5 Famous Female Dogs in History
On the 8th of March every year we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to all the wonderful women in the world. But, seeing as we’re dog-obsessed (and we’re sure you are too), we thought it was the pawfect time to celebrate some fur-nomenal famous female dogs too.
Throughout history, many female dogs have gone above and beyond (even to space!) and made headlines for their bravery, talents and loyalty to support the humans in their life. Let’s look at some of these wondrous famous female dogs in history.
1. Buddy: The Dog That Led the Guide Dog Movement
In the late 1920s, an American woman named Dorothy Eustis was inspired by the work done by the first-ever guide dog school in Oldenburg, Germany.
As Eustis already trained dogs for the police and the military, she was no stranger to dog training. So, after spending several months at the guide dog school, she’d trained her first dog, Buddy, which she partnered with a blind American man named Morris Frank.
Following the success of Buddy, Dorothy went on to set up her own guide dog school called The Seeing Eye. She opened her first school in Switzerland in 1928 and another in New Jersey in 1929.
Inspired by The Seeing Eye, two British women - Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond - contacted Dorothy and were soon training their own guide dogs. By 1931, the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was founded in the UK.
We have a lot to thank for Buddy and these pioneering women!
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2. Smoky: The World’s First Therapy Dog
Found in a jungle in New Guinea during 1943, Smoky the tiny Yorkshire Terrier was taken in by an American soldier and later sold during a poker game to Corporal William A. Wynne for two Australian pounds.
Smoky travelled with Wynne during all of his missions, even 150 air raids and parachute jumps couldn’t stop her! On top of this, Smoky would warn Wynne about incoming shells and would guide him to safety, which earned her the nickname “angel from a foxhole”.
While she wasn’t an official war dog, Smoky boosted the morale of the troops and helped to comfort Wynne, especially when he fell ill with dengue fever.
Because of her continued loving support, Smoky is considered to be the first therapy dog, and news of the positive effects of her presence spread far and wide. It wasn’t long before therapy dogs were used to help people with depression and PTSD.
3. Laika: The First Dog to Orbit the Earth
From stray dog to space dog! Another famous female dog in history, Laika, a female terrier mix, made history in 1957 when she was scooped off the streets of Moscow and selected to be the first animal to orbit the Earth.
Laika rocketed off to space on board the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 and zoomed a mighty 2,000 miles above the streets she called home. She rightfully earned the journalistic nickname of “Muttnik”!
Sadly, Laika’s mission to space was a one-way trip and she died on-board the spacecraft. However, as sad as the outcome was for Laika, her bravery helped to pave the way for human spaceflight as scientists developed a better understanding of survival conditions in outer space.
Since her space mission, Laika still lives on through popular culture and has repeatedly found new life in song lyrics, stories, and will always be known for being the first animal in space.
In 2008, a small monument was unveiled in Moscow in Laika’s honour; it portrays a dog standing on top of a rocket to commemorate the canine cosmonaut.
4. Roselle: The Brave Canine of 9/11
Roselle, a Labrador Retriever guide dog, was with her owner, Michael Higson, when his office in the World Trade Centre was attacked on September 11th, 2001.
Undeterred by the chaos around her, the brave canine led her owner down a whopping 78 floors. Even when Tower Two collapsed, Roselle continued her descent, guiding Higson through the debris and smoke until they were clear of the building. She then continued to walk her owner to a friend’s apartment, 40 blocks away!
After 9/11, Higson worked at Guide Dogs for the Blind in California, and Roselle was awarded the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence in 2002 and the Hero Dogs from the American Humane Association in 2011.
5. Lucca: The War Hero
While many female dogs have served in the military to aid troops during wartime, one courageous canine stands out for their service in particular – Lucca. A mixed-breed dog trained to detect explosives, Lucca served with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. During her six years of service, she completed an impressive 400 missions and protected the lives of countless soldiers.
During her last tour in 2012, Lucca sadly lost her leg in an IED blast which brought her military career to a halt. Because of her outstanding service, she was honoured with the PDSA Dickin Medal (the dog version of the British Victoria Cross) and is the first US Marine corps dog to be awarded such an honour.
Is Your Dog the Greatest Dog Ever?
If you liked reading about these amazing pups, then you’ll love our personalised dog book: Greatest Dogs Ever.
Beautifully illustrated, this book stars your dog’s name and their adorable icon alongside stories that prove just how great our four-legged friends are; from dogs that have shown tremendous courage to help their humans, to canines that have taken the lead in Hollywood films.
Your dog will join you as you flip through the pages, because as you know… Your dog is the greatest of them all.
Ways to Treat Your Loyal Companion
We hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour looking at some of the fur-bulous female dogs in history! While we’ve listed some pups who’ve gone above and beyond, we know that every pup deserves a bit of recognition simply for being their pawsome selves.
For more personalised dog gifts for your very own talented and loyal companion, check out our website for the full range!