Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend. But when it comes to proving their commitment, some of them go just a bit further than the rest. Here are a few examples of dogs that were so much more than just loyal friends; they claimed their place in the history books for being the world’s first when it comes to acts of pure courage and adventure.
Rupee is the first canine on record to travel for 10 days to Everest base camp with his owner, Joanne Lefson, taking him to the lofty altitude of 17,000 feet. Joanne found Rupee when he was a starving puppy on the streets of Ladakh, India and took him home to South Africa. They returned to India just months later for their challenge - a mountain trek up Everest.
This Russian canine was a true space dog and the first living creature launched into orbit around the Earth. Soviet Leader Nikita Krushchev wanted his engineers to follow up Sputnik 1 with a “space spectacular” - and they didn’t fail them.
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Accompanying her owner on his Arctic expeditions, Titina was the first dog to reach the North Pole. The fierce little brown-and-white fox terrier was the inseparable companion of Umberto Nobile, an Italian inventor and airship pilot. His dog was his most loyal crew member - a faithful companion who stood only 10 inches high, weighed about 12 pounds and once barked down a polar bear.
4. ASHLEY WHIPPET
In 1974, Ashley the whippet and his owner halted a nationally broadcast baseball game by dashing onto the field and performing frisbee stunts in front of an astonished audience. Both canine frisbee and Ashley became instant celebrities, and their disc-catching game turned into the annual Frisbee Disc Canine Championship.
5. RIN TIN TIN
American soldier Lee Duncan found the canine star of the silver screen on a French battlefield. Rin Tin Tin, who was famously cited in a divorce case and drank milk from a champagne glass, got his big break when he starred in the Warner Bros.’ film Where the North Begins, which is believed to have saved the studio from bankruptcy.
6. SERGEANT STUBBY
Sergeant Stubby was the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment (United States), assigned to the 26th (Yankee) Division. The only dog to be nominated for the rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat, his heroic journey is the subject of an upcoming film, scheduled for release in April 2018.
After getting lost during a family vacation, Bobbie is the first dog to travel over 2,500 miles to get home to his family. Despite searching high and low, the family thought he was gone. But six months later he appeared on their doorstep, skinny and weak. This memorable journey earned him a new nickname after he returned home, ‘Bobbie the Wonder Dog.’
No other dogs seems to have reached this distance since; the Guinness World Record is held by Jimpa, who, in 1979 travelled 2,000 miles to his old home after being lost for 14 months. If only these canines could tell the tales of where they’d been…
8. RED DOG
Red Dog was the first ever canine member of the Transport Workers’ Union. The kelpie/cattle dog cross was so well known for his travels through Western Australia’s Pilbara region that a statue was erected in his memory in Dampier, one of the towns to which he often returned. Though there were many attempts to reunite him with his original owner, Red Dog was content travelling on his own.
Canine Cottages are champions of adventure and discovery, and if your pooch is planning to follow in the paw-steps of the greats, we've got some fantastic dog-friendly holidays with a whole host of adventures just waiting to be em-bark-ed upon!
This story was originally published by caninecottages.com. Reprinted with permission.