So This Is Christmas

Oh and you have a present coming up, but it’s not ready yet! But since it’s Christmas I’ll tell you what it is: A bonus prose story called “All The King’s Men” which will be talking about King’s first foray into the world of dogs with Fox guiding him. Merry Christmas guys!

And also there will be an epilogue Monday so you have some closure on the other things.


Discussion (292) ¬

  1. Foxstar

    Merry Christmas to all you folks out there from your ‘loving’ mod.

    …yes, I know, abuse of power, blah blah blah.

    • Bloo-Doggie

      Not fair…..anyway Merry Christmas right back at you!!! :D

    • Frank

      Merry Christm… wait, posting at 10 PM? What kind of power do you wield? Particularly over Rick, who can post at 8 PM?

    • GameCobra

      Abuse of power put in the right hands, that’s for sure.

      /salute

  2. Rukral

    Merry Christmas Rick, and all Housepets fans!

  3. Teh Brawler

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!
    ….poor King :P

    • Thoth

      True enough. I was kind of hoping for some major element of choice in there though. Joel/King – I suppose just King from now until further notice – has been more or less passively towed around through most of his appearances. I can’t really say that either blowing his top in response to severe provocation or taking care of Sasha were exactly major decisions for him.

  4. Dissension

    Just as I suspected. xD Pete is a jerk, yay!

  5. slacks315

    XD! Great Christmas gift to king. More shots and the realization that he may never be human again. Looks like Sasha had a pleasant snuggle though.

    Merry Christmas everybody!

    • Teh Brawler

      Bad for him, wonderful for us :D

      • Frank

        It’s also bad for the local law enforcement’s reputation: They’ll never find the one person who managed to escape custody without leaving any evidence they broke out of the courthouse

    • Frank

      Though you got to admit, King’s expression of this ralization is absoloute greatness

      • slacks315

        Indeed it is

  6. Two_Twig

    A very Merry Christmas to everyone!
    I wonder what will happen on New Years…

  7. nightroxas67

    merry christmas everyone and he sounds like a fortune cookie o-o

  8. Snowmon

    Merry Christmas!
    See he is a Jerk. THANK RICK! King gets to stay!
    (Not that I’m too surprised. Everyone loves King too much for Rick to let him go.)

    • Rukral

      Yep, he’s quickly beome a fan-favourite. Go King!

    • Snowmon

      Not to mention, Pete never said that he was trying to teach him a lesson. He said “the cycle must stop.” King assumed everything else.

      • Frank

        Well, he seems to have dropped the assumption that this is all a dream (though if it is, I’d like an explanation on how Pete worked a plan Bino had over a year ago into a dream for King)

        It would be funny, though, if he ends up learning something about Solar Power, exactly as he had assumed

  9. John

    Lovey dovey! O.o

  10. Thoth

    Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is that Pete, with a birds head on a human body, manages to look rather silly.

    Ah well, that still leaves things wide open for speculation about motives.

    • Frank

      He’s a mythological creature! he can look however he likes!
      – Paraphrased from Dead Man’s Chest

    • Darcin

      Personally, I think he uses some sort of advanced dart-board technology for selecting his projects.

      • Justice193

        you know, I’ve known people that actually did that…

        • Darcin

          …Did it actually work for them?

          • Thoth

            Well, if you’ve got several of rougly similar urgency and scale, there are worse systems. At least it makes a decision fast.

  11. Snowmon

    FRYING PAN TO THE FACE.
    Merry Christmas.

    • Snowmon

      BAM.
      As if a cookie pan stands a chance to counter properly.

      • Snowmon

        he said in a ridiculously fake japanese dub.

      • Snowmon

        Whoops sorry BIno…
        No wait…
        *Takes off glasses*
        No I’m not.

    • Cannon Fodder

      Ha you activated my trap card
      Mirror Force

      Also my Christmas is great, cuz everything turned out actually pretty good.

      • Snowmon

        Counter Trap Dark Deal!
        Effect is negated but you get to draw a card.

