Great Dog Stories
click here to return to our home page
Lord Byron's Newfoundland dog Boatswain.
Lord Byron (1788 - 1824) is regarded as one of the greatest British poets. He wrote this poem for his beloved
dog Boatswain. Boatswain was tragically attacked and bitten by a rabid dog, Byron insisted on nursing
Boatswain himself, heedless of the risk, and grieved deeply at the dog's inevitable death. "Boatswain is dead!"
he lamented to a friend. "He expired in a state of madness...after suffering much, yet retaining all the
gentleness of his nature to the last, never attempting to do the least injury to anyone near him."
Lord Byron had a monument made with his poem inscribed on it.
Near this spot Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity
Strength without Insolence Courage without Ferocity And all the virtues of Man without
This praise which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes
is but a just tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN a DOG, Who was born in
Newfoundland May 1803 and died at Newstead Nov. 18 1808
When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rest below:
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been:
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on --- it honours none you wish to mourn:
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one, --- and here he lies.
Ever Faithful Medor
Medor was the dog of a worker during the French Revolution of 1830. During the attack on the Louvre on
July 29, 1830, the worker was shot and killed. His dog Medor, the man’s only friend
remained with his master's body. Several days later the corpses were piled onto an enormous hearse and
driven to their final resting place. Medor was seen following the hearse and remained even
after the mourners left. At daybreak he would disappear, only to return every evening to cry
on his master’s grave.
Delta Of Pompeii
Delta was found alongside the remains of a young boy in the ruins of Pompeii. The remains show clearly that
Delta was trying to protect his master, a young boy named Serverinus, from the devastation caused by the volcano.
A collar around Delta’s neck revealed that this was not the first time he had tried to save Serverinus. Engraved
on the collar was Delta's name and that Delta had saved Severinus three times. Once he pulled the boy out of the
ocean and saved him from drowning. Another time Delta fought off four robbers who assaulted Severinus. And
that Delta protected the boy from an angry wolf. His last act of heroism at Pompeii, however, was not enough.
But, almost miraculously, Delta’s heroism is immortalized in the ruins of Pompeii.
Genie The Heroic Greyhound
Genie was a rescued greyhound at the age of 11. She was newly retired after 5 years of running and 5 years of
breeding. Her new owners Neena & Tim Derf were real happy with their new dog. Genie was taken to the vet
for her annual shots on Sunday afternoon. That night, at about 3:30 A.M., she came into the bedroom and
woke Neena up. She never does that! I thought she was sick from the shots, and got up to take her out.
To my shock, I found my husband, passed out at the other end of the house. He had an internal bleeding
problem, and had hemorrhaged to the point that he was ten minutes from death.
Yes, I would have slept through it, if it weren't for our miracle girl, Genie!
Gander The Newfoundland Dog War Hero
Gander, formerly named Pal, was acquired as mascot, by the Royal Rifles of Canada, who were stationed in
Gander, Newfoundland during WW2. Pal had accidentally scratched a child and his owners, upset by the incident,
offered him to the Royal Rifles. In 1941, during the WW2, the Royal Rifles of Canada were sent, along with
Gander, to Hong Kong Island to defend the island against Japanese attacks. On one occasion, Gander charged
Japanese soldiers as they were approaching some wounded Canadian soldiers; most likely saving the soldiers'
lives. Gander's final act of bravery cost him his own life, but saved the lives of the men he was with. On
December 19, 1941, during the Battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island. During the attack, Gander picked up a
grenade that had landed next to a group of soldiers and carried it away. The grenade exploded, instantly killing Gander.
Gander was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal on October 27, 2000. Gander's medal
is on permanent display in the Hong Kong section of the Canadian War Museum.
