FILMS and TV… A Rough Guide to Film and TV Dogs


Live and Unleashed Dog Favourites…


Just a few of those more famous dogs in film and TV,  with a pause for a few memorable mentions.



When Allie from Often Off Topic asked for bloggers to join her Dog Day Blogathon I had more ideas what not to review, than to review. I’ve avoided a number of films with certain dogs since their release. This because I’ve heard that there is possibly or probably a sad ending to the tale (no dog related pun intended). These usually have the dog’s name in the title.

I’m not a big fan of watching animals harmed or dying in movies – as I get nightmares easily – even if its cartoon ones. I still avoid Watership Down (1978) a cartoon film, notorious for scenes like these. However this film with rabbits. This film traumatised me as an under 10-year-old when I saw on its release, and still does decades later. And I sobbed when J.R. was shot.

Here’s my five of my favourite dogs in film and TV…

Daisy in John Wick Chapter 1 (2014)

John wick with his dog.(HD 1080p), Dhruva Bhat

I do love this adorable wee puppy, mainly for the Keanu Reeves John Wick – puppy bonding scenes at the beginning of this film trilogy. Wick getting the puppy as a present from his wife sent to him after her death, and therefore a symbol of her love and as he gets on with his life you are lulled into thinking this a sad, poignant role for the beareded Keanu. But its the death of this puppy (and the stealing of his car) at the hand of the bad guys that leads Mr Wick to return from his hitman retirement. This then turns into a first person shooter game as he seek revenge.  And John Wick does just that by killing the bad guys in just about every way possible.

The puppy a beagle called Daisy, seems a surprising game for a name for a hitman’s dog, Or even one belonging to an ex-hitman or Keanu Reeves for that matteR. I  mean could you see .Samuel L Jackson’s Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction (1994) naming a dog Daisy? No, I thought not. Daisy was in fact played by a wee boy dog called Andy. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry when Daisy died, but at the flashbacks of Mr and Mrs Wick from their loved up days. And not to worry having read more on Andy, no harm came to him in this movie. This as a prop used replacing what US Today called the “cutest dog in the world” and combined with the big soulful eyes of Keanu Reeves they were a cute pair.


Roly in Eastenders (1985-)

Roly and the Watts family

Before you complain that most of these dogs here look like their owners. Let me take you back to 1980s UK, here in Eastenders we met Roly to me a giant poodle, and the masses a Standard Poodle. Roly waspet of the Watts family with Den and Angie running the Queen Vic pub giving this dog to adopted daughter Sharon. Looking strikingly like its original owners, Sharon (Letitiia Dean) – ie poodle perm – and Angie Watts (Anita Dobson – who has a matching hairdo to her partner, Brian May from Queen – then I rest my case.

Roly of course seen bounding out Den’s car when it was revealed that Dirty Den Watts was not going to the vet but in that major Eastenders whodunnit of the 1980s… the father of 16-year-old Michelle Fowler’s baby. And Michelle, Sharon’s best girly friend. As the rest of the world reeled in shock, we learned they’d did the deed in the Queen Vic. After closing time. With Den already married to Angie and with mistress, Jan on the go. Hence Dirty Den. All the clues there later… Michelle named the child Vicky (after where the child was conceived). Meanwhile at school, I pocketed 50p (a lot of money back then) on a bet with a school friend. This friend had been so convinced it was Ali (the cafe owner) she’d upped the bet. And this probably Roly’s most exciting storyline, the second that he was also on the scene when one of the characters, another Queen Vic manager met a grisly end. Cue that annoying end of show drum roll.

Copper in The Fox and the Hound (1981)

The Fox and the Hound – Theatrical Trailer, The Disney Animation Resource Channel

Bizarrely just before this blogathon announced, I’d contacted Keith Coogan, the then child actor who voiced the younger version of Tod the fox in the movie back in the 1980s. I asked him about the film’s ending in this dog and fox bromance film. This as I missed seeing it as a kid aged 11 or 12. And being the professional that Coogan is he didn’t tell me. This as the adult I was with – not my parents – trundled my sister and me out the cinema before the credits rolled. So I still don’t know what happened to this day Yet part of me wants to know and part of me doesn’t.

The film telling the story of a fox called Tod and a hound and voiced by Coogan and Corey Feldman when they were puppy and cub respectively. Then growing up to be voiced by Kurt Russell and Mickey Rooney.  And followed by a sequel nattily named.. you guessed it The Fox and Hound 2 (2006) years later with Patrick Swayze!

