I got a question the other day, about what dog breed Sam and Saunders in their anthro form is supposed to be.
I started answering the comment, but soon found out it would just end up being a looooong reply... And I thought, as I wrote, that maybe others would be interested in what breed they and their relatives are, as well as Spike's breed, some character origins, how the people (or anthro) in my little fictive universe views their fellow inhabitants, and a bit of history around this whole thing.
Therefore, I'm deciding on writing a journal entry about this.
First of:The different breeds.
Saunders and Sam were originally, when I first created and designed them, supposed to be Golden Retrievers. Thus, they did in fact both have floppy, furry ears just like the Golden has. For some reason, I felt this made the characters look sad, so I changed - I think - Saunders' ears first to stand up just like a Terrier's ears. Sam's ears changed shortly after. I kept this change as I thought it made them look more cheerful, which fit their personalities more.
But their breed didn't change... Years went on, and I didn't concern myself much about the fact that they were Golden Retrievers who looked nothing like Golden Retrievers
I think I didn't fully notice until I decided on working on Saunders' family history and how they looked like.
Saunders has five siblings.
one younger brother, one younger sister, two older twin sisters, and one older brother (who is the oldest of them all, though sadly died when Saunders was still a kid).
'Saunders' is their last name. Saunders' original name is Peter Nevin Caeoimhin Saunders, and was just known as Peter until he met his High School friends; Terrance and Jam, who nicknamed him Saunders (Saunders has a strong dislike for the military, and so Terrance and Jam found it funny to address him like he would be addressed had he been in the army - by his last name).
Saunders' parents are Nathaira MacKinley (mother) and Muirios Caeoimhin Saunders (father). Muirios is an Irish Terrier, and looks a lot like one too. He was a sailor, and was often away at sea for several months at a time. The few times he was home with his family, he would tell his children stories about fighting pirates and all the adventures he'd had at sea. Whether they were true or not, Saunders doesn't know - although he's chosen to believe every word his dear father has told him. Muirios was as great a father as Saunders is, and is in fact Saunders' role model. The only thing Saunders didn't like about his father, was how he was never around.
Saunders was practically raised by his older brother, Kavan. When Kavan wasn't there, Saunders was the oldest boy, and had to raise and look after the younger ones. His older twin sisters weren't all that kind, and didn't help him out at all.
Their mother, Nathaira, dealt with a lot of depression due to not having her husband around and having to cope with feeding and looking after six children, all on her own. She didn't have the energy to look much after them, and handed the responsibility over to her oldest sons. She was a seamstress, and worked at home, but her children would mostly be outside, as they didn't really want to be that much around her. There weren't much love and affection to get from her anyways.
Nathaira's breed is currently unknown, as I actually haven't drawn her yet. I'm guessing she could be a West Highland White Terrier, because of how those dogs look.
Saunders had a crush back home, a Collie named Erin, who was the only daughter of the local blacksmith. When they were older, and Saunders planned on traveling abroad to go to High School, they swore to marry each other when Saunders would return. They gave each other a golden ear ring, which would look less suspicious to their parents than a wedding ring, as neither of their parents would approve of them being together.
Saunders is still wearing that golden ear ring he got from Erin. His other ear ring is from his ex wife, Sasha.
Sasha, is a pure breed Golden Retriever, and proud of it. She was from a rather snobby, and wealthy family. Still, Sasha was more of a rebel in her late teens. When she was 18 years old, she met Saunders. She firstly fell in love with his accent, and the fact that he was a "foreigner". She thought that a one night stand wouldn't lead to anything.
When Sam was born, she was still seeing Saunders, but having a child didn't fit her plan at all. Her parents didn't want anything to do with her and her baby at all since she'd married a scruffy and poor, crossbreed hippie who weren't even from their country..!
Sasha and Saunders were madly in love the first months of Sasha's pregnancy, and married rather quickly. They gave each other golden rings, to put on their ring fingers, not have as ear jewelry. When Sasha left Saunders and Sam later, and after their official divorce, Saunders kept the wedding ring, though had it re-made to an ear ring without Sasha knowing it. She kept her ring too, but only because she could sell it and earn some money on it. Saunders kept it because he was still in love with her.
So that's why Saunders has two ear rings
Sam is a crossbreed. He and Saunders were originally meant to be purebreeds, which would be a contrast to Spike who would be a hybrid (father: wolf. Mother: wolf x Husky).
I've kept saying Spike is a wolf, because he in a way is most part wolf. The dog part of him is very small, but it shows in the way he looks.
