Gaspode the Wonder Dog
This Who's Who was originally featured in Issue 100 - August 2005
Gaspode first puts in an appearance in Moving Pictures. He is a streetwise realist, well aware that a small, scruffy, smelly mongrel shouldn't expect much in the way of sympathy from the world. Along with a number of other animals, he develops the powers of speech, 'abstract conceptualizing' and 'intellectual development' as a result of the magic of Holy Wood.
Despite his complaints, Gaspode is most at home on the streets of Ankh-Morpork
In Moving Pictures he's tormented by dreams of saving the day or rescuing children from danger. This is the effect of Holy Wood but unfortunately Gaspode is not the ideal choice for superstardom in the 'clicks'. To Gaspode's relief, though, he loses his unusual powers when Holy Wood is finally contained - and, as far as the reader is aware, returns to his doggy existence on the streets of Ankh-Morpork.
Like a number of Discworld characters, Gaspode proved too good to leave in the pages of one book. He crops up again in Men At Arms when it emerges that, due to sleeping near the High Energy Magic Building at Unseen University, his powers of speech and intellect have returned. He assists the Watch with their investigation and, in the process, falls for Angua, but for some reason his feelings are not reciprocated.
Gaspode's finest moment to date, though, has been his role in uncovering the plot to depose the Patrician in The Truth. He acts as interpreter for Wuffles, Vetinari's dog, in order to pass information to the papers. To protect Wuffles and himself, Gaspode uses the alias Deep Bone - one of those gags that reminds me why I became a fan of Terry's books. Gaspode has become fairly firmly ensconced with the Beggars in The Truth, generally acting as the brains of the outfit. In addition, he shares a similar standard of cleanliness, and the beggars' distinctive grasp of reality means that they're not particularly troubled by Gaspode's ability to talk.
As a reward for his efforts in Men At Arms, Gaspode was given a home with a family in 'one of the nicer areas of Ankh, with a spacious garden with a children's treehouse in it and, quite probably, a warm spot by the fire.' He legs it, though, and returns to his vagabond existence with relief. Despite his complaints, Gaspode is most at home on the streets of Ankh-Morpork, depending on his own wits to feed himself and, from time to time, get away with black pudding from the kitchens of the Assassins' Guild on a Wednesday night.
Despite his human attributes, Gaspode has retained his phenomenal sense of smell. He's used this to good effect to save the day on several occasions, ironically filling the role of the heroic dog that he claims to despise. In fact, this is characteristic of Gaspode: despite his cynicism he's fundamentally a good dog - even if he doesn't like to admit it.