Domestic dogs are one of only a few species that can understand that the human gesture of pointing means, “look in the direction my finger is pointing”. Other animals, including wolves and other primates, don’t understand how it works and will only be interested in your outstretched finger.
A puppy of Soviet space dog Strelka, the first animal to safely return from orbit, was given to president Kennedy by Khrushchev. The puppy grew up and became the mate of JFK’s dog Charlie. The cold war couple went on to have 4 pups themselves, dubbed the “Pupniks”.
In 2015, a guide dog in New York was awarded the ASPCA’s “Dog of the Year” award for running in front of an oncoming bus to protect his blind owner, and didn’t leave her side until she received medical attention even though he suffered a broken leg.
A fearless goat-herding dog called Odin refused to abandon his flock of goats during deadly California wildfires in 2017, while his owners ran to safety. Days later his family returned to their destroyed home and found him AND the goats still alive.
Romans were known to create tombs for their dogs and gave them epitaphs to remember them by. One such inscription read, “I am in tears, while carrying you to your last resting place as much as I rejoiced when bringing you home with my own hands 15 years ago.”
African wild dogs vote on whether not to go on a hunt by sneezing. If a dominant pair sneezes first, then on average 2 additional sneezes will mean a hunt occurs. If a non dominant dogs sneeze first, then it typically takes 10 additional sneezes to sway the group to hunt.
A city in China is enforcing a social credit score system for dog owners. Owners begin with 12 points but lose points for walking a dog without a leash, not cleaning up poo or being reported for disturbance. Loss of 12 points results in loss of the dog until its owner passes a test on pet policy
In 2017, a dog named Odin refused to leave his flock of goats behind during the California Tubbs Fire as his owners fled to safety. Days later, the owners came back to their property to find Odin survived and managed to keep all the goats alive.
In 2005 scientists placed dogs in suspended animation and brought them back to life. First they drained their blood and replaced it with a low-temperature solution. After three hours of clinical death, the dogs’ blood was returned and their hearts were shocked, and the dogs came back to life.
Vaclav Bozdech, a soldier in WWII, found a puppy while on the run and planned to kill it so its barking would not alert the Germans. Unable to bring himself to do so, he took it with him, and the dog later helped find survivors of an air raid and saved Bozdech’s life during the Cold War.