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Sportsfeld Mailbag: Best TV Pets

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There was no better time to be an animal on TV than in the 1960’s. Lassie was in the midst of a 17 season run at the centre of TV’s most lovable family, Scooby-Doo was apprehending masked criminals across the nation, and a young Canadian bear named Winnie had burst onto the scene and caught the eye of Walt Disney.

TV Pets haven’t gone away since then, but they’ve lost their ability to be leading live-action characters. Viewers used to tune in weekly to catch up with the adventures of the Little Hobo, but now, animals are relegated to guest stars or supporting characters at best. With that in mind, Sportsfeld has decided to honour our four-legged friends by handing out awards for the best modern TV pets.

The rules are simple: only animals from live-action TV shows are eligible (apologies to the cinematic treasure that is Marmaduke), and the show has to have aired at least one episode in the 2000s. This rules out some historical gems like Bandit from Little House on the Prairie and Mr. Ed, the coolest horse to ever wear glasses, but gives space for our more recent furry companions to shine.

BEST TITLE CHARACTER

STAN (DOG WITH A BLOG)

He really is a dog, and he really does have a blog. Two very different, yet equally demanding roles and he manages to do both. If you can look past creepy facial animation that veers into the uncanny valley, the ridiculousness of the premise, and voice acting that makes being a dog sound like the most boring task on earth, you can see that Stan is a dog with a blog, and that’s glorious enough.

BEST ANIMAL TO HAVE ON YOUR SIDE

DROGON - GAME OF THRONES

All good pets straddle the line between animal and family member, but Drogon elevates that relationship to another level. The mythical offspring of Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen, Drogon proved to the world not only that dragon’s existed, but also that they were pretty damn cool. Even after watching his brother Viserion be turned into a wight, and his brother Rhaegal die an incredibly poorly written death, Drogon maintained loyal to the end.

BEST COVERSATIONALIST

SALEM - SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH

Perhaps a controversial pick as Salem is neither a cat - he's a warlock trapped inside the body of a cat - nor played by a cat - an animatronic is used for nearly every scene -, his sharp wit and humour lands him a spot on this list. Although sharing alcohol with pets is apparently frowned on, there's no animal on TV we'd rather share a glass of wine with than Salem.


BEST LOCAL HERO

LIL SEBASTIEN - PARKS & RECREATION

Michael Jackson. Axl Rose. James Dean. Larry Bird. Lil' Sebastien. Parks & Recreation's loveable miniature horse - not to be confused with a pony - belongs amidst the list of Indiana legends. A local hero who managed to put a smile on the face of even the most serious of Pawnee citizens, Lil Sebastien brought people together, and received a genuinely touching music tribute upon his passing. We hope he's enjoying his time in horsey heaven.


BEST ISLAND COMPANION

VINCENT - LOST

In a show where nothing was really quite what it seemed at first glance, Vincent was the one constant thread. Vincent was born a dog, came to the island a dog, and stayed a dog, and I'm sure a lot of other characters must have envied that consistency. Maybe things would've gone differently if Vincent had hopped on that raft.

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