Five dogs that changed the course of history

We, the human race, have shaped the civilizations from the dawn of our journey on this planet. But humans are not the only one to make history. Many of our friends in the animal kingdom have made their own incredible mark on history, in both positive and negative ways.

Here are some of the most notable examples when history was created by Dogs, our four-legged best friends in small but meaningful ways.

Laika: The dog who sacrificed her life to make space travel possible

In the early days of the space race, little was known about the impact of spaceflight on the human body. Scientists were not sure whether the human body would be able to survive the massive acceleration during the launch, or the microgravity environment of outer space. So, Soviet engineers decided to test animal flights, while continuously monitoring their health on board, as  a necessary precursor to human missions.

Laika was a 3-year-old stray dog, picked up from the Moscow streets, just over a week before the Sputnik-2 was set to launch. Soviet scientists chose to use strays since they assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger.

In 1957, Laika became the first animal to be launched into orbit. The experiment proved that a living passenger could survive space and endure micro-gravity, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

Sadly, the technology to de-orbit from space had not yet been developed, and therefore Laika’s survival was not possible. After completing several orbits, Laika passed away due to overheating, and the Sputnik-2 capsule, including Laika’s remains, disintegrated during re-entry.

After completing several orbits, Laika passed away due to overheating, and the Sputnik-2 capsule, including Laika’s remains, disintegrated during re-entry.

Peritas : The Dog that saved the life of Alexander the Great

Peritas was Alexander the Great’s favorite dog, who accompanied him during his military endeavors. He saved the legendary warrior, at least, twice on the battlefield.

According to legend, he leaped in front of a charging elephant during a Persian attack led by Darius III in Battle of Gaugamela. By biting the elephant’s face, he diverted the animal from Alexander, which allowed the troops to rescue Alexander just in time.

 

In another story, Peritas led soldiers to Alexander when he had been wounded in battle against Mallians and fought off enemies while the soldiers saved Alexander’s life.

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Manas Saha

Manas is a software engineer who is also a Travel addict, Technology and News enthusiast, and has deep interest in Science, Photography and Movies.

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