Dogs really are man's best friend as these clever canines prove

FROM flying in warplanes and surviving POW camps in the Second World War to discovering ancient works of art, saving lives and collecting money for charity, a new book containing extraordinary tails proves once and for all that dogs really are man’s best friend.

Hachiko

Hachiko with Dr Hidesaburo Ueno statue at Tokyo University (Image: Alamy)

Loyal to the end

Hachiko was an Akita who lived in Tokyo with his owner, Professor Ueno. When the professor first saw him, he thought the dog’s slightly crooked legs looked like the Japanese kanji for the number eight ­(pronounced “hachi”), hence his name.

The dog walked the professor to the train station each morning, and every afternoon he waited for his return.

When the professor died at work one day, his loyal pooch continued to wait at the station at 3pm every day.

His unwavering loyalty made him a legend in Japan.

Hachiko kept up the faithful vigil for more than nine years until he died in 1935, and he was laid to rest next to the professor in a Tokyo cemetery.

Now a bronze statue of dog and owner stands outside the station.

Hachiko

Hachiko kept up the faithful vigil for more than nine years (Image: Wikipedia)

Canine Prisoner of War

Judy was an English pointer who served as a Royal Navy mascot in the Second World War.

She was on a vessel when it was bombed by enemy planes off Indonesia.

The survivors were marooned on an island without food or water until the resourceful dog discovered a freshwater spring and saved them.

When the men were captured, they took her with them.

At a POW camp, she met an airman named Frank Williams who shared his maggot-infested rice with her.

Judy brought fruit and rats to eat and alerted the prisoners to snakes and ­scorpions.

The guards loathed her and, fearing for her life, Williams convinced the commander to register Judy as a POW – the only animal ever to be granted this status.

Socialize your pet. Meeting new people and other pets improves the confidence of your pet. Plus, having extra playmates will help relieve some of your pet’s built-up energy.

The prisoners were finally freed in 1945 and Judy was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal.

Judy the brave dog

Judy the brave dog (Image: PDSA/PA)

The dog who flew

In January 1940, during the so-called Phoney War, Czech pilot Robert Bozdech and French airman Pierre Duval were on a reconnaissance mission behind German lines when their aircraft was shot down.

Having survived and taken shelter in a farmhouse, they found a small German shepherd puppy.

That night Robert intended to put the starving creature out of its misery but couldn’t bear to do it.

Instead, they named him Ant, later changed to Antis, after the Russian ANT fighter plane, and Robert eventually brought the dog to England when France fell to the Germans.

When his owner was scrambled to fly in a 1,000-aircraft raid on Germany, Antis sneaked into the plane with him.

The pilot was amazed to find his dog in the cockpit, and shared his oxygen mask with him throughout the raid.

After that, Antis flew on more than 30 missions with his own custom-made oxygen mask.

In 1949, the dog was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for animals who have shown ­exceptional bravery, loyalty and sacrifice for his Second World War service.

He died in 1953, aged 13.

King Edward VII and his dog Caesar

King Edward VII and his dog Caesar (Image: Getty)

The King’s companion

One of King Edward VII’s most loyal companions was Caesar, a wire fox terrier.

He was a very pampered pooch and even had his own footman to groom him.

An artist painted his portrait several times and master jeweller Fabergé made a model of him studded with gems.

The royal pup even wore a collar with the tag: “I am Caesar. I belong to the King.”

When the King died, Caesar was so depressed he wouldn’t eat, and hid trembling under the royal bed.

As the King’s funeral procession wound through the streets of London, thousands of people lined the route to pay their final respects.

The pooch walked ­mournfully behind his master’s coffin, a sight that tugged at the nation’s heartstrings.

His devotion was ­immortalised in a sculpture of the King and Queen atop their tomb at Windsor Castle, with a stone likeness of the dog at their feet.

Caesar

Caesar follows his master's coffin in 1910 (Image: Alamy)

Sidekick to a psychoanalyst

Sigmund Freud was a psychoanalysis pioneer.

Many people don’t know that someone else sat in on many of his sessions with patients – his chow chow dog Jofi.

When Freud was 70, his 30-year-old daughter Anna had got a German Shepherd called Wolf.

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Freud fell in love with Wolf, and decided to get a dog of his own.

