Lovely readers, you’re never going to guess what happened. I got a puppy! His name is Jasper (the friendly hound!) and he’s an adorable little guy.
So to celebrate, I wanted to talk about my favorite pets that I’ve seen over the years throughout literature. Because who doesn’t love a great animal companion? They’re literally the best things ever.
So who are my favorites? I didn’t realize how hard that question would be until I started writing this post. Hopefully, I’ve done my literary knowledge justice and remembered some good ones! (Note: these are not in any order, I just like these pets).
Hedwig, Harry Potter series
-Is there a more symbolic pet in literature? Really now. We all know of Hedwig representing Harry’s innocence in the 7th and final book, but she meant so much more to him throughout the series. She was his only line of communication to the wizarding world, and it was apparent throughout the series how much she cared for her human.
Genevieve, Madeline’s Rescue
–I loved so much how Genevieve came into Madeline’s life (and the other girls’!). She’s a loyal, lovely dog who has such a strong maternal instinct she even saves Madeline! The fact that she really becomes a mom to a litter of puppies at the end (allowing each girl to have her own) is just icing on the cake.
Richard Parker, Life of Pi
–I know I’m stretching the line here calling Richard Parker a pet – especially when you take into account Pi’s last story, but that’s neither here nor there – but I think the sense of companionship he gave to Pi qualifies him in this case. A pet is something meant to bring out your best attributes, and Richard Parker immensely helps Pi garner up his strength and courage to survive his odyssey on the ocean.
Old Dan and Little Ann, Where the Red Fern Grows
–I remember reading this book in elementary school, so it, along with Shiloh, may be my earliest indoctrination to dogs as pets in books. I chose Old Dan and Little Ann over Shiloh for this list because the two books are really so entwined in my head, but the two coonhounds really were so special. The bond between the two dogs is something that Shiloh just couldn’t compete with, so they got the nod in the post. These coonhounds (which I now have a special place in my heart for) are so loyal to their human and each other that they create an incredible family unit. My heart pangs when I think of them, in the best way.
Crookshanks, Harry Potter series
-Another amazing pet from Rowling’s Potterverse. His star power is seen in his debut, The Prisoner of Azkaban, when we learn of his insane intelligence. Basically, he’s the perfect fit for Hermione, don’t you think? He’s cuddly and lovable, yes, but it’s the fact that he’s smart and understands the world around him that makes him such an awesome pet.
Nana, Peter Pan
–Nana is so much more than just a pet to the Darling family, which is one of the reasons why she’s on this list! Pets should be true members of the family, because of how much they care for their humans. In Peter Pan, Nana is their actual caretaker! While it may be a metaphorical children’s book, she’s a great reminder of how much our pets love us.
Cat Norman, Keeping the Moon
–Cat Norman is on this list because 1) his name is SO funny and 2) he reminds me of the whimsy of having a cat (or any pet). The way Mira cares for him is so lovely, and I think Cat Norman’s little rebellious bit of sneaking out of the house is just another reminder for Collie that it’s okay to do your own thing and be different (as her Aunt Mira is). Like I said, pets always bring out the best in us. Also, I love cats and Cat Norman is cute. So sue me.
Fang, Harry Potter series
-The last HP pet I’ll talk about (promise!) is Fang, Hagrid’s cowardly, drooling hound dog. Clearly, I’ve now got a soft spot for hounds, but I think that probably started with Fang. He was such a sturdy, loyal companion for Hagrid in every situation, and truly represented “man’s best friend.”
Clifford, Clifford the Big Red Dog
–A 25-foot dog! How incredible would that be! Clifford is the shining example of how a human’s love changes a pet. The runt of the litter, he grows exponentially with his human, Emily’s, love. He gets into trouble like any cute dog does, but he’s never of the assumption that his owners don’t love him. And that, honestly, is the best pet relationship we could see – especially in a kids book.
Small Bob, The House of Hades
–Small Bob! A tiny Calico kitten who reminded me of my cat Belle, may she rest in peace. I love Calicoes, so when Small Bob showed up in this Percy Jackson novel, I was pumped. But the best part? Just when he’s needed most, Small Bob turns into a ferocious sabre tooth tiger, proving once and for all that you shouldn’t judge a cat by its size – pets of any size will love and protect their humans.
Jasper, The Dog Stars
–So this one is a special one. My Jasper isn’t named after the dog in this book, but I certainly hope he turns out to be as intelligent and loyal and wonderful as bookJasper is! BookJasper is pretty much the best dog to have in the aftermath of a plague that essentially wiped out humanity in the USA. He’s calm, loyal, and a great hunter. I loved the companionship he gave to his human, Hig. My Jasper is super intelligent already, as a 13-ish week old puppy. So we’ll see how this all goes!
What do you guys think? Did I miss any of your favorite literary pets?