Sam and Dean Winchester are notorious for their smart, get-up-and-go attitude, masculine and yet caring personalities and their attractive good looks. One of the most prominent reasons why the show has done so well for so long (10 years and counting) is because of the dynamics and love between these two characters who are not only brothers by blood but by experience. They’ve been through thick and thin together, fighting all sorts of monsters and demons that go bump in the night and, I just think, it’s about time that they get some canine company.
As a passionate dog-lover, I believe that if the characters were to adopt a dog they may actually have something rooted and secure; a sense of normalcy which is sometimes all they need in the messed up hunting business that they have been raised in. A ‘family dog’ would be perfect to help distract them from quite drastic events such as the apocalypse or something similar as well as less stressful things like their never-ending need to be at each others throats all the time. A sense of therapy and friendship from a loyal companion would be perfect for them and here are my top 5 reasons why it is a good idea for the boys to go pet shopping:
Number 1: “Animals can have a sharp
sense of the paranormal,”
Way back when in Season 1’s episode “Skin” the boys investigate a murder investigation involving one of Sam’s old college friends. They decide to check out the crime scene whereby the neighbour’s dog acts oddly, barking constantly as though it had been startled by something. Sam’s friend, Rebecca, states that he “used to be the sweetest dog” and that around the time of the murder “he just changed.”
Sam reveals that animals have heightened senses to the supernatural and he’s not wrong. The brother’s manage to take down a shapeshifter by the end of the episode and yet they never thank the dog for his warning. Neither do they think about utilising the animal’s ability to sense monsters and demons before any hunters can. I’m sure a doggy sidekick would have been very helpful on…well, every hunt the boys have ever attempted.
Number 2: Bones and Riot – Sam’s Love of Dogs
The character of Sam has continually showed a love of dogs to some extent. In Season 5’s “Dark Side of the Moon” Sam and Dean are both sent to heaven when they are shot by vengeful hunters who want redemption for the brothers starting the apocalypse. The boys discover, with the help of their deceased friend, Ash, that heaven is different for different individuals and is a collection of someone’s happiest memories, “everybody gets a little slice of paradise” as Dean puts it.
To Dean’s surprise, part of Sam’s heaven was the memory of the two weeks that he ran away from home (at an unknown age) to a place in Flagstaff, Arizona. Whilst he was there, he took in a Golden Retriever and called it “Bones”. As this is a part of Sam’s personal heaven it indicates his deep remembrance and fondness towards Bones and the whole experience of living on his own with the dog’s companionship, despite the trip getting Dean into trouble with their dad.
A separate occasion shows even more of Sammy’s doggy love in Season 8’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin”. With Dean’s return from his year-long holiday in purgatory, we learn what Sam had busied himself doing. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Sam stupidly hit a stray dog with the Impala sometime in the past year and rushed him to an animal hospital where he first meets Amelia, who is a vet. Amelia manages to save the poor dog and guilt trips Sam into taking responsibility for him as the dog doesn’t belong to anyone. Sam later names him “Riot” and, when Sam and Amelia become an item they both show care and love for the Australian Shepherd whilst forming a strong and intimate bond with each other.
Throughout the beginning of Season 8, Sam continues to reminisce over his time with Amelia and Riot and it seems that Riot is almost at the base of the relationship, prodding the couple together. Sam hitting Riot with his car is coincidently the first time he meets his future girlfriend.
Later on, the dog runs into Amelia’s hotel room, leading the couple together again. Sam continues to be sad and reluctant to leave Amelia and Riot when he returns to hunting which all supports the idea that Riot had a big impact on Sam and his peace and happiness during the year without his brother and without hunting. Both Sam and Amelia have lost loved ones and are completely alone when this stray dog brings them together.
Number 3: The Colonel – Dean’s Dog Day Afternoon
Yes, it’s the episode everyone has been talking about. One of the highlights of Season 9, “Dog Dean Afternoon” which followed the incredible story of Dean’s journey to be one with nature, or, to put it simply, to be a temporary honorary dog.
