Dogs don’t just impact our lives in the real world but also in the make believe world of literature, television and the movies. Here are some famous dogs, picked out of a cast of hundreds:
- Lassie from “Lassie Come Home”: Although mostly known from the movie Lassie Come-Home, Lassie was firstly introduced to the world in the 1940 book bearing the same name, by Eric Knight. The female, long-haired collie dog Lassie goes through a series of adventures to go back to her loving family and their boy, Joe.
- Fang from Harry Potter: The half-giant Hagrid keeps Fang, an adorably cowardly boarhound dog, whose enormous size contrasts with his lack of courage. He’s either scared stiff by a flying car or incapable of getting out of a burning house.
- Snowy from “Herge’s Adventures of Tintin”: Faithful companion to the main character of the book, Tintin, Snowy is called ‘Milou’ in the original version in French. A white wire fox terrier dog, Snowy accompanies Tintin on all his adventures from the first comic book in the series. He is a talking dog, understanding human language, and expresses his thoughts in a funny and witty way.
- Nana of “Peter Pan”: The Darling family employs, besides their maidservant, a dog named Nana as a nanny for their three children, Wendy, John and Michael. The Newfoundland dog Nana doesn’t speak human language but acts as if she understands her responsibilities towards the children. When the three of them flee to Neverland together with Peter Pan, Nana stays behind to comfort the distressed mother.
- The Littlest Hobo: a Canadian television series based upon a 1958 American film of the same name. Revolving around a stray German Shepherd, the titular Hobo, the dog wanders from town to town, helping people in need. Despite the attempts of the many people, whom he helped, to adopt him, he appeared to prefer to be on his own and would head off by himself at the end of each episode. His origins, motivation, and ultimate destination are never explained on screen.
- In Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Lady Bertram had a pug. Others, like Willoughby’s two pointers, were working dogs, generally being a great part of the hunt. Henry Tilney had a large Newfoundland puppy and two or three terriers. His were companion dogs as was Lady Bertram’s pug. As far as hunting dogs, almost every male character in a Jane Austen novel seems to have at least one.
- Old Yeller: This tragic tale of a young Texas boy and his Labrador Retriever/Mastiff mix is arguably the most heartbreaking canine film to date. Based on the 1956 children’s novel by Fred Gipson, Old Yeller captures the heartbreaking sense of loss that comes when a beloved pet is suddenly taken away.
- Beethoven: named after Ludwig van Beethoven and his enjoyment of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, this loveable St. Bernard first came to stardom in the 1992 family comedy of the same name. From one set of family hijinks to another, Beethoven wins the hearts of everyone he meets and scuppers the plans of the evil Dr. Varnick on the way. The initial movie was followed by four sequels.
Apologies if I missed off your favourite dog but I hope you enjoyed this short walk down memory lane.