Ten Most Memorable Dogs Of 2012

Most memorable dogs 2012

It’s here, it’s finally here. Our choices for the most memorable dogs of 2012! As with our ten most memorable dogs of 2011, there were some remarkable dogs we came across in 2012. Some were inspirational, some were heroic, some were heartwarming, some were special, but all of them were memorable. Here is our list of dogs that stood out to us as the most memorable of 2012.

1. Special Search Dog Gabe

hero-dog-gabeSSD Gabe

Adopted by the military from a pound in Houston, Tx. Specialized Search Dog Gabe, a yellow Lab, was winner of the Military war dog category and went on to be named the 2012 American Hero dog.

In 2006, Gabe was deployed to Iraq to find hidden guns and explosives and to help keep soldiers safe. He completed over 210 combat missions with 26 finds of explosives and weapons and also spent time visiting wounded troops and children.

Gabe retired in 2009 after a very distinguished career earning over 40 awards and coins of excellence for his work.

Gabe and his dad, SFC Chuck Shuck, continue to help raise awareness for shelter pets and educate children about respect and the importance of staying in school.

It is with a broken heart and great sadness that I inform you that SSD Gabe was put to sleep yesterday Feb.13th/13 at 12:44 pm while his dad Chuck Shuck held him in his arms.

‘Rest in peace sweet, beautiful Gabe, a hero and friend to to all’

To read more about Gabe please visit his facebook page

2. Lennox

lennox-belfastBaby Lennox

In 2010, Lennox, a five year old American Bulldog Labrador cross was taken by the Belfast City Council Dog Wardens from his loving family, based solely on the fact that he looked like a Pitbull type. Lennox committed no crime nor were there ever any complaints about him. He was assessed to be a danger to the public and ordered to be put down.

Lennox spent two years in an undisclosed location while his family and campaigners fought feverishly to save the dog. But despite pleas from millions across the world, the Belfast City Council was intent on putting Lennox to sleep.

At 7 a.m. July 11, 2012 the Belfast City Council in Northern Ireland had officially given word that they put Lennox to sleep.

To read more about Lennox and the Barnes family story click here

3. Missy

missy-being-rescuedMissy being carried down the mountain by her rescuers

Missy, a 5-year-old German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, was abandoned by her owner, while hiking on one of Colorado’s tallest mountains.

Missy’s owner, Anthony Ortolani was hiking on Mount Bierstadt with a friend when bad weather started to move in. Missy’s feet had become blistered and she was unable to walk. The two men tried to carry the dog before deciding to leave her on the mountain to make it to safety.

Missy survived 8 days alone on the mountain before being rescued by a group of volunteer rescuers lead by Scott Washburn and his wife Amanda.

Ortolani was charged with animal cruelty but plead guilty to a lesser charge and  agreed to give Missy up to one of her rescuers.

4. Schoep

schoep-and-johnUnger cradling Schoep in Lake Superior

It was the photograph that touched countless hearts around the world. John Unger cradling his arthritic, 19-year-old dog Schoep in the water’s of Lake Superior.

Unger had asked friend and photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson to take one last picture of the two together, knowing that he might only have days left before euthanizing his beloved dog. Stonehouse Hudson posted the photograph on her facebook page and it quickly went viral. The photograph that touched so many, prompted donations to start pouring in.

The kindness of all who have donated has allowed for Schoep to receive top treatments that Unger couldn’t otherwise afford. Schoep has been receiving weekly laser therapy, pain medication and glucosamine, with encouraging results. Thanks to the kind generosity of others, Unger is happy to be able to spend more time with his cherished dog.

For updates on Schoep please visit his facebook page

5. Capitán

Capitán waiting at his deceased owners grave

A dogs loyalty never ceases to amaze and German Shepherd Capitán is no exception. Capitán, has sat by his owner’s grave, in the Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, for the past six years rarely leaving the graveside of the man who adopted him.

Capitán was adopted in 2005 by Miguel Guzman, who died just one year later in 2006. Shortly after his death, Capitán disappeared and after searching for him, the family gave up hope that they would ever see him again.

But, days later, upon returning to the graveside there was Capitán sitting right beside his owners grave. Every day, at 6 p.m. sharp, he lies down on top of the grave and stays there all night.

