September is Animal Remembrance Month, and when I started this post it was going to be about lost literary pets. I started compiling my list and became sadder and sadder with each title. These were the animals I fell in love with while reading, who mattered more than some (or all) human characters in their books. Instead, I thought, I will write a post about our favorite animal characters, focusing on their lives, not their deaths.
“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.” With this opening line, Ness introduces the reader to Manchee, the talking dog who will work his way into their hearts. Machee mostly spends his time thinking about squirrels and poop, as I am sure most dogs do. I tried to read this book several times and Manchee always annoyed me until I listened the audiobook. Manchee is brought to life by Nick Podehl and you can’t help but love his blind loyalty and earnest love for Todd. If you had told me that Manchee would quickly become one of my favorite characters, I would have laughed in your face … now I can’t imagine the book without him.