A children's novel by Sheila Burnford about a trio of animals trekking across the Canadian wilderness in search of their family. The voyagers are Luath, a young Labrador retriever, Bodger, an old bull terrier, and Tao, a seal-point Siamese.
It's been adapted to film twice, once in 1963 and more famously in the 1993 film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
. The latter film changes up quite a bit, notably changing the breeds and swapping the breed types of the young and old dogs and making the male Siamese a female Himalayan.
This novel contains examples of the following tropes:
- Animal Jingoism: Played with — Tao and Bodger both hate cats, and due to this are best friends, having bonded during Bodger's younger years by terrorizing and dominating the neighborhood kitties.
- Beastly Bloodsports: Bodger is an old veteran of dog fights. He thought they were great fun, and the narration treats dog fighting like a beautiful and noble sport.
- Boomerang Bigot: Tao.
- Cool Old Guy: Bodger.
- Disney Death: Tao is separated from the others when he gets washed down a flooding river. He's picked up by some kindly humans.
- Heroic BSOD: Luath is certainly affected by Tao's Disney Death after being unable to save him, but Bodger nearly goes catatonic after he thinks he's lost his best friend.
- The Homeward Journey
- Intergenerational Friendship: Bodger and both Luath and Tao, though he's closer to the cat.
- Nameless Narrative: Close enough to count; they're referred to by ages, breeds, and species by the narrator when their owners aren't around, which is most of the story.
- Noble Savage: A Native tribe takes a half-starved Bodger and Tao to be spirits giving them a test, and are nice to them in order to bring good fortune.
- Old Dog: Bodger. He's more of the goofy cool grandpa type than anything.
- Old Master: Bodger can still kick other dogs' asses when he needs to.
- Standardized Leader: Luath.
- Single-Episode Handicap: Tao is temporarily deafened by nearly drowning.
- Luath, Bodger, and Tao Come Home
- Xenofiction: During the chapters where there aren't any humans around - when there are, the perspective tends to shift away from the animals.