In the early 20th century, pitbulls were extremely beloved. They were American mascots and largely associated with children, which means that they were far from being considered aggressive. If current news reports are to be believed, pitbulls have been attacking and biting humans left and right. Surprisingly, these dogs used to be America’s darlings. The numerous renowned pitbulls that have made history stand to prove that. Here are some of the most famous and heroic pitbulls throughout history.
In 1903, Horatio Jackson and his assistant Sewall Crocker became the first people to cross the United States in a car, a Winston Vermont automobile to be precise. Accompanying them was Jackson’s pitbull, Bud, who obviously because the first dog to cross the US. The specially-made driving goggles that Bud wore during the trip reside in Smithsonian today.
Named after William the Conqueror by his master, General George S. Patton, Willie is another famous pitbull. His owner was an avid pitbull lover who took his companion everywhere. Willie even had his own set of dog tags. The famously gruff commander was so enamored of the dog, he even thew him a birthday party! Willie is memorialized standing next to his master in a bronze statue at the General Patton Memorial Museum outside of Indio, California.
Even though he was not a real dog, Tige was one of the most famous fictional pitbulls at the turn of the century. As featured in Richard Felton Outcault’s comic strip and later in renowned advertisements for the Brown Shoe company, Tige “lived” in a time when pitbulls were regarded as caretaker “nanny” dogs rather than rough guard dogs. Tige is also notable for being the first talking pet in comic strips.
Stubby was the most decorated dog of World War I. He was adopted by Private J. Robert Conroy and became the mascot of the 102nd Infantry, Yankee Division. The pitbull learned a lot about military life, including bugle calls and how to execute a salute with his paw. Stubby was smuggled to France when his owner shipped out and allowed to stay when the commanding officer saw him salute.
Pete the Pup, the son of Pal the Wonder Dog, took over the role of Petey, the canine mascot of the Our Gang/Little Rascals shorts after his father was poisoned in 1930. He appeared in many of the best-remembered shorts, but he was replaced with a series of younger dogs starting 1932. The famous trademark ring around his eye was makeup to match his dad’s natural marking.
These are some of the most famous pitbulls in history. All owners talked about them affectionately and kept them by their side at all times. Another example of a famous pitbull owner is Helen Keller, an inspirational writer and speaker who was blind and deaf since the age of 19 months. She became one of the most admired figures in the 20th century and was an avid animal lover, having many canine companions throughout her long life – including her beloved pitbull, Sir Thomas. Clearly, pitbulls were so beloved in the past!