The Dickin Medal has been called "the Victoria Cross for animals." The award was created in the UK by Maria Dickin in 1943 to honor valiant animals who served in World War II. It is a bronze medal of a laurel wreath surrounding the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve." It hangs from a ribbon of pale blue, brown, and green. It was most recently awarded just last month to a dog named Kuga.
You might think that the Saint Bernard dog was named for a Catholic saint named Bernard. You'd be wrong -- well, sort of. The very large working dogs were originally bred by the hospice of the Great Saint Bernard Pass to assist in alpine rescue of travelers crossing the border between Italy and Switzerland. It was a journey filled with peril before more modern modes of travel.