On February 20th, 2019 (National Love Your Pet Day), we adopted Maple Toots. Since then, I’ve shared countless pictures and anecdotes on social media about the beloved pooch and furry unofficial mascot of Sci-Fi & Scary and people all over have fallen in love with her.
Now, fittingly enough, when we took Maple Toots for her first vet visit with us, the vet put her birthday at April 1st. Since this is her first birthday with us (she’s now two!) I thought I would take a moment to reflect on dogs in sci-fi and horror.
Also, there’s going to be lots of Toots pictures. I’m not even sorry.
PS: Not every dog mentioned in this article makes it through their screen run alive. So while we love them to, uh, death, if you are sensitive about animal death, you may want to use doesthedogdie.com to see if your beloved pooch survives to the end.
The first dog that springs to mind when I think dogs in science fiction isn’t technically a dog at all, but K-9 from Doctor Who still managed to fascinate lots of people. The fictional dog (well, series of dogs) was so popular that it even had a failed attempt at its own spin-off (K-9 and company), but eventually did land a recurring role on the Sara Jane adventures.
There are several advantages to having a robotic dog, but personally, I’d miss the fur and the cuddlebug aspect. What about you?
Bullet from Blair Witch is such a good boy that he made Blair Witch have so much more heart single-handedly. He finds important items for you, keeps you on the trail and protects Ellis when he’s having a breakdown.
One of the most heart-warming parts was Ellis coming out of a fugue and clinging desperately to Bullet. He’s your guide, your emotional support, and your lifeline. He is the best of the good doggos. – Gracie
Okay, okay, UP is hardly what you’d call a science fiction movie but Dug’s collar is high-tech enough to qualify on its own. Whoever created this character did such a great job of giving us a loveable, goofy dog that in some ways felt so very real with the translator. (Also, they’re directly responsible for me proclaiming “SQUIRREL!” whenever I’m having one of those days when I’m easily distracted.”
Who didn’t love Sam in I Am Legend (2007)? When we watched this we had our own German Shepherd, Rain, and I had finally begun to see the dog breed as something other than grouchy and fierce. (Bad experiences and all that.) Sam plays a big role in helping keep Smith’s character sane for a good bit of the movie and is such a great example of a good dog in movies.
Caity is loyal and a hero. Her person is her life and Ketchum/McKee weave her into the story seamlessly. This book is MADE by Caity and none of us deserve her. – Tracy
Creature is a wonderfully moving book about the horrors of living with chronic illness, albeit with a supernatural spin on it. I adored the book, and, likewise, I enjoyed the presence of Buttons. When you are constantly sick and/or in pain, the love of an animal can be one of the few things that keep you going.
Brown – Rule of Rose (game)
Brown from Rule of Rose finds awesome things like white chocolate and scones and also defends the weaker Jennifer from the monsters that prowl the airship. He is Jennifer’s only friend and companion and is always there for Jennifer. Always. – Gracie
Nanook kicks vampire ass. Do we need any more reason to love him? This gorgeous Alaskan Malamute protects (I am not going to worry about spoilers for a movie this old) Sam from his brother when he starts vamping out and he helps slay a certain fugly fanger at the end of the movie. – Gracie & Sam
Somehow we’ve circled back around to talking dogs. A well-depicted talking dog is an adorable, necessary thing. Also, because of Manchee, The Knife of Never Letting Go has possibly one of the best opening lines ever.
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.
“Need a poo, Todd.”
An incredible character that you love from his very first line, Manchee makes you need to read this book.
We adore Maple Toots. She has a personality unlike that of any dog I’ve ever had. She’s ridiculous, loveable, stinky and… I cannot emphasize how important this is… a shelter dog. Please remember the next time you are searching for a pet to check out your local animal shelters rather than purchasing a pet from a breeder. On top of the STRONG chance you might be supporting a puppymill, purebreds have a ton of health problems as well. Getting a mutt from the pound gets you a generally healthier dog with often unique looks and great personalities. Plus, the feel-goods from knowing you did the right thing. Adopt, don’t shop
We also heavily encourage spaying and neutering. You can at least have the peace of mind that you won’t have to give away puppies and you can know for certain that there won’t be any created without your knowledge.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.