Great American Dogs

Great American Dogs

There have been so many great dogs in American history we had to share a few.

Buddy - Buddy first met Morris Frank in Switzerland during 1928. She was introduced to Frank by Jack Humphrey and Dorothy Harrison Eustis in Eustis' estate where they both bred and trained German Shepherds to be guide dogs for the blind. Frank was trained how to work with Buddy and soon together they moved back to New York City in June 1928 and immediately began telling reporters about how he can travel independently with Buddy. Together they demonstrated Buddy’s abilities to the media how Frank was now able to make his way through the city and its streets and even cross them during busy hours with success. The following year Frank and Eustis created the first guide-dog school in the United States, The Seeing Eye. With Buddy, Frank was able to travel throughout the United States and Canada to educate people about The Seeing Eye and the need for equal access laws for people with guide dogs. Because of their determination to create these laws, people with guide dogs were able to have access to railroad passenger compartments or stay in a hotel room and be allowed in public spaces with their guide dogs. Buddy and Frank's bond has blessed many people with not only a means of support but companionship. 

Lucca - During Lucca’s 6 years of service, two tours of duty were with the U.S Marine Corps as a specialized search dog who belonged to an elite group of canines capable of working off-leash at long distance from their handlers. Working in dangerous situations, she is credited with more than 400 patrols, three combat tours, finding ammunition, explosives and insurgents at least 40 times without a single human fatality under her watch. One her last mission in 2012 she was on patrol in Afghanistan when she discovered a 30-pound IED. While continuing her search another IED detonated underneath her. Her handler, Cpl. Juan Rodriguez was able to rescue her and administer first aid, after which she was airlifted to Germany for medical treatment and rehabilitation after her left leg was amputated. Ten days after, she was already walking again. Because of her bravery and service she was awarded the Dickin Medal which garnered her more public attention than any other honoree in the program’s 73-year history. In November 2019 Lucca became one of the first winners of the Animals in War & Peace Medals of Bravery, which was bestowed posthumously to her in a ceremony on Capitol Hill. 

Nemo - During 1966 Nemo was 1 of 40 sentry dogs who were tasked to patrol along the perimeters of the U.S Air Force Air Bases in Vietnam. One night during December, 75 enemy raiders slipped past the first perimeter but the sentry dog teams detected the enemy force and were able to stop severa of them. However the next night Nemo had detected a small enemy group that had remained hidden in the base. His handler Airman 1st Class Robert Throneburg and Nemo were able to subdue the remaining enemies found. However during the fight Nemo received return fire and was hit in the snout leading to him losing an eye. He was hailed as a hero and was taken on many tours throughout the U.S. and lived out his days in Texas until his death in 1972.

Apollo - In 1994, Apollo graduated from the NYPD Canine special Operations Division and was one of the first dogs to learn Search and Rescue. He also passed Type I and II of training, and went on to become a part of the first team to pass the Urban Search and Rescue New York Task Force 1. On the morning of September 11th, 2001 Apollo and his handler, Peter Davis were the first search and rescue dog to arrive on site. Apollo worked 18 hour days risking his life dragging victims of the attack out of harm’s way. At one point, Apollo was almost killed by flames and falling debris. But luckily moments before he had happened to fall into a pool of water just before the incident. Davis brushed the debris off of him and they went back to work. Apollo received the Dickin Medal which is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross in 2002 as well as the American Kennel Club Ace award in 2001 for his hard work and bravery.