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Tribute to Fido

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Like real pet, like animated pet.

[Bubbles] was a mongrel, but a really nice dog, and she had fitted so well into our lives. So I brought her into Xanth, where she can live the life she could not continue with us.
Piers Anthony, author's note of Demons Don't Dream
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Most people love animals, especially their pets. Some authors may even put some sort of reference to a real-life animal in their work. Most often, it will be their own pet, either as a memorial or just because they love him that much.

It may be just the animal's name, similar to the human equivalent, Tuckerization. This is justified in a film if the pet themselves is playing the pet named after them; after all, it's much easier to get an animal to respond to its own name. The whole animal, not just the name, may be put into the work as well. Or, perhaps, they based an animal character off a real-life one, such as its appearance or mannerisms, even if they didn't use the name.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kentaro Yabuki has long used a white cat as an Author Avatar, and likely because of that has a white cat named "Mochi". Not only is one of the main characters of Ayakashi Triangle the white cat spirit Shirogane, Mochi himself often appears on the inside covers of the manga's collected volumes.
  • Mamoru Oshii loves Basset Hounds – who frequently appear in his films – and has included his in his films, including Innocence, in which she provides the sounds of Batou's pet Basset Hound.
  • Akira Toriyama based both major cat characters in the Dragon Ball franchise on his pet cats, Korin was based on his Persian cat and Beerus the god of destruction was based on his Sphinx cat Deco.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Charles Schulz based Snoopy on his childhood dog, Spike. Later, we meet Snoopy's brother, who is named Spike, as well as another brother Andy, based on a dog Schulz owned later in life.
  • The cat, Horse, in Footrot Flats was based on a real cat who hung around the author's farm.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes was inspired by one of Bill Watterson's cats. He explains in the 10th Anniversary Book:
    Hobbes was very much inspired by one of our cats, a gray tabby named Sprite. Sprite not only provided the long body and facial characteristics for Hobbes, she was also the model for his personality. She was good-natured, intelligent, friendly, and enthusiastic in a sneaking-up-and-pouncing sort of way.
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    Fan Works 
  • The Original Character Sadie in Angel of the Bat and its sequel is named after the writer's beagle, who passed away at the same time as the character's introduction. The story contains some nods to this, most prevalent being that the character wears a dog tag necklace.
  • In the Twice Upon an Age series, it's mentioned that Hawke has a mabari named Rikki. Lady Norbert named him after her parents' dog; although he was alive for the first several years that the series was being written, he has since passed away, making it something of a Tear Jerker In Memoriam.
  • In Zelda and the Manacle of Cahla, Zelda's friends Iris and Iona have a cat named Silky, which author Kyouko Joo based on the pet cat of the same name she had in high school.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Disney's Dumbo, it is implied that Dumbo's father is Jumbo, a famous elephant that appeared first at the London Zoo and then at the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Dumbo was supposed to be named Jumbo Junior, but ended up being known by a mocking nickname instead.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Animorphs: David Mattingly, the artist for most of the book covers, hid Easter Eggs in many inside cover pages as a tribute to his cat Orson (list of Easter eggs at the link). Ironically, the one cover to include someone morphing a cat (#2, The Visitor) was done before he was hired.
  • While Piers Anthony was writing his Xanth novel Demons Don't Dream, his dog Bubbles died, so he decided to put her into the book at that point. Part of his explanation can be seen in the page quote. Mare Imbri is also based on Blue, a horse he owned at the time. Blue died right before he started writing the same book, so, as he pointed out in the author's note, it seemed right that Mare Imbri would lead Bubbles into Xanth.
