Astro, Benji, Checkers: Famous Dogs Of The '50s, '60s And '70s

Veterok, one of two dogs (the other was Ugoloik) launched into space by the Soviets in 1966. This pair of pups set the record for longest stretch in space, at 22 days. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

The house with the picket fence, the two car garage, some whole number of kids and a pooch in the yard -- that was the American dream of the postwar years. Dogs were plentiful; and in this age of dogs, famous dogs thrived. There were dogs in the White House, dogs in space, dogs of war, dogs in cartoons, dogs with their own movie franchise and officially licensed thermos and lunchbox set.

During the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, numerous dogs proved that they are man’s best friend through their heroic deeds, by servicing as goodwill ambassadors, or by simply entertaining us. These canine celebrities have earned a place in our hearts. Whether real or fictional, the pooches of the '50s, '60s, and '70s are representatives of their era and their fascinating stories give us a glimpse in to life in the sixties and seventies.