History’s Most Memorable Dogs

Dogs are so important in our life and many of them have become some of the most iconic canines in history. Today, we at Doggy Brace want to commemorate them.

Balto, the Siberian Husky

If you know the 1995 animated film “Balto,” then you know about this amazing dog. Yes, he was a real dog! 

In 1925, in the middle of a frigid winter, the quaint town of Nome, Alaska had a fatal case of diphtheria on their hands. Diphtheria is a serious infection that can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. Medicine was desperately needed, but there wasn’t an easy way to get it from Anchorage to Nome — a trip that is 500 miles in distance. 

Dog sledding was the answer.

There were many volunteers who stepped up, ready with their team of loyal sled dogs. Creating a chain across Alaska, they set up checkpoints along the journey. The last stretch of road was Balto’s territory. He and his musher, Gunner Kaasen, successfully delivered the much needed medicine. Balto became the face of this story and represents the heroic and brace sled teams who made the long trek across the state. 

Trakr, the German Shepherd

Every American knows the date September 11, 2001. A majority still remember it well. The names of those lost and those who risked their lives to help will always live on in history. 

Trakr, the German Shepherd, is one of those names. More than 300 Search and Rescue dogs aided their human counterparts in the coming months following Sept. 11. They helped find and uncover survivors from the miles of rubble. 

Trakr and his police officer handler, James Symington, drove to New York City from Canada to help. Together, they found the last survivor, who was imprisoned under concrete and steel for over 24 hours. 

Trakr was recognized by Time magazine as one of ten most heroic animals of all time, but his fame didn’t stop there. In 2009, Trakr was chosen to be cloned by BioArts International, who had been cloning belated family pets privately for a pretty penny. Trakr’s clone was reunited with his owner, Symington, who continues to train the descendants of the heroic dog to be Search and Rescue canines.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog, Collie-Shepherd Mix

Pups are part of the family, which means they go on family trips all the time. Bobbie the Wonder Dog, got a little more than he bargained for on his family vacation in the 1920s. They were visiting Indiana, which is pretty far away from their hometown Silverton, Oregon. 

One day, Bobbie got into a fight with a few stray dogs and ran off. He went missing in a completely new town in an entirely different state. The family searched for days, but ultimately had to return home without their beloved pup. 

The story isn’t even there. Six months later, Bobbie was scratching at their front door! Closer inspection showed that Bobbie had crossed over 2,500 miles in the winter to be reunited with his family.

 Bobbie’s story became national news and he was thrust into the spotlight. He gained so much attention that in 1924, Bobbie even starred in a silent film. In 1927, Bobbie was buried at the pet cemetery run by the Oregon Humane Society. Tourists from all over the world can visit this faithful pup’s grave as well as view a 70-foot mural honoring his journey in downtown Silverton.

Toto, the Cairn Terrier

Many of us know the line from the beloved film, “The Wizard of Oz.” While Toto wasn’t based off a real dog, the canine actor is very well known too. 

Toto, whose real name was Terry, was abandoned as a puppy. Luckily, for her, however, she was adopted by the unofficial dog-trainer of Hollywood, Carl Spitz.

With his help, she was trained to become one of the most coveted canine actresses of her generation. She starred alongside some of the time’s biggest stars, including Judy Garland. By the end of her career, she had been casted in 17 films, living to be 11-years old.

We at Doggy Brace wanted to tip our hats to all of these dogs, and to every dog on the planet. All dogs are heroic and loving, even if they didn’t travel hundreds of miles, star in 17 films. Love them, and they will love you too, which is the most memorable thing a dog can do for you.