      • Snowmon

        But it was my turn, you cheat!
        Throws coal. but slips. Epic fail.
        Asleep till morning.

      • Snowmon

        Just so you know, I didn’t get anything. Well, except a Crock Pot and a couple of books.



        Come back here with those!!!!

      • Cannon Fodder

        I’ll trade you your crock pot for 87 jars of mayonnaise.
        (I bet nobody here can guess that reference)

      • HowlingAcres

        Actually Cannon, Its 187 jars of mayonnaise… and its from RvB >P

  12. rWolf1991

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
    Oh ya tomorrow you have to back to the Vet.
    So funny

    • Frank

      Of course he is! Why do you think it’s called boxing day? Because you’re put in a “box” and taken to the vet!

      • Nohbody

        I thought it was called that because you wanted to punch your Aunt Louise dead in the face for yet another “gift” of a pack of socks or some hideously eye-searing tie that’s wide enough to land jumbo jets…

        :P

  13. Loki Impisi

    I would say Pete’s a Jerk with a heart of gold. It’s very likely that king would enjoy being a dog more than being human in time. So Pete did king a favor.

  14. Ruduen

    Bam. So much for cheer, huh?

    Ah, well. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all that jazz.

    Enjoy whatever you’re celebrating, folks!

  15. redwolfmatt

    xD…. words fail me

  16. DZ

    Aw jeez, the look on King/Joel’s face. I bet that moustache is hiding a terrible grin.

  17. Majin-Wolf

    Merry Christmas everyone!!! Enjoy your forever lasting dog hood King lol!! :D

  18. Keeshah

    Watch out king! yous going to get fixed!!

    • slacks315

      eeps. Now talk about a bad christmas.

      • Rukral

        Maybe for King, but this is a great Christmas present for us! Thanks Rick!

        • Rukral

          The great present being King staying a dog, not getting fixed :P
          Looking at the top I realized how it can be misunderstood xD

          • slacks315

            Ya the staying a dog part is great. :)

    • Caleb

      Don’t you dare Pete.

      • Frank

        Why? you think that will deter Sasha?

        • Rukral

          Well, maybe she’ll want to have King’s puppies instead of Fido’s.

      • Keeshah

        Pete would dare! oh yes he would dare, an it would be jerkish, seeing as King just made a girlfriend.

        • Loki Impisi

          ONL-THEN-WHA-A-NO-YE-*Bluescreen*

    • Argent Stonecutter

      Don’t even suggest it! o_O

  19. CSutra

    So who else is hoping the New Year’s strip includes King getting a New Year’s smooch from Sasha? X3 Or is Rick gonna save that one for Valentines?

  20. rWolf1991

    The hat is magic!!!!

    • Frank

      So we looked, and we saw him,
      he stepped on the mat!
      So we looked, and we saw him,
      the griffin in the hat!

      (with appologies to Theodor Geisel)

  21. Darcin

    While it’s a little bizarre seeing Griffin Pete’s head on Gaspar Pete’s body, it seems he’s able to maintain his usual charm/warped morality/hilarious cruelty regardless. Yay!

    A great end to a great storyline. Good job, Rick!

  22. wingedwolfgirl

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!1!!!
    :3

  23. Caleb

    Merry Christmas everyone. And thankfully it looks like king is here to stay for a while at least. But I still don’t think we’ve seen the last of Joel

  24. Cerberus

    That was a fun arc. The up and down rollarcoaster called life is always the funest to observe. I wonder how Fox, Bino, and the rest of the dogs at the party are going to be like the next time they’re with King?

    Happy Holidays Everyone.

    • Darcin

      I imagine Bino will still make jokes about King’s stature. He doesn’t strike me as the “learn from your mistakes” sort.

      • Cerberus

        Yea the same here. But then what about the other dogs, or even Grape. Cuz im just about willing to bet that Peanut went back and told her all about it. That’ll be fun.

    • slacks315

      Bino was probably hit, but I guess Fox never came to the rescue to invite the others to a sleep over.

      • Thoth

        Too bad really, I was kind of hoping that Fox would try and check.

