8 of the Best Dogs of the Decade

Frida the rescue dog.
Frida the rescue dog.
Hector Vivas/Stringer/Getty Images

The 2010s were filled with good dogs—way too many to fit into a single list. If you want a condensed look at some of the best canine accomplishments of the decade, this is a good place to start. From political trailblazers to lifesaving heroes, these dogs succeeded in making the world a better, cuter place.

1. Duke the Dog Mayor

Duke may not have been the most influential politician of the past decade, but he was by far the most loveable. The Great Pyrenees was elected mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, in 2014. It marked the first time in 140 years the town had a mayor of any species, and with no challengers willing to go paw-to-toe with the canine, Duke was re-elected three more times before passing away in 2019.

2. Frida the Rescue Dog

Following the earthquake that devastated Central Mexico in September 2017, rescue workers assembled to sift through the rubble. One of them was a 7-year-old lab named Frida. Equipped with goggles, booties, and a harness, she crawled into spaces humans couldn’t reach to sniff out survivors and locate victims. The earthquake was just one of the disasters she responded to over her impressive career as a rescue dog. In June 2019, Frida retired after nearly 10 years of service.

3. Gracie the Bark Ranger

NPS/A.W. Biel

In 2016, Gracie the border collie became the first-ever employee-owned “bark ranger” at a U.S. national park. Her job at Glacier National Park in Montana includes shepherding bighorn sheep and mountain goats away from highly-trafficked areas where they pose a threat to visitors. News of her hard work has spread far beyond the park: Her official Instagram account @barkrangernps has 22,400 followers.

4. The Environmentalist Golden Retriever

One dog owner in China put his golden retriever’s breed instincts to good use this decade. When told to “retrieve,” the pup learned to wade into the polluted waterways of the eastern Jiangsu province to fetch discarded plastic bottles. The clever trick led to the dog collecting up to 30 bottles from rivers a day.

5. Pero The Sheepdog Who Traveled 240 Miles Home

Dogs have been known to go to incredible lengths to be reunited with their families. On April 8, 2016, a 4-year-old sheepdog named Pero showed up on his former owners’ doorstep in Wales after he had been sold to farmers in England just 12 days earlier. That meant the dog had traveled 240 miles to find the place he once called home. Though they had originally sold him, Pero’s old owners decided to welcome him back into their family after he made the impressive trek.

6. Riley the Art Conservationist

© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A dog’s snoot is capable of amazing things. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, one dog’s sniffing skills were used to identify pests that posed a threat to precious paintings and artifacts. Riley the weimaraner was still just a puppy when he joined the institution as a volunteer in January 2018. By learning to identify moths, termites, beetles, and other art-munching bugs by their scents, he was able to help conservationists keep the museum’s inventory safe.

7 & 8. Cullen and Romulus, The First Identical Twin Dogs

Even though they’re usually born in litters, dogs almost never share all of their DNA with their siblings. The first exception was recorded in 2016, when two Irish wolfhound puppies delivered in the same placenta were found to be genetically identical to one another. Though there likely have been identical twin dogs born in the past, Cullen and Romulus were the first case to be documented with DNA analysis.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Treat Your Feline This Holiday Season With Fancy Feast’s Cat Food Advent Calendar

Fancy Feast/Chewy
Fancy Feast/Chewy

In anticipation of the holiday season, many children and adults get to unwrap mini presents each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas day, during what's known as Advent. Though Advent itself dates back to the 4th century, the version we know today, complete with the chocolate-filled calendars, was popularized in the early 1900s. And apparently it's no longer just for humans, because Fancy Feast is letting your feline roommate in on the fun with this unique cat food Advent calendar, now available at Chewy for $23.

For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, your cat will get to enjoy a variety of different wet foods, including favorites like grilled salmon, chicken, and more. There is even a unique ornament included with each calendar featuring a cat in the shape of a heart that can go right onto your tree. (Also, don't be surprised to find your actual cat making its way into the middle of your tree; they're known climbers.)

Now while you enjoy your Advent calendars from brands like LEGO, Funko, and more, your cat will be able to join in on the fun as well. To learn more about Fancy Feast's Feastivites Advent Calendar, head on over to Chewy.

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