Red The Brave Sled Dog
In Anchorage, Alaska in 1959 a female sled dog named Red fought a bloody battle witha polar bear to save
the life of Col. E. Feathers, the Alaska Air Command. The colonel met the275 pound bear in the afternoon
semi-darkness. The bear lunged and the colonel tried to make it to his quarters but he could not get much traction
in the snow. Just when it seemed the bear was on top of me, Red attacked him from the rear. While the bear was
trying to kill Red a member of the station staff slew the big beast with his revolver.
Red was mauled severely but survived.
Villa, The Newfoundland, Ken-L Ration Dog Of The Year 1983
During a severe blizzard in Villas, New Jersey, eleven year old Andrea Anderson wasblown into a large
snowdrift about forty feet from her home. Disoriented, blinded by theblowing 60 mile per hour winds full
of snow, she began to scream for help. Villa, a 1 year old black Newfoundland puppy belonging to
Mrs. Lynda Veit, heard Andrea's cries and leaped over the five foot fence surrounding her. Villa ran eighty
feet to the snowdrift, found Andrea,and licked her face. Then she circled the girl to clear the snow
entrapping her. Once Andreawas free, Villa cleared a path for her
through the blinding snow and led her to the front door of Andrea's house.
Reona Ken-L Ration Dog Of The Year 1989
Reona , a Rottweiler left her house and jumped over three fences to come to the aid of 5-year old Vivian Cooper
during an earthquake. Vivian has epilepsy, and over excitement could bring on a life threatening seizure. Once in
the house Reona pushed the little girl up against the kitchen cabinets and held her there. Moments later a large
microwave was shaken of the top of a refrigerator, falling in the exact spot that Vivian had just been.
Vivian held onto Reona during the earthquake with her head buried into the big dog's fur.
For her heroism Reona was the Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year in 1989.
Sandy The Brave Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Keith Chandler, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident, was rescued by his two year-old
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Sandy, when a fire broke out in his home. The man yelled at his children to leave the
house after he smelled the fire. He managed to roll himself off the bed and tried to drag himself by the elbows
across the floor but was making little progress. Sandy rushed in from the garden, grabbed onto the top of his
jumper and began dragging Chandler to the door. She managed to get her owner outside. "The whole
room almost exploded just seconds after Sandy pulled me into the garden," said Chandler. The fire, which started
in the kitchen, was so intense that it gutted the house in less than 30 minutes. "The dog undoubtedly helped this
man get out of the house. He is severely paralysed and I think without the dog's help we would probably be dealing
with a fatality here," said a spokesperson for the fire department.
Shep Fort Benton's Famous Dog
In 1936 a sheepherder fell ill while tending his flock and was brought to the St. Clare Hospital in Fort Benton,
Montana. A sheep dog had followed the herder into town and soon set up a vigil at the hospital's door. The
sheepherder died and the herder's family requested that his body be sent back home. On that August day the
undertaker put the body on the train for shipment to his waiting relatives. As the gurney was rolled out onto the
platform, a big gaunt shepherd dog with watchful eyes appeared out of nowhere and watched as the casket was loaded
into the car. Attendants later recalled the dog whining as the door slammed shut and the engine slowly started
to pull away from the station, then head down, turning and trotting down the tracks. On that day the dog, later
named Shep, began a five-and-a-half year vigil that was only broken by his death. Day after day, meeting four
trains daily, Shep became a fixture on the platform. He eyed each passenger hopefully, and was often chased off as
a mongrel but never completely discouraged. Neither the heat of summer days nor the bitter Montana winter
days prevented Shep from meeting the next train. As Shep's fame spread, people came from everywhere to see him.
Shep was an older dog when he came to the station house in Fort Benton. Throughout his vigil the long nights
under the platform and the coldwinter had taken their toll. Stiff-legged and hard of hearing, Shep failed to hear
old 235 as it rolled into the station at 10:17 that cold winter morning. He turned to look when the engine was
almost upon him, moved to get out of the way, and slipped on the icy rails. Shep's long vigil had ended
Shep's funeral was held two days later. He was laid to rest on the bluff overlooking the station
where his long wait had been in vain.
