Pop culture offers so many name possibilities for our canine companions, with the world of children's movies and book ranking quite high in that realm. Today's pop culture spotlights are from that realm, one being from a popular recent children's movie and the other being from what is probably the most popular and long running children's book series in recent history. Max, from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid,
is our first pop culture spotlight. He is described as a plump, gray and white sheepdog with a black nose, blue eyes and a short tail with a white tip. He appears in several of the sequels to the original movie, but his greatest role is in the first movie. He uses his keen sense of smell to protect and guide (and eventually unite him with Ariel) Prince Eric, his owner. As the story opens, Prince Eric is having a birthday party aboard his ship and that's where we first see Max in his role of companion to Prince Eric. Max sniffs something in the air and discovers Ariel, who is watching the Prince and his activities. He seeks her out and a friendship begins. The story takes us through some interesting life situations, in which Ariel, Max and Prince Eric are primary players. After a fire has started aboard the ship, Prince Eric, who had already safely gotten off the ship, goes back to save Max who has been trapped aboard. The ship burns and the next time we see Max, he is licking the face of his beloved master, Prince Eric, who is awakening on the seashore. Max is responsible for sniffing out Ariel and ultimately getting the two together for a "happily ever after" kind of ending.
Our second pop culture spotlight is Hank, the Cow Dog. Hank is a Cow dog who is the crime fighting hero in a series of children's novels written by John Erickson. Hank, throughout the series of over 70 books, is a too-confident canine mutt who fancies himself as "head of ranch security", a role which places him into a number of "interesting", if not almost always self-inflicted, situations in which he needs to utilize a number of his most valuable canine characteristics ... like loyalty, bravery, sensory keenness and dependability. Though Hank is depicted as generally having an over-inflated view of his character and abilities, he always comes through in the moment of crisis.
These two pop culture canines shine the spotlight on several canine characteristics on which we humans have become quite dependent. These character traits are specifically their keen ability to sense good from evil, their unconditional love, loyalty, tenacity and dependability. Do these traits describe anyone you know and love?