Museums around the country are dedicated to historical figures and bizarre oddities, but one in St. Louis boasts robust information on man’s best friend. The building is a rarity itself, as it’s one of the few that allows dogs inside to learn about their brethren.
Boston.com reported that the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog has many exhibits dedicated to canines, including paintings, sculptures and numerous displays about famous dogs in history. The curators have no problem with dogs walking around the museum, with no fear of items getting knocked over or messes being made.
The museum is located inside a historic home in Queeny Park that dates back to 1853. There are items dedicated to champion dogs from various competitions, along with canines from pop culture, like Rin Tin Tin. Service dogs even get exhibits, such as search-and-rescue pooches who save lives.
The AKC facility also hosts guest dogs throughout the month so visitors can learn about the different breeds. Employees coordinate dog club meetings as well, and oversee training sessions for owners and their furry friends. The museum attracts roughly 10,000 visitors per year.
Famous dogs throughout history
CNN explained that canines have grown alongside mankind for thousands of years, cementing their own spots in history. These famous dogs have found themselves as historical figures for their achievements – both big and small.
- Strelka and Belka: These Russian pooches were the first animals to successfully return back to Earth from space. They were launched on the spaceship Sputnik 5 in 1960 for a one-day mission into orbit, and their trip allowed scientists to glean useful information about interstellar travel. One of Strelka’s puppies, Pushinka, was given to John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.
- Peritas: Even Alexander the Great needed a furry friend by his side. When the legendary soldier was surrounded by Persian troops, Peritas leapt into the fray and bit the lip of a charging elephant. Alexander was able to survive the attack and went on to forge an empire that’s still talked about to this day.
- Jofi: The beloved Chow of famed psychologist Sigmund Freud, Jofi is considered the first-ever therapy dog. He was kept in the office during psychotherapy sessions, as Freud believed that Jofi comforted the patients. In fact, his notes on these interactions became the basis of modern-day pet-assisted therapy.