5 Famous Dogs to Celebrate This International Women’s Day

by Olivia Wickstrom March 08, 2021

5 Famous Dogs to Celebrate This International Women’s Day

In true Sam & Nala fashion, we’re celebrating this International Women’s Day by highlighting five furry changemakers who inspired, innovated, and changed lives. Actresses, advocates, and war heroes, these ladies stir resilience and bravery in us all. 


Otherwise known as Dorthy’s adorable sidekick, Toto, Terry got her claim to fame after starring in The Wizard of Oz. Toto wasn’t the Cairn terrier’s only acting credit, her IMDB page lists a total of 21 roles (she even starred alongside Shirley Temple). Terry’s autobiography I, Toto explores the star’s early life, acting career, and eventual canine retirement. 


This German shepherd was trained in Switzerland to become one of the first seeing eye dogs. In 1928 she was given to Morris Frank, the first blind American to partner with a service dog. Frank went on to create the oldest existing seeing eye dog facility in the world, and with Buddy by his side, advocated for blind Americans while fighting for service dogs allowance in public spaces. 


Credited as the world’s first therapy dog, this 4 lb Yorkie (who served in WWII) became a renowned hero. Smoky participated in 12 combat missions, survived 150 air raids, and even fell from 30 feet in the air using a parachute custom made for her. By accompanying nurses at a US army hospital on their rounds, Smoky received recognition as the first therapy dog on record. After returning to the US with her owner and fellow war veteran, Bill Wynne, Smoky became a household name through newspapers and television. She has memorials in two countries and four US states. 


One of three canine Titanic survivors, Lady the pomeranian made her escape on a lifeboat with her owner Margaret Bechstein Hays. Lady is said to have survived because Hays snuck her into the lifeboat wrapped in a blanket. The ship was known for its first rate kennel where dogs were well cared for and regularly exercised. A dog show scheduled for April 18th unfortunately never happened, but we know Lady would have taken home first prize. 


Recognized for leading her blind owner to safety on 9/11, this Labrador retriever recieved the Dicken Medal in 2002 from the American Humane Association. She stayed by her owner’s side down 70 flights of smoke filled stairs and continued to guide for 40 blocks after exiting the building to find safety. Despite the chaos on the ground, Roselle remained loyal, calm, and determined.

Olivia Wickstrom
Olivia Wickstrom