Heroic dog stories never fail to stir our emotions, and this time the limelight of the story goes to none other than the Siberian husky. This article recounts tales in history where huskies saved thousands of people from a deadly outbreak to today’s times where they remain not only our best friends but our saviours as well.
Have-a-go-hero husky that became a crime-fighter for a day
DJ the Husky suddenly ran off to a shed during one of his walks with his owner. With that impulsive action, the police were alerted and led to the hiding place of a suspect they were after.
It was like any usual morning for Glenys Davies where she goes to walk with her dog Sir DJ Thor or DJ for short. They were walking in Llansannan, Conwy where at the same time there was an ongoing police activity.
She paid no heed; however, she was surprised when DJ suddenly turned sleuth and rushed off. He led them to a nearby area and took a good sniff under the door. After that, he refused to move.
It wasn’t long when she spotted a police officer near the area.
“I called him towards me – I was just waving my arms at him to come over. I whispered: ‘Are you looking for someone? I think there’s somebody in there,’ pointing to the shed,” narrated Davies.
The police officer approached the shed where DJ was sniffing. They then found one of the men they were after hiding inside the shed.
Ms Davies is so proud of his one year and two months Husky that at a young age he was able to recognise the man. DJ received plenty of praises from the officers for busting the suspect’s attempt in hiding.
“Huskies can be really stubborn – but he’s a really clever boy. I think he deserves his bit of recognition,” she added.
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The tale of Balto and Togo
Have you heard the famous tale of Balto and Togo that saved a remote town from a lethal outbreak? Let’s take a look at the true story of these two Siberian huskies.
It was 1925 when diphtheria hits the small Alaskan town of Nome putting about 10,000 lives at risk. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that primarily targets the nose and throat. This was the time when people were vulnerable to certain diseases due to the lack of vaccination. It already killed two children and was spreading fast in Nome.
The town doctor declared a mortality rate prediction of 100 per cent if left untreated. The only treatment is the antitoxin serum which can be reached closest in Nenana, 1,085 kilometres (674 miles) away. With that distance, Nome’s Board of Health decided to deploy a dog-sled relay to deliver the serum from Nenana to Nome.
Twenty dog-sled teams were about to face the challenge of not freezing to death. The whole journey would normally take 25 days long. However, the mission should last no more than six days to keep the serum’s effectivity.
Leonhard Seppala was tasked to take the longest and most dangerous leg of the route from Shaktoolik to Golovin. With only two days before the serum’s expiration, he decided to take the path of Norton Sound ice sheet even with its unstable ground. To survive, he depended on Togo, his lead dog in navigating throughout the dangerous open stretches of water.
The serum was then eventually passed on to the driver of the last leg of the route Gunnar Kaasen with his own team of canines. This time, it was Balto, another Siberian husky, that led the pack. They were lucky to finish the mission reaching Nome earlier than expected and saved lives.
This story helped surged the popularity of Siberian Huskies. Balto is immortalised in movies and in a statue in New York’s Central Park. As for Togo, his statue is placed at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo positioned alongside the statue of Balto. He also has his solo statue in New York’s Lower East Side.
Let this be a reminder that the Huskies we see nowadays have ancestors that once saved an entire town from obliteration.
The Husky that never left his owner from a ski accident
Leonard Somers, a cross-country skier, faced a critical condition during a skiing trip with his five-year-old husky dog named Juneau.
He fell on a Colorado slope that left him with his neck pierced on the frozen roots of a dead tree. It was his husky that remained and kept him warm the entire time. He was immobilised with his arms and legs covered in snow and it was loyal Juneau that dug the snow away from his owner’s face. He lay for about 45 minutes or so to keep his owner warm.
“Without Juneau here I would probably not be alive today,” says Mr Somers in an interview with Fox 29.
After a few moments, Somers heard another ski party coming from a distance. He sent Juneau to track them. Fortunately, the other team had an accompanying dog that followed Juneau back to his owner that means its owners were also forced to follow.
Luck was really on his side when one of the people from the team was a trauma surgeon that was able to help whilst waiting for the mountain rescue team.
He also praised his dog for always being on his side even through the recovery process. He added that Juneau aided him to remain hopeful despite his condition.
Juneau was soon rewarded with a Heroic Dog Award for his brave actions.
Whilst it is true that dogs are our best friends, they can also be our saviours in desperate times. Click here for more dog stories that will surely melt your heart.