Posts tagged animal
Laika the Soviet Space DoG

Has anyone ever underestimated what you were capable of?

No one was prepared for Laika.

On November 3, 1957, a tiny capsule rocketed into space. Inside was the diminutive body of a fourteen-pound dog. The occupant was named Laika, and she had become the first creature in history to leave Earth for the stars, initiating the era of human space exploration. It was no small accomplishment for a stray that only a few days earlier had been fighting for scraps of food on the streets of Moscow.

Laika’s unlikely journey was borne out of the desperate need to prove that spaceflight was possible.

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Man o' War

Like Jesse Owens, Man 'o War was fast. He loved to run and he loved to win. Unlike Jesse Owens – or Louise Stokes or Usain Bolt – Man o’ War was a horse, but one more human in will and determination. And no animal in the history of sports – before or since – has been compared to the greatest human athletes as often as he has.

Man o’ War’s original breeder, August Belmont (yes, of The Belmont Stakes fame), had high hopes for the fiery chestnut colt that kicked and fought with his handlers from his birth in 1917. But global events conspired against their partnership. At age 65, August volunteered to serve the US Army in WWI.

August’s wife named Man o' War in honor of her husband and the armed effort overseas. But wartime brought money trouble. The Belmont’s sold their entire 1918 yearling crop to make ends meet. Man o’ War went to the highest bidder: Samuel Riddle walked away with the offspring of champions for only $5,000. It was the greatest deal in the history of thoroughbred horse racing.

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Cher Ami

Do you believe even the smallest person – or animal – can make a difference?

Cher Ami proved they can.

It was 1918. Northern France. Allied soldiers were struggling to fight off German forces in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. A group of American fighters led by Major Charles Whittlesey were trapped behind a hill as the Germans approached. After just one day, the number of men in the "Lost Battalion" had dropped from 500 to 200. Some of these deaths could be attributed to enemy forces, but many of them were due to a rain of bullets that the Americans could not place. They sent out many carrier pigeons to communicate the dire situation to their infantry, but the pigeons were shot down, one by one, victims of the fray.

They needed a miracle.

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