I was speaking with a friend recently and we were talking about dog cartoons – because well, that is how we roll! She actually brought up a cartoon called Courage the Cowardly Dog that was on years ago – and man that brought back some good memories!
The cartoon ran for 4 seasons from 1999 – 2002 and had a total of 52 episodes. It was what we would call a dark comedy that revolved around a dog named Courage who almost seemed human like in many ways.
He lived in the middle of nowhere with his owners Muriel and Eustace Bagge who were elderly farmers – and while Eustace did everything he could to make Courage know he was not liked, Muriel was always there to make Courage feel loved!
The story lines revolve around the every day life of the family that include villains, zombies and sprits that take them on a variety of odd – but scary journeys. If we had to describe the series we would say it is definitely a mix of comedy, fantasy with a touch of drama!
One thing that is a mystery to me is how The Baggee’s came upon Courage? Did they buy him – was he rescued? We will never know for sure, but I am guessing he was a rescue dog!
Why do I think Courage is a rescue dog?
In the show, Courage is absolutely terrified of everything – just like my rescue dog Cleo.
But what is cool is that in the show Courage will muster up all the courage he needs to make sure his family is safe from all the different scary scenarios they find themselves in.
Rescue dogs very often find themselves afraid because of all the turmoil in their lives and with the way Courage is so terrified and uncertain, it is a common thing seen in rescue dogs!
Why this fear can actually be good.
Fear is our way of knowing something is not right. Courage often is fearful of situations where there is in fact danger – if he does not have that fear sense, how will he be able to keep his family safe?
Same with Cleo and most other rescue dogs — they often go through a lot in life, most you may never even know about. So the fear is natural and expected and helps protect them in the event something truly fearful comes her way.
Doing it for love.
Courage goes above and beyond to protect his family – well, mostly Muriel since Eustace is not always the best dad – but he is still part of his family. But he sets aside his fears and devises plans to make sure Muriel and Eustace are safe from all the evil that comes their way.
My girl Cleo is afraid of everyone and everything, but when that doorbell rings or someone walks near the house – she musters up every ounce of strength and confidence she can to let me know someone is there. This is a typical trait of a rescue dog as once they settle in and find comfort and love, they will not want anyone to come in and take that away!
Courage is a small – scared dog and is very much afraid of all strangers. Throughout the show he comes in contact with many people – but his fears make him see them as villains and monsters. Even his own dad seems monstrous at times in the show – this is because of his fear forcing him to see things this way.
I know without a doubt that is how my Cleo feels! Her fear of people has been going on for over 2 years now and although she has improved, I imagine this is how she feels when she meets new people. same with any rescue dog of course, they will feel scared of some of the most common things depending on the environment they grew up on!
My soft spot for Courage
Once I realized just how much Courage seemed like a rescue dog – I was even more drawn to the cartoon! My heart would leap out of my chest for the pain and fear he was feeling when he was protecting his family. And yes, I know this is a cartoon – but I envisioned him as one of the many rescue dogs I have encountered over the years – real hearts beating and racing from fear.
Get the Courage the Dog series
You can purchase the full Courage the Dog series on DVD on Amazon – or just by single seasons as well. They also offer the series on demand on their Prime platform. If you know someone who loves dogs – and loves this dark kind of humor, it is a perfect collectors gift with all 52 episodes included.
The Shadow of Courage Episode
This may be my favorite episode – although they are all great! It is about a shadow that scares Courage and he tries really hard to tell is owners that there is someone in the house and something bad is going to happen. Eustace and Muriel listen and go to see what is going on but do not see anything to be concerned about, and because they are mad at Courage now they decide to lock him in the attic.
When Courage escapes the attic and tries to tell them again, this time Eustace gets mad and tries to hurt Courage, but Muriel says no way and decides to lock Eustace in the attic instead.
This evil shadow that has been scaring Courage is now playing tricks on Eustace too causing him to flee the scary attack and try to strangle Courage, who he thinks is the shadow. Muriel again saves the day by hitting Eustace with the rolling pin so he does not hurt Courage.
Finally, Courage jumps on the computer to find advice on how to get rid of the shadow and the computer tells him to either talk to the shadow nicely or move out of the house.
Courage was not leaving his home – so he did what he had to do and saved the day!
Imagine a new rescue dog in a new home hearing all new sounds and shadows! Can you imagine how terrifying that would be? I think that is why I am drawn to this episode.
Moral of this story: Even when terrified beyond belief and when his owners did not believe him, Courage persevered past his fears to do what he needed to do to save his family! Never give up!
This fun show was very popular and was also nominated for several awards including:
Annie Awards – 2000 Winner
Motion Picture Sound Editors, Golden Reel Award – 2001 Winner
Motion Picture Sound Editors, Golden Reel Award – 2003 Nominee
Motion Picture Sound Editors, Golden Reel Award – 2000 Nominee
Where You Can Watch It
If you are interested in seeing Courage the Cowardly Dog you can get it on Amazon Prime or on Boomerang. You can also by the full series in the link above if you would like a DVD set.
Unfortunately, we could not find a place to watch it for free, there are some short clips on Youtube though.