#3. Barry the Saint Bernard
Barry lived during the 19th century in a monastery near the Switzerland-Italy border, serving as an extremely busy rescue dog along what was basically the Route 66 of the Alps.
Barry managed to save more than 40 people's lives in the snow, with no equipment, thumbs or even brandy (the barrel of alcohol carried by St. Bernards is a myth).
This, but with fuckloads of snow.
And in case by "saving lives" you think we mean "he smelled trapped people and barked at them," check this out:
Probably his most spectacular rescue was a small child that got stuck on an icy ledge under layers of snow. Barry, unencumbered by the weight of his massive balls, managed to climb the ledge and started licking the boys face to keep him warm until the monks from the monastery could get to him. Once more, the humans in the story failed. The monks couldn't reach the boy, making death all but a certainty.
But Barry wouldn't give up. He kept desperately trying to revive the boy until miraculously, he woke up and clung to Barry's neck. The dog then carried him to safety. Most of us would have given up on our own child at that point and just gone home to make another one.
#2. Chips the German Shepherd-Collie-Husky Mix
Chips was a ridiculous mix of a bunch of dog breeds that look nothing alike, leading us to believe that alcohol was a factor in his conception. He was shipped off to fight the Axis in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany as a sentry dog, which is basically a guard dog that kills Nazis (i.e., the best kind of guard dog).
During the invasion of Sicily, Chips and Pvt. John Rowell, his handler, were pinned down on a beach by machine gun fire. Chips managed to free himself from Rowell, jumped into the bunker the Italians were firing from and attacked them.
The dog won. The Italians were forced to surrender to the Americans rather than have their throats torn out.
We know what you're thinking: Those were the shittiest soldiers ever, and either were already planning to surrender and the dog probably just got in the way, or at best they had some kind of dog phobia.
Well, guess what. Later that day, Chips captured 10 more Italian soldiers, maybe because they all forgot they were carrying guns but more likely because Chips was, pound for pound, the most badass soldier in the war.
For his heroic actions, Chips was awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart, though he was later stripped of his medals because he was a dog. After the war, he returned home to his family and a shitty Disney movie.
"Thanks guys, this is way better than the medals."
#1. Endal the Labrador Retriever
Endal was a British Labrador Retriever that worked as a service dog helping a Gulf War veteran named Allen Parton, who had very serious head injuries that made him unable to create new memories, like Guy Pierce in Memento.
Endal was name "Dog of the Millennium." If you are wondering why, well, it was because he was goddamn genius even by human standards. Since the severely brain damaged and wheelchair-bound Parton could do virtually nothing for himself, Endal had to learn a lot of things that, quite frankly, dogs have no business doing.
He could get stuff from grocery store shelves, he learned Parton's PIN number and could use the ATM machine, he was able to operate the washing machine, fetched numerous different household items based on specific gestures and defeated Contra III all the way through without stopping. He could also use the elevator, open train doors and, like most dogs, get the paper.
And according to Endal, Jr., he was the world's greatest dad.
In case that wasn't awesome enough, he managed to make national headlines in 2001 when Allen Parton was hit by a car and thrown from his wheelchair. Endal pulled him to safety and put him into the recovery position, ready for the paramedics. Endal then ran back into the street to get Parton's cell phone...
OK, he wasn't able to call for help on the phone (but man, can you imagine if he had?!?) but he did find a blanket to cover Parton with, and then ran into a nearby hotel, barking until someone figured out what was going on and called for an ambulance.
All right, we had better stop there, since any more compliments toward the dog would apparently prompt people to start sacrificing children to it.
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For more badass facts about man's best friend, check out Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: The Badass Roots of 5 Sissy Dogs and 6 Insane Dog Behaviors Explained by Evolution.
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