This weekend, I received the sad news that dog of one on my dear friends had passed away. It wasn’t necessarily completely unexpected, but that didn’t lesson the sting of the announcement. Losing a family pet is a traumatic event, a concept that I’ve only really been able to understand since I’ve become a pet owner myself. Before I got my cat Pumpkin, I was always sympathetic to people who had to say goodbye to a pet but I don’t think I really processed how painful it can be. Pets really do become members of the family and even the thought of losing Pumpkin – who even I can admit can be a real jerk sometime – is enough to make me tear up. Now that I’ve experienced pet ownership, I get the depth of that bond in a way that I couldn’t before Pumpkin came into my life. It breaks my heart that someone else has to go through this.
So in memory of sweet Lulu (R.I.P.), today’s post will focus on some of my favorite pets from the world of pop culture. Humans tend to be front and center in most pop culture, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t show a little love for the furry companions that keep them company.
Brian – Family Guy
It would be pretty easy to forget that Brian is technically the Griffin’s pet, since he is such a prominent and equal member of the family. The fact that he can talk doesn’t hurt either. But despite his human-like qualities – including a penchant for alcohol – Brian is in reality the family pet. This fact has been reinforced and addressed by storylines in some of the earlier seasons, where Brian bristled against the indignity of being treated like a normal dog. Though Brian’s relationship with Stewie may border on inappropriate, their connection mirrors the relationship that many kids have with their pets. Because Brian is such a fully realized character, his brief death last season packed a bigger wallop not only for the characters on the show but also for the viewer. Thank goodness that was short lived.
Garfield – Garfield
Here’s an instance where the pet is front and center and the human is nothing more than a supporting character. If you spend any time around cats, you know that the depiction in Garfield is pretty darn accurate and I do have an obvious soft spot for orange cats. Also, like Garfield, I do not enjoy Mondays, diets or anyone even remotely as happy-go-lucky as Odie.
Eddie – Frasier
For some reason, Eddie was the first pop culture pet that popped into my head when I thought of this blog topic. This is surprising since I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of Frasier when it was on and Eddie was a pretty minor feature of the show. But he must have made some sort of impression on my subconscious, possibly because he is freaking adorable. Eddie may not have had a ton of screen time, but he made the most of what time he was given. I always enjoyed that Eddie was having none of Frasier’s nonsense; too many people humored his persnickety behavior.
Baxter – Anchorman & Anchorman 2
I mean, he pooped in the refrigerator and ate a whole wheel of cheese. What more justification do you need?
I normally don’t keep up on Internet memes, but I made an exception for Grumpy Cat. He just so encapsulates the general grumpiness that so many of us feel on a daily basis. While most memes come and go, Grumpy Cat shows no signs of losing steam; she’s even getting a starring role in an upcoming Lifetime movie (which, sadly, is not a tell-all expose). As long as people continue to see the glass as half empty, Grumpy Cat will endure.
Toto – The Wizard of Oz
Toto doesn’t enough credit for being a bad-ass. He showed no fear in a showdown with the Wicked Witch of the West and he is the one that discovers that the Wizard is a big scan. If Toto didn’t pull back that curtain, Dorothy and the rest of the gang wouldn’t have known that they were being duped. His bravery and cunning earns his a place on this list.
Hank – Milwaukee Brewers
One of my favorite stories that came out of MLB spring training was Hank. A stray, he started hanging around the Brewers training facility. The team took notice of this adorable pup and he became part of their training activities. When spring training ended, the Brewers adopted the dog – who they named Hank after Hank Aaron – and brought him back to Milwaukee as their mascot. Everyone loves when a stray finds a forever home and in this case Hank lucked into living the sweet life. He resides with Brewers VP and general counsel and has been honored at a bunch of events at the ballpark. Last Saturday they even gave away a Hank the dog bobblehead which some pop culture blogger may or may not have procured off eBay 🙂
Dug – Up
Dug was a loyal and fun-loving pooch who….SQUIRREL!
Mr. Jinx – Meet the Parents
Oh man…do you have any idea how much easier my life would be if I could teach Pumpkin to use the toilet instead of a litter box? Mr. Jinx not only mastered that feat but he also managed to win over Robert DeNiro’s Jack Byrnes. That’s a special kind of cat.
Ser Pounce – Game of Thrones
I obviously saved the best for the last. Game of Thrones is such a dark and bleak show that it is rare that anyone shows up who doesn’t have an agenda or ulterior motives. Maybe we’ll find out that Ser Pounce is Jon Snow’s father or that he is up to no good, but for now he was a brief moment of happiness amid all the death, violence and plotting. He was on screen for approximately five seconds, but that’s all he needed to win over Game of Thrones fans. Ser Pounce should be the new Hand of the King or we riot.
Now it’s your turn….who are your favorite pets from pop culture? I know I didn’t mention some obvious candidates, mostly because they aren’t my cup of tea (Lassie – I’m looking at you), but maybe I missed some of your favorites. Sound off in the comments on what pets from the world of movies, tv, books and comics that you’d want to adopt.
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