The Most Beloved Dogs in LiteratureSeptember 02, 2014

August 26 was National Dog Day. It would be the right time to prepare a tasty cake, made out of your dog's favourite (dog) food. You wanted it to look cute, but your pet won't know the difference. How about the office? If not, go out for a walk. The cool weather would encourage both of you to go the distance. Don't forget to bring water. If you don't have the energy, then snuggling won't be bad at all. How about all day?

This occasion encouraged responsible dog ownership, but we don't want to take this too seriously. Vivid Sydney included one event for our furry mates, a concert called "Music for Dogs". We don't know if they could appreciate good music, but they would love walking around Sydney Opera House.

This could be the moment to recall the books we read, many of which have dogs in tow. They were overlooked, but with a reason. Who wrote an essay on dogs in literature? Maybe now would be the time to look at some of them.

Let's have a roll call:

Argos. In Homer's "The Odyssey", Odysseus returned to Ithaca after twenty years of wandering aimlessly in the sea. He was disguised as a beggar, but only a dog, old and very tired, recognised him. Argos was known for his superior tracking skills. He was strong and fast when Odysseus departed. The King of Ithaca didn't go near his faithful dog, as he didn't want to reveal his true identity. Yet. But he shed tears upon seeing his pet's pitiful state.

Fang. Hagrid's enormous companion may intimidate strangers, but in the gamekeeper's words, he was a bloody coward. This Neapolitan Mastiff was lovable. Harry Potter would attest to that, licking his face whenever they met. The rest in Hogwarts would agree.

Nana. Fans of "Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" couldn't get over Neverland. They also remembered Nana, whom J.M. Barrie based from Luath, his pet Newfoundland. This huge dog was more than a pet in the Darling household, a nanny to John and Michael, Wendy's younger siblings. In fact, he was the able assistant of Liza, the maidservant of the family. (In Disney's animated version, Nana was a St. Bernard.)

Snowy. This wire fox terrier was Tintin's companion, smarter than Thomson and Thompson. "The Adventures of Tintin", written by Georges Remi, would be incomplete without this adorable dog. Snowy saved Tintin in many occasions. He had lots to tell if he could scribble a word.

Toto. Dorothy Gale's pet Cairn Terrier went to Oz by accident. The young girl found out that the animals in that realm could talked, but Toto would remain speechless. But he was a silent witness to their extraordinary journey. L. Frank Baum intended it for a reason. (Readers must read "The Wizard of Oz" to find out what it is.) He may not be attractive, but he was affectionate.

It's your turn to tell us you favourite (fictional) dog.

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