Clockwise from left: Everett Collection; CBS Photo Archive, David Rose/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
On TV, canines have done the ordinary (fetched slippers, staked their claim on couches) and the extraordinary (helped rescue kids from deep wells, maintained a popular blog). So it's no surprise that plenty of four-legged friends have earned a soft spot in our hearts. To celebrate National Dog Day (August 26), take a look at some of the beloved family dogs that have graced the small screen.
CBS Photo Archive
Lassie (Lassie) Be it rescuing Timmy from a well or waiting for him to get out of school, pop culture’s most iconic pooch has long been helping her TV companions get out of tough binds. The helpful Rough Collie is so well-known that she has multiple incarnations across film and television (animated and live action), including an appearance on the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
David Rose/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Eddie (Frasier) He may have been the bane of Frasier's existence (and upscale apartment), but the little Jack Russell Terrier was the perfect companion for Frasier's father, Martin, to ensure the former policeman still kept active during his retirement. Eddie often proved more judgmental than Frasier, fixing the radio psychiatrist with a pointed stare as he attempted to go about his day.
Michael Desmond/ABC/Getty Images)
Doc (Grey’s Anatomy)
The doctors over at Grey Sloan Memorial have seen their fair share of death over the years
, but that didn’t make Doc’s passing away any easier for Meredith. She was forced to put down her dog—which she shared ownership with Derek—when the vet discovered he had bone cancer. But on a happier note, when Meredith drowned temporarily, she was later reunited with her dead pup in the afterlife.
Astro (The Jetsons) As evidenced by the Jetsons’ lovable pooch, the future features flying cars and talking dogs. This allowed Astro to express his affection for the family (and especially George) with a well-known, “I ruv roo.” When he wasn’t switching places with George on his daily walk, Astro was often accompanying Elroy.
Champion (Parks and Recreation)
This lovable dog earned his name because Andy considered him “the dog world’s champion.” The three-legged Pitbull became Andy, April and Ben’s fourth roommate when the couple brought him home from the pound. And when they went on vacation, Chris dogsat Champion and even trainined him to obey commands in German.
Plus: Watch the New Trailer for Pit Bulls and Parolees
Richard Foreman/ABC/Getty Images
Stella (Modern Family) Jay Pritchett may love his wife and kids, but even that doesn’t rival his affection for his French Bulldog. He even tells her that he loves her (instead of his wife Gloria) and purchased a doggie life vest. What’s more, the patriarch of the Delgado-Pritchett family doesn’t just accompany his canine to another dog’s birthday party, he also enters her in a dog show, where she ends up winning an award.
Digby (Pushing Daisies) Not even death can break the bond between a boy and his dog, as the young Ned used his magical touch of life to bring his canine companion back from the afterlife. Even though the limitations of his gift prevented them from touching, the faithful Digby remains the pie maker’s erstwhile companion, never leaving his side.
Mr. Peanutbutter (BoJack Horseman) While Season 1 of the Netflix animated series showcased the Labrador Retriever’s enthusiasm for life (and BoJack’s friendship), Season 2 revealed Mr. Peanutbutter’s infinite capacity to forgive those he loves—like his wife Diane, who lied to him about being out of the country for months.
Mario Perez/ABC/Getty Images
Vincent (Lost) When he wasn’t running off from his various owners on the show, Vincent could be as mysterious as the Island itself: presenting Charlie with a Virgin Mary statue when he was trying to build a church and leading Hurley to the DHARMA Initiative van. So it was only fitting that the yellow Lab—who was present when Jack first awoke on the Island—was there to comfort the dying doctor in his final moments.
Big Feats! Entertainment/Everett Collection
Wishbone (Wishbone) Old dogs may not learn new tricks, but Wishbone had plenty up his little doggy sleeves as he balanced being a loyal companion to his teen owner Joe and pairing a great work of literature to whatever problems his loved ones were facing. And if it couldn't get any cuter, Wishbone often cast himself as the lead in his weekly literary reenactments—costumes included!
Seymour (Futurama) The animated sitcom managed to perfectly capture a dog's unending love (and loyalty) to its owner. Seymour's patient obedience as he waited season after season, year after year for the cryogenically frozen Fry to return made for one of the most heartbreaking endings on TV.
