From mythology to Cosmology
From vague drawings on the caves’ walls to Instagram sensations, man’s best friends have always been around to recall us what true friendship and sincere devotion look like.
From ancient myths and legends, through religious worship, to bright stars and space missions – the life as we know it would never be the same without the four pawned creatures, offering us their gentle love.
In mythology, dogs often serve as pets or as watchdogs. Stories of them guarding the gates of the underworld recur throughout almost all known older beliefs.
In ancient Mesopotamia, dogs were the symbol of Ninisina, the goddess of healing and medicine, therefore her worshippers frequently dedicated small models of seated dogs to her. Later, in the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods, dogs were often depicted as emblems of magical protection.
In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed watchdog who guards the gates of the underworld, ruled by Hades.
A bloody, four-eyed dog called Garmr guards the realm of the dead – Helheim, according to the Norse mythology.
In Persian mythology, two four-eyed dogs guard the Chinvat Bridge or the sifting
bridge of judgement, which separates the world of the living from the world of the dead.
Annwn – the Otherworld in Welsh mythology, is guarded by the barking hounds Cŵn Annwn.
In Hindu mythology, Yama, the god of death, owns two four eyed watch dogs, which guard the gates of Naraka or the realm of hell in Dharmic traditions.
Kimat, who is the pet of Tadaklan, god of thunder, is responsible for lightning in Philippine mythology.
The zodiacal dog in Chinese mythology is among the twelve animals, which cyclically represent the years.
Three of the 88 constellations in western astronomy also represent dogs: Canis Major (the Great Dog, whose brightest star, Sirius, is also called the Dog Star), Canis Minor (the Little Dog), and Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).
Today we don’t need ancient mythologies and older beliefs to prove us what spectacular animals dogs are.
They perform far too many tasks for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and most recently, aiding disabled people and assuming therapeutic roles.
Simply put, our life would never be the same without the help and care of these magnificent and yet adorable fluffy creatures.
The world’s most famous doggos
Who could forget one of the best romantic stories ever written – the one of The Lady and the Tramp, or suppress a sincere smile when seeing the mystery-solving Scooby Doo, the adorable little Snoopy or even better - the pink shades of Courage the Cowardly Dog?!
Still, nothing compares to you or in this case to the real thing. So here’s our list with the most famous dogs who stole the spotlight and captured our hearts along the way, as well.
The Cairn Terrier Terry
Before making her way on the big screen in 1934, the Cairn Terrier was just another abandoned puppy. Everything changed when her human, the Hollywood dog trainer Carl Spitz, came to the rescue. As an actor, the canine Terry proved to be capable of doing its own stunts.
After becoming a co-star in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, alongside the remarkable child actress Judy Garland, the stage name of the terrier was changed to Toto. People say that Judy wanted to buy the puppy but Spitz turned down her offer. The award winning movie was just a small part of Terry’s career, which lasted 9 years. During her lifetime she was casted in 17 films, three of which were projected at the same time in 1939.
- The German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin
In 1918, during World War I, an American soldier by the name Duncan, found a group of newborn German Shepherd puppies in a French village. He took one for himself, naming him Rin Tin Tin after a popular chant for good luck in France. Despite being trained to compete in dog shows, after the German Shepherd was filmed making a winning leap at a competition in Los Angeles, Duncan became obsessed with making his K9 friend a Hollywood superstar.
After playing a wolf in several pictures, the dog proved to be very talented. Therefore it didn’t take long before Rin Tin Tin got himself a leading role in the 1920s classic “Where the North Begins” - the film that saved the Warner Bros company from bankruptcy. The success made the German Shepherd the most famous dog in Hollywood, as Rin Tin Tin was featured in various advertisements, publicity photo sessions and over 20 more movies.
Rumours state that the canine had the Oscar for Best Actor won at the very first Academy Awards but the prize went to a person instead because the jury wanted the event to be taken seriously.
