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Patriotic Pups

On July 4th we celebrate all things American — and one of the most American things we can think of are our dogs.

Almost 50 years ago, Maryland became the first state to pick an official dog: its native Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Since then, campaigns to designate certain breeds as state symbols have come from all over — even a kindergarten classroom in Alaska. And not all state dogs are fancy breeds: The state dog of Texas isn't recognized by the AKC, and just this year Colorado's governor signed into law a bill declaring dogs and cats adopted from shelters as that state's official pets. -by SHAYNA MELIKER

Alaska: Alaskan Malamute

The three-year process to recognize the Alaskan Malamute as the official dog of our 49th state started with a kindergartner who asked why Alaska didn't have a state dog. As a result, teachers and students at Polaris K-12 School in Anchorage banded together and testified on the Malamute's behalf in front of the state House and Senate. That all paid off when the breed became Alaska's official state dog in May 2011.

(Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography)

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