Who am I kidding? Every dog is the best dog. Here’s a tribute to the dogs of 2017, sponsored by my favrit dergs, Aggie and Charlotte:
Dogs don’t fare well in books. Unless they are the star of the show (The Chet and Bernie series), the dog is either noble sacrifice, hapless victim, or, typically in non-horror books, dies because that’s what happens at the end of too-short doggo lives.
Personally I think that’s a lazy plot point, a way to score an easy emotional reaction, because the dogs are clearly the most important character in any story. Slaughter humans by the score, I say! Leave the puppies alone. What did they do to deserve it?
Otis – The Silence by Tim Lebbons. Otis is a protector. A champ who ensure that his family is safe in the face of an inscrutable enemy that hunts by sound. Brave doggo!
Luna – The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn. Luna is a husky who isn’t afraid to jump in when her people are threatened. The threat is strangely hairless, emaciated creatures with shovel-hands and teeth like knife blades. This doesn’t stop Luna from sinking her teeth into the menace, if only to protect the ones she loves. Even if the ones she loves are idiots who kind of walk right into it.
Chet – Dog on It by Spencer Quinn. Chet endures some adversity for the sake of his erstwhile owner, “Detective” Bernie. He ends up in a “kill” shelter, on the table, and anyone who’s a dog lover will shudder at the prospect of putting down a pup who can’t find love. Chet fights his way through his trials to help his ding-dong dad solve the mystery of a missing child.
Tim – Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. Tim has a lineage to live up to. His father was a mystery solving champ. Tim rides in an improvised backpack to the deepest depths of a subterranean cave and fights Lovecraftian creatures to keep his people safe.
Nubs – Seeds by Ania Ahlborn. Nubs is the best family dog. Loves his people. If he could save them from the demon, he would.
Jasper – The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. Jasper may not hear so well anymore. But he loves being above the world in an airplane with his best person, sitting shotgun. He’s always ready to warn of impending threats and is totally cool with his unconventional diet in this post-apocalyptic world.
The Dog Stars also wins best dog-related quote of the year:
“Why do I fly my eight year old Cessna four seater?
Because the seats are side by side. So Jasper can be my copilot. The real reason. The whole time I fly I talk to him, and it amuses me no end that the whole time he pretends not to listen.”
Dogs = Best Copilots.