Four famous dogs who took their place in history for being a part of something big, ranging from land exploration and a cross country road trip, to providing service to humans.
We know how awesome dogs are. After all, we get to witness their behavior and varied personalities every day at the Good Dog Hotel & Spa. Whether they are staying overnight, or visiting during the day at our doggie daycare, we see them do some pretty amazing things all the time.
So, it’s no surprise that dogs have quite a place in history. And even though there’s no way we can list them all, here are five of the most well-known dogs and how they’ve contributed to our world. We hope you enjoy.
Bud Nelson: The first dog to travel across the U.S. by automobile.
The story: Horatio Nelson Jackson was an American physician and automobile pioneer. In 1903, he and driving partner Sewall K. Crocker became the first people to drive an automobile across the United States. The expedition began in San Francisco, but somewhere near Caldwell, Idaho, Jackson and Crocker obtained a dog, a Pit Bull named Bud. As it turns out, Jackson had wanted a dog companion since Sacramento. Newspapers at the time gave a variety of stories of how Bud was acquired, including that he was stolen. But in a letter to his wife, Nelson said a man sold him the dog for $15 (equivalent to $409 in 2017). It turned out that the dusty alkali flats the travelers encountered would bother Bud’s eyes so much (the car had neither a roof nor windshield) that Jackson eventually fitted him with a pair of goggles. At one point, Bud drank bad water and became ill, but survived. They arrived in New York City on July 26, 1903, 63 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes after commencing their journey in San Francisco, in the first automobile to successfully transit the North American continent. Their trip expended over 800 gallons of gasoline.
Chinook: The dog team leader for the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions and dubbed an All-American Dog in in the 1920s.
The story: The Chinook breed owes its existence to Arthur Treadwell Walden of Wonalancet, New Hampshire. The breed derives principally from one male ancestor born in 1917, named “Chinook”, who was Walden’s lead dog and stud. “Chinook” derived from a crossbreeding of husky stock from the Peary North Pole expedition with a large, tawny Mastiff-like male. Photos of “Chinook” show a drop-eared dog with a broad Mastiff head and muzzle. Walden’s leader was bred to Belgian Sheepdogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Canadian Eskimo Dogs and perhaps other breeds; the progeny was bred back to him to set the desired type and was apparently a strong reproducer of his own traits.
Arthur Walden was a dog driver with years of experience in the Yukon; he was the lead driver and trainer on Byrd’s 1929 Antarctic expedition. He is credited with bringing sled dog sports to New England and with founding the New England Sled Dog Club in 1924. Unfortunately, the 12-year-old “Chinook” was lost on the Byrd expedition.
Seaman: Member of the first American overland expedition.
The story: Seaman, a Newfoundland dog, became famous for being a member of the first American overland expedition from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back. He was the only animal to complete the entire trip. He was purchased for $20 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Captain Meriwether Lewis while he was in the city awaiting completion of the boats for the voyage in August 1803, for his famed Lewis and Clark expedition.
Endal: A male Labrador retriever in Britain whose abilities as a service dog and as an ambassador for service dog charitable work received worldwide news media coverage.
The story: Among other distinctions, Endal was described as “the most decorated dog in the world” (including Dog of the Millennium and the PDSA Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty, the highest award available to an animal) and possibly the most famous assistance dog in the UK. He was filmed by over 340 film crews from around the world, and had a number of world “firsts” as an assistance dog to his credit.