving billions of dollars in the movie industry. Lucky and Flo have overwhelmingly dominated the global news in sniffing out millions worth of pirated DVDs in Malaysia. The London Stansted Airport and Washington, D.C. both witnessed the remarkable abilities of Lucky and Flo. These days, it is widely known that the two special agents are highly sought after by bounty hunters for a price.
The cleverly concealed optical discs didn’t fool super sniffers Lucky and Flo. Their sense has gotten so powerful that it has enabled tracing the real source of piracy possible. Their unswerving concentration plus a number of special characteristics manipulated the officials in successfully revealing the targeted pirates’ dens.
‘In 2009, Dakota, a mixed breed native American Indian dog, was headlined in newspapers all around the globe for grabbing a three-day-old baby from a crib and taking it to the woods. Thus, when apprehended by officials she was scheduled to be executed.’
Petitions to withhold Dakota’s execution flooded Kentucky from where the incident happened as well as in different sites of the Internet. Speculations as to what drove Dakota to abscond with her master’s baby became the favorite subject for debates and talk shows. It paved the way to a deeper analysis on dogs’ natural instincts.
Dakota had stayed with her master for four years right before she committed the mischief. Her master claimed that the habit of grabbing had been observed from Dakota for a quite a long while. Never did they consider that she would do this to their baby. Experts suggest that Dakota’s act was not to harm the baby but an exhibition of a dog’s maternal instinct by taking her infant with her mouth to a safe and secluded place. The consequence of these actions, however, placed the baby in an extremely critical condition. The pressure from Dakota’s fangs almost ripped away the baby’s lungs while she was carrying the baby. The infant also suffered from a fractured skull and broken ribs because her size was too big for the dog’s mouth which caused the infant’s head to hit the ground repeatedly.
Overall, these phenomena, or possibly considered as obsessive concentration, left some dogs in their searching tasks undistracted even by other dogs, food, or the forces of nature. Their natural instincts from the wolves made them fearless enough to attack their enemies. Their love for praise drives them to cleverly master different tricks. But their loyalty to their masters can possibly be life-threatening if not carefully handled.