  • There was a contest for the Joe Grey mysteries for fans to send in descriptions of their pet cats. Three were randomly selected as occasionally-recurring characters.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Brambleclaw and Sorreltail are named after author Cherith Baldry's cats, Bramble and Sorrel. Sol's appearance is based on a cat named Aslan, and Millie's appearance is based on the pet of one of Vicky Holmes' coworkers (her name comes not from his cat, but from the fact that he is a fan of the Millwall soccer team).
  • War With No Name: Sebastian and Sheba were based on an actual cat and dog.
  • Dodie Smith's inspiration for The Hundred and One Dalmatians was her dalmatian Pongo; naturally, she put him into the book as the main character.
  • Discworld:
    • Lady Jane, the evil-tempered gyrfalcon who is constantly attacking Hodgesaargh, is named after a real falcon, just as Hodgesaaargh is named after a real falconer.
    • Apparently, Greebo, Nanny Ogg's gigantic ill-tempered cat, has some qualities of a Russian Blue cat Terry Pratchett once owned. However, Greebo is significantly more cunning and badass, because the actual cat, according to Pratchett, has the sense of an elastic band, if that wasn't insulting to stationery.
  • Jean Craighead George has based many animals in her books on pets she's had in the past. One notable example is that the behavior of the owl in There's an Owl in the Shower is based on a pet owl, Yammer, that she used to have. She tells stories about her wild pets in ''The Tarantula in My Purse".
  • In Sideways Stories From Wayside School, there is an in-universe example: a boy named Nancy, who dislikes his name, trades names with a girl named Mac, who disliked hers because she had been named after a dog.
  • In The Wolf Chronicles, TaLi is actually named after a husky puppy named Talisman who was helpful to the author's research.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle once owned a dog that was half spaniel, half lurcher. In-universe, his name is Toby and Sherlock Holmes considers him more useful than all the police detectives in London.
  • Mog, in Mog the Forgetful Cat and sequels, was based on Judith Kerr's own cat Mog.
  • Tailchaser's Song is partially In Memoriam to an orange tom Tad Williams had named Fever. Fever died of cancer a few years before the book was published. Tailchaser, the protagonist of the book, is also an orange tomcat.
  • Doglands:
    • Furgul is based on the writer's own lurcher named Feargul. He adopted Feargul and wondered why his dog was so covered with scars. The fictional Furgul from the story gets Covered with Scars through various fights and escapes with death.
    • The writer owns a German shepherd and greyhound, which are likely inspirations for Furgul's Love Interest Dervla and his mother Keeva.
  • Child of the Wolves was inspired by Hall's pet husky, Nylak. She saw how wolf-like Nylak looked and wondered if dogs could live with wolves.
  • In The Hettie Bagshott Mysteries by Mandy Morton, feline detectives Hettie and Tilly are named after Morton's own cats. Taking it further, Hettie's favourite writer is Polly Hodge, author of An Unsuitable Job For a Cat, who is named after PD James's cat.
  • Koko and Yum Yum, the Siamese in the The Cat Who books, were named after author Lilian Jackson Braun's real-life Siamese. Koko's personality is particularly modeled after that of the original Koko, who met a tragic untimely end. She recalled later, "He adored me and I adored him." For the remainder of her life, she would always have two Siamese cats by those names, named for the original pair.
  • Seanan McGuire has an inversion. Of her many cats, one is named Tybalt, after the King of Cats from the October Daye books, and three are named Alice, Thomas, and Elsie, after characters from her InCryptid books. Sadly, Alice (the cat, not the character) has since passed away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ubu Productions is named after producer Gary David Goldberg's dog Ubu Roi, a black labrador retriever. The Vanity Plate for Ubu's productions is a photograph of Ubu Roi with a flying disc in his mouth. Along with the picture is Goldberg's voice saying "Sit, Ubu, sit! ...Good dog!", followed by the sound of a bark. This can be seen here.
  • A beagle is seen in several episodes of Good Eats. That beagle actually is Alton Brown's Real Life pet dog.
    • And in Good Eats: The Return, a French bulldog sometimes appears. The beagle passed away in the years between the end of the original and the Reboot, and Alton got himself a new dog.
  • J. Michael Straczynski wrote an episode of Crusade in which Max's ex-wife's cat was kidnapped by enemies, causing Max to demonstrate how tough he could be. The ep was dedicated to JMS's own recently deceased cat.

