1. This handsome and majestic labrador, who changed a lonesome little boy’s life.
Minta is an assistance dog specially trained to help people with autism. She was paired with a little boy named Jacob, and has changed his life as the two formed a deep bond. You can read a profile on Minta and Jacob in the Daily Mail and keep up with their progress on Facebook.
2. Flawless icon Lentil, a French bulldog with a cleft palate who’s helping to raise awareness for those with craniofacial differences.
Lentil is a French bulldog born with a cleft palate. He needs special medical care to be able to eat and drink on his own, but with help from his owner, The French Bulldog Rescue Network, and his many, many fans and supporters, Lentil has been giving a fighting chance. His mission, as stated on his Facebook page, is “to raise awareness for those with craniofacial differences and to teach all of us to be kind.” You can follow his progress and adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
4. The story of a puppy who led rescuers to a lost little girl.
As the story goes, a little girl who went missing in Siberia was saved after her puppy led rescuers to where she was. The little girl had been missing from her home for 11 days, and survived by eating wild berries and drinking river water, according to The Siberian Times. The dog had reportedly remained by the girl’s side for 9 days before returning to her village.
5. These medical alert dogs trained to find things like like mastocytosis, diabetes, and cancer.
Dogs can literally save people - as well as vastly improve the quality of an ailing or at-risk person’s daily life - by working as “medical alert dogs.” This report from NBC Nightly News showcases several dogs who are specially trained—or just showed a surprising ability—to be on alert when it comes to things like mastocytosis, diabetes, and cancer.
6. The police, service, military, and other dogs nominated for the for the 2014 Hero Dog Award.
These specially-trained dogs help keep us from harm and, in some cases, have saved people’s lives. You can read all their stories and vote for your favorite nominee.
7. This cutie pie named Kabang, who saved two girls from a motorcycle.
Kabang saved two girls in the Philippines from being run over by a motorcycle. Her brave act resulted in some serious injuries to her face, but, thanks to donations from around the world, she was able to travel to the University of California, Davis, veterinary hospital to receive the medical care she needed.
8. This lil’ squishy face, who saved her family from a fire.
Roxanne is an English bulldog who alerted her sleeping family to a fire in their home by barking until they woke up. Her family describes her as being “spoiled,” but she’s an ultimate heroine, so. She totally deserves all the spoiling she gets.
9. This wonderdog, who traveled the world to raise awareness for all homeless dogs.
Rupee was rescued, starving and dehydrated, from a dump and adopted by a woman named Joanne Lefson. He regained his health, eventually traveling around the world. Lefson says Rupee particularly enjoyed walking on snow for the first time. And while this plucky dog may not have climbed to the top of Mount Everest (ignore the chyron above, puppylovers), he did complete quite an impressive high-altitude trek, all to help raise awareness for the world’s homeless dogs.
10. This fearless Rottweiler, who saved a Yorkie from a coyote.
Dogs have also been known to help one another out. Case in point: a Rottweiler named Happy saving this Yorkie, named Trixxie, as she was attacked by a coyote.
11. This brindle queen, who brought us closer to world peace by saving a litter of kittens.
Dogs don’t just save all the saving for humans. Being the flawless, forgiving, hero creatures that they are, they extend their magnanimity to kittens as well. Take Meg, a rescue dog who lost her leg after being tormented by some terrible non-dogs (human youths). Meg recovered and was looked after by staff at her local RSPCA, who soon noticed that the dog had taken to looking up at the ceiling and whimpering. When staff members investigated, they found five kittens living in the shelter’s ceiling. Good job, Meg.
12. And this Yorkie named Ezio, who saved a toddler from another dog.
Sometimes dogs can lash out, like the dog who jumped a fence to attack a neighbor’s three-year-old grandson, Gavin. Seeing the attack, Ezio the Yorkie rushed to Gavin’s side, distracting the dog and allowing the little boy to run inside. The bigger dog then attacked the Yorkie instead, shaking him and leaving 11-pound Ezio paralyzed along the left side of his body. But there’s hope yet for him. Ezio’s owners were able to raise money for additional medical treatment online.
Curious to see how Ezio is doing now? You can keep up with him on his Facebook page. (Hint: he’s doing much better, and he is also very fashionable.)