I just got home from a 9-day vacation, and guess who seemed to be the only member of my family that even missed me? MY DOG.

So in his honor, I thought I’d write about 5 of my favorite movie pets. Sometimes they’re the main characters, sometimes they’re more like sidekicks, but they’ve all earned a special place in my heart.

Marley the dog from Marley & Me: How can you not love such a loyal little guy? This 2008 adaptation of Josh Grogan’s best-selling memoir stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as the owners of a ridiculously cute and playful yellow lab pup who helps them through life’s many ups and downs. It’s a tear-jerker, yes, but it embodies the special bond dogs have with their owners more than almost any other movie I can think of.

Chloe the cat from The Secret Life of Pets and The Secret Life of Pets 2: Chloe (voiced by Lake Bell) represents the stereotypical cat perfectly because she does not care AT ALL about what happens to anyone else. And like all of my friends’ cats, she could stand to lose a few pounds. Everyone loved her in the original movie, but in The Secret Life of Pets 2 (now at the Box and Redbox on Demand), she has an even bigger role to play. If she can summon up the energy, that is.

Black Beauty the horse from Black Beauty: I’m not sure you can really call any horse a “pet” in the most traditional sense, but I’m just going to run with it for the purposes of this list. Because in this 1994 adaption of the 1877 Anna Seward novel — which is one of the best-selling books of all time — Black Beauty does often function as a traditional pet for her many owners over the years. Like when she saves them from harm or alerts them to danger, just as my black lab has done for me. It’s a beautiful story that has stood the test of time for a reason.

Babe the pig from Babe: By the end of this surprise 1995 hit about a pig (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh) who wants to be a sheepdog, you’ll be standing up and cheering and believing that anything is possible. Thankfully Babe’s cuteness convinces his owner Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) that he’s better as a pet than as the main course for Christmas dinner!

Hedwig the owl from the Harry Potter movies: I don’t know about you, but I want a “Secret Life of Pets” movie made about all the owls at Hogwarts! Seriously, you know they’re up to some cool stuff while all the wizards are fighting with each other.

I tried to span all major animal categories, though I apologize to those who own guinea pigs, rodents, fish, lizards or other types of pets. They’re certainly underrepresented on the big screen! Who’s your favorite pet from the movies?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,