    Music 
  • Laila, a Russian dog who became the first animal in space, inspired a few examples:
    • Havalina Rail Co. had a song about her. Oddly, they misspelled the name as “Leica”.
    • Jonathan Coulton's soul-crushing "Space Doggity".
    • Mecano’s own “Laika” features the dog looking outside her spaceship and wondering what’s that colorful sphere and why she is flying around.
  • The composer of the song "Hampster Dance" actually got the song name from her dead hamster. Guess where she got the tune from!
  • "Jenny," from Chicago's sixth album, is about guitarist Terry Kath's Saint Bernard.
  • Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" was inspired by the death of his dog. Not that you'd guess from the lyrics.
  • The Beatles' "Martha My Dear" is about Paul McCartney's dog.
  • Frank Zappa did this literally, featuring a poodle named Fido in many of his song lyrics, especially on Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe (') and Roxy & Elsewhere. He too owned a dog named Frunobulax, which became the Giant Poodle Monster Frunobulax in the song Cheepnis in Roxy & Elsewhere.
  • The Misfits' guitarist Doyle allegedly borrowed his stage name from the family dog.
  • A Silver Mt. Zion, sister project to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, named the closing track of their debut album "For Wanda", after guitarist Efrim Menuck's dog, who passed away while the album was being recorded.
  • Aesop Rock has the song "Kirby", which is a loving tribute to his cat.
  • Queen's "All Dead, All Dead" was inspired partly by the death of Brian May's boyhood pet cat.

    Roleplay 
  • On Honorable Hogwarts, the character of Lucy Frost is named after her creator's cat. As in, the cat's full name... the guy behind the character is actually named Frost in Real Life, so Frost is also the cat's surname.

    Video Games 
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 5: The Puppy Hat has a chance to summon a Friend Dog with a unique sprite named Maxi. The summon is a homage to Matt Roszak's pet dog Maxi, who died during the game's development.
  • In the mobile game Castle Cats, Edna is based on a real-life cat, a feral adopted by the staff of San Francisco Fire Department Station 49.
  • Naughty Dog originally had a company mascot in the form of Morgan, the dog of one of the team's developers, before Crash Bandicoot would replace him.
    • When Morgan passed away, he got a tribute in Jak II: Renegade as an Easter Egg.
    • The company has since credited the company dogs in every game as "mascots, morale-boosters and food patrol", sometimes with photos.
  • In Fallout, a dog named Sasha appears at the Cathedral. Sasha is named after Interplay Entertainment producer, Vince Denardo's dog.
  • A Pomeranian named Missile appears in Ghost Trick, based on game creator Shu Takumi's own Pomeranian (also named Missile). The real-life Missile is himself named after the Shiba Inu police dog Missile from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, also created by Shu Takumi.
  • Most games produced by Skip Limited—including Chibi-Robo!, Gift Pia, and Captain Rainbow—include a black-and-white dog named Tao, who frequently has a lazy and hungry personality. Tao was a real dog belonging to one of their head game designers. Even though he passed away in 2009, Skip still features a few hidden references to him in their games.
  • Guppy the cat from The Binding of Isaac, whose body parts and related items (a head, a tail, a paw, a hairball and even his whole corpse) can be collected by Isaac, was based on a real cat owned by Edmund McMillen, the game's creator. When Guppy died during the development stage of Rebirth, a memento item - his pink collar - was added to the game, granting the owner a chance to resurrect upon dying.
  • Minecraft:
    • The tuxedo cat is based off of Jeb's actual cat Newton, who sadly passed away in 2014.
    • A special skin rabbits get when named Toast was implemented as a memorial for a missing rabbit of certain player's girlfriend. Unlike the other examples here, this one is specific to using a name tag on the animal, rather than a naturally-generating skin.
    • In MINECON Earth 2018, Jeb announced that the community could vote for a 9th cat skin to be added with the rest of the other 8 cat skins. Ultimately, GoodTimesWithScar's cat Jellie won the contest and was added in the 1.14 "Village & Pillage" update.
  • In Minecraft: Story Mode, Blocco the puppy appears in Season 2 Episode 4, "Below the Bedrock", and is a reference to "Rocco", the dog of Juan Vaca, who was the lead designer for the episode.
  • For the 2013 Killer Instinct, the devs made an alternate costume for Sabrewulf based off of Benny, Maximilian Dood's Pomeranian; while Max worked on the game's trailers and cutscenes, it was also a "thank you" for his efforts to promote the game.
  • Champ from the Postal series was named for the now-deceasednote  dog of lead designer Vince Desi. Not only was the 2015 Expansion Pack for Postal 2, Paradise Lost, dedicated to the memory of the real life pet, but the plot involved searching for the in-game Champ in the ruins of Paradise.
  • Momo from Temtem is named after developer Guillermo “YaW” Andrades’ Shiba Inu, and its Luma colouration resembles the breed.
  • For the original Zoo Tycoon, Microsoft had a campaign called "Beast in Show" where fans would vote for their favorite real-life animal from a zoo. The winning animal would be made available as free DLC and its home zoo would get a donation from Microsoft; the winner ended up being Magnet the polar bear from the Baltimore Zoo.
  • The Pokémon Hoothoot is based on a pet bird Ken Sugimori had that used to stand on one foot, which Hoothoot has a tendency to do constantly.
  • The default player character of Catlateral Damage is modeled on and named after Nippy, lead developer Chris Chung's cat who died in 2014. The game contains many other collectible photos of real cats, as well as cat player characters modeled on real cats.

