Tonight dog lovers across the galaxy tune in to their screens for the annual Super Bowl of dogdom, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Here at borg.com, this is serious TV viewing, and this year our thoughts naturally turned to… dogs in space. Like Laika, the first dog in space who beat mankind into the outer realms, these dogs have gone… where no man has gone before. So we bring you our very own contenders for Best in Show–our picks for best dogs from genre fiction in TV, movies, and comics (in no particular order).
1. Toto – Who better to start our list than the little terrier feisty enough to take a bite out of Miss Gulch and accompany Dorothy on her journey down the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz?
2. Einstein – Doc Brown’s faithful sheepdog companion, like Laika, was the first to make a historic voyage there and back again in a Delorean in Back to the Future.
3. Fluffy – Two heads are better than one, so three must be exponentially better. How can you not like this lovable cerberus from Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone? Just don’t let thieves know their secret, that music will lull them fast to sleep.
4. Fang – Speaking of Harry Potter, we can’t pass up the loyal and large pal to Hagrid, Fang the boarhound (played by a Neapolitan Mastiff). Although Hagrid calls him a bloody coward, in The Sorceror’s Stone he took Harry and company through the Forbidden Forest.
5. Krypto – Strange how themes repeat themselves. Originally, Krypto, like Laika and Einstein, was Jor-El’s first foray into creating a vehicle to get Kal-El (our Superman) off of the planet Krypton and on his path to Earth. Although a mishap sends Krypto off-course, fortunately he makes his way back to his best friend.
6. Porthos – We would later learn Porthos would have a pack of offspring of his own per Scotty in Star Trek 2009. This fellow accompanied Captain Jonathan Archer on many a mission where no man had gone before in the earliest Star Trek stories on the series Enterprise.
7. Astro – Maybe the first family dog we were introduced to in the future of our past, Astro loved Elroy, Judy, Jane and George Jetson and showed there are no bad dogs today and hundreds of years from now.
8. Commander Kruge’s targ - We never learned her name, but this fiercely loyal friend helped make all of us cheer for Kruge when he went up against Admiral James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Search for Spock. Unfortunately, she represents the one four-legged companion on our list that doesn’t make it, thanks to that dastardly Kirk and friends.
9. Fizzgig – Seemingly cute and innocent, Fizzgig is the Muppet companion to Kira in The Dark Crystal. Like Kruge’s targ, although not technically Canis familiaris, he had all the qualities of a good buddy and did not hesitate to bear his fangs to protect Kira when he sensed danger.
10. Butler – James Kirk redeems himself in his last mission when he is sucked into the Nexus in Star Trek Generations. His reaction to seeing his dog Butler at his old home shows there was a real guy in that Captain Kirk.
Honorable mention: All greyhounds, since they look like AT-ATs from The Empire Strikes Back.
Do you have any others you think should make the list? Let us know, and enjoy the Dog Show tonight! The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show airs tonight and Tuesday on USA and MSNBC. Only dogs from Earth are eligible.