Literary Dog Names

Looking for a unique dog name? Why not christen your canine after a great dog in literature?

Congratulations on your new dog. Now comes the tricky part: You need to name it. Why not christen it after one of the great dogs of literature? Here's a list of some of our favorites.

Argos: In Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus returns home after a 20-year absence, but the only one who recognizes him is his loyal dog Argos, who sadly dies after his master passes by without acknowledging him.

Bobby: A Skye terrier from Edinburgh, Scotland, Bobby became famous for guarding the grave of his deceased owner in the Greyfriars Graveyard for almost 14 years. A book, The Tale of Greyfriars Bobby, was written by Scottish author Elizabeth Dodd in 1912.

Buck: Jack London's masterpiece, Call of the Wild, tells the story of a California pet that's stolen and sold to work in hostile conditions as an Alaskan sled dog.

Bull's Eye: In Charles Dicken's novel Oliver Twist, Bull's Eye is the feared, tough-as-nails English bull terrier owned by Bill Sikes.

Cujo: Few dogs in literature have done as much to promote rabies vaccinations as Cujo the Saint Bernard. Contracting rabies, this sweet dog becomes a raging monster in Stephen King's 1981 novel, Cujo.

Isis: Lord Grantham's beloved yellow Labrador retriever, Isis, plays a supporting role in PBS's Masterpiece Classic television series Downton Abbey and in the accompanying book, The World of Downton Abbey, by Jessica and Julian Fellowes.

Jip: In Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield, Jip is the name of the loving lapdog of his first wife Dora Spenlow. In the television adaptation of the story, Jip is played by a pug.

Lad: A famed breeder of rough collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, Albert Payson Terhune was also a prolific writer, completing over 30 novels about his beloved collies. Lad: A Dog was the first of his books.

Laika: The first animal to orbit the earth, Laika was a Soviet dog launched into outer space in 1957. In Russian, the name Laika means "barker." A children's book, Laika, by Nick Abadzis tells the story of her journey from stray to space-voyager.

Lassie: Perhaps one of the most famous dogs in media, Lassie the rough collie first appeared in the novel Lassie Come Home written by Eric Knight. The book was made into a Hollywood movie in 1943. The role of Lassie was played by a male collie named Pal.

Luath and Bodger: The Labrador retriever and bull terrier in Sheila Burnford's novel The Incredible Journey travel across the Canadian wilderness with a Siamese cat named Tao.

Mutt: Of uncertain ancestry, Mutt is the constant companion of Farley Mowat in his book, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be. It's the story of Mowat's boyhood, growing up in the Saskatchewan countryside with the marvelous Mutt, a dog that was more human than canine.

Nana: In J.M. Barrie's delightful novel Peter Pan, Nana the Newfoundland (often depicted as a Saint Bernard) played the role of nurse to Wendy and her brothers.

Nop: A loyal and hard-working border collie is stolen from his master in Donald McCaig's 2007 novel, Nop's Hope. This story highlights the deep bond between dog and human as they struggle to become reunited.

Old Dan and Little Ann: A pair of redtick coonhounds help a boy named Billy Coleman grow up deep in the Ozark mountains in the classic Wilson Rawls novel, Where the Red Fern Grows.

Pongo and Perdita: Published in 1956, Dodie Smith's children's book, 101 Dalmatians, was inspired by a litter of 15 dalmatian puppies born to one of Ms. Smith's own dogs. Pongo and Perdita, the fictional parents of the puppies, help rescue them after they are stolen by the evil Cruella de Vil.

Rin Tin Tin: Found as a puppy by an American soldier on the French battlefield in WWI, Rin Tin Tin eventually became a star of silent movies and even went on to be nominated for an Academy Award. Other German shepherd dogs using his name went on to star in the 1950's television series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. A book about his life, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, by Susan Orlean was published in 2011.

Seaman: The constant companion of Captain Meriwether Lewis, Seaman the Newfoundland was the only animal to complete the entire Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Sounder: A young sharecropper's loyal hound helps him through hard times in the Deep South. The novel, Sounder, won the Newberry Award in 1970.

Toto: Everyone knows the happy, loyal little dog Toto who helps Dorothy find her way home in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but did you know the original Toto was a purebred Cairn terrier?

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