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Sadie the Scottish Terrier!

Sadie won Best in Show at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The show took place this week and concluded on Tuesday night with the crowning of Sadie the Scottish Terrier.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the longest running such event in North America. The first show, back in 1877, called the First Annual New York Bench Show for Dogs, was organized and hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club. It was a great success from the start. In that very first show 1,201 dogs saw the limelight. Our love affair with the dog goes back a long ways.

According to the club’s own web site, here, the following quotation appeared in Forest and Stream magazine in its coverage of that first show:

To say that the dog show held in the city last week was a success would but poorly convey an idea of what the result really was. It was a magnificent triumph for the dogs and for the projectors of the show. We question if on any previous occasion has there ever assembled in this city such a number of people at one time, and representing as much of the culture, wealth and fashion of the town.

In honor of this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show we thought we’d take a look at famous dogs in literature. Here’s a list of a few of our favorites. It was easy to compile this list because we could consult a far more comprehensive survey provided here on a dog lovers’ site in Australia.

  • Lassie the Collie from Lassie Come Home by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
  • Toto, Dorothy’s little Terrier in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Old Yeller, the iconoclastic yellow laborador in the book by the same name by Fred Gipson
  • Huan, the Wolfhound in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion
  • Buck the Husky in Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • White Fang from Jack London’s book by the same name
  • Fluffy the three headed dog in J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Cyril in To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • Montmorency the Fox Terrier in Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  • Fletcher of How Fletcher was Hatched fame, by Wende and Harry Devlin
  • Blood, the dog from Harlan Ellison’s A Boy and His Dog
  • Marley from Marely and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan

Two more we can’t forget, although to say that they are literary characters might be pushing things a bit. But they are celebrities in Dwarf Planet circles. They are, tra-ra!!

  • Snoopy, Charles M. Schultz’ loveable beagle from the Peanuts cartoons
  • K-9, Dr. Who’s mechanical companion in the Science Fiction TV series

Last but not least we would—what’s the word? Introduce? Reveal? Unveil? Remind you of? —a real dog, Katie, who, however, occupies a much higher status in the literary firmament than being a mere character. She is the Muse, the Inspiration, for an entire subgenre of poetry, known as the Beagle Haiku. To learn more you might consult Google or, better yet, go straight to the source, Patioboat, the blog of our own distinguished reviewer of short science fiction.  A portrait of the Muse is here.

Have we missed your favorite literary dog?
Picture of Sadie comes to us, with our appreciation, from this worthy source.


3 Responses

  1. And where is the Hound of the Baskervilles? Is he no longer famous in literature?

  2. Hang on a minute – let true Harry Potter officianados tell you that Fang is actually the companion dog in that series. Fluffy, despite his three heads only shows up once, thank goodness!

    • Your sage commentary, Mme. — visible in several of your comments — not least the insighful suggestion that we are engaged in RR & D — suggests to Ye Editors that you should volunteer some appropriate articles for inclusion in DPP, which, of course, we would edit without mercy, one function that we, as editors, sorely miss.

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