        • slacks315

          He might’ve. Always the possibility he saw Sasha comforting him and decided to leave the two alone. Thinking they were just getting better acquainted instead of being locked out.

      • Keeshah

        someone brought them newspapers to wrap up in.. there were none blowing around on the street for them to grab up.

        • Thoth

          No, but there would be plenty near doors and in boxes; somehow I don’t think that King would hesitate to swipe some vacationer’s newspaper.

  25. Frank

    So that means Pete’s whole “being a bit of a Jerk” act is because his head isn’t screwed on quite right? Or could it be, perhaps, because his shoes are too tight?

  26. Rider098

    Ah, there is the “jerk” part of Pete that we have been waiting for! I can only wander how King will live out the rest of his life… will he accept being a dog or will he find some way to return to being human? If anything else I’m sure he would turn back at juuust the right awkward moment! Merry Christmas Rick and all and happy new year!

    • slacks315

      The question for me is if he will confide in others that he used to be human.

      • Frank

        And the first thing they’ll probably point out is that “King” isn’t a very human name.

        “That’s because my name has never been “King”; my name is King!”

        • Justice193

          no wait, I remember it, it’s on the tip of my tongue… jo-…. jo-…. king? joking? no, that can’t be it… ahh, what was it??? XD

          • Justice193

            ok, I know, old, sorry, I’ll stop… for now :P

    • Darcin

      Well, Pete didn’t say he wouldn’t ever change Joel back, just that he wasn’t going to do it right now. Whether he does it once he feels King has grown enough or if things just get boring for him, who knows?

    • Ada

      Quote: [If anything else I’m sure he would turn back at juuust the right awkward moment!]

      Oh gawd. He’ll turn back into Joel right when he’s kissing Sasha. Extra prison time. XD

  27. Cat-Lover Cross

    and my post just got the moderation tag again. Is there a list as to what it moderates or what?

    • Foxstar

      Depends on what’s in the post. It catches a fair amount of stuff that /b/ and other folks might use, such as memes and whatnot.

      • Frank

        Does this mean we won’t be allowed to mention sun
        glasses in the future?

    • Thoth

      If it happens to all of them, perhaps it’s the second word in your name?

    • Frank

      I think I alraeady told you how mentioning Herman Melville resulted in one of my comments never being posted. You didn’t include any wierd homonyms like that one, did you?

      A good number of hyperlinks also blocks it, but I really haven’t found anything else

  28. HYBRIDcreature

    Well i still can’t figure out Pete, he’s talking about teaching and stuff, and while being a little harsh in methods he doesn’t look like a jerk to me (he does look like jerk for King though). Hmm, just gave me an idea (i maybe a slowpoke though) maybe Tarot had a similair encounter with Pete.
    Yeah, Merry Christmas everyone! Hmm, offtopic a bit, how long are the winter holidays in countries where Christmas is celebrated on December, 25. In Russia we celebrate New Year, Christmas on 7th of January, and holidays are until the 10th.

    • Thoth

      Well, squashing the hopes of someone who’s already depressive, traumatized, and emotionally fragile is pretty cruel.

      It’s not like substituting the phrase “not just yet anyway” for “whoever said anything about changing you back” – or possibly producing a cup of something hot and saying “Merry Christmas” – after the “I’m real proud of you” would have cost Pete anything or changed anything – but it would have been a lot easier on King.

  29. jack

    King should have invited Sasha into his house…. the snow is cold. Even for a dog.

  30. James319

    LOL i think i heard those morals before :3 Y-you mean theres a chance he could be like that….forever?!?!……AWESOME! ME NEXT! XD oh and Merry Christmas To Rick Griffin and all of HousePets

  31. Tibarus

    They really do make a cute couple, I hope something comes of it.

    • slacks315

      I sure hope so, maybe something for the new years, or valentines day.

  32. Dart

    Awww poor King. He’s got to go to the vet tomorrow. Hope it isn’t anything too serious.

    • Dart

      Oh and Merry Christmas/ Late Hanukkah/ Early Kwanzaa/ any other holiday that I missed.

