In 1957 while hordes of unthinking American capitalist stooges were wasting their time watching the reactionary antics of the plutocratic puppet Lucy Ricardo.
That and having backyard cookouts or piling into their Desoto land cruiser station wagons, and driving to Las Vegas, and Disneyland on brand new wide clean safe interstates. Stopping only to replenish their supplies of Luckies cheeseburgers, and Fresca.
While these "Running Dogs of the Cabal of the Wall Street Atomic Plunderers" were on their one way trip into the dust bin of history. The Heroic Dogs of the "Great Red Banner Motherland" were fearlessly making "The Triumph of Socialist Science, and History an uncontested reality!
The peoples canines dared to challenge the very heavens!
"Laika", (Order of Lenin, Terrier first class), was volunteered to be the first mammal to travel beyond the atmosphere, and gravity of the Earth.
The Glory did not stop there!
Our beloved Laika was not the last quadruped into space. Shortly after the non-return, and un-survival of the world's first space dog,...the former Laika. Two more Heroic Hounds from the kennels of the Motherland were volunteered.
"Strelka, and Belka", (heroic likeness at top), were sent by the Central Committee to further explore the cold, and pointless monotony of oblivion.
Unlike their unfortunate predecessor these two furry heroes came back to the warm welcoming arms of the Workers Paradise.
In gratitude for their valor the "Ministry of Interesting Surprises" had our hero's Strelka, and Belka poisoned dissected poked about then sewn back up, and stuffed.
This so future generations could admire first hand the Peoples K-9 Space Heroes. There was some discussion of bestowing a similar honor on the soon to be chosen Cosmonauts. However this was dropped as it was felt such might have a negative effect on their morale.