Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
The show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood often had people that played multiple characters, a strategy that helped to reinforce the idea that The Neighborhood of Make-Believe was created by imagination. One of the people in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood that also made frequent appearances in The Neighborhood of Make-Believe was Bob Trow, a radio celebrity and craftsman who Mr. Rogers often visited at his workshop. Along with playing himself in Mr. Rogers’ television neighborhood, Trow also played two important characters in The Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Robert the Troll and Bob Dog. Both characters represented someone who once had trouble controlling themselves but had learned ways in which to be gentler and kinder individuals.
Robert the Troll came to The Neighborhood of Make-Believe from the nearby fictional town of Westwood, and he spoke in a fast-paced gibberish. He was a helpful and friendly sort, but according to the story, this is because Queen Sara Saturday had helped the once wild troll to learn how to behave more gently and kindly to others.
Bob Dog, a dog born in Westwood and the adopted cousin of Ana Platypus, was a little less controlled than Robert the Troll when he first came to visit The Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and he sometimes wore a cage on his head to try and keep himself out of trouble, especially when he was frightened or confused by what was going on around him. Unfortunately, the cage wasn’t quite enough to keep Bob Dog from getting into mischief on occasion, and eventually King Friday the XIII ordered him to go Someplace Else, where he learned more about being tame from Donkey Hodie, who operated a farm there and also had experience with angry outbursts as he himself had used his teeth to get his point across in the past. Once Bob Dog had learned how to control his impulses, he began to visit The Neighborhood ofMake-Believe more often. He enjoyed playing both football and fetch, loved to dance, and he performed in the neighborhood opera A Granddad for Danial, and in the neighborhood play Josephine the Short-Necked Giraffe. The costume that Bob Trow wore as Bob Dog was even seen at Mr. Rogers’ house on the show, once when Bob Trow put the costume on as Mr. Rogers explains the differences between a person in a dog costume and a real dog, and again when Mr. Rogers himself dons the costume and explains that he is still himself, even if he is wearing the costume of Bob Dog.