Monday, December 7, 2009

Dogs Who Rule the Literary World

From the adventures of the cute Vizsla puppy who grew into a 24-foot dog in Norman Bridwell's children's book series Clifford the Big Red Dog to Odysseus' faithful dog in Homer's Odyssey, young and old alike love to dive into stories about dogs. But which canine dog story ranks the highest?

In celebration of its 125 Anniversary, the American Kennel Club and AOL's ask America to weigh in on their favorite dog stories. The nominees for most famous dogs of literature are:

* Clifford The Big Red Dog -- The tiny Vizsla puppy who grew to 25 feet in the children's book series written by Norman Bridwell.

* Spot -- The black and white Cocker Spaniel pet featured in the Fun with Dick and Jane book series created to teach children how to read.

* Old Yeller -- The fictional story, based on the novel by Fred Gipson, of a Mountain Cur dog. The book was adapted in 1957 into a Disney movie.

* Marley & Me -- The New York Times bestselling autobiographical book by journalist John Grogan that portrays Grogan and his family's life during the 13 years that they lived with their rambunctious Labrador Retriever Marley, and the relationships and lessons from this period.

* My Dog Skip - An autobiographical book by Willie Morris that tells the tale of a boy and his Parson Russell Terrier dog in a small southern town that teaches about family, friendship, love, devotion and bravery.

* Big Red -- The story, based on the novel by Jim Kjelgaard, of an Irish Setter who would rather run through the woods than be the perfectly-trained and groomed show dog his sportsman owner wants and the ten-year-old orphan boy who cares for and helps Big Red rebel against his owner's strict discipline.

* Argos -- The faithful dog of Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey.

* Cujo -- The Saint Bernard in the horror novel by Stephen King.

* White Fang -- The main character in Jack London's book of the same name. White Fang is the story of a wild Wolfdog's journey toward becoming civilized in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century.

Which dog in literature will be victorious? Visit to cast your vote and make your “bark” heard.

Underscoring America's love affair with dogs and celebrating its 125th Anniversary, the American Kennel Club (AKC) collaborated with AOL's to compile a list of the Top 125 Dogs in Popular Culture. The list brings together canines from diverse backgrounds for a candid look at how dogs have been woven into the fabric of America. From movies and music, mascots and literature, to cartoons and TV characters, each week a new poll allows Americans to review the list, debate it with their friends and colleagues, and pick their favorites. Dog lovers can return each week to vote and have a final say to end the doggie debate and find who it the top dog. The AKC will tabulate results and unveil the final list of America's Top 125 Dogs in Pop Culture on December 7, 2009.

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