As shown in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” Dean may not be a big fan of dogs, as he repeats “The rules are simple, Sam…there’s no dogs in the car.” This could be his love for his Impala talking but (supported by the interpretation that the car represents Dean’s soul) it may also indicate some kind of deep hatred for the animals. I mean he was dragged to hell by dog-like hellhounds so I guess it’s understandable.
However, his opinion about them seems to be reversed in “Dog Dean Afternoon” when Sam and Dean find that their only witness on a case is a German Shepherd. Sam ends up making a vile concoction that allows the drinker to telepathically communicate with a specific animal. Dean insists on drinking it and performing the spell in order to get information from a victim’s dog, The Colonel.
Initially Dean believes that the spell hasn’t worked but he soon starts to hear The Colonel’s thoughts and the two start to unravel the mysteries behind the case. Although, Dean starts to behave strangely and Sam discovers that the spell can also cause the side effect of sharing character traits with the linked animal, resulting in Dean unconsciously playing fetch, scratching his head, yelling at the mailman and being temporarily attracted to a female poodle.
Whilst being able to talk to The Colonel, Dean somehow bonds with him through arguing over classic rock, sharing the enjoyment of sticking his head out of the car window, defending the dog, and working with him to solve the case. Dean also shows care to other dogs who he can also communicate with. After being subject to many complaints from the dogs at the dog home where they found The Colonel, Dean develops sympathy for the animals and releases them from their cages, and they return the favour by ripping apart and killing the villain of the episode.
At the end of the episode, Dean even finds The Colonel an owner or, as he puts it, “a good home, one that you deserve”. This heart to heart with The Colonel also forces Dean to state “I wish we could take you on the road with us but it’s no life for a dog” to which The Colonel agrees, admitting that he gets car sick. Despite this mutual agreement, both dog and hunter confess they’ll miss each other. The spell wears off just before The Colonel gets a chance to reveal to Dean what the “real reason we were put here” for, referring to the reasoning behind dogs being so close to humanity or being “man’s best friend”. This suggests that there is a mysterious purpose for dogs that people do not know about and it could be that the writers touch on this later but this is unlikely.
Despite the fact that Sam and Dean deliberately don’t adopt The Colonel because of their hunting lifestyle, not believing that they could give him adequate care, I believe that, at this moment in time, neither of the brothers would pass down an opportunity to take in a furry friend. In regards to Dean’s “no life for a dog” issue, they could simply just let the dog stay in the bunker whilst they were hunting. Some dogs may even enjoy the adrenaline of a road trip and tracking down monsters. It could turn out that it’s a perfect “life for a dog”.
Number 4: Attack and Guard
This is a fairly obvious one. Sam and Dean’s hunts are brutal, violent and challenging, similar to jobs like policing or soldiering. It is both physically and psychologically demanding, and, as we’ve seen, it takes it’s toll. The stuff the boy’s have done and seen is going to stay with them all their life. So, like police officers, soldiers and firefighters, it could be very helpful if they had an attack dog around.
Like I said at Number 1, dogs have an increased sense of the supernatural, even more so than experienced hunters like Sam and Dean, which would allow the boy’s extra time and insight in order to do their job faster and better. As well as this, they could also train their dog up to help fight off paranormal forces, as seen in “Dog Dean Afternoon”. (I would kill for a dog vs a hellhound fight.) An obedient dog would also be able to guard potential victims from monsters, or even guard prisoners Sam and Dean had captured.
As well as all this violent, guy stuff, dogs are also very therapeutic. It may seem strange but, because Sam and Dean have dealt with so much, they may need a little comfort. It has been scientifically proven that pets can decrease stress levels and help with anxiety and even when the brothers are not talking to each other, a family pet may be just the thing to bring them back together, like Riot did with Sam and Amelia. Additionally, like soldiers and their army dogs, they are not only used for bomb disposal and protection but are also there for companionship. Dogs are sometimes the best to talk to because they don’t answer back. I think the brother’s may have needed that at some points in their lives and in the future.
Number 5: Castiel Approves
Let’s just say, the Winchester’s old angel friend wouldn’t say no to a cute animal wandering around the place; there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Castiel is definitely fond of household pets…
Although he is yet to mention any interests in dogs, I’m sure the dorky guy would be happy with anything.