The amazing thing is that they can survive in the vacuum of space, unlike a hamster who can't even survive a Dyson vacuum .... trust me on that one.
They can withstand desiccation and bits might fall off them but when they rehydrate their DNA repairs and takes in foreign DNA in order to help them evolve and survive harsh environments. You can find these wee buggers on moss and Lichen ... if you wanted to.
For 25 hours their capsule orbited the Earth 18 times then it came back. The dogs survived and Strelka gave birth to a litter of pups. One was given to Jacqueline Kenedy, it was named Pushinka (Fluffy) but before it went anywhere near the White House it had to be x-rayed and searched for bugs (not fleas) and bombs.
They ended up in a museum in Moscow.
The Kennedy's dog Charlie took a shine to the commie bitch and they had 4 pups together whose descendants go on to today.
They weren't the only dogs that the Soviets sent into space.