Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians wastes no time in explaining a fundamental truth that a certain segment of dog lovers have already known for quite some time: Dogs are not, as it happens, pets. Rather, humans are the real pets—of dogs. And the occasional cat. It’s a completely understandable misunderstanding: after all, although many dogs can understand Human—or at least most of it—they can’t speak Human, which creates difficulties. And alas, Humans are not quite clever enough to understand Dog.
Although these linguistic barriers and misunderstandings are not always a bad thing—especially if you are two dogs who need to rescue a lot of puppies. And I do mean a lot. 97 of them, to be exact.