    Web Animation 
  • The creators/animators of the parody web series How It Should Have Ended do this a lot, hiding a drawing of a dog and at one point the dog's name backwards in their videos, in tribute to lead animator Daniel Baxter's dog Kiddo.
  • The titular character of Lloyd is an anthropomorphized version of Brad Jones' pet cat Lloyd. Jones' other cat Chloe is a likewise anthropomorphized recurring character.

    Webcomics 
  • Kirby, Cole's basset hound in Pv P, is named after (and modeled on) Scott Kurtz's own basset hound Kirby.
  • Guineas, one of Grace's siblings in El Goonish Shive, is based on a friend's guinea pig, due to a lack of ideas.
  • Both of the cats in Two Lumps are based on the author's (now deceased) pets.
  • In Shortpacked!, Maggie Willis's hamsters Snkrs and Anakin appear as Galasso's minions, and then, when the drawbacks to hamster minions become apparent, as Amber's pets.
  • The Sonichu character Patti-Chan is based on its creator's deceased dog, Patti.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Lion from Steven Universe, a magical pink lion, is named after a cat that lived around a cabin Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey stayed in during the series early planning stages.
  • In Young Justice (2010): Invasion, Wally and Artemis have adopted a sleepy white pit bull. According to the producers and Stephanie Lemelin, Artemis' voice actor, he's explicitly modeled after her own sleepy white pit bull, Bruceley. When asked what the dog's name was, Greg Weisman answered "I want to say Bruceley." And once the show was Un-Cancelled, Bruceley became the canon name of the dog.
    • A second instance of the trope happens in season 4 when Beast Boy, recovering from the traumas in his life, unveiled a therapy dog named Wingman, based on a dog that is frequently seen with his voice actor Greg Cipes.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Series writer Rachel Lipman based Mitchell's dog Cody on her own pet dog.
  • Gravity Falls has an interesting example with Mabel's pet pig, Waddles. While Alex Hirsch wanted to give the character a pig after his sister wanted one growing up, the name was given by series writer Aury Wallington, whose family had raised a number of pigs growing up, each year having one being named Waddles. And each year, they would apparently eat whichever pig was named Waddles at the time and then raise another one to be eaten the following year.
  • In Amphibia, Anne has a cat back on earth named Domino, who was modeled after Matt Braly's cat of the same name.
  • The Owl House episode "Eclipse Lake" shows that Amity has a cat palisman named Ghost, who just happens to look like Dana Terrace's cat of the same name.
  • Gweeseeks from Tig 'n Seek was named after Myke Chilian's cat of the same name.

    Real Life 
  • The word "jumbo" as a synonym for "really big" is a reference to the elephant Jumbo that was mentioned above.
  • John Wayne's nickname "Duke" comes from a dog he used to own, even back before he became famous.
  • Bindi Sue Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin, is named after a crocodile he worked with frequently and his favorite dog.

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