| Michaela Fisher

A List of Hero Dogs

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who gave everything they had while serving in our country’s armed forces. We here at Bedtime4dogs recognize this important holiday, and would also like to take the time recognize some amazing dogs that gave it their all too—whether they be military or just every day heroes. For the next two articles we will be highlighting USA canines who we feel deserved to be recognized for their heroism.

  1. Rin Tin Tin was a police dog who became discovered by an American soldier on a battlefield in France in 1918. When the war was over Rin was brought to the U.S. where he then went on to star in over 122 films.                       
  2. Mattie was the first operational accelerant detection dog in the country in 1986! She could sniff out evidence of arson, and did so for 11 years.
  3. Apollo was part of the NYPD and was one of the first dogs to learn search and rescue in 2001. This beautiful German Shepperd was a first responder at the World Trade Center and for his efforts was awarded the Dickin Medal, the highest honor an animal can receive in war.
  4. Sergeant Stubby was perhaps the most famous and highly decorated WWI American dog. He was one lucky dog, surviving a poison gas attack in 1918 and going on to be a dog able to sniff out such attacks early and warn the soldiers. He was also proficient at finding wounded soldiers, and ended up meeting three presidents in his lifetime.     

  1. Valdo was a bomb-sniffing canine working in Afghanistan. Not only was he good at sniffing out bombs, but once in 2011 he shielded four troops against a rocket propelled grenade and took on the brunt of the shrapnel. The dog was pretty seriously injured, but his actions saved the American soldiers.
  2. Lucca, another German Sheppard was a brave military dog who in 2012 lost her leg while protecting a platoon of Marines from a roadside bomb.
  3. They say it is not the size of the dog that determines the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. This can certainly be said for our next hero, a 4 pound terrier named Smoky. During WWII she earned honors after she warned an American soldier of incoming fire on a transport ship.
  4. Chips was an all-American mutt! In WWII he was deployed with his handler in Sicily, where they became pinned down by machine gun fire. Chips broke free and attacked the enemy gunmen, ultimately resulting in the enemies’ surrender. Chips was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
  5. The civil war finds a Staffordshire Terrier as one of its heroes. Sallie worked with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and accompanied soldiers into battle, right on the front lines! She eventually was killed at the Battle at Hatcher’s Run, and in 1980 the surviving veterans dedicated a monument at Gettysburg for this selfless pooch.
  6. The name Nemo probably makes you think of a certain clown fish, but Nemo was also the name of a very famous dog in the Vietnam War. On patrol with his owner Thorneburg one day, the pair were attacked by the enemy and both shot. Ignoring his wound the German Sheppard charged, creating enough time for Thorneburg to call for reinforcements.