By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Dawg is a big, floppy sheepdog.  He’s the perfect pup for the Flagston family.  He’s warm and friendly, furry and fun. He’s sort of like an uncle in a dog suit.  He was created to be different than other comic strip dogs, which are frisky tail waggers for the most part.  Since Dawg can also think out loud, like Trixie, readers are privy to his innermost thoughts, which aren’t very deep.  Sometimes he doesn’t know his own strength.

Hi and Lois daily strip, November 11, 1963. Hi and Lois daily strip, September 26, 1963.

Dawg interacts mostly with Trixie.  He hogs her sunbeam and she gives him her unwanted food.  Although Dawg is sometimes seen doing things that are very un-doglike, there is a fine line of believability that can never be crossed.

Dawg is also a plaything for other members of the family.  Ditto used him as a blank canvas for his graffiti art  in this memorable episode.  It’s hard to believe this was an accident.

Hi and Lois daily strip, November 11, 1961. Hi and Lois daily strip, February 1, 1972.

After my family adopted an exuberant Wheaten Terrier, I was inspired to have Trixie pen a tribute to her favorite canine based on the opening quatrain of William Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet 18.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;

Hi and Lois Sunday page, June 8, 2003. Hi and Lois Sunday page, June 8, 2003.

To maintain the realism in Hi and Lois, too much fantasy must not destroy its credibility.  Dawg can act human at times, but he will never fly on top of his dog house like Snoopy.

– Brian Walker