Wee Jock in Hamish Macbeth (1995)

Hamish and Wee Jock

This was Sunday night viewing for the Scottish masses and with the talented Scottish actor Robert Carlyle. The pair as a cop and his dog fighting Scottish scum and villainy in a fictional Scottish town. And now an essential show for the Scottish patriotic expat. The series made in Scotland. Filmed in Plockton and this a lovely part of Scotland. Made by BBC Scotland. and a TV Show with a Scottish lead. The cop’s dog a wee West Highland terrier called… Wee Jock.

And this mindless perfect Sunday night viewing… As one of those feel good TV Shows and one with an easy to follow plot.  It surprisingly has a big following over here in Finland (as does Emmerdale (1972)), And from what I was told from a trusting source, Wee Jock dieD in the end of the series, but is revived and lives again. Bizarrely I fell for this, and only discovered it a wind up when Finland’s biggest Hamish Macbeth fan looked at me like I was crazy.

Verdell in As Good as It Gets (1997)

As Good as It Gets (2/8) Movie CLIP – Verdell the Dog (1997) HD, movieclips

More recently, a wee Griffon Bruxellois or Brussels Griffon called Jill had a pivotal part in this Oscar-winning film. And this dog. a breed that allegedly inspired George Lucas for the Ewoks in Star Wars.

In the movie Jack Nicholson plays Melvin, a novelist with obsessive compulsive disorder. In the opening scene he is seen putting said dog down the trash chute. This because it peed in the hallway near his home. Melvin is asked to look after Verdell after his owner, an artist Simon (Greg Kinnear) is beaten up and hospitalised as a kind of penance. Over time the novelist and the dog bond. This dog taking on Melvin’s symptoms such as avoiding the cracks in the pavement. On Simons discharge home, Melvin and Simon have is a cute scene as they both vie for Verdell’s affections…

And finally honorary mentions must go to the following TV dogs… There were more Eastenders dogs such as Wellard (Well ‘ard? Get it) and Ethel’s pug dog Willie. Bouncer, a dog who had a dream leading to a full episode of his antics – from a dog perspective – in the Aussie soap Neighbours (1985-). Not forgetting those numerous Blue Peter (1958-) dogs I grew up with including Petra, Shep and Goldie.

For film dogs… There’s numerous Disney ones such as, Digby: The Biggest Dog in the World (1973) – who is as the title says. Lady and the Tramp (1955) with that well-remembered spaghetti scene kiss. And famous for that clip we saw ad nauseam in Disney Time (1973) as seventies kids. Best dog in a rom-com for me is the unnamed dog seen at the end of in You’ve got Mail (1998).

Finally, can I be cheeky and add another Kids TV show The Littlest Hobo (1979-85). Why? because you’d be barking mad not to with that wonderful seventies catchy theme tune… as that dog keeps on calling me.

The Littlest Hobo – Intro/Outro – Theme Song – Maybe Tomorrow – Original Artist – Terry Bush, Erez Lutsky

Dog Day Blogathon 2018, No 45

This post was added to Often Off Topic’s Dog Day Blogathon. Other reviews with this acting cast include Keanu Reeves also stars in John Wick Chapter 1,  John Wick 2, Point Break and The Lake House reviews. Keith Coogan stars in Adventures in Babysitting and Corey Feldman in The Goonies. Kurt Russell in Escape from New York,  Overboard, Fast and Furious 7 and The Fate of The Furious. Jack Nicholson reviewed here are listed as One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, Mars Attacks and Terms of Endearment. And finally Greg Kinnear in Mystery Men and in As Good as it Gets with Nicholson.

12 thoughts on “FILMS and TV… A Rough Guide to Film and TV Dogs

      1. If you want to see it don’t watch the trailer…not really “spoilers” as much as you don’t need to see anything about the plot…that’s what I don’t like about trailer…bad example but if a trailer shows mountains, water and desert, then I go into the movie expecting the character to end up in these areas rather than let the plot take me there!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I too love John Wick’s Daisy. She is such a cute and sweet puppy, and I think she’s perfect to balance Wick’s personality, if that makes sense. Like he is this tough guy but even his heart melts with Daisy and their bonding is amazing.

    Verdell from As Good As It Gets is the only other I know and I love how he bonds with Nicholson’s character and contributes to change him.

    Liked by 1 person

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