13 Fictional Pets From Your Childhood That You'd Still Love To Own Even Now

I love my dog more than any man I've ever loved, and probably on an equal playing field for any child I may someday have. I'm sure for those of you owners of pets out there, you feel very similar (I'm looking at you Mother of Cats, Taylor Swift). But before I met my dog soulmate, there were other pets whose fur I longed to run my hands through and whose bellies I wanted to rub until they made that leg spasm movement because they just can't take it anymore. And, yes, they were all on television and movies. And yes, some of them were animated. But that doesn't make them any less badass. You might be shaking your head, but these fictional pets stole your heart, and I wouldn't be a very good pet owner if I didn't outline some of the best puppies, kittens, horses, etc, etc. from your television-enhanced childhood.

Thank the goddess for cable and VHS players, or our childhoods would have been much less full of fluffy cuteness. How would we have understood the intense bond between man and dog without Scooby Doo? Or learned that, despite a cat's attitude, they will still travel across the country for us (even if only to find someone to open the can opener) without Sassy from Homeward Bound? The following are the pets we should all aspire to own and why.

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1. Rajah From Aladdin

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Rajah takes care of his own. This fierce kitty always has Jasmine's back, whether she needs a pal to scare away some creepy suitor or a shoulder to cry on. I know that tigers are wild animals and shouldn't be owned, but, geez, Rajah makes owning a tiger seem great.

2. Shadow From Homeward Bound

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I mentioned Sassy above who is by her own right a cool cat, but let's be real here, the real hero of Homeward Bound is Shadow. The old-timer who falls into a pit on his journey home still manages to make it into the loving arms of his owner. I'm actually sobbing right now. Everyone needs a Shadow, because that sort of loyalty doesn't come cheap.

3. Wilbur From Charlotte's Web

When Fern rescues Wilbur from a bacon-y grave, he becomes her best friend, as well as a friend to all the barn animals. If you got through this film without feeling your heart melt — or without wanting to adopt a pig yourself — your heart is much harder than mine.

4. Wishbone From Wishbone

Not only is Wishbone adorable, he could totally help you with any English papers. If you don't have English papers anymore, he could help you get back into reading, which seems nice.

5. Gary The Snail From Spongebob Squarepants

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Personally, there is not one part of me that wants to own Gary the Snail. However, I'm sure some of you out there are interested in a low maintenance kind of pet. And that is certainly Gary... if you don't mind the slime. Which I do.

6. Black Beauty From Black Beauty

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BB went through some pretty serious crap, but that doesn't stop him from being a G at all times. And who wouldn't want a horse to ride gallantly through the fields? Do you think a horse would do well in a parking lot? I'm asking for a friend.

7. Either Perdita or Pongo From 101 Dalmations

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This one is a tad bit selfish. You may recall in the beginning of 101 Dalmations that, through some meddling, Perdita and Pongo get their owners, Anita and Roger, to fall in love. What a noble pursuit for a dog, and what a great way to strike up a conversation with that cute boy in the park. A dog is the perfect way to find out if Mister or Missus Right is just that, because how can you date someone who hates dogs?

8. Scooby Doo From Scooby Doo

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I think we can all agree that a pet who is that passionate about sandwiches is a pet we can hang with. Plus, he can solve mysteries, which is useful if you're one of those people who can never find their car keys.

9. Falkor From The Never-Ending Story

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Soft, lucky, and able to fly. You'll never be late to work again with Falkor the luckdragon.

10. Crookshanks From Harry Potter

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This super smart cat is the perfect match for someone as clever as Hermione. I mean, nobody else knew that Peter Pettigrew was Scabbers. Crookshanks would be useful to have to get rid of pests, not to mention evil-doers — no guard dogs needed.

11. Meeko From Pocahontas

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Meeko doesn't bring much to the table besides stealing food from the table and all around cuteness. But that cuteness is enough for me. A pet raccoon would be so edgy.

12. Flipper From Flipper

Dolphins are probably just as smart as humans and should be treated more as equals than pets. You shouldn't own a dolphin (don't believe me? watch The Cove and have a lot of tissues handy), but how cool would it be to best friends with one? Think of the great swimming and belly rubs that would be had by all. Glorious.

13. Buddy From Air Bud

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I shouldn't have to tell you that a basketball-playing dog is a valuable companion. Exercise has never been more fun.

Unfortunately, you will never be able to ride on the back of Falkor, the luckdragon from The Never-Ending Story, or snuggle up with Crookshanks from the Harry Potter series. But that doesn't mean you can't find some animal love out there. If you can swing it financially, don't have allergies, and have the time required to give to an animal, why not head over to your local Humane Society today and meet your own Meeko from Pocahontas to snuggle?

Images: Giphy; Hanna-Barbera; peteneems/tumblr; Universal