Did you know that once known as "the poor man's horse", the Great Swiss Mountain Dog, has many weird facts and little known bits of trivia? Among the many weird facts about Great Swiss Mountain dogs, most involve acts of heroism or acts above and beyond the call of duty. This ancient breed of dog has a rich and varied history. Once considered extinct, this breed is still extremely rare. The fact that there are currently only around three thousand Great Swiss Mountain Dogs in existence, and so many stories are so well known about them leads one to believe they just might be true!
For example, many have heard about the Swissy who was harnessed to his farm master's loaded cart. It was their tradition to travel the countryside plying the farm's wares. This particular morning the farmer was not feeling well, and by the time he had his wares loaded and his dog hitched to the cart, he was forced to go back into the house to rest. He became delirious, and only late that evening did he awaken to find it dark. He went outside to find his dog still hitched to the cart, but the cart was empty. It turned out that the dog had taken the normal route, and allowed all the farmer's customers to help themselves to their orders.
The previous story could be fact or fiction, but the following story about Hannibal, a Great Swiss Mountain Dog owned by a member of the Rhode Island State Police Search and Rescue Team, has come to be known as a hero by everyone who knows his story. Hannibal had a remarkable talent that made him one of the highest ranked search and rescue dogs in history. Hannibal is credited with multiple search and rescue successes as well as many less celebratory, but no less notable successful cadaver searches. The last night of Hannibal's life was, in fact, spent in a successful search for a lost child.
There are undoubtedly many stories about Great Swiss Mountain Dogs that are no less heroic, though they are probably only known by the families who love their particular hero. Great Swiss Mountain Dogs have been trained as highly skilled, well behaved therapy dogs, and the joy and benefits they have brought to the sick are no less feats of heroism than any of the afore mentioned stories. The point is, every Swissy is a hero in the making, and heroism is what you make of it.