On August 19, 1960 two Russian dogs Strelka and Belka were rocketed into space. They spent a day in orbit aboard Sputnik 5 before safely returning to Earth. Their travel companions, 42 mice, one gray rabbit and 2 rats. They were the first living creatures sent into orbit to return safely to earth.
Strelka went on 5 more space voyages. She then had puppies one of which, Pushinka, (Fluffy) was given to JFK by Nikita Khrushchev. Pushinka had puppies sired by JFK's Welsh terrier, Charlie. JFK called the 4 puppies, “the Pupniks”. All the Pupniks were eventually given away.