Mark’s Barks on Musical Dogs as Potential Pets

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Have you ever wondered if dogs mentioned in popular songs would make good pets? Today we turn our attention specifically to dogs from popular songs.


Have you ever wondered if dogs mentioned in popular songs would make good pets? NO? Well then, you must not be a semi-regular contributor to a dog blog!

Long-time readers of Mark’s Barks will remember this investigation of the pet-worthiness of fictional dogs, but today we turn our attention specifically to dogs from popular songs.

Dixie (“Dixie the Tiny Dog” – Peter Himmelman) – I know this is an obscure one, but stop what you’re doing right now and listen to this song right now if you’ve never heard it. Unlike most of the other entries here, we have all kinds of information on Dixie, and it’s relayed in the first person (first canine?). Dixie sounds like an exceedingly proud and graceful wiener dog. But be aware: in her opinion, her human family doesn’t own her, they just feed her. They just bought her one day… okay, I’m going to stop before I just type all the lyrics (which admittedly are better than anything I could write here, but you’ll just have to go listen to the song).

The dogs (“Who Let the Dogs Out” – The Baha Men) – I just read the lyrics for this and it literally gave me a headache. I’m not even going to include a link, that’s how bad this song is (and you already know it anyway, you poor thing). It’s pretty much indecipherable except for the revelation that the dogs – they are out. The fact that we don’t know who is to blame for their release is troubling. The responsible thing would have been for the Baha Men to record a follow-up song, “Who Got Their Dogs Microchipped (We Did. Because They Kept Getting Out.)” Hard to make a judgment on the dogs in question, plus I’m not even sure the song is about actual dogs? Sooo… let’s make it a 2.

King (“Old King” – Neil Young) – King sounds pretty awesome. He was the best old hound dog Neil Young ever did know; indeed, Neil never knew a dog that was half as fine. Having said that, he kicked King once when he was bad. Which brings me to my next point: Neil Young is a jerk. 10

Iggy Pop (“I Wanna Be Your Dog” – The Stooges) – Iggy Pop would be a pretty horrible dog. Unless you like your pets to roll around on the ground and never wear a shirt. Wait… that would actually not be weird at all. Okay, but do you want a dog who gets on stage and smothers himself in peanut butter and then cuts his chest open with a broken beer bottle and is always flitting off to Berlin to cut records with David Bowie? I didn’t think so. 1

Atomic Dog (“Atomic Dog” – George Clinton) – I don’t know what an atomic dog is supposed to be but you would think it would at least have superpowers or something. Maybe it does, but all we really learn about this one is that he must chase the cat. Which hardly makes him unique, but does speak to low impulse control. 5

That doggie in the window (“How Much Is That Doggie In the Window” – Patti Page) – Here’s what we know about the dog in question: 1) It has a waggley tail 2) It’s in the window. Not much to go on. We don’t even know if it’s for sale! Is Patti just cruising houses looking for dogs and assuming someone will sell her their pet? Or is she at some sort of pet store, in which case, YES Patti, it’s probably a safe bet that they’ll sell you the dog. If it’s the former and the dog is being ripped from its home, I’m guessing it’s going to have some separation issues. And if it’s a pet store, well, we know there’s potential for all kinds of problems. Sounds like a lose-lose situation. And yet… that tail does sound pretty delightful. 3 (Also doing you the favor of not linking to this one. It is insufferable.)

Hound dog (“Hound Dog” – Big Mama Thornton) – I could care less how many rabbits he’s caught, but the crying all the time thing isn’t going to fly. 2 (This is another must-hear, especially if you’re only familiar with the Elvis version. Featuring John Lee Hooker on guitar.)



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Comments (4)

Cherie Getchell

Ohmygoodness, I listened to Dixie the Tiny Dog on repeat during my adolescent years - it was a song I stumbled across on a radio station mix CD. I am pretty sure it had a very strong influence on my preference for small dogs (full disclosure: I also grew up with a charming black and white teacup poodle). I cannot believe someone else has heard this song and took the time to analyze it. And the part about his nails clacking on the floor. Classic small dog gait. LOVE THIS!


Um, I'm pretty sure Iggy Pup is an awesome dog... just sayin' He really loves peanut butter too. :-)

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