  33. Noah

    Yeah Pete is a “jerk” alright :P

  34. D

    I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! King will not be leaving the building any time soon… That has been THE best webcomic christmas gift ever.

    • D

      Oh, I forgot. Merry Christmas to you all, specially to Rick Griffin and Lourdes Macluf. Oh, oh and merry christmas to Arturo Lopez Reverte too. And Stephen King… and Sam Savage… and the guys responsible for the Palacio de Hierro comercials…

    • Frank

      Uh, how are we supposed to read you’re comment? Like a little girl saying the same thing over and over again? (e.g. “daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy…”) or with a different emphasis every time? (“I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knewit!” etc)

  35. D

    I usually don’t do this kind of comments, but: for the first part, nah Pete doesn’t deserve to be transformed into pul, and for the second one: Amen brtoher!!! and merry christmas to you too.

    • D

      My bad: Pete doesn’t deserve to be reduced into a pulp, or transformed, whatever, you understood the comment… right???

      • Frank

        Anyone know why D’s comment always shows up as last on my computer, despite having been posted at 1:14 CST?

        • Justice193

          I’ve seen that happen before, but it’s not doing it now… it’s in the right spot on my computer :)

  36. brostudios

    I think there is still more havoc that Pete will unleash, judging by Tarot’s language. I really have no idea why Pete was even drawn to messing with Joel in the first place. I am really interested to see where Rick is going to take this story. Perhaps Pete and Tarot had a previous encounter and Tarot will tell Pete to stop messing with people and they will have a magic showdown?

    • Thoth

      That has been an open question all along – why is this apparently ancient magical entity, seemingly now loose in the world for the first time in many centuries, messing about with one solitary person? And not even an influential one, but just a cranky animal-rights activist?

      • slacks315

        /1899/Because Joel was supposed to be the chosen one. He was supposed to bring balance to the force. Not Destroy it.

        also Pete is his father.

        • Thoth

          I knew “I am your father” would appear once I asked why… I must be coming down with precognition. I’ll have to look at lots of hot tea leaves and sink into a trance until I get over it now.

          • Justice193

            … you’re supposed to look at those things? I just drink them, they’re the tastiest part :p

            I think King just… want’s to be unpredictable… and that’s all he’ll ever be… predictable to some point after he does something, but otherwise, you may want to get an anti magic suit of +10 if you want to be certain your life isn’t going to be messed with.

          • Thoth

            Uhm… would that be “Pete” and not “King”? I’m not quite sure how to interpret that the other way.

  37. Thoth

    Not really. Pete has been needlessly cruel unless we assume that Grape and Peanut’s treatment is extremely abnormal and that Pete has some reason for wanting King to experience the limitations of being a dog – which he already knew about anyway.

  38. Ada

    *Giggles.* Awesome! King makes a better pet anyway!
    Merry Christmas, Mistah Griffin!

    • Frank

      Aha! so you like the idea of having a pet able to help himself frmo the fridge and use the bathroom!

      • Thoth

        Well it would make them easier to care for – presuming that Pete has loosened up and lets King do either of those things.

  39. JuniorMint

    …and the world just keeps right on s—–g on Joel! Er, I mean King, I suppose.

    Kind of saw this coming, since his human form is sort of a wanted criminal and all.

    For a guy whose response – in HIS OWN hour of need – was to reach out to comfort another soul, the guy sure cannot catch a break.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, I GUESS

    • Thoth

      Especially considering that being a dog takes about thirty years off his life expectancy.

      • JuniorMint

        OH MAN I DIDN’T EVEN -THINK- OF THAT

        okay. So he’s basically a hostage, he’s transformed in a way that may or may not have a point, he’s alienated his entire social network except the crazy/stupid girl, he can’t even -talk- about what’s happened to him, and now he’s going to die in about 12 years. OH AND ALSO YOU’RE GETTING LIKE 15 SHOTS.

        If you need me i’ll be whimpering under the coffee table :(

        • Noir the Sable

          Mod Edit-No more fixing jokes.