- The Rough Collie Lassie
Everyone has heard about the infamous family friendly female canine from the countryside. Lassie was created by the English novelist Eric Knight. Inspired by the short story of Elisabeth Gaskell about a Rough Collie, he wrote the 1940 novel “Lassie Come Home”. When the book was filmed three year later, the lead role was given to a male Rough Collie named Pal.
The fame of the dog Lassie only grew as its real life portrayer was featured in rodeos, carnivals and country fairs. This led to the start of the Emmy Award Winning TV series “Lassie” which ran for 19 years straight. With its 591 episodes the production is the 5th longest running show in the USA. Every single K9 that has ever played the lead role is a biological descendent of Pal.
- The German Shepherd Trakr
The German Shepherd Trakr was adopted by the Canadian James Symigton - an officer of the Halifax Regional Police. Trakr was his partner for 6 years, a time period in which the canine managed to find 1 million dollars worth of contraband and assisted not only in the arrest of criminals but in the search for missing people as well.
Despite all that, the German Shepherd is most famous for his brave actions on September 11. On this date, James took his K9 friend along and travelled to New York to provide help. At the site of the tragedy, Trakr found the last survivor trapped under 30 feet of debris but the saving operation took a heavy toll on the dog’s health.
In 2008, James wrote an essay about his K9 friend in order to enter the competition for the "World's Most Cloneworthy Dog". Since Symigton’s story won against 200 others, Trakr’s DNA was used for cloning. The procedure resulted in the birth of 5 puppies for James to look after.
- Collie-Shepherd Mix known as Bobbie the Wonder Dog
The tale of Bobbie, a rare cross between a Scotch Collie and an Enlish Shepherd, is an example for incredible endurance and love for the family. In August 1923 after an attack by other dogs, the two year old pup got lost. Since the owners failed to find him, they left Oregon heartbroken and returned to their home in Indiana. To their surprise, the K9 came back to them in February the following year. That meant Bobbie had crossed by paws over 4,800 km from the far West to the East of the USA.
By travelling 23 km per day for six months, the pup had managed to walk through plains and deserts, swim lakes and rivers, and even climb the mountains of the Contnental Divide during winter.
- The Siberian Husky Balto
If you haven’t watched the animated movie you should have heard at least about the 1925 serum run. Back then, the young population of Nome was affected by diphtheria and the only available antitoxin nearby was in Anchorage. The serum was transported by train to Nenana and the rest of the distance had to be travelled by several dog sleds from one point to another.
A Syberian husky named Balto was in charge of the K9 team that brought the medicine into town. The navigation skills and durability of the lead dog proved crucial for the success of the mission. Although there was no visibility because of the whiteout and the fact that the leg lasted throughout the night, Balto found the right way and delivered the cure on time.
- The German Shepherd Nemo
This is another German Shepherd that rose to action when lives were in danger. Nemo was a member of the United Air Forces at the time of the Vietnam War. During an attack of the Viet Cong against the Tan Son Nhut Air Base at night, the dog and its handler Airman Robert Throneburg sensed enemy forces approaching. He and Nemo managed to fend off two of the attackers and warned the rest of their colleagues but in the process the soldier was taken down.
Despite a bullet going through the mouth and the eye of Nemo, the dog quickly crawled over the body of Throneburg and protected him until the medics arrived, which saved the life of the Airman. The canine recovered as well and as a reward it was sent back to the USA, where the German Shepherd received a retirement kennel.
- Laika The Space Dog
Space travel wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifice of this canine. The husky-terrier Laika isn’t actually the first animal to go into space, but the first being in orbit. By launching the satellite Sputnik 1 to travel around the globe, the space program of the Soviet Union made huge progress. Therefore the next step for the Russian scientists was to test the effects of the flight on living beings. Since stray dogs seemed capable of enduring obstacles like cold and hunger, Laika was trained for the mission.
A lot of preparations were made to provide conditions for the dog to survive seven days in orbit aboard Sputnik 2 - including a thermofan, food and oxygen supplies. However, the poor creature died because the project was rushed over and had one too many flaws.
