Believe it or not, it isn’t too surprising when you think of the concept of canine superheroes. Many non-human creatures in the animal kingdom have incredible abilities that put our own to shame. There are obvious heightened physical abilities that animals have that dwarf our own, for example, a cheetah’s speed or a penguin’s ability to withstand intense sub-zero temperatures. What many may not know, and even take for granted, are animal abilities that almost seem to border on the supernatural when looked at from a strictly human perspective. If a human could contact other humans using low-frequency sound, we’d look at that as an ability bordering telepathic communication. For animals like hippos and elephants, it’s simply a natural ability. If you met a human with the ability to sniff out cancer and other various diseases, you would think of them as a super-human. For some dogs, this is just their normal, everyday nose doing what it does best.
Outside of overlooking the true biological potential that is innate in canines, we also vastly underestimate their intelligence and emotional range. It is believed that dogs feel love, compassion for those in need of help, a sense of urgency in the face of danger (and an almost precognitive sense for it in some cases), experience feelings of grief, and understand the concept of loyalty and friendship. When you think about it, these traits make “man’s best friend” the perfect superhero.
12. Khan the Doberman
Kahn was once a neglected dog until he was brought into the home of the Svilicic family. Khan had only been with the family for only four days before he showed his gratitude to the family.
Catherine Svilicic was watching her daughter Charlotte play in the yard when she noticed Khan acting aggressive towards and nudging the child. Finally the dog grabbed her in his mouth and threw the child a few feet away. As Catherine approached the scene she heard Khan yelp. Finally she noticed that the dog was putting itself between the child and a venomous snake.
Khan was treated with anti-venom and recovered from the attack.
11. Titan the Pitbull
In the case of Titan the pit bull, his heroic tale isn’t just a one-off coincidence, Titan saved the life of his owner twice.
One morning, John Benton was heading to work when Titan came between John and the front door and began to act aggressively. He then got John to go upstairs where John discovered his wife had suffered an aneurysm and hit her head. Doctors told John that if had left for work that morning his wife would be dead.
Not a year later, Titan woke John at 4:30 in the morning when his wife had fallen again and broken her hip.
10. Faith the Rottweiler
Faith is a remarkable dog, trained to assist her wheelchair bound owner perform daily tasks. In the event Faith’s owner falls from her wheelchair, Faith can actually pick up the telephone and dial 911. When Faith was finally called into action to perform this task, she not only dialed 911, but she then unlocked the door and let the police officer in the house.
9. Shrek the Fox Fighter
At a home in Russia, a wild fox had just helped itself to one of the Kurguzov family chickens, just before it turned on Maxim, the family’s 10-year-old son. The family dog, Shrek, noticed the situation and rushed between the boy and the wild animal. The boy’s father noticed the commotion and quickly ran to his son’s aid. Shrek engaged in a 25 minute stand-off with the fox to keep it away from the family. This was more than enough time for Alexey Kurguzov to take a number of incredible pictures.
fights off a fox and saves child
8. JJ the Cell Sniffing Dog
JJ has quite an amazing ability and has taken on a duty very few could perform. JJ’s owner, Kaelyn Krawczyk has a severe form of a condition called mastocytosis. The condition can result in life threatening allergic reactions due to a high accumulation of mast cells. Not only can JJ sniff out these cells, but as a result, can smell the reactions coming before they go into full effect, allowing Kaelyn to get the medical attention she needs.
JJ also assists Kaelyn’s doctors during her operations so they know when or if an attack might come on during a procedure.
7. Chaney the Marine
We’ve heard of the U.S. Marine Bulldog, but what about a U.S. Marine Labrador?
Chaney the Labrador has done a number of tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chaney has a special talent: he can sniff out bombs and explosives before a soldier might accidentally trigger them.
Chaney has since retired from the military, and now lives in Lansing, Michigan with the soldier that handled him.
6. Bretagne the Search and Rescue Dog
Bretagne is the last surviving search and rescue dog that assisted in the search for survivors after the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Not only did Bretagne work long days searching through the wreckage of the attack, but she then went on to search for survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Bretagne may very well have done more for humans than most humans do.
dog for 911 and Katrina
5. Shana – Wolf/German Shepard
Eve and Norman Fertig were tending to their animal sanctuary when a massive snow storm appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Trees fell all around the Fertig’s property, and the elderly couple found themselves trapped between two of their buildings without the proper clothing. As time went on and the Fertigs huddled together for warmth, their rescued wolf/German Shepard half-breed spent nearly two hours digging a tunnel underneath the trees through the dirt and snow. As a grand finale, Shana even pulled Eve through the tunnel to safety. The whole rescue mission took nearly five hours when all was said and done.
4. Napoleon the English Bulldog
We’ve all seen enough cartoons to understand that dogs and cats have been mortal enemies since the beginning of time. Apparently Napoleon had never seen any cartoons.
Napoleon saw a sack floating in a lake near his home and knew something wasn’t right. Napoleon leaped into the water and swam all the way out for the sack, and then swam all the way back. This is an amazing feat since the English bulldog breed is known for very poor swimming ability. When Napoleon made it back to shore, it was discovered that the sack contained a litter of abandoned kittens. Napoleon had saved the lives of all them, save for one casualty.
3. Eve the Rottweiler
This story is straight out of an action movie.
Kathie Vaughan was driving with her dog Eve when her truck lost control and crashed. The interior began to fill with a thick smoke. Vaughan was paralyzed from the waist down and figured this was the end. She began to push her dog out of the car in the hope that Eve might live. Eve wasn’t having this. Eve pulled Vaughan out of the car just as the vehicle began to explode! Eve had pulled Vaughan just far enough that they were not harmed by the explosion.
2. John D – The Jack of All Trades
John D is the ultimate hard worker and a dog of all trades. John D has put in countless hours as a search and rescue dog with much success. After John D “retired” from the search and rescue business, he decided he was bored and still needed to work. This brought John into the world of cancer sniffing, a career in which he used his keen sense of smell to detect tumors in humans, particularly ovarian cancer.
John D put in all these years of service despite having been neglected by humans in the past and having a severe case of hip dysplasia.
1. Toby the Golden Retriever
Debbie Parkhurst sat down to enjoy an apple when a piece became lodged in her windpipe. She attempted to give herself the Heimlich using a chair but it didn’t seem to work. As she struggled to find a way to breathe again, her dog Toby knocked her to the ground and began to jump on her chest. Eventually, the dog’s efforts were successful and the apple popped from Debbie’s mouth.
A dog giving the Heimlich seems a little unbelievable, but a friend arrived just in time to witness the rescue and bring Debbie to the hospital. Debbie also had the proof of paw shaped bruises on her chest.