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Meet John Steinbeck’s Literary Dog Charley! Celebrities and Their Pets

Sat, 10 Nov 2018 - Animals & pets

John Steinbeck won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception." Most of Steinbeck's work is set in central California and along the coast near Monterey Bay. 

Most people have read at least one Steinbeck novel—Of Mice and MenEast of Eden and Grapes of Wrath often appear on academic reading lists! But did you know that Steinbeck had a deep connection with his dog Charley? 

John Steinbeck with his poodle Charley

John Steinbeck's work is peppered with quotes about dogs, which reveal his affection for furry friends. Here are a few gems about Charley from this literary giant:

"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that dogs think humans are nuts."

"Charley is a mind-reading dog. There have been many trips in his lifetime, and often he has to be left at home. He knows we are going long before the suitcase has come out, and he paces and worries and whines and goes into a state of mild hysteria."

"It is my experience that in some areas Charley is more intelligent that I am, but in others he is abysmally ignorant. He can't read, can't drive a car, and has no grasp of mathematics. But in his own field of endeavor, which he is now practicing, the slow, imperial smelling over and anointing on an area, he has no peer. Of course his horizons are limited, but how wide are mine?"

"I've always tried out my material on my dogs first. Years ago, when my red setter chewed up the manuscript of 'Of Mice and Men,' I said at the time that the dog must have been an excellent literary critic."

"I need a dog pretty badly. I dreamed of dogs last night. They sat in a circle and looked at me and I wanted all of them."

Do you love pets *almost* as much as John Steinbeck? Enter your furry friends in Page-A-Day's pet contest now and share your love with the world! Each year, we publish hundreds of pets from our community in our bestselling 365 Dogs and 365 Cats, and on our website and social media channels. It only takes a few clicks to enter!

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