laika in carrier On November 3, 1957, Laika rode Sputnik 2 into outer space, the first living creature to reach earth orbit – but unlike all the animals and humans who followed, hers was a one-way ticket only.

In Screwed Pooch, award-winning filmmaker and author Jan Millsapps describes Laika's historic mission and its impact on the humans she encountered, both real and fictional. We meet her beloved yet duplicitous trainer; the brilliant yet anonymous "chief designer" of the Soviet space program; her dog gal pals; Soviet top dog Nikita Khrushchev and his heavy-handed KGB; and two women living in her old neighborhood who mount a daring plan to rescue her.

Laika's unprecedented journey takes us from the wind-swept Moscow streets to top-secret labs and launch sites, and from the miserable depths of a Soviet gulag to transcendent views of earth from outer space.

Meticulously researched, Screwed Pooch sheds light on Laika as the first space pioneer and examines her role in the early space race as both victim and heroine. Most importantly, Millsapps gives a distinct voice to the canine cosmonaut whose ultimate sacrifice paved the way for human space travel.