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Dog Heroes

These are the some of the bravest animals in the world

Go Compare Pet Insurance contacted Dog Artists and asked us to paint 8 heroic animals in uniform as part of their Honourable pet campaign.  Their honourable pet campaign was to commemorate the 75 year anniversary of the Dickin medal, which was created in 1943 by Maria Dickin CBE to honour the animals that served in WW2. The Dickin Medal was known as The ‘animals victory cross’ and has the words “For Gallantry” and “We Also Serve” within a laurel wreath, and once you’ve read the stories of these brave animal and dog heroes you’ll see why they certainly deserve this medal.

Our first Dog Hero


dog head human body art


RIP the Blitz Dog

Rip's Story

Rip, was a stray mixed Terrier that became best friends with an air raid warden during the Blitz.

Although this brave mixed Terrier was never trained to be a search and rescue dog he helped the air raid warden and his team sniff out people who were trapped under the debris. This incredible dog saved the lives of over 100 people!  What an amazing dog! His medal sold at auction for £24,250 in 2009. He is buried at the Ilford animal cemetery in Essex.

About the portrait

Oils on canvas.

40cm x 30cm

The medal that you can see painted onto his uniform is the Dickin medal that he received. If you think you would love to have your dog painted in uniform email:

Simon the Cat

cat in uniform


The Navy Cat Hero

Simon's Story

This is a fab animal in clothes portrait. Simon was a well-loved cat on the HMS Amethyst, he kept the lower decks free of mice and other rodents. The ship was involved in the Yangtze incident in Nanjing, and came under attack of Chinese communists. The captain, a Lieutenant Commander Skinner was shot and killed. Simon the cat received medical attention and managed to survive the whole ordeal. Unfortunately, on the way home, Simon had to be put into quarantine and contracted a virus, which eventually killed him. He too received the Dickin medal for bravery.

40 cm x 30 cm (16″x 12″)

Oil on canvas

Newfoundland Dog Hero

animals in human clothes


Canadian war hero

Gander's Story

In 1941, Gander, a Newfoundland dog flew over with Canadian army regiment, the Royal Rifles of Canada and fought in Hong Kong fighting the enemy in that battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island. Heroically, to save the lives of others Gander picked up a Japanese hand grenade that had been thrown towards Canadian troops and ran towards the enemy with it in his mouth. Gander tragically died in the explosion, but his immense act of bravery would have saved the lives of nearby soldiers.

He was awarded the Dickin medal for bravery in 2000 and has a statue of him in his honour at Gander Heritage Memorial park.

40cm x 30cm

Oil on canvas


Our Pigeon Hero

Animals in clothes


Winkie the Pigeon

Winkie's Story

Winkie was a carrier pigeon who was travelling with her crew on board the RAF Beaufort Bomber during World War II.  The plane was hit and went down into the North Sea. The crew released Winkie in the hope she would get help.  She flew all the way home to Scotland, a whoping 120 miles away and alerted her owner, who then alerted the RAF and a rescue mission was immediately launched. Because of Winkie They managed to find the whole crew! Winkie was awarded the Dickin medal in 1943.

40 cm x 30 cm (16″ x 12″)

Oil on canvas


Buster the RAF Dog

dog heroes


Our Springer Spaniel Dog Hero

Buster's story

Buster served with the RAF and was an Arms and explosives search dog, his ability to detect and sniff out bombs and other detonating devices, saved many lives in Afgansthan, Iraq and Bosnia. In fact he served over 5 tours, which is thought to be the most a service dog has ever completed.  Buster retired in 2011 and was made the official RAF police mascot. He is credited with saving over 1000 lives.

40 cm x 30 cm (16″ x 12″)

Oil on canvas.


Warrior Horse in Uniform

horse in uniform


Amazing Horse War Hero

Warrior's Story

As you know we really concentrate on painting dogs but for this project we painted our first ever horse in uniform! Warrior was known as the horse that the Germans couldn’t kill because he survived machine gun attacks, falling shells at the Battle of the Somme he survived battles at Ypres. He got stuck under burning beams at his stable twice and survived! Warrior returned home – the Isle of Wight in 1918 at the end of the war. He lived to be 32 and was awarded the Dickin medal for bravery in 2014.

Oil on canvas

40cm x 30cm


Appollo the German Shepherd Dog Hero

animals in clothes


Appollo and the twin towers

Appollo's Story

When the Twin Towers collapsed, Appollo was drafted in to help with 9/11 rescue operations, he was the first search and rescue dog on the scene. He worked for the K-9 unit of the New York Police Department and laboured under intense conditions 18 hours a day to search for injured victims.  This beautiful German Shepherd had to be washed daily to get rid of any harmful substances on his body and at the same time he lifted the spirits of other helpers who watched him tirelessly search for victims.  This amazing brave dog was awarded the Dickin medal for bravery in 2002.

40 cm x 30 cm (16″ x 12″)

Oil on canvas


Brave Dog Heroes

If you’ve read the stories of these brave animal and dog heroes you’ll understand the reason we were commissioned with painting these heroic animals was in the hope that their spirit would live on through their portraits.  If you would love to commission your own animal in uniform portrait then please get in touch and fill in the form below or email:  Please let us know what kind of uniform/dress or suit you’d love to see your dog painted in. We are happy to help too if you need advice.

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