There’s no doubt that my generation (Y? Pepsi? Next?
Whatever we’re called) is a generation raised on TV. I won’t deny it: TV has
influenced my choices and preferences in most things: music, culture, books,
movies, people, places and of course, dogs.

Other than my real-life dog Rufus, who convinced me in about
four seconds to be a dog fan for life, there are a few famous dogs who took me
over the edge, as well. Here’s just a few of them:

1. Cooler the Pound Puppy

Created for the purpose of (what else) selling toys, the
Pound Puppies cartoon series aired when I was between the ages of three and
six. Cooler was a cool (duh) and heroic cocker spaniel who helped get the other
pound puppies out of scrapes and away from baddies like Katrina, Brattina and
Captain Slaughter (yikes!) on the road to being adopted. Oh, and he wore a
leather jacket, too. How could I resist?

2. Santa’s Little Helper

The Simpsons were already eerily close to my own family (I’m
Lisa!), but when the best dysfunctional fivesome out there adopted an imperfect
family pet, that sealed it. In typical Simpsons fashion, it goes down like
this: Bart gets a tattoo in the mall. The Christmas money jar is used to get it
removed. The family depends on Homer’s bonus to buy presents, but the bonus
doesn’t happen. Instead, Homer works as a mall Santa, and, with his meager
earnings, bets on a greyhound at the track—Santa’s Little Helper. The dog
loses, Homer loses his money, the dog gets kicked out by his owner, and the
Simpsons get a new pet for Christmas instead of gifts. Aw.

3. The Littlest Hobo

A Canadian classic. Hobo is a stray German Shepherd who
travels from town to town saving people in need. Canadians of a certain age
love Hobo more than anything, and you can tell true Hobo fans because they can
a) sing the fantastically horrible theme song; b) quote the fantastically
horrible dialogue; and c) have signed a petition sent to CTV (the station that
aired the show in the 80s) asking for its renewal (seriously).

4. Wishbone

A Jack Russell Terrier who acts out literary classics. In
costume. Enough said.

5. Brian from Family Guy

This martini-swilling, wise-cracking dog is a more recent
addition to my list, but he might be the favourite. Who doesn’t look at their
dog and imagine him making eye-rolling, wry observations about us humans and
our stupid decisions? Brian makes our dreams of dog communication manifest.
From the mouths of pups…