For National Dog Day, Meet a Hero Dog From 1928

2 minute read

In honor of National Dog Day—celebrated on Aug. 26–allow us to look back at the the first nonhuman to be a TIME cover subject: a basset hound puppy who was a born show dog with champion parents. But the story, which was prompted by the 1928 Westminster Kennel Club dog show, took a much broader look at the state of dogs in America.

“It would be idle to suppose that the tiny fraction of the U. S. canine population which last week posed and strutted in Madison Square Garden was in any sense the most important,” TIME noted. “Other dogs did not pause last week, in the performance of their deeds and duties, to admire the antics of these prototypes.”

Among the canine feats highlighted by TIME was one particularly heroic pooch:

In Manhattan, Max, a police dog, watched his owner, one Gilbert Kirkwood, a plasterer, going to sleep with a cigaret in his mouth. When he saw that Gilbert Kirkwood’s cigaret had dropped and ignited the bedclothes, Max dragged the burning bedclothes away from Gilbert Kirkwood and put them in the kitchen. Then he dragged Gilbert Kirkwood, overcome by smoke, off the bed and put him in the kitchen right next the bedclothes. After this, Max barked until a policeman came to revive Gilbert Kirkwood and to extinguish both his bedclothes and the conflagration caused by dragging these from room to room.

Read more stories of 1920s canine heroism in the TIME Vault: Putting on the Dog

Most Famous Dogs in Movies and Television

Most Famous Dogs - Lassie
Lassie in LassieMGM Studios/Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Toto
Toto from The Wizard Of Oz.MGM Studios/Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Snoopy
Snoopy in Peanuts.ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin from The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.The Frank S. Errigo Archive/Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Petey
Petey the dog from Little Rascals.Imagno/Getty Images
Santa's Little Helper and The Simpsons
Santa's Little Helper from The Simpsons.FOX
Most Famous Dogs - Scooby Doo
Scooby DooWarner Brothers
Most Famous Dogs - Brian
Brian from Family Guy.FOX
Most Famoous Dogs - Beethoven
Beethoven and family from Beethoven's 2nd.Universal Pictures/Getty Images
Most Famoous Dogs - Otis
Otis from The Adventures of Milo and Otis.Columbia Pictures
Most Famous Dogs - Shadow and Chance
Shadow and Chance from Homeward Bound: the Incredible Journey.Walt Disney Pictures
Most Famous Dogs - Buddy
Buddy from Air BudBuena Vista Pictures
Most Famous Dogs - Charlie
Charlie from All Dogs Go To Heaven.United Artists
Lady and Tramp in Disney's Lady and the TrampDisney
Most Famous Dogs - Hooch
Beasley Le Bordeaux, or Hooch, from the movie Turner & Hooch. Doug Griffin—Toronto Star/Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Benji
Benji from Benji: The Hunted.Dick Loek—Toronto Star/Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Gidget
Gidget the Taco Bell dog.Vern Evans —Getty Images
Most Famous Dogs - Uggie
Uggie from The ArtistGeorge Pimentel—WireImage/Getty Images

Read next: 21 Reasons This Dog Is the Best Dog in the World

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