Gaspode "The Wonder Dog
" is a character from Terry Pratchett's Discworld
who happens to be a sarcastic talking mongrel
dog. He was born in a small house in Ankh-Morpork
, and soon thereafter was tied up in a sack and thrown in the river
. Seeing as this was the river Ankh (which is so thick with mud, silt, and rubbish that one is more likely to suffocate in it than drown), he was able to crawl away and chew his way out of the sack, but he feels that his life has improved little since this point.
For several years, Gaspode was a typical mangy street dog, with an impressive number of diseases (including Licky End, which is normally only contracted by pregnant sheep) that Gaspode claims are so busy fighting each other, they haven't gotten around to killing him. During the events of Moving Pictures, however, Holy Wood Magic made him a talking dog, with all heroic responsibilities thereof, but none of the charisma or looks. After a few weeks and a brief interdimensional incident, things returned to normal for Gaspode (or what passes for normal). But after rummaging through the rubbish tips at Unseen University one time too many, the residual magic at the university gave him back his intelligence and speaking ability, much to his chagrin.
Even with the influence of Holy Wood magic, most citizens of Discworld are not inclined to believe that a dog can talk. This does have advantages, however, as people still hear Gaspode on a subconcious level, and he can give them short commands (usually 'Give the nice little doggie a biscut or something, wouldya? Woof woof.') And if his fellow street dogs give him any trouble, he can just bark out 'Bad Dog!' and freeze them in their tracks (albiet temporarily).
Supposedly, Gaspode is named after the "famous" Gaspode. The original Gaspode was famous for, upon his master's death, sitting on his master's grave and howling mournfully. This was mostly because his tail was caught under the gravestone, but Discworlders have never been the sort of people to let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Gaspode has played significant supporting roles in Moving Pictures, Men At Arms, and The Fifth Elephant, and plays a major role in The Truth. Around the events of Feet of Clay, Gaspode started hanging out with the beggar Foul Ole Ron, the only person in Ankh-Morpork who smells worse than he does, acting as the first-ever thinking-brain dog.