5. Sgt. Stubby: America’s first war dog hero
America’s first war dog, Stubby, served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. In February of 1918 he saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks. This pit bull terrier dog was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.
He also located and comforted wounded, carried messages under fire and even once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants after hearing a noise coming from a small patch of brush. He went to investigate and found a German spy. Stubby put his ears back and began to bark. The German began to run and Stubby took off after him, biting the soldier on his legs causing him to trip and fall. Then he attacked the soldier’s arms and finally bit and held onto his rear end. By this time some of the Allied soldiers had come to see what all the noise was. When they saw that the dog had captured a spy they cheered. He became the first dog to be given rank in the U.S. Armed Forces.
After the war, Stubby became Georgetown University’s mascot when his owner, Robert Conroy was headed to law school and took the dog along. Old age finally caught up with the small warrior on April 4th, 1926, as he took ill and died in Conroy’s arms.
4. Swansea Jack: The Baywatch dog who saved 27 people
Born in Newfoundland, Swansea Jack lived in the North Dock area of Swansea with his master, William Thomas. He would always respond to cries for help from the water, diving into the water and pulling whoever was in difficulty to safety at the dockside. His first rescue, in June 1931, when he saved a 12-year-old boy, went unreported. A few weeks later, this time in front of a crowd, Jack rescued a swimmer from the docks.
Legend has it that in his lifetime he saved 27 people from the Docks / River Tawe. Swansea Jack died in October 1937 after eating rat poison. He was named ‘Dog of the Century’ by NewFound Friends of Bristol. He received a silver cup from the Lord Mayor of London and he is still the only dog to have been awarded two bronze medals by the National Canine Defence League (now known as Dogs Trust).
3. Jim: the “Wonder Dog” who could predict the future
Born in Louisiana in 1925, Jim displayed signs of extremely high intelligence. He was able to pick out colors a person was wearing, although dogs are apparently color-blind. He could pick out a car by its owner, color, make, or license plate number.
Jim became a hunting dog who knew which fields contained birds and which ones didn’t. Mr. VanArsdale would let Jim choose the field in which to hunt and he was never disappointed.
Jim was examined at the University of Missouri by a group of veterinarians and scientists. Results of the examination were normal. He responded to their requests given in Italian, French, German and Spanish. He was taken before a Greek class and given several requests in Greek which he successfully answered. Jim picked the winner in the 1936 World Series. He correctly predicted that Roosevelt would be re-elected in 1936. He also correctly picked the winner in the Kentucky Derby for seven years. And most amazingly, he could predict accurately the sex of an unborn infant.
The Wonder Dog died on March 18, 1937 and was buried in a cemetery in Marshall. A small white stone was erected over his grave bearing the inscription “Jim, the Wonder Dog.”
2. Appollo: A 9/11 hero
A search and rescue dog who served with the K-9 unit of the NYPD, Appollo was awarded the Dickin Medal, the animals’ equivalent of the Victoria Cross, in recognition of the work done by all search and rescue dogs following the September 11 attacks.
A German Shepherd born around 1992, he and his handler, Peter Davies, were called in to assist with the rescue operations after the September 11 terror attacks. They arrived at the World Trade Center site fifteen minutes after the attack, making Appollo the first search and rescue dog to arrive at the site after the collapse of the World Trade Center. At one point, Appollo was almost killed by flames and falling debris. However, he survived, having been drenched after falling into a pool of water just before this incident. Appollo started working again as soon as Davies had brushed the debris off him. He died in November 2006.
1. Faith: The bipedal dog
Faith Stringfellow is an amazing little dog who suffered from a birth defect. The mother dog was actually trying to terminate Faith’s life when she was rescued from a teenager boy. She only had one front leg and it had to be removed when she was 7 months because it was starting to atrophy. Faith has learned to stand and walk on her two back legs like a human.
It’s not all that unusual to see a dog stand up to greet their loved ones, but Faith remains upright and actually gets around this way. She may be the worlds first and only biped canine. Faith is now a therapy dog and makes public appearance to encourage others to live to their full potential.