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Tolkien’s Dogs
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One of the results of the fame Tolkien enjoyed from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was that readers asked his permission to name their pets after characters. To one of them he replied that Bilbo, after Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, seemed a good animal name, and indeed, his own brother had given the hobbit’s full name to his dog, a young animal of “variable behaviour.” The dog was called Bilbo when good and Baggins when bad--he knew the implication of each.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 18: Spring 2002
Wayne G. Hammond is Assistant Librarian in the Chapin Library of Rare Books at Williams College. Christina Scull is the former Librarian of Sir John Soane's Museum in London, England. They wrote J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator and have produced annotated editions of Tolkien's Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham. They are writing a major reference book about Tolkien.
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