One Dog's Bathroom Break Awarded Her A WWII Medal

There is a famous saying that not all heroes wear capes. While that is undoubtedly true, it turns out that some heroes don't even wear pants. At least, that was the case with one unlikely World War II hero: a Great Dane named Juliana. The dog was living with her owner in London during April of 1941, when The Blitz was in full swing.

The Blitz, which began in September of 1940, was a sustained bombing campaign that Germany carried out against Britain over the course of nine months, ultimately killing over 43,500 civilians across the country, according to Imperial War Museums. While the Luftwffe bombed towns and cities all over the United Kingdom, much of their firepower was focused heavily on Great Britain's capital. This meant that bombs were constantly dropping across the city at all hours of the night. And in April of 1941, one of those incendiary bombs just happened to fall through the roof of the home where Juliana and her owner were living, according to We Are The Mighty.

Juliana was awarded two Blue Cross medals in her lifetime

The bomb very well could have been fatal, were it not for Juliana's quick action. Rather than whimpering or running away in fear, the Great Dane wandered over the explosive device and urinated directly on it, thus diffusing it, according to We Are The Mighty. Thanks to Juliana's bladder, the fire was extinguished and both she and her owner survived.

In recognition of her bravery, Juliana was awarded a Blue Cross medal. The medal was first invented during world War I, where it was awarded to brave horses who served in the war. Its recipients were later expanded to include all animals who performed heroic acts, and Juliana certainly fit the bill, according to Common Place Facts. Even more incredibly, that is not the only heroic act Juliana performed in her lifetime. The dog actually saved her family's life a second time, in November 1944. One night, a fire broke out at the shoe shop her owner ran. This could have been another life threatening event; however, Juliana woke up the family in time, alerting them to fire and enabling them to make it out of the burning building safely, earning herself a remarkable second Blue Cross medal, via We Are The Mighty.

Juliana was tragically poisoned in 1946

Unfortunately, the heroic dog met a tragic and untimely end in 1946, just one year after the end of the war. For unknown reasons, an unidentified individual slipped poison through the letterbox of Juliana's family home. Tragically, Juliana ate the poison and succumbed to its effects not long after, according to Common Place Facts.

After a relative of Juliana's original owner vacated her home in Bristol, England, the Blue Cross medal, along with a watercolor portrait of the heroic pup, was discovered at the house clearance. The medal was put up for auction in 2013. "Rarely is there such an interesting story behind items we handle," the auctioneer, Philip Taubenheim, explained. "People usually like to hang on to things like this. It's only because the family became estranged that this piece came on to the market. This was clearly a Great Dane with a great bladder" (via BBC). Juliana's Blue Cross medal and the portrait ultimately sold for 1,100 pounds ($1,350 USD) to an anonymous buyer.