Television may be America’s favorite pastime, but the animals on television served as our collective pets for generations. Some pet characters were so astoundingly cherished that their names are now synonymous with the characters themselves. Try naming your pet any of these names without getting into a conversation about a famous television show.
Lassie was so popular she had a novel and an Emmy-winning television show. The fictional Rough Collie, created by Eric Knight, is one of the most beloved dogs from the silver screen. In fact, the “Lassie” character has appeared in radio, television, film, toys, comic books, in an animated series, young adult novels, and other media.
Brian is, quite literally, man’s best friend in the long-running series, Family Guy. The most intelligent member of the Griffin family, the anthropomorphic dog enjoys attempting to write and drinking to excess. Brian is so beloved that, when the show’s creators attempted to kill him off in season 12, fans rebelled. He was brought back just two episodes later.
Astro is the dramatic but loyal pet dog of George Jetson of The Jetsons. Once the dog of millionaire J.P. Gottrockets, he found a simple life with the Jetsons to be far more appealing. His favorite pastimes include eating steak and jumping on George.
Who says all television pets need to be dogs? Elvis, the pet alligator of Metro-Dade Detective James “Sonny” Crockett, was the former mascot for his dad’s alma mater, the University of Florida Gators. Talk about a long and storied career.
Many believed Flipper to be the “Lassie of the water.” Pet of Porter Ricks, the Chief Warden at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve, Flipper was an extraordinarily intelligent dolphin who helped to enforce regulations in the Preserve.