Saluki Dog Names in Pop Culture
Rita is a Saluki dog in the Disney movie Oliver & Company, and the only one that is a female in Fagin's gang of dogs (although other reviews state she is an Afghan Hound and Oliver an orphaned kitten). Very proud and often a mother figure to Oliver (a human boy), she is seen taking care of him and teaching him to sing. Rita's voice is done by Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Ruth Pointer - one of the Pointer Sisters - does her singing voice. An elegant pooch, Rita is also strong and savvy and knows how to survive in the tough streets of New York. It has the usual plot - abandoned child, meets group of dogs, survives in the tough streets while trying to find a forever home. Disney is the master at melting people's hearts, and Rita is a beautiful dog with a complex nature which is a common Saluki trait. Dogs make great heroes as they are naturally geared to protect people by their nature. We love how Rita is portrayed as such an elegant dog and how she sings so divinely.
Cross was the only female dog in the pack led by Riki in the popular Manga series, Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin. She is also one of the best hunters. A white slender Saluki, she is portrayed with either blue or brown eyes in the series. Distrustful of humans because of a past experience, she is a strong willed and brave dog. An adventure Manga series by Yoshihiro Takahashi, the story centers on a pack of wild dogs gathered from all over Japan to fight a deranged bear named Akakabuto and his minions. This bear had attacked Cross and left her for dead many years ago, and she vows to take her revenge on him. The series was adapted as a 21 episode anime television series and enjoyed a strong following although with certain scenes being cut because of violent images, it did lose some of the plot effects of the original story. Cross is a sleek and beautifully drawn character which honors the breed's finest points.
The Saluki has been around for a thousand years and was highly respected and revered in the Middle East for speed and ability to hunt the gazelle over long and difficult terrain. They have been domesticated for over 5,000 years, making it one of the world's oldest breeds. They are the only dog to be considered clean by the Muslim religion and were permitted to share the food and tents of the nomad tribes. Highly valued as companions to Egyptian nobility, they were often honored with mummification after death. Elegant and slightly aloof in nature, they are famous for a long legged and lean shape and their speed and prowess at hunting.