- The springer spaniel Mildred
Some dogs got famous due to their actions while others - thanks to their owners. This latter is exactly the case with Millie - the pet of George Bush Senior. The English springer spaniel has been featured in TV sitcoms like Wings, Murphy Brown and the Simpsons. The wife of the former US president even wrote a children’s book on behalf of the canine, which turned into a bestseller. All earnings from the publications went to a non profit literacy organization. A dog park in Texas is named after Millie and one of her pups became the pet of George Bush Junior.
- The Yorkshire Smoky
Even the smallest of canines can serve during the war and this female Yorkshire terrier proved it. She is considered to be the first recorded therapy dog. Smoky was found in the Guinea jungle during World War II and taken as a pet by Corporal William Wynne. The little dog had no trouble adapting to the harsh environment it went through from one battlefield to another, as a companion of a soldier.
The terrier survived 150 air raids on Guinea land, a typhoon near Japan and took part in a 9m parachute jump. Wynne recalls how the dog saved his life by one of the bombings by warning him to duck just before fire struck.
The biggest contribution of the canine was during the Luzon campaign of the war in the Philippines, where Smoky assisted in the construction of an airbase by running a telegraph wire through a 21 meter pipe. When Wynne was not busy with military duty, he was teaching his dog to perform tricks for the amusement of his brothers in arms.
Smoky’s talents became well known after the war. The terrier and its owner travelled all around the world, visited many veterans’ hospitals and appeared at 42 different TV shows to entertain the spectators with military stories and the amazing tricks of the canine.
- The forever waiting Hachiko
No other dog in history has shown bigger loyalty to its master than this Japanese Akita Inu. Hachiko was the canine of Hadisaburo Ueno - a professor from the Tokyo University. Every day as the owner was returning from work by train, he would find his pet waiting at the station, so they could go home together.
One tragic day, the professor suffered a fatal stroke and the tradition came to an end. However, for the next 9 years and 9 months after Ueno’s death, the canine would always show up at the station with the hope to see his master returning.
One of the students taught by Ueno was fascinated by the faithfulness of Hachiko and wrote several articles about the Akita Inu. As a result the whole nation of Japan was touched by the story and became interested in the breed. Until the dog passed away while waiting for Ueno, many people visited the train station to express their support and love for the pet.
- Boo -
The cutest dog on the planet
Social Medias can easily make a sensation out of cute animals like the Pomeranian Boo. The pup got a lot of attention after his Facebook page was promoted by Kesha in 2010. After the dog gained 5 million subscribers, Chronicle Books were keen on investing in a children’s picture book. “Boo: The Life of the World's Cutest Dog” came out in 2011. The success of the first book led to the publishing of a second one, not to mention the merchandise which included calendars and stuffed animals. The pet was even featured in advertisements for an airline company.
Sinbad – The Sailor
Just like the name implies, this cross between a bulldog and a doberman pinscher was in the Navy. Although pets were not allowed, Sinbad demonstrated a level of seamanship that got him assigned as a Chief Dog at the USCGC Campbell. During World War II, Sinbad was present at the ship while the crew took assault by enemy aircrafts and led anti-submarine warfare.
After the Campbell suffered major damage at the hands of the Germans, a small group stayed at the Campbell to keep it afloat, so it could get repairs. Sinbad was also there because the captain believed the vessel will not sink as long as the dog is on board.
However, the canine was not always a good boy and sometimes caused mischief not only on the ship but during public relations as well. That is why the officer was promoted and later demoted on several occasions.
Celebrate in your own manner
There’s so much that you can do on this really special day, aside from cute photo-shoots on Instagram - from adopting a dog from a rescue home to giving your dog a holistic spa treatment, spoiling it with treats or even buying yourself and your dog matching t-shirts.
There’s no need to go that far but still find the time to take care of your furry friend or give a home to one in need.
And since owning a pet is a huge responsibility, including tons of cleaning, we’re here to offer you our professional cleaning services all around London.
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