There is a very neat story about how the Border Collie, Peter, was such a handful, but found his calling as a SAR dog, saved lives, and even met the Queen and won a National service award. Funny, Jet is so much like this - she is a hard headed dog - but great tracking dog. Her own breeder said she was "Ungodly smart and completely dishonest" as a youngster because she wanted to do everything for herself. Tracking really let her be in charge. Reading about this dog and his intelligence is so moving. It choked me up!
And of course, we see GSDs, but other dogs including mongrels and terriers make this list, showing that ALL dogs can be motivated to use their noses to serve a noble cause. I always say this about tracking - ALL dogs can do it and enjoy it. This is a wonderful article, and there is even a GSD named Thorn! (I had a Thorn). I find it interesting how the dogs' ability to detect scent baffled their handlers. Today we know so much more, but it is still a great mystery to many of us to see dogs use their noses with such joy and such ease.
I am pasting the story of Peter the Border Collie below this story. I am giving credit to the sources here. Please visit the link to see the actual stories where they are published.
The Magnificent Seven: Hero dogs that saved hundreds during the Blitz are honouredBy Paul Harris
In the canine world they are the Magnificent Seven – the dogs that helped us survive the Blitz.
As the bombs fell on London they scoured the rubble of ruined buildings, finding hundreds of survivors for rescue teams.
When the Second World War ended, each was awarded the Dickin Medal for uncommon valour, the four-legged equivalent of a Victoria Cross and the highest honour bestowed by the charity the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals.
Now, in the 70th anniversary year of the Blitz, all seven are to be remembered in a PDSA roll of honour.
PETER: COLLIE CROSS
Peter: Passed search-dog training with distintion
His most triumphant moment came when he saved the life of a small boy in Chelsea after one of the last flying bomb attacks on London.
Recognition came when the Civil Defence was formally stood down at a parade in Hyde Park.
RIP: MONGREL TERRIER
Rip: Rescued more than 100 people
They couldn’t stop him becoming a search and rescue dog – it seemed he did it for the enjoyment.
In 12 months between 1940 and 1941, he rescued more than 100 people from the air-raid ruins. He carried on the good work for another four years.
Jet: Called out every night until the end of the air attacks in the capital
He attended ‘war dog’ school in Gloucester from the age of nine months and was initially stationed in Northern Ireland, later distinguishing himself in anti-sabotage work for the Government.
When he was rebased in London, he became one of the most successful rescue dogs of the war, called out every night until the end of the air attacks on the capital.
BEAUTY: WIRE HAIRED FOX TERRIERPioneered a special squad to locate and rescue trapped animals despite never being trained for a wartime role.
Her owner Bill Barnett, a PDSA superintendent, used to take her on patrol with him when he toured the East End with a Civil Defence unit. She rescued 63 animals overall.
Beauty: Pioneered a special squad to locate and rescue trapped animals
IRMA: ALSATIANIrma trained at the Ministry of Aircraft Production Dog School and is credited with saving hundreds of lives.
Her ability to locate victims through the most dense and difficult obstacles constantly astounded her handlers.
Irma: Ability to locate victims constantly astounded her handlers
After a day, rescuers pulled two young girls alive from the ruins.
THORN: ALSATIANThorn came from a distinguished line of search and rescue dogs.
He was spectacularly fearless and happy to dash into blazing buildings to do his sniffer duty inside.
He once found a family trapped under a burning house.
How he detected their scent baffled rescuers – but they got the family out alive.
'Outstanding good work': Alsatians Rex, left, and Thorn
REX: ALSATIANRex was described by Civil Defence authorities as having done ‘outstanding good work’ during the years he worked to the end of the war in 1945.
They said he ‘displayed uncanny intelligence and outstanding determination in his efforts to follow up any scent which led him to a trapped casualty’.