By Ann Cameron Siegal, Washington Post
Three years ago, an Alaskan kindergartner decided her state should have an official dog. Her fellow students at Polaris K-12 School in Anchorage liked the idea so much that they did research, made phone calls and testified before the state legislature. In May of this year, Alaska became the 11th state to bestow an official title on man’s best friend.
The students chose the Alaskan malamute because of its long history in Alaska. For thousands of years, malamutes were valuable work dogs to an Inuit tribe (the Mahlemuts) because they could haul very heavy loads over long distances in the Arctic’s harsh environment. They resemble huskies, but are much stronger and are the largest of the Arctic sled dogs.
Other breeds have names that honor geographical locations, such as the Chesapeake Bay retriever, Maryland’s state dog.
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