  40. Fuzzypaws

    I didn’t mention it before but this is quite the beautiful background. :)

  41. Caleb

    While I admit I do enjoy seeing King in this comic I personally hope he turns back into Joel just not to soon. I’m an avid fan of transformation and I enjoy seeing how King responds to various situations. But Joel was born human and I feel he should eventually return to being human just not until this comic is ether over or a few months till it’s over. And I personally I don’t see Pete doing anything other than torturing someone for his own amusement and calling it teaching when he learns something on his own. If he was a little nicer to King and actually showed he cared in some way beyond basic pet ownership I might see it different.

    I mean how much effort would it take to at least pet king once and a while. And is an allowance that expensive every other pet has one.

    • Thoth

      Well, it’s quite possible that Pete simply has some special connection with the area, and therefore wants to live in Babylon Gardens – where he’d be conspicious without a pet.

      In that case he might just have transformed Joel as a prop and for his own amusement.

      After all, a griffin is tradationally a large predator, and – like most such – can be quite cruel. I’d prefer there to be a point, but it’s quite possible that Pete doesn’t have one even if something develops on it’s own.

      • Frank

        That’s not a bad idea, making Pete still have to stay near the temple. Maybe he cannot be truly free? (sort of like the Genies of old: limitless power, but bound to their lamps)

  42. Frank

    I think only two characters have actually had a beating in this comic: Bino (being whacked with a pan by Grape) and Joel (being punched in the face by Jake) I think the thing is, unless you’re Chuck Jones, it isn’t that easy to correctly build up the moment before a stroke of violence, and have it be funny

    • Keeshah

      Grape slapping Peanut, after he sat still an obey’ed the vet, an got a lolipop reward

  43. falconfox01

    Ouch!

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  44. Legendario 777

    WOW.
    Where I am at , it’s only 3 AM, and I have lost counted the number of comments prior to this one.
    WOW.
    This strip is BETTER than I had expected !!!!!!

  45. Legendario 777

    OUCH !!!!!

  46. Uhm

    Uhm,
    is the comic for King now?
    where are peanut and jelly?
    :(

    • HYBRIDcreature

      It’s not all about those two really. Every arc is devoted to some of the characters. This one resolves around King and his transformation (and his relations with others dogs). The next probably will resolve around Grape and Pete.

  47. Frank

    Can, can, can you do the can-can?
    Can you have a Merry Christmas?
    If I can have one can’t you have one too?
    can can-can can!

    Sorry, just thought the “if you can” sounded funny

  48. Legendario 777

    Yep. Someone noticed.

  49. Legendario 777

    Pete just dropped the BOMB !

  50. sunnifox

    king is going to die in his butt as well as grape and penut did

  51. Silenvo

    Poor King. I can see a lot of …Sadness.. for his future.. But at the same time, I think hes been given a gift he lacks to see as such. Hmm. This Comic piece Seems to have.. “Sealed the deal” with Dream .Vs. Real, Although.. At the same time. It doesn’t necessarily prove Anything. It may still be a dream, Speculations… Speculations… Well! Enough of that.

    I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy Merry Christmas.

    • Thoth

      It’s too far along for a “Just a dream now I suspect. It’s been too long to make it a satisifying story and too many relationships and other characters have gotten involved.

      Trying to basically erase all that would leave entirely too many readers lost or irritated and would probably be bad storytelling – and I don’t think that Rick is headed for bad storytelling.

      • Silenvo

        Actualy.. There is a Way you could Continue a Dream-story Telling. .. Infact … there is always a way to turn anything into a dream, as Dreams can be anything… Also.. This entire thing could actualy have a lot of people dreaming the same dream at the same time.. Still. That doesn’t necessarily mean it IS or ISN’T a dream. Just that some things like.. property destruction or perhaps some items bought/sold.. May have not actualy undergone such Transactions. lol .. and i babble about what dreams can be like.. Well. Honestly though. the “back door dream” event is unlikely.. Since only a few people tend to invoke such large dream sequences.. .. *looks around* .. uhh.. Carry on.

