Gaspode

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Gaspode
Gaspode the Wonder Dog
Name Gaspode
Race Dog
Age
Occupation
Physical appearance scruffy, grey-brown, terrier-like
Residence Ankh-Morpork
Death
Parents
Relatives
Children
Marital Status
Appearances
Books Moving Pictures
Men at Arms
The Fifth Elephant
The Truth
Discworld Noir
Cameos Soul Music, Hogfather, Feet of Clay

Gaspode the Wonder Dog is a small terrier-like mongrel dog living in Ankh-Morpork who has the ability to think and speak like a human being. Gaspode is somewhat scheming and avoids interacting with humans outside of his own interests, which he explains as a good survival trait for a stray animal's rough life. He has an extreme dislike of baths and a subsequent unpleasant mix of odors and minor diseases (indeed, according to Gaspode, he suffers from multiple ailments - including licky end, which should only be contractible if one is a pregnant sheep - and is only still alive because the various diseases are too busy fighting each other to kill him). Gaspode can usually be found accompanying the Canting Crew around Ankh-Morpork, where he acts as a thinking-brain dog for Foul Ole Ron.

Gaspode can also understand the language spoken (or barked) by other dogs. In The Truth, disguised as Deep Bone, he helps William de Worde to translate Wuffles' recount of a high-profile crime in order to uncover a criminal's alibi.

Gaspode takes advantage of the fact that most people seem unable to process that a dog can talk, as the phenomenon is usually interpreted as a subconscious self-suggestion by others; notably, he tends to speak sounds like "growl" and "bark" rather than actually vocalize. Exceptions to this are Captain Carrot and Angua though Samuel Vimes heard him once in The Fifth Elephant.

Gaspode first appeared in Moving Pictures. His ability to think abstract thoughts and speak human language was first awakened by Holy Wood magic, and then reasserted itself when he ate the magically contaminated rubbish in the Unseen University dump by the principle of morphic resonance (see also Men at Arms).

Possibly the sole member of the League Against Cruelty To Dogs.

Gaspode sometimes introduces himself as 'Gaspode the Wonder Dog' and is named after the Discworld's equivalent of Greyfriars Bobby and Hachiko, dogs who showed exceptional loyalty after his master's death. Gaspode cynically believes that the reason The Famous Gaspode stayed on his master's grave howling until he himself expired was that the headstone had been lowered onto his tail. The present Gaspode has dreams of running with a wolf-pack, and like many dogs vacillates between the desire for wildness, trying to curry respect among other dogs, and the begrudging need for human contact. These Walter Mitty tendencies make him reminiscent of another canine character, the Dog of Murray Ball's long-running comic strip Footrot Flats. Both have been heard to sarcastically remark 'Woof bloody woof.'

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