Brave Dog of William of Orange
In 1572, the Pug was chosen as the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland when a silver Pug named
Pompey saved the life of his master, William, Prince of Orange. On the night of September 12, l572 a body of
Alva's Spanish troops surprised Dutch William's camp. Upon hearing enemy soldiers, Pompey licked William's face
and barked noisily until the prince awoke. William then grabbed Pompey, and ran to safety. To his dying day the
Prince ever afterwards kept his dog in his bedchamber. To mark the whole event and the importance of Pompey,
an effigy of Willliam and his pug is carved over William's tomb in Delft Cathedral.
Chips The War Dog
During World War II, a shepherd mix dog named Chips was donated by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, NY
to the war effort. Many citizens donated their dogs for duty. Chips was soon on the front lines acting as a tank
guard dog in Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. At one point, he dragged a phone cable across a raging battlefield,
so that his platoon could call for backup. The one event Chips is most known for though happened on a beach in
Sicily. When he and his handler came under fire from a hidden pillbox, Chips sprang from his handler and dove
straight into the enemy emplacement. The soldiers inside came out moments later and surrendered, with Chips
behind them. That would be impressive enough, but later that night he also alerted his squad to some approaching
Italians, who were promptly captured as well. Chips received a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his adventures,
but had them stripped away when dogs were reclassified in the military as "equipment," making him the last
canine to be officially decorated.
The Loyal Akita Hachiko
In 1924, a professor Hidesaburo Ueno from the University of Tokyo brought his dog, Hachiko, to live with him.
The two developed a routine, where the dog would see the professor off at his home and then meet him at the train
station later. Then one day, the professor didn't show up at the train station. He'd had a stroke at the university and
died. Hachiko was given away to another owner, but he would often escape and turn up at his old home.
The dog must have eventually realized that Ueno wasn't coming home, and so he went to look for him at the train
station. For ten years, Hachiko would arrive at the train station exactly when the evening train showed up and would
wait for his former owner. Other commuters noticed the loyal pooch and began to bring him food and snacks. He
even gained national attention when a former student of Ueno's published several articles about him. One artist even
built and erected a bronze statue of the dog while he was still alive. Hachiko died in 1935, but his legend
continues to live on in Japan.
In April 1934, a bronze statue in his likeness was erected at Shibuya Station, and Hachikō himself was present
at its unveiling. The statue was recycled for the war effort during World War II. In 1948 The Society for
Recreating the Hachikō Statue commissioned Takeshi Ando, son of the original artist who had since died, to
make a second statue. The new statue, which was erected in August 1948, still stands
and is an extremely popular meeting spot.
Rob The Para Pup
In the spring of 1942, the British started using, what they called para pups, with their first airborne army and SAS
units. They were trained to lead soldiers behind enemy lines, sniff them out, and give silent warning
and direction to the patrol. One in particular was Rob, a mongrel black and white dog with a patch over one eye.
He worked with the SAS. Rob would be parachuted in and would have to wait for his owner to find him and remove
the parachute. Rob while working never failed to alert the SAS party for the many months while they were behind
enemy lines in both North Africa and later in Italy. Rob made a total of 12 jumps into enemy territory.
There was a little dog in Edinburgh named Bobby. Bobby was a Skye Terrier, and he so loved his master, John Gray.
The two were inseparable for several years. On February 15th 1858, Gray died and was buried in Greyfriars
churchyard in the town of Edinburgh. Bobby, who survived Gray by fourteen years, is said to have spent the rest of
his life sitting on his master's grave. Bobby died in 1872 and could not be buried within the cemetery itself, since it
was regarded as "consecrated" ground. Bobby was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from
John Gray's grave. Today stands a statue and a granite stone which is inscribed,
"Greyfriars Bobby died 14th January 1872 aged 16 years
Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all"
Copyright 2009-2012, all rights reserved
Web Design and Hosting by FinnTechSolutions