        • Thoth

          Oh, it’s always possible. The entire comic could end in some character who’s never been seen before – or a photograph of the author waking up – with a caption that says “Now THAT was a weird dream!” – it’s just that it would be pretty unsatisfying storytelling, and I doubt that Rick would do it.

  52. DagonarX

    Happy Christmas =3 ,Rick and all of you.

    I think King learnt the meaning of Christmas (or something) , good arch, but he’s gonna suffer DX

    • DagonarX

      I’m also wondering were did Peanunt and Grape went the whole comic, seems like we’re going to have around in the neighborhood and were are the “Milton” wolves? Too many questions DX.

      • Thoth

        I’m kind of presuming that a lot of loose ends will start being tied together at some point.

        • HYBRIDcreature

          Still some should be left and remembered lately. Rick is very good at this stuff)

  53. Islefox

    Heh heh. Nice twist and realization for King. :) Yip!
    Looking forward to the new arch as well as the bonus material I was hoping for. Yip!
    Nice all around Rick. Yip!

    • Islefox

      Oh yeah, Happy Holidays to everyone. Yip!

  54. King's Cradle

    O.o I probably should have seen that coming. On the plus side, he’s really, really, really, REALLY cute as a puppeh….

  55. Axle

    Well, seems to me like he’s learnt more than he thinks, though why he’d want to change back now is beyond me :3

    • Thoth

      Oh I don’t know…

      1) Still trying to help pets (reason for Joining PETA since it’s the only animal-rights group that would take him, making sure Sasha stays warm) – check.

      2) Still inclined to lash out verbally when upset (complaining at Fatty about the kidnaping, upsetting the police dogs – now exploding at the Good Ol Dogs Club) – check.

      3) Still not looking ahead or examining what he’s gotten into (joining PETA without investigating, not really thinking about what Pete’s told him) – check.

      4) Still inclined to say whatever he thinks no matter how impolitic it may be (to Fatty, to the police dogs, and now to Pete) – check.

      5) Still getting towed around by others putting up nothing but verbal resistance (first Fatty, now Pete) – check.

      6) Still in a lot of emotional pain (kidnaping story, on the steps before Fox came along, the current strip) – check.

      7) Can be temporarily cheered up by someone being nice to him (there’s no earlier example, but that’s pretty normal for anyone, in this arc it was Fox) – check.

      8) Still trusting unwisely and being abused for it (PETA and Fatty, now Bino) – check.

      9) Used to be younger and happier (a near-universal condition) – check.

      10) Has a lot to be nervous about (being involved with a crime/the police, now being property, vets, people or pets finding out who he used to be, getting back to human, short life expectancy, etc) – check, and rather a downhill step in a lot of ways.

      11) Has picked up Fox as a friend (there was no real indication of his having any friends – or enough social contact to recognize that Fatty was insane – as a human) – a plus here. Enough to make up for #10? Perhaps.

      12) Seems to have traded “unhappy” for “major depression” (he certainly wasn’t too pleased with the world as Joel, now we’ve had the scene on the steps just before Fox’s arrival as King) – a bit downhill there.

      13) Major loss of privileges (as Joel, being put in jail – at least twice. As King… can’t eat what he wants, can’t go where he wants, no rights, no way to support himself, cut off from any friends or family he did have, property, no current confidants, has even had his name taken away) – check.

      14) Transitory pains (as human, being punched in the face, as King shots and nausea from astral jumps). This is a wash – life always has it’s minor pains – check.

      King has learned something; he’s not going to be human again anytime too soon and he belongs to someone who has a lousy bedside manner.

      What he’d really need to deal with would be 3, 5, and 8 – and those all still apply.

      • Thoth

        Confounded autosmilies. I keep forgetting that boards tend to turn items on numbered lists into smilies.

  56. ndigit

    Wow. Pete IS a huge jerk. wth.

    • ilikepie

      My thoughts exactly. We were given warning but still… what a jerk.