Guzman’s son Damian said he tried to bring the dog home several times but he always comes back. “I think he’s going to be there until he dies too. He’s looking after my dad.”

6. Kabang

Hero Kabang from the Philippines

In December 2011, Kabang, a German Shepherd mix from the Philippines, made the ultimate sacrifice when she jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to save the lives of her owner’s 9-year-old daughter and 3-year-old niece. Kabang managed to live but in the process of this heroic act lost her snout and entire upper jaw.

Veterinarians in the Philippines have been able to treat Kabang for life threatening infections with antibiotics, but are unable to treat her for her extensive injuries.

An online campaign, Care for Kabang, was started by Karen Kenngott, to raise money to transport Kabang to the U.S. to receive the care she needs for reconstructive surgery at the University of California, Davis.

However, once arriving at UC Davis, Kabang was found to have both cancer and heartworms so reconstructive surgery would have to be on hold until she was nursed back to health.

Now cancer free, specialists are preparing to deal with her heartworms, before beginning the reconstructive surgery. She is expected to return back to her family in the Philippines in May or June.

7. Xiao Sa

Litttle Xiao Sa who ran cross country with a group of cyclists

Xiao Sa, the little stray dog who became an internet sensation after following a group of cyclists on an 1,700 kilometer bike race from Kangding, Sichuan province, to Lhasa in Tibet.

Xiao Sa’s journey started when one of the cyclists, Zhang Heng, competing in the race offered the dog some food. From that moment on the stray would not let Zhang Heng out of her sight. The determined little dog joined the cyclists and ran beside them for the entire race.

The dog astonishingly kept pace with the cyclists for 24 days, over 1,700 kilometers and climbing over 10 mountains without ever falling behind.

Moved by her loyalty and determination, Zhang Heng said he would take Xiao Sa back to his hometown and adopt her. “She has been a stray on the road for a long time. She needs a home.”

8. Amanda

Amanda, who saved her puppies from a house fire

No one proved a mother’s love for her babies more than Amanda, a German Shepherd mix, who heroically saved her 10-day-old puppies from a house fire in Santa Rosa de Temuco, Chile.

Caught in the fire and sensing a danger to her babies, Amanda picked up the pups in her mouth and carried them one by one from the burning house, gently placing them safely on the steps of a fire-truck. She ran between the house and the truck over and over again until all her babies were safe.

After rescuing all of her pups from the blaze, Amanda sat down next to them, protecting them with her body as the firefighters continued to fight the blaze.

Amanda and her puppies were all taken to a vet where one puppy named Amparo, who had suffered severe burns, died. The other four puppies survived.

9. Fiona

Blind, stray dog Fiona, who got a second chance

Fiona, a stray dog that was rescued and given a second chance at life, a story that touched millions around the world.

Found cowering in the corner of a trash pile by Eldad and Audrey Hagar of Hope for Paws rescue, a non profit organization in Los Angeles. Her fur was matted and infested with fleas, and they soon realized that the dog was blind in both eyes. As the couple approached her, the tiny pup was terrified but the Hagars managed to coax her out and take her home.

Eldad posted a video of Fiona being rescued, bathed and shaved, with a plea for donations to help cover the dog’s medical costs. The video quickly went viral and with the help of thousands of compassionate supporters, Fiona was returned to good health and the sight in one eye was surgically restored.

Fiona’s transformation after the surgery was remarkable and she was able to frolick, run and play like any other dog.

Fiona was adopted by Michele and Chris Gentry, a couple with three other dogs. In November, she was named the ASPCA’s “Dog of the Year.”

To see the wonderful, heartwarming and amazing transformation video of sweet little Fiona click here

10. Beyonce

Beyonce, the tiny dog that could fit on an iPhone

Beyonce, the tiny dog that shares her name with a pop star was born on March 8th/2012 measuring 4 inches long, weighing just one ounce and could easily fit on top of an iPhone.

The Dachshund, Chihuahua mix was born at the Grace Foundation, in El Dorado Hills, California, an organization that took her mother Casey in, as a pregnant stray. Beyonce was the last of five puppies to be born. She had no heartbeat and was not breathing. Veterinarians performed heart compressions and mouth-to-mouth, and soon little Beyonce began breathing on her own.

