Famous Fidos Part Woof Woof

Our second part in the series, we’re moving away from live-action doggies and focusing on cartoon and comic book canines. While living dogs inspire and entertain us, fictional dogs open our imaginations and often make us wonder about our dogs’ secret lives.


Krypto (Superman)

Breed: Labrador retriever

Why he makes our list: Just being Superman’s dog earns him a spot on this list, but super smell, super hearing, and super vision help. First appearing in the mid 1950s, Krypto literally soars onto the pages of Adventure Comics and chews a steal gun like it is plastic. And are we the only ones excited about walking a flying dog? Forget busy sidewalks and dangerous intersections. Plus, he wears a cool cape.

Notable moment: When he meets Superboy, he proceeds to super-lick him. Good thing slobber isn’t Superboy’s weakness.


Clifford (Clifford the Big Red Dog)

Breed: big red dog

Why he makes our list: Norman Bridwell understood the gifts that come from a devoted relationship between dogs and humans. The relationship between Bridwell’s characters Clifford and his owner, Emily, proves this. Emily chooses Clifford, runt of the litter, on her birthday, and the affection she shows him helps him grow and grow and grow into a towering pooch. Although his size can be intimidating, and the danger of him bounding onto a house is high, we would risk owning him for the chance to climb him and snuggle.

Notable moment: Clifford helps a little dog, Frankie, feel less insecure about his petite size, by telling Frankie that small dogs can hide better and can get into smaller places. All dogs need love, despite their size.


Odie (Garfield)

Breed: beagle

Why he makes our list: The long running gag of Garfield shoving Odie off the table might have you believe Odie is a pushover, but he is actually tempered and intelligent. What other dog can take insults and abuse from a fat orange cat and find it in himself to refrain from eating that cat? An optimist at heart, he has even been caught reading Tolstoy and listening to orchestra. Also, his tongue is never-ending. That means he doesn’t have to jump on you to give you kisses.

Notable moment: Proving he is smarter than Garfield believes, he empties his owner’s, Jon’s, closet of all his clothes except for a single shirt that says Jon loves his cat. Garfield is blamed and tossed outside; Odie laughs at him through the window while wearing Jon’s clothes.


Snoopy (Peanuts)

Breed: beagle (if you don’t ask Snoopy)

Why he makes our list: As Joe Cool, Snoopy wears sunglasses and acts nonchalant; as the Flying Ace, Snoopy pretends to fly his doghouse and have plane fights. Snoopy’s alter egos are one of his biggest appeals. Whether he imagines playing tennis or acting as an attorney, he gives us ideas of what our pooches dream about when they’re waiting for us to play with them. We also wish all dogs had a little yellow bird to pal around with, like Snoopy does with Woodstock.

Notable moment: Charlie Brown makes fun of Snoopy for hiding in his bed from things that go bump in the night. Charlie Brown begins telling Snoopy that he’s not afraid of things in the dark and Snoopy shouts, scaring Charlie Brown out of bed.

Santa’s Little Helper

Santa’s Little Helper (The Simpsons)

Breed: greyhound

Why he makes our list: We love rescued pets, and that’s exactly what Santa’s Little Helper is. Bart and Homer save him from living on the streets, when Santa’s original owner tries abandoning the dog for losing at the racetrack. He has an inordinate amount of energy and likes to chew on most things. His life is far from dull, as he has been a police a dog, a mascot, an ostrich farm dog, and father. All this and he still just wants to play fetch.

Notable moment: Bart tries to convince his teacher that Santa’s Little Helper eats his homework. He puts the homework in his dog’s mouth and Santa’s Little Helper spits it out and smooths the wrinkles. Bart puts food on it and Santa’s Little Helper eats the food and wipes away the crumbs with his tail.

Let us know your list of favorite dogs in the comments below, on Twitter, or Facebook.


Photo sources:

Krypto: http://comicsforserious.blogspot.com/2008/09/alex-ross-political-muckraker.html

Clifford: http://www.forkidstodo.net/2012/04/25/story-time-with-clifford-the-big-red-dog-at-barnes-noble/

Odie: http://garfieldretro.wikia.com/wiki/Odie

Snoopy: http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Snoopy

Santa’s Little Helper: http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Santa%27s_Little_Helper


Famous Fidos Part Woof and You Can Still Vote For Us

A few days left to vote for us in Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago” poll. Deadline is March 25 at 12:oo a.m. Click here for a link to the poll. Click here for our previous post about voting, if you need instructions.