      • Justice193

        yeha I was hoping on the being human again thing too, but for slightly selfish reasons, and while he may still yet become a human again at some distant point in the future (possibly never) it’s highly unlikely… I’m still waiting for him to slip up enough for someone to figure out what he is though XD.

  57. Feather

    Oh now thats just mean! King looks absolutely crushed. I think I cried!
    I wonder if they’ll be any pet birds in the neighborhood, probably not, birds are alot smaller then cats and dogs.

    • HYBRIDcreature

      Well parrots are talking in RL so they may happen to be housepets too.

      • Thoth

        Well, the ones in the zoo were threatening to unionize if cats were admitted to the aivery. Ergo, they talk.

  58. Cat-Lover Cross

    EDIT: It’ll be a shame id King can’t be human again. This will look more like a life sentence than a temporary lesson.

  59. TallenMF

    While Pete is really acting like a jerk to king, you can’t deny he looks really kind and helpful in panels six through seven.

  60. Kurastwolf

    King does make a nice Corgi…

    Last corgi I saw was fat.

    And I mean fat corgi, not “corgis already look fat with their short legs”.

    His stomach dragged on the ground on some days.

    Was hilarious.

    Happy Holidays

  61. Angelkitt

    I think King is cutter as a puppy anyways…

  62. Pvt Ssellur

    Hey Rick, You need to design a wall paper of King and Sasha for right before Kind opens his eyes. It would be Cute as hell.

  63. Shiftfox

    Wait… we get to keep King?

    • Keeshah

      Mod Edit-ENOUGH jokes about getting fixed.

      • Thoth

        Thank you oh mighty moderator.

  64. Phife

    I personally like king. I am looking forward to today’s story!

  65. Robby the Perv

    Kings going to be a fun secondary character now!
    But the Griffin man never said he ‘Wouldn’t change him back’ either~
    Or any other character for that matter~

    • Thoth

      Pete isn’t necessarily honest either.

      After all, he could still turn around, say “but I don’t want to pay the bill!”, snap his magic fingers, and change King back to Joel.

      Or, for that matter, into a statue, a breakfast omelet, or into the form of someone high up in PETA who could start reforming the group.

      That is the trouble with characters with undefined powers and motives. They’re handy for the plots – but there’s really no way to anticipate what they might do, so they’re not as much fun to speculate about.

      • Justice193

        yeah… we all hate him to some degree, me mostly for that reason, you can’t predict a freeloaders next move, especially when there is nothing anyone could offer him that he couldn’t get himself… the bright side is that he seems to understand his power (ie: not power hungry)

        • Thoth

          Oh I don’t hate him – It’s just that there’s so little hard information on him, and – with the magical powers – so many possibilities – that speculation and analysis are both fairly useless. Pete could do or be virtually anything at this point, and what fun is trying to predict that?

        • HYBRIDcreature

          Pretend Bino with such powers D:

          • Thoth

            Ah well, if Bino had those powers he probably wouldn’t be nearly so paranoid and insecure…

            On the other hand, if he just acquired those powers…

            Perhaps that is how the world ends!

  66. overzen

    I think I prefer Pete in his ‘Gasper’ form, the mustache is just fantastic! Oh, and I think I prefer Joel in his ‘King’ form as well. But then again, I’m pretty sure a lot of readers do. ;)

    Merry Christmas!

  67. SaavyJones

    hahaha, good for King & Pete, they’ll be fun to have around the neighborhood!

  68. Lycanthrope

    It may have already been said (too busy this morning to read through all comments) but I get the feeling the thread title “It’s a Dog’s LIFE” may have just taken on new significance for King. This path he is on may have no branches.

    Merry Christmas Rick and everyone.

  69. Cat-Lover Cross

    He might ask Tarot’s spirits to branch out for him. :)

  70. Noir the Sable

    And Sasha simply sleeps, happy and oblivious…

    xD Merry Christmas to ya, Rick, as well as anyone else who celebrates it! (Happy Holidays otherwise!)

    • Spirit of the Wolf

      ‘Twas probably a deep sleep induced by Pete so Sasha wouldn’t see his actual form.

      • Thoth

        And (hopefully) being comfortably warm.