Charles and Charles' bother (and Spike's father) Jeremy are wolves, although their parents' were different type of wolves, which made Charles and Jeremy look so different.
Jeremy was also rumored by their neighbors to be a bastard child, because he had heterochromia eyes (different colored eyes; one brown and one blue). Whether that's true or not, their mother never revealed.
So Spike is a wolf, most part. But in a way he's also viewed as a hybrid.
Sam and Saunders are crossbreeds, or 'mutts' as some would be rude enough to call them.
which brings us to: species, crossbreeds and racism.
In my little anthro universe, racism exists like in our human world. There has been wars due to people's differences and other reasons, and there has been attempted an extermination of a certain species.
They have a brutal past, and some of the attitudes of old linger. Some are racists, some are closer to what we will call Nazis, though most anthros in this world are not concerned about these things, and treat people with respect and kindness.
There are some inside jokes about certain species or breeds, like how the canines will make jokes about female Schnauzers, and about how they're rumored to be born with beards that they have to shave the rest of their lives, and how all Poodles are gay. Jokes like these aren't meant to harm anyone, but can be offensive, so they're being said behind the backs of the breeds in question.
In this world, there are several species, but they're grouped into two majors: Predators and Preys (basically Carnivores and Herbivores).
This comes from the ugly part of their past, thousands and thousands of years ago where they were all what we would call 'cannibals'. Felines and Canines hunted down and killed Rodents and other 'weaker' beings that didn't feed on flesh. Now, like then, called Preys.
The Preys hid in other parts of the world, and lived like that for a long while. Tha era is known as the Ancient War. The first 'civilized' war they had, was a lot like our WW2. The Preys had increased in numbers, and were walking among the Predators, which a lot of the Predators didn't like.
This lead to a new type of attempted extinction of the Preys. One can compare it to what happened to the Jewish people in WW2..
In the time when Spike and Sam live, there aren't any wars anymore. Still, a lot of people are rather racist, and with most of the Prey gone, they have grouped the Predators into Canines and Felines. They are the major groups. Reptiles are rare, even rarer than the Prey, now called Rodents or Herbivores. And the Equine race is said to be completely extinct.
With no one around to bully, hate or mock, they turn to each other.
Felines look down on Canines, and Canines see themselves as the strongest species and look down on Felines.
Canine and Feline marriage, is strongly frowned upon. And even within the different groups of Felines and Canines, they have rules for marriage. Unwritten rules that is.
A tiger and a normal cat's child, is a hybrid (or inter-hybrid). Same goes for a wolf and a dog, or a hyena and a dog, etc...
It sort of works like this: what we humans call 'domesticated animals' are the same as 'civilized people' in this anthro wold. 'Wild animas' aren't as civilized as the 'domesticated' ones. So, a dog anthro will say to his or her children about the wolf anthro; "Stay away from the likes of him, or he'll bite you."
Biting, snarling, growling, barking, even meowing or purring or scratching, are things that civilized people just don't do. If you do any of those things, you are looked upon as a dangerous and uncivilized crazy person. Being in touch with your roots, is ugly behavior. One simply does not bite another person. That's the worst thing you could ever do!
Spike bites. He bites, snarls, growls, and has a strong urge to want to howl on several occasions. He doesn't care, and he sees biting as a powerful tool in fights, as it not only harms his opponent greatly, but intimidates them a great deal, causing them to be more careful or even flee.
And fun fact: Lillith can purr, although she hardly does it.
Despite all the racism in this world, there are a lot of the anthros who are what's been commonly known as 'hippies'. They don't care what breed or species you are, whether you're a hybrid or not. They believe that love is love.
Saunders is a good example of one of these 'hippies'. And so is Terrance, even though he's a purebreed. Terrance is even homosexual, which is equally, if not more, frowned upon by some people as it is in our human world. Our human world is getting more and more tolerant to other sexualities, which I think is a great thing! I don't see any reason why gay people shouldn't have equal rights as straight people. But in this anthro world, they're just not there yet. To put it this way: If you're a gay anthro, beware of people with rocks; if they find out you're gay, they'll throw those rocks at you.
So, my anthro universe is based a lot on our human world. Evolution, wars, different beliefs with both positive and negative outcomes. And the past few decades has been - in general - very similar to our world.
I've decided on keeping these worlds to similar, to make it easier to relate to, and to keep it somewhat 'real', as in terms of no dragons and swordsmen and stuff..
I hope this was a somewhat interesting and clarifying (or more confusing?) read.
If you read it all; here, have a cookie.
And let me know what you think