The lecture is dedicated to the dogs who were crucial to the success of the early Soviet space programme. All of them formerly homeless on the Moscow streets, they fitted the necessary profile: small, robust, placid and able to withstand the punishing preparations for space flight. They were also photogenic. On 3 November 1957, Laika was the first Earthborn creature into outer space, giving her instant global fame. Her death a few hours after launching was used to transform her into a symbol of patriotic sacrifice. The lecture reflects on the ideological implications of the popular portraits of the Soviet Space Dogs.