The end of the school week is coming closer and closer, but today is no ordinary Thursday; you may not know that it is National Puppy Day! For the occasion, Mirodo wants to showcase some of the most famous dogs worldwide across the media so you can discuss them with your class.
1) Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons (1989 – Present)
Santa’s Little Helper is perhaps the most well-known critter in the cartoon universe. He is Bart Simpson’s dog and has been with The Simpsons family since the first episode, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, which came out in 1989! Whilst a disobedient dog who likes to destroy newspapers, he shockingly passed an obedience class in series 2, allowing him to stay with The Simpsons. Look at that face! He could destroy any of my newspapers and I would never get rid of him.
2) Clifford The Big Red Dog (1963 – 2021)
Whilst certainly bigger than Santa’s Little Helper size-wise, I am unsure whether he is more famous. Maybe I am just getting old. Clifford’s first appearance was through children’s books in 1963 that followed his adventures of Emily Elizabeth and Clifford. Clifford usually ended up in strange scenarios, like getting a job. You may have seen Clifford as the mascot of Scholastic books and a cartoon in the 2000s. Click here to see Clifford in his latest feature-length release in 2021!
3) Good Boy Ollie – Instagram/TikTok Star (2015 – Present)
Without this lovely Chocolate Labrador, my Instagram feed would be boring. His ability to brighten up any day is quite something! His followings across Instagram and TikTok make him one of the most famous dog influencers in the world; they boast 1.3 million followers and 6.2 million followers, respectively. Click this link to watch a regular day in Ollie’s Life as a dog influencer.
4) Buddy The Golden Retriever – Air Bud Film Series (1988 – 1998)
Buddy is one of the most interesting dogs in American history due to his ability to play sports better than most humans! His owner Kevin di Cicco found Buddy in the Sierra Nevada and shortly discovered he was a stray dog in 1989. Generously, he took Buddy back to his house and saw he was dexterous, so he taught him to play basketball. Buddy appeared in several television shows, including ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ before starring in a Disney-produced biopic about his life called Air Bud in 1997. Click here to watch the Air Bud trailer. It features Buddy playing basketball. I don’t know whether to be jealous or fascinated!
5) Lady – Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Before Buddy came along with his basketball skills, Disney featured one of the earliest and most pampered cartoon canines called Lady. Arguably the most well-known female dog in the Disney universe, Lady is an American Cocker Spaniel given to a wealthy family as a present. One of the most notable and referenced Disney moments is when Lady and Tramp go on their first date, which you can see here. Use the clip as a focal point to ask your pupils whether social class matters when two people are friends or in a marriage.
6) Rin Tin Tin – Hollywood Star (1918 – 1932)
The top dog of Hollywood toward the beginning of the 20th Century; Rin Tin Tin was a brave German Shepherd who starred in 27 Hollywood films. His onscreen presence in the movies prevented Warner Bros Movie Studio from shutting down in 1923 and played a major role in the significant rise of German Shepherds’ popularity as household pets worldwide. At the first American Academy Awards in 1929, Rin Tin Tin was meant to be the first ever Oscar winner for Best Actor; however, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences disqualified him and instead decided on a human winner. Ask your class what they think; is this completely unfair?
7) Terry (1933 – 1945) – Hollywood Star
Terry was a Cairn Terrier owned by Hollywood Dog Trainer Carl Spitz. Terry starred in 23 Hollywood films; however, her most prominent role was in the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz as Toto. The Wizard of Oz remains one of the most popular and influential films. Shockingly, Terry’s acting earnings were astronomical for the 30s; she was earning $125 per week, which was significantly higher than on-screen actors at the time and the average American. $125 per week in 1939 is $2650 in 2023. Do dog actors deserve that kind of wage?
Although these dogs may be cemented in history, please remember that your furry friends are cemented in your heart and treat them as though every day is World Puppy Day! Send pictures of your dogs in the comments below or to Mirodo’s Twitter account; we would love to see them!