The psychologist believed Jofi had a knack for detecting emotions during therapy.

And he noted that patients, especially children, seemed to respond more openly and honestly around her.

Once, when the chow chow jumped up on an emotional patient, Freud exclaimed: “Jofi is so excited that you’ve discovered the source of your anxiety!”

She remained Freud’s constant ­companion as he battled cancer in later life, and died in 1937, two years before her master.

Jofi was Sigmund Freud's dog

Jofi was Sigmund Freud's dog (Image: ullstein bild via Getty)

The dog and the gramophone

It is one of the most iconic images of our times.

Yet the story of the mixed-breed terrier called Nipper – and the painting that made him famous – are relatively unknown.

Nipper’s name was inspired by his habit of biting people’s heels when he was a puppy and he lived at a theatre in Bristol.

When his owner died, his younger brother Francis Barraud inherited the dog along with some recordings of his late brother’s voice.

When he played them, Nipper’s ears perked up.

Francis liked the scene so much that he painted a portrait of the terrier listening to a wind-up cylinder phonograph.

He later changed the phonograph to a newer ­gramophone and sold the image rights for £100.

That dog-and-gramophone became the logo for the iconic His Master’s Voice trademark, used for more than a century by brands such as the Victor and HMV record labels.

Nipper the dog

Nipper the dog (Image: HMV/PA)

Paws for thought

When it was first reported that a border collie called Rico knew more than 200 words, people were rightly dubious.

But in the early Noughties, Dr Julia Fischer and colleagues from the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig put the dog to the test.

They put 200 toys the dog knew in one room while he waited in another room.

When asked to retrieve two randomly selected toys, Rico brought back the correct one 37 out of 40 times.

When an unknown toy was placed among seven familiar toys, Rico was asked to retrieve it using a word he’d never heard before – and succeeded.

Not even ­chimpanzees have demonstrated such “fast-mapping” abilities.

Rico died in 2008.

Rico knew more than 200 words

Rico knew more than 200 words (Image: REUTER/Manuela Hartling)

The four-legged explorer

One of the world’s greatest cultural treasures might be undiscovered to this day had it not been for a dog named Robot.

The routine of caring for a pet can bring structure and purpose to daily life. Maybe you don’t always want to get out of bed, but your pet wants you to. Isn’t that a good thing?

In 1940, French teenager Marcel Ravidat was walking his pup in the woods near Montingnan in the Dordogne.

As they walked along a path, the dog started sniffing around a hole created by an uprooted tree.

A few days later, Marcel returned with some friends and the boys followed the pooch into the hole, down a long shaft to a cave with walls covered with ancient paintings.

They had inadvertently found what became known as the Lascaux Cave complex, with a stunning collection of prehistoric art dating back more than 20,000 years.

Retriever to the rescue

To this day, people from Swansea are known as Jacks, and fans of Swansea City are known as Jack’s Army – in honour of a famous lifeguard dog.

The black retriever lived near Swansea Bay with his owner William Thomas and is known for saving the lives of 27 people – the first a boy of 12 in 1931 – as well as two animals that got into trouble in the water.

Jack became a local celebrity and people would queue to pose for ­photographs with him.

When he died aged seven after eating rat poison, the people of Swansea felt his years of service to the ­community deserved to be celebrated.

He was laid to rest near the sea at a big public ceremony.

A memorial stone now marks the site.

Station Jim

Station Jim was a stray puppy (Image: -)

Charity collector

If you ever visit platform five of Slough station, you’ll see a dog called Jim preserved in a glass case.

From the Victorian times to the 1950s, charity collection dogs were common at railway stations.

Station Jim was a stray puppy who turned up one day and made the station his home.

As soon as he was big enough, he was fitted with a small collection box for the Great Western Railway Widows and Orphans Fund.

Legend has it he would perform tricks to persuade passengers to part with their money.

He died in 1896 when he was just two years old but he is still collecting to this day with a charity ­collection box beneath the glass case.

• Adapted by Elizabeth Archer from Rebel Dogs! Heroic Tales Of Trusty Hounds by Kimberlie Hamilton (Scholastic, £8.99). For your copy with free UK delivery, call the Express Bookshop on 01872 562310 or visit expressbookshop.co.uk