Famous Miracle Dogs in History

Miracles of Barry, Trakr, Smoky, Togo and Balto, Seaman, Roselle, Bobbie, Frisky

These famous dogs have such inspirational stories that some people say God has performed miracles through them. Here are are some of the most famous miracle dogs in history:

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Barry (a Saint Bernard)

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Barry lived in the early 1800s with monks who worked at the Great Saint Bernard Hospice, in the Saint Bernard Pass of the Swiss Alps mountain range in Switzerland. The monks there trained Barry and other Saint Bernard dogs how to help people who became either lost while hiking in the area or trapped in the snow by the frequent avalanches there.

The dogs learned how to find people, lick the faces of those who were unconscious to wake them up, and use their body heat to warm people up. Traveling in small groups, the dogs worked together on rescues. Once they had found a person in need of help, one dog would stay with the person while another ran back to the hospice to alert the monks.

Barry rescued more than 40 people during his 12 years of service, and people considered many of those rescues to be miraculous. Once, Barry found a boy who was trapped in an ice cavern on a narrow ledge that was inaccessible to people. Since the monks couldn't reach the child, Barry had the boy climb onto his back, and then Barry carried the boy safely back to the hospice for medical treatment there.

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Trakr (a German Shepherd)

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Trakr was one of many hardworking search and rescue dogs who helped people find people trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York City after it collapsed during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

About 26 hours after the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, Trakr found the last of the survivors from the disaster: Genelle Guzman, who worked for the Port Authority of New York. Guzman miraculously survived and recovered from her ordeal.

Before that miraculous rescue, Trakr had served the police department in Halifax, Canada for six years. Trakr found several missing people, located contraband, and helped police officers solve crimes during that time.

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Smoky (a Yorkshire Terrier)

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Soldiers discovered Smoky abandoned in the New Guinea jungle during World War 2. An American corporal named William Wynne adopted her, and she accompanied him and other soldiers on 12 combat missions and 12 rescue and reconnaissance missions. Smoky earned eight battle stars for her service during the war, and she once saved Wynne's life by warning him of incoming shells from a transport ship and guiding him to safety, which inspired him to call her an "angel from a foxhole."

When Smoky helped engineers build a much-needed airbase in Luzon (by running telegraph wire through 70 feet of pipe by herself), some people called her accomplishment miraculous.

Smoky became known as the first therapy dog, giving affection to injured and ill soldiers on battlefields to help them heal, and cheering up many soldiers during the war by performing an extensive repertoire of tricks. After the war, Smoky visited many veterans in hospitals, and she also performed her tricks on live television shows.

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Togo and Balto (Siberian Huskies)

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When a diphtheria epidemic hit the city of Nome, Alaska, people searched for a way to get an antitoxin serum to the sick people there in time to heal people and save as many lives as possible. The closest available serum was in Anchorage, Alaska -- about 1,000 miles away from Nome -- and the only available airplane wouldn't start. So people sent the serum partly by train and partly by dog sled.

Togo and Balto stood out among the approximately 150 sled dogs who participated in the serum run. Both miraculously led teams of dogs in conditions that would normally prove impossible for traveling -- a massive blizzard with gale force winds, in the dark, with almost no visibility. Togo's part of the trail featured the most treacherous terrain; Balto led the team who safely delivered the lifesaving serum to grateful people in Nome.

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Seaman (a Newfoundland)

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The famous American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took Seaman along with them on their famous Corps of Discovery expedition from 1804 to 1806. While Lewis and Clark traveled about 4,000 miles exploring and mapping the western part of the United States, Seaman gave them faithful companionship.

Seaman also miraculously protected the men several times. He saved them from drowning, and also guarded them against attacks from wild animals such as buffalo and grizzly bears.

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Roselle (a Golden Retriever)

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Roselle, a guide dog, went to work every day with her blind human companion, Mike Hingson, helping him with various tasks as he did his job as a regional sales manager for a computer data storage company. Mike worked on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center's Tower 1.

On September 11, 2001, terrorists crashed airplanes into both of the World Trade Center's Towers. Mike and his coworkers had to try to walk down 77 flights of stairs in chaotic and crowded conditions to escape. Miraculously, Roselle safely guided Mike all the way down and out of the building.

But, once outside, Roselle had to continue to guide Mike quickly and safely away from the buildings as Tower 2 collapsed. Roselle steadily guided Mike forward even though a cloud of dust from the tower's collapse completely enveloped them. Eventually, Mike heard his office building -- Tower One -- collapse as well. Roselle kept guiding Mike as they walked along, and they finally made it back home to New Jersey by the evening.

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Bobbie (a Collie mix)

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Bobbie accompanied his family on a road trip in 1923, from their home in Silverton, Oregon to Indiana. After they arrived in Indiana, Bobbie became separated from his family. Bobble's family searched diligently for him without success and sadly thought that they would never see their beloved dog again. They returned home to Oregon with heavy hearts.

But six months later, Bobbie showed up at the door of his family's house. He had miraculously found his way back home to Oregon, traveling more than 2,500 miles in cold winter weather to return to his family. Bobbie likely walked the entire way, because his paws were worn down to the bone.

Bobbie became known as "Bobbie the Wonder Dog" when his story became public. He starred as himself in a 1924 silent movie called The Call of the West.

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Frisky (a miniature poodle and schnauzer mix)

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When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States during the summer of 2005, George Mitchell and his dog Frisky stayed in one of the towns in the massive hurricane's path -- Biloxi, Mississippi -- rather than evacuate, because George (80) had lived through several other hurricanes in the past and thought he could survive this one. George, who was unaware that Hurricane Katrina would cause historic devastation, took Frisky and left their home in a flood zone to wait out the storm inside the higher-ground home of a friend who had evacuated.

Katrina flooded the house where George and Frisky were staying, and the flood water rose so high that it forced George to tread water while holding onto the air mattress he had brought for sleeping, while Frisky sat atop the air mattress. The water surged through the house, until George and Frisky's heads were just below the ceiling.

George became afraid and exhausted, but he needed to keep treading water to survive. So, throughout the night, Frisky kept George awake -- and the two of them alive -- by licking George's face every time he let go of the air mattress or started to fall asleep. By noon the next day, the water had receded enough for George and Frisky to escape from the house safely.

Inspiring Humans

The stories of these dogs continue to inspire people to discover more about how dogs and humans can work together in mutually beneficial ways.