Craig Sjodin/Disney Channel
Stan (Dog With a Blog) Stan is possibly the most technologically-savvy dog on TV right now. Even though he doesn’t communicate verbally, he maintains a blog and plays video games online. When he isn’t helping the Jennings-James kids with their academic and relationship-related woes, Stan can be found looking after his just-as-talkative puppies, Grace and Freddy.
TriStar Pictures/Everett Collection
Murray (Mad About You) Though it seemed like Murray was not particularly smart, the sitcom eventually revealed that the mouse the Collie mix often chased into the wall—a running gag on the show—was indeed real. In another episode, Murray barked out his best Lassie impression as he went and warned Fran and Mark that Jamie and Paul were stuck in the bathroom.
Santa’s Little Helper (The Simpsons) The animated greyhound first became a part of the Simpson family when Homer and Bart adopted him in the hopes of making money. While they weren’t able to cash in on their new pet, he went on to have many adventures throughout the show’s 26 seasons, like being trained as a police dog and replacing Duffman as the mascot for Duff beer.
ABC Photo Archives/ABC/Getty Images
Comet (Full House) It might not have been easy living in an already-packed San Francisco townhouse, but the Golden Retriever quickly made himself an indispensable member of the family, whether it was offering Stephanie opinions on her new glasses or helping Jesse and Joey fight boredom. Comet even earned himself a surprise birthday party, featuring the rest of the neighborhood dogs.
Lynch Entertainment/Everett Collection
Eddie (100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd) He may not have started out as a dog, but Eddie McDowd definitely learned what a dog’s life entailed when he was turned into one. As he worked to perform the 100 good deeds required to regain his status as a biped, the former bully turned Australian Shepherd had to tap into his helpful inner canine.
Brian (Family Guy) Brian is much more than your average family dog. He also acts as Peter’s drinking buddy and Stewie’s best friend, accompanying father and son on their various adventures in Quahog and in other time periods. Over the show’s 13 seasons, the anthropomorphic white Labrador has many accomplishments under his belt, such as attending Brown University (though he didn’t graduate), being able to drive and of course and cheating death a few times.
Levi (Sue Thomas F.B.Eye) The Golden Retriever’s primary job was to act as Sue’s hearing dog, but that didn’t stop him from jumping in on the crime-solving action—even going as far as taking a bullet for Sue in the line of duty.
Scooby-Doo (Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!)
The mystery-solving Great Dane’s popularity has endured almost 50 years since his creation in 1969, with new animated reboots cropping up regularly. Over the years, and across his many incarnations (including two live action movies) Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the gang have gone on to unmask countless villains and monsters, all in the name of a self-titled Scooby snack—even partnering up with Batman and Robin and KISS along the way.
Plus: Meet the Modernized Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Gang
Henson Associates/Everett Collection
Barkley (Sesame Street) The rambunctious canine started out as Linda the Librarian’s dog, which means he can understand commands in sign language. Barkley has proven helpful many times, whether it’s teaching the difference between “In” and “Out” or helping Zoe conquer her fear of dogs.
Nickelodeon Network/Everett Collection
Porkchop (Doug) Dogs are emotionally attuned to their owners, but none more so than Doug’s dog, Porkchop, who even had a more outgoing personality than his owner. And like many cartoon dogs, he definitely enjoyed the perks of the human world, including clothes, dancing and pizza.
Diefenbaker (Due South) He may have only been half dog, but Diefenbaker definitely proved he really was Constable Benton Fraser's best friend when he saved his life in a mining accident and lost his own hearing in the process. Not that "Dief" ever let being deaf hamper his quality of life. After the duo moved to Chicago, the half-wolf still helped Fraser solve crimes—while maintaining his own bank account and developing a not-so-healthy love of junk food.
Spike (Rugrats) You can never be too young to form a bond with your pet, as still-in-diapers Tommy made Pickles’ family dog, Spike, his best friend. It was later revealed in Rugrats Go Wild, that the “Siberian Tiger Hound” is very protective of the babies and considers them his own.
Asta (Thin Man) No crime-solving duo would be complete without a canine by their side. In the case of Nick and Nora Charles, it was their Wire Haired Terrier. Asta often helped the amateur-sleuthing couple with their cases by finding clues and creating diversions.