Monday, July 20, 2009

Famous Fictional Pets

All art forms have paid tribute to pets with personality. From books to movies, to the paintings hung throughout the world's museums, dogs and cats have been a part of our creative expression as long as they've been by our side as companions. And why not? These creatures color our lives. There's nothing quite like a cat on the lap or a dog gazing up at his owner with a pair laughing, liquid eyes. And owning a pet lowers blood pressure and increases life expectancy, so it's no surprise they appear in so many novels.

I have three cats, but grew up in a house filled with both cats and dogs. As a result, I adore them both. Whenever I dream up a new character, I ponder what kind of pet they'd own. After all, without a furry friend, my characters would never know the same joyful companionship I've known.

So what fictional animals have influenced the importance I place on the pets in my novels? Here's a short list. I'd adopt any one of these darlings!

1. Asta (the wire-hair Fox Terrier of the Thin Man)
2. Sandy, the faithful dog by Annie's side
3. Charley of John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley
4. The lovable mixed breed in Because of Winn-Dixie
5. Toto of Wizard of Oz
6. The beagle pup of Shiloh
7. All of the Aristocats
8. Amber - The Cat From Outer Space
9. All of the cats petted by the bad guy sin James Bond movies
10. The cats in Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams

Who's your favorite famous pet?


Paul Lamb said...

No doubt about it. The best dog is Flike from the movie Umberto D. He isn't anthorpomorphized in any way; he's no more than a dog, yet he teaches his master the true meaning of life. I recommend this movie to everyone!

Lisa Bork said...

I used to love Mr. Ed, the talking horse on television. And Lassie.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Snoopy. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Flag - the ill-fated fawn in The Yearling is the animal that came to my mind immediately.

But for sleuthing animials, my vote is for Astor followed by Neil, the booze imbibing St. Bernard from the old Topper series (yes, I'm showing my age.)

Keith Raffel said...

"Anyone who hates children and dogs can't be all bad." W.C. Fields

jbstanley said...

Paul, I've got to check out that movie.

Man, how could I forget about Snoopy?

Keith Raffel said...

Has anyone read Dog On It by Spencer Quinn? A Portuguese water dog is the narrator. I loved it despite my indifference to the canine species. Spoke to a big city mystery reviewer who believes it should win next year's Edgar. READ IT!

G.M. Malliet said...

Snoopy, yes, of course. Dark-and-stormy Snoopy.