Here at Finding Rover, we love mutts and purebreds alike. Today we celebrate the cuties we call mixed-breeds! Here are the famous mutts of the past century; ya know-- in case you ever come across a dog-related category on Jeopardy! You may recognize these pups from movies, television, and even world history-- along with a couple of our adorable, breed non-specific office dogs!
Bobbie the Wonder Dog (1920s)
This Wonder Dog gained his fame when he traveled over 2,500 miles to find his long-lost owners in 1923. Bobbie earned his way into the archives of Ripley's Believe It or Not and inspired the silent film The Call of the West. During a family road trip, Bobbie was separated from his family in Indiana. After six months of missing Bobbie, he miraculously found his way back home in Oregon. This amazing Scotch Collie-English Shepherd mix proves that purebred or not, a dog's loyalty is tried-and-true.
Sinbad the US Coast Guard Sailor (1940s)
Based on the picture below, just guess who earned all of these honorable mentions:
- American Defense Service Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- European-African-Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- WWII Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Service Medal
That's right! The four-legged furry mutt, Sinbad! Shipmate A. A. Rother originally got Sinbad as a gift for his girlfriend, but (as the all-too-common story would have it) her landlord did not allow dogs. Instead of giving up the Doberman Pinscher-Rottweiler-Labrador mix, Rother enlisted Sinbad into the US Coast Guard as a service dog.
Although one of Sinbad's most famous pictures is of him perched on a ship's cannon, he was never allowed above the deck while the men were firing because they feared for his quality of hearing. According to many media interviews during this time, Sinbad was regarded as a true sailor and was loved by his shipmates. After eleven years of serving the US and involved in many combat missions during WWII, Sinbad retired in 1948. His last years were spent on shore, relaxing, watching ships go by in the distance.
Laika the first dog in space (1950s)
Although the ethics of this next story are debatable, you can't deny Laika's sacrifice was one of historic achievement. Laika was a stray pulled off the streets of Moscow, Russia. She was about three years old and weighed a small twelve pounds. Her parents' breeds are unclear, but many assumed she was small Husky-Terrier mix.
Russian scientists did the best they could to prepare Laika for the extraordinary trip, and provided necessities for her to survive as long as possible on the spacecraft. On November 3, 1957, Laika was launched into outer space. Laika survived the launch, but could not brave the elements long after entering orbit. The capsule entered the Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, along with Laika's ashes, five months later.
Writer Jill Harness worded it best when she explained, "While Laika's story is a sad one, she did play an important role in the history of both science and animal rights -dog owners everywhere were outraged when they discovered that she was sent to space only to die. The issue became a turning point in discussions about the use of animal test subjects in science. In the end, Laika may have become the most important stray dog in modern history."
Spike as Old Yeller (1960s)
This Labrador Retriever-Mastiff mix, Spike, became an American cult classic when he barked into the role of Old Yeller in 1957. Spike was rescued from the Los Angeles Animal Services East Valley Shelter in Van Nuys by animal trainer Frank Weatherwax. He grew to be Weatherwax's largest stars-- quite literally, too, maxing out at a whopping 170 pounds. From one tearjerker to the next, Spike starred in A Dog of Flanders just two years later. Later, Old Yeller made his cheerful TV debut on the early Mickey Mouse Club and The Westerner. Spike lived large in the lime-light in the late 1950's and 60's, and will forever live in our hearts.
Higgins as Benji (1970s)
Like Spike, Higgins was rescued from death row at a Los Angeles shelter by another animal trainer, Frank Inn. This famous Spaniel mix came from The Burbank Animal Shelter. Inn fell in love with Higgins' expressive eyes and great learning ability. Nearly every week, Higgins learned a new routine like climbing ladders, opening mail boxes, and even yawning on command. The 1960's and early 70's was Higgins' heyday. He appeared in Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Mooch Goes to Hollywood. After a short-lived time in retirement, he came back to star in his famous role as Benji. This early 1970's icon will forever be in our hearts as the definition of a great happy-tail rescue story.
Aleister as Sorry in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2010s)
In the 2012 dramedy, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, rescue dog Aleister stole the show as the hero dog, Sorry. “When I saw Aleister and his wonderful scrappy snaggletooth and wiry coat, I loved him and felt, ‘Here’s our hero dog,’” gushed writer/director Lorene Scafaria.
Since Sorry played such a large role in the movie, he had to have a few 'doggie doubles.' Aleister's main double was Mulligan; rescued and named by the movie's resident dog trainer, Sarah Clifford of Animal Savvy. “Mulligan was rescued from the shelter on the morning he was scheduled to be euthanized,” reports Clifford. “He learned the ropes, and was doing takes only two weeks after we took him out of the shelter. Mulligan did the scene where Sorry is crawling down the fire escape, and anything else that required a lot of action." A third doggie double, Rita, was from our friends at I.C.A.R.E. Dog Rescue based in Southern California.
These rescue pups are not only stole the lime-light, but they stole the hearts of everyone on set and in the audience. Just as this movie's theme intended, these dogs are the perfect representation of second chances and new beginnings.
The Finding Rover Office Mutts
Now that you've seen our beloved mutts, we want to see YOURS! Share a pic of your pup on Finding Rover's Cute Pics Pack to be featured on our blog!
Hope you enjoyed our stroll down memory lane as we honor the most famous mutts of the last century! And remember, mutt or purebred- all dogs deserve to be protected with Finding Rover's life saving technology! #WOOF