Top 5 Most Famous Dogs

It’s true dogs can be celebs too. Here is a list of some of the most famous dogs that found their way into our hearts.

1. Laika – The Canine Astronaut

During the Space Race in the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet Union placed Laika, a mixed breed dog, into space. Not many people know the humble beginnings of such triumphs.

Laika was a stray dog wandering the streets of Moscow. In 1957, she and two other strays were picked up to join the space programme. She flew into space aboard Sputnik 2.

Unfortunately, the flight didn’t go to plan and Laika didn’t make it back to Earth. Soviet officials said that Laika was euthanised prior to the oxygen depletion on the sixth day of orbit. However, it has been rumoured that Laika died only a few hours after launch, due to overheating.

Laika has been given numerous awards and honours for being one of the bravest dogs in history.

2. Toto/Terry

Made famous in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ 1939 film, Terry who played Toto, has become most of the recognizable dogs on the silver screen. Terry was abandoned as a puppy but was lucky enough to be adopted by Carl Spitz, who trained many dogs for Hollywood.

Terry starred in 17 films, meaning she became one of the most famous Hollywood star dogs. She lived to 11 years old and was beloved by movie-goers worldwide.

Toto is now one of the most common dog names.

3. Lassie

One of the most beloved on-screen dogs, Lassie, played by Pal, reached fame in the 1940s and 1950s. Pal, a male rough-haired collie, was commissioned to play the female role of Lassie. There has been many sequels to the original ‘Lassie Come Home’ story, such as Son of Lassie.

Sadly, Pal passed away in 1958, but the films created after his death starred his pups as Lassie. It has been thought that Pal made double the amount of money than his co-star Elizabeth Taylor in Lassie Come Home.

 4. Grey Friars Bobby

The story of Greyfriar’s Bobby is one of ongoing loyalty and has come to be known across Scotland.

In 1856, John Gray, a night watchman in Edinburgh adopted Bobby, a black-coated terrier. Together John and Bobby patrolled the streets, stopping trouble, and growing ever-closer by the day. Sadly, John passed away in 15th February 1858 due to tuberculosis and was buried in Grey Friar’s Kirkyard.

Bobby never left John’s graveside, staying there even in the worst weather conditions. The local gardener and keeper of Grey Friars made a shelter for him to stay. Bobby became famous in Edinburgh.

Bobby’s headstone reads, “Greyfriar’s Bobby – died 14th January 1872 – aged 16 years – Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all”

In 1867, a new law was passed requiring all dogs to be licensed in the city. Sir William Chambers, The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, decided to pay Bobby’s licence and gave him with a collar saying, “Greyfriars Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867 licensed”.

Until 1872 Bobby guarded John’s grave, and then passed away himself.

Numerous statues and honours have been given to Bobby for his loyalty. The main statue stands near the graveyard depicting Bobby.

5. Balto

Famously known in USA as the dog that saved many peoples lives, Balto is now honored in a museum exhibit to commemorate his achievements.

In 1924, a diphtheria epidemic struck in Nome, Alaska so Balto and his dog sled team raced across over 650 miles across Alaska, in five and a half days, to bring the antidote to the town in time to save many lives.

If Balto and his team hadn’t stepped up to the task the ill surely would have died, with the only port being closed for the winter and the one Doctor in the town with not enough antidote to save everyone.

The husky team, lead by Balto was awarded and recognized for their achievements.

There are many fabulously famous pooches and non-famous but equally amazing dogs that didn’t make this list. To each owner their dog is their hero and deserving of worldwide recognition.