Part woof in a woof-woof series where we’re sharing our favorite dog characters from television, movies, and comics. Today we’re focusing on live-action doggies, whose wagging tails and capacity to learn numerous commands instilled in us a greater appreciation for the sitcoms and films they starred in.



Real name: Pal (original actor)

Breed: collie

Why she/he makes our list: Loyalty. Beauty. Wisdom. Lassie encompasses these traits, and we imagine many pooches decorate the interior of their doghouses with a poster of her; even though a male actor played the character. A testament to her impact on humans, she made Variety’s list of 100 icons of the century, the lone animal listed. She is also one of the few animals to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Notable moment: From Lassie’s 1994 film. The young April tells the young Matthew that raising sheep is difficult, almost deterring him. Lassie then herds the sheep and makes it look as easy as wagging her tail, basically telling April to stop stomping on her best friend’s dreams.


Toto  (The Wizard of Oz)

Real name: Terry (name later changed to Toto)

Breed: cairn terrier

Why he/she makes our list: Before Paris Hilton meandered about with Tinkerbell in her purse, Dorothy cavorted Kansas and Oz with Toto in a basket. His seemingly pampered life does not soften his character in the film however. The fearless little dog barks at a cantankerous lady who wants to have the sheriff put him down, at a wicked witch, and at the occasional flying monkey. Similar but reverse of Lassie, the character Toto is male, but a female stars in the role on film.

Notable moment: When Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Man argue with the faux-Wizard of Oz, Toto unveils the real Wizard by pulling back the curtain on the man’s secret booth. S-M-A-R-T.


Eddie (Frasier)

Real name: Moose

Breed: Jack Russell terrier

Why he makes our list: A rags to riches story, Moose was a rascal puppy, but someone saw a spark in his boisterousness and introduced him to television. On the show Frasier, he is loyal to his owner, Marty, and has an endearing but strange relationship with the show’s protagonist, Frasier; Eddie likes to stare at Frasier as if to say, “I think it’s important you know I’m here. And that is all.” Frasier never defeats Eddie in a staring contest.

Notable moment: Any of the stare-offs between Eddie and Frasier. Simply one of the best running gags on television.


Murray (Mad About You)

Real name: Maui

Breed: border collie mix

Why he makes our list: He comes off as stubborn and unintelligent to his owners on the show, Jamie and Paul, but he knows what he is doing. When Jamie or Paul tell him to get off the couch or the bed, to sit or lie down, he is often unresponsive. Unless they have something he wants. He chases a mouse throughout several episodes, but the owners think it is invisible, some game Murray plays with himself — until they find it themselves. He also saves his owners by pulling a Lassie and barking at neighbors to free Jamie and Paul locked in the bathroom.

Notable moment: Paul leaves Murray in the car, and the car is quickly towed. When Jamie and Paul get to the impound, Murray runs past Paul and hugs Jamie. He growls at Paul and won’t listen to any commands. Another smart pooch.

Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin

Real name: Rintintin

Breed: German Shepherd

Why he makes our list: A second rags to riches story, he was rescued as a puppy in World War I and brought stateside. His uncanny ability to leap high and far got people talking, and he landed a role in his first movie, The Man From Hell’s River. His first performance on film created a buzz, especially after people learned that he had replaced a wolf in the movie. His acting abilities were so sought after, that he was allowed to make his own noises on the radio program The Wonder Dog. He is another of the few animals to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Notable moment: How about replacing a wolf in a movie? This gave him bragging rights until his death in 1932.

Let us know your list of favorite dogs in the comments below, on Twitter, or Facebook.


Photo sources:

Lassie: http://www.cvfaf.org/lassie.html


Eddie: http://www.sparelives.org/index.pl/films

Murray: http://muttnews.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/a-look-back-on-murray-from-mad-about-you-2/

Rin Tin Tin: http://www.silentsaregolden.com/photos2/rintintinphoto.html