Did you know that dogs were first in space? While remembering the anniversary of the U.S. landing on the moon, we should give credit to the dogs that paved the way for manned space flight. The Soviet Union was the first to use dogs in orbital flights to obtain the data necessary to prepare for astronauts in space. The first canine cosmonaut was Laika, meaning “barker”. She was a canine hero following that achievement, appearing on stamps, postcards and souvenirs. Her successors were Belka and Strelka, the first dogs to successfully return safely to Earth. Laika’s story is told in Laika’s Window: The Legacy of a Soviet Space Dog, described as a “remarkable and haunting story….a moving tribute to the mutually beneficial bond between man and dog.” Next: Lucky the Doberman.