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6 Famous Dogs In Art And Literature

Written by ADAPTIL Expert, published on February 15, 2024

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It’s fair to say our furry friends have left quite the mark throughout history. Not content with merely being by our sides, dogs have inspired countless writers and artists to pick up their tools and create some truly iconic canine characters. In a slight shift in direction from our usual blogs, we’re taking a trip through time to rediscover those famous dogs and puppies who have made their way into our hearts through art and literature!

Argos from “The Odyssey” by Homer

Dogs in literature have long been used to symbolise loyalty, and in no case is that truer than with Argos. After a long 20-year absence, Odysseus returns to his home island of Ithaca wearing a disguise. The only one to recognise him is his old companion, Argos, who has been waiting all these years for his human’s return. 20 years is certainly pushing it, but we’ve put together a list of 13 activities to help your own dog cope with being left home alone.

‘A Friend In Need’ (1903) – by C.M. Coolidge


Coolidge’s ‘A Friend In Need’ painting of dogs playing poker.


Image Caption: Image of ‘A Friend In Need’ by C.M Coolidge

When you think of dogs in art, Coolidge’s iconic ‘Dogs Playing Poker’ series surely comes to mind. Originally intended for cigar advertisements, these dog paintings show our furry companions indulging in a friendly game of cards. In particular, ‘A Friend In Need’ is perhaps the most famous painting from this series. While we can’t recommend playing poker with our own pooches, we have come up with seven alternative puppy-friendly toys to ensure a happy playtime!

Fang from the “Harry Potter” Series by J.K. Rowling

The magical world of Hogwarts wouldn’t be the same without Hagrid’s loyal boarhound, Fang. While he might seem intimidating at first, Fang’s gentle nature reveals a kind character. That said, we wouldn’t personally want to head out for a dog walk into the Forbidden Forest without a  ThunderShirt by ADAPTIL! This calming vest for dogs works by applying a gentle pressure, and has been proven to help reduce anxiety in dogs. We’re just not sure we could find one large enough for Hagrid’s oversized hound!

‘The Dog’ (1819-23) – by Francisco Goya


Goya’s famous ‘The Dog’ painting.


Image Caption: Image of ‘The Dog’ by Francisco Goya

This evocative masterpiece from the renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya stands apart in the realm of dog art. This painting portrays the head of a dog submerged in a vast space that could be sand or sky. ‘The Dog’ has been open to numerous interpretations with themes ranging from abandonment and loneliness to resilience and hope.

Snowy from “The Adventures of Tintin” by Hergé

Snowy, the loyal Wire Fox Terrier, is more than just a sidekick. His adventurous spirit, bravery, and love for exploring have endeared him to readers of all ages. We can only assume he must have had an ADAPTIL Calm Collar to help him remain steady in all those perilous situations!

‘Head of a Dog, Bob’ (1876) - Édouard Manet


Edouard Manet’s painting ‘Head of a Dog, Bob’.


Image Caption: Image of ‘Head of a Dog, Bob’ by Edouard Manet

Another icon within famous dogs in art, Édouard Manet’s “Head of a Dog, Bob” offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of impressionism. Capturing the profile of a terrier believed to be Manet’s own pet, this painting demonstrates the connection between humans and our canine companions. The expressive brushstrokes and attention to detail make Bob’s gaze almost feel real as if he was in the room with the viewer.

Stay Informed With ADAPTIL

Whether we see dogs in books, paintings, or our day-to-day lives, it’s clear they hold a special place in our hearts. If you’d like to discover more famous dogs in the media, check out our other blog post about dogs in movies! The blog section of our website is a great place to stay informed with interesting facts about our canine companions, as well as to gain fascinating insights into their behaviour and how to get the most out of ADAPTIL’s products.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch! We’re always happy to help in any way we can. You can also stay informed with our latest tips and guides, as well as find information about all our ADAPTIL products, by signing up to our newsletter.

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