Beyonce now works as an activist for a dog rescue which encourages people to spay, neuter, adopt and protect rescue pets.

The foundation has submitted an application to the Guinness Book of World Records for the crown of world’s smallest dog.

And One Extra – Stacey Mae


The 2011 Hero dog therapy winner Stacey Mae passed away suddenly on Oct 6th/12 at the very young age of 5 1/2. Stacey lived a short life but one that was full of happiness and helping others.

The Greater Swiss Mountain dog from Canon City Colorado, was well known for The Teddy Bear Project, in which she delivered more than 2,500 teddy bears to nursing homes and children’s hospitals.

Stacey Mae liked to spend time with people and would visit nursing homes 2-3 days a week. She would give unconditional love to those in their last days of life. She loved being loved on or sometimes, she would just lay beside someone to comfort them as they neared their last breath.

Stacey Mae was a true angel from heaven and though she was only with us for a short time, she made a positive impact on all those around her.

For more about Stacey Mae visit her facebook page

by Shelley Mamott

Stories, videos and news

22 thoughts on “Ten Most Memorable Dogs Of 2012

  1. Monica & Baxter says:

    Excellent choice in dogs! Stacey Mae is a personal favorite of ours. We are still, so deeply saddened by her passing but her little sis Kasey Mae is following in her all but HUGE paws!

  2. Cathy Haynes says:

    RIP to Gabe, the AHA Hero dog of 2012. So glad you are #1!!! You touched many lives in your short life, and will be so missed. To those who don’t know, Gabe just passed on 2/13/12, and will be in my heart forever! Love you Gabe! <3

  3. Irene Suchomma says:

    Beautiful choice. Gabe broke my heart. All the unconditional love and help for all the dogs is so touching. I am sure all that have passed have crossed that beloved Rainbow Bridge. God Bless

  4. Claudia says:

    You people really need to stop pissing and moaning about the alleged BREED of the dog. The point of this story is what these remarkable animals have done and are doing, NOT their breeds. But if you were educated, you would know that all breeds are a mix of something….that is how new breeds come about.

  5. Maryann Bowman says:

    We have had 3 stray dogs show up on our carport. A few yrs apart. We had to ignore them and leave water and food around. They finally came out acting like we were going to beat them. One big guy was 4 mos, starved, is now almost 11 and weighs 120. Never leaves our yard and loves children. The little one, Chi (Mexican)and Jack Terrier mix, is absolutely my husbands dog. He follows him everywhere. He is almost 4 yrs old now. I think we must have a sign above our roof, saying”come here, there is food and water” and they come. We love them. I feel for all of you that lost your loved ones. We have had a few we lost also and it is like part of your family dying.

  6. Taylor says:

    Love this list! Just one I would like to add- those of you who have never heard his story, google “Oogy”.(Maybe he just wasn’t added because it wasn’t a new story this year, but this year was the first time I had heard anything of Oogy)
    Anyways, Oogy was tied to a stake and used as bait for a pit bull. Most of the left side of his face was torn off, and his left jaw was crushed. Oogy was saved by local police who had raided the home and taken to the closest emergency vet facility. Oogy got a happy ending though, now living with a very loving family. :)
    Just thought other dog loves like me would appreciate that story if they haven’t heard it already! These stories in the article are so heartwarming (and heart-breaking).
    Here’s the link to ready Oogy’s full story. http://www.animals-abused.org/oogy-story.htm

  7. Ida Gray says:

    Lovedg about all these wonderful dogs especially Gabe and Amanda. I am a follower of Stacey Mae and now Kacey Mae. Now, I have too add all these great fur babies. O have a yellow lab named Baby, she is a diabetic but, a wonderful companion and over smart. She is the love if my life. She will be 11 yrs old on 2/20, hopefully I can enjoy her a few more years. I just found out I have to through lung surgery ,cancer thak God for Baby I would never been able too make it through the past two weeks.

  8. Lindsay says:

    I think Tatiana II, from Canine Companions for Independence, should be on this list somewhere. Along with her hero dog friend, Gabe… RIP

  9. Kris M.T says:

    Amanda is #8…not #7…go back and look…German Shepherd mix is right to a T…we own one..we would know and she is. They are rescuers loyal and loving.

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