Bamse (pronounced “Bump-sa”, the Norwegian word for “teddy bear”) was a Saint Bernard, who, during World War II, became the heroic mascot of the Free Norwegian Forces.

Even before the war began, Bamse had shown extraordinary devotion to duty, as the family pet to Captain Erling Hafto’s family. Best demonstrated when the captain’s youngest child, Vigdis, took a bad turn. Vigdis, herself, later wrote “When I was just a child I became very ill, and was not expected to live. For 12 days and nights Bamse guarded my bedside, and would not let anyone approach, except my mother and the doctor. He did not leave his post until the crisis was over.”