  71. The game

    Did pete’s head, like shrink kind of?????
    And please don’t change King back to a human!!
    Panel 7 King has a super super shocked look, way cute!!
    And King is learning!!! Yay!!!!
    Merry Christmas!!!!

    • The game

      Also, is that how they spend their Christmas????
      Is the the end of the arc????

  72. Spirit of the Wolf

    … D’aaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww. King-x-Sasha anyone?

    Merry Christmahaunnakwanzika to all.

    • Justice193

      I still do not support this idea, but whatever happens, it better involve plenty of laughs :P .

    • BlueAnubis

      well, The Game obviously is one vote for it. And King is a lot nicer than Bino, and they are cute together… We’ll see.

  73. IonOtter

    @Lycanthrope: All lives have branches along the path. What is not always present is the ability to see them, or the will to take them.

    • Thoth

      Hm. falling – rocks coming up – splat.

      Sometimes there are branches.

      • Indagare

        Yes, but what lead you to the point of falling and splatting on the rocks could have changed beforehand.

        • Justice193

          like building a glider? :D

        • Thoth

          Which still would not provide a choice now. Most people do not get to change the past.

          • Justice193

            well you know, depending on how far you’ve climbed, you may still have time to salvage some of what’s left/ grow a set of wings, and stop the fall… unless you’re already at rock bottom, in which case the far isn’t really that far… but believe it or not, I don’t think king’s hit it yet, there is still worse that could happen to him… in my eyes, he’s flying, he just has a fear of heights :P

          • Justice193

            the *fall isn’t that far… sorry, that was just bugging the hell out of me

  74. Pokeblue

    Aw, they look so cute together.

    Guess we’ll have to see if King decides to continue as a dog all on his own. Also, Merry Christmas!

  75. Rooth

    Awesome show, Rick. What an eye-opener for King. Maybe he’ll actually absorb his perspective instead of treating it like some trick. And thanks in advance for the Christmas present you’re working on. :)

  76. Valerio

    Well, looks like the neighbourhood just gained some new hothead.
    At least, there is still hope for King+Sasha and that is good.
    And Bino may have discovered someone sincerely ready to kick his butt. Even Better :D
    Merry Christmas, gang!

  77. Drakkon

    Not reconciling this whole “Pete is really a big jerk.” thing with the current storyline. I think he’s kinda cool.

  78. Mattes

    Aaaahhh Sasho looks so happy in the last panel :3

    • Mattes

      curses I mean Sasha

      • The game

        Sasho???

        • Rags

          Gesundheit.

  79. Ace

    Heh, I can see both the “Pete is a jerk” and the “Pete is nice” sides of the spectrum in one day’s strip. And to be fair, Pete never said he’d change Joel/King back to a human…

    • Justice193

      wishfull thinking, there were two groups of viewers, the ones that wanted to see some progress in the problems that face pets, and teh ones that would prefer to see that more slowly played out… despite the fact that I sit in the first category, I prefer the second one’s methodology, I just don’t like the risks in it as much, but then again, that could definatly mean many, many more laughs :D … I like fences.. maybe I’ll just sit on it from now on and not care either way XD

      • Thoth

        Hm… actually, I tend to like psychological development. The world background is inevitably going to have holes in this kind of strip, but the characters personalities and personal backgrounds can be quite fascinating – so interesting personal developments, more details about the character’s backgrounds, and interesting situations are my favorite items.

        Ergo my Character Dossier game over in the forums. Too bad it’s not getting more speculative responses, although there have been a few suggestions and requests through private messaging.

        Progress in the world and larger goals are nice too – but given those inevitable background flaws, they’re always going to be a bit iffy.

    • BlueArmy

      Again, If you wish to discuss and debate further on whether Joel should remain King, you’re welcome to do so in the forums: http://www.housepetscomic.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=226

  80. Justice193

    Ahh, that’s why he stoped, Christmas night. he probably figured since he hadn’t learned anything yet, that this was it… tough luck buttercup, and while I now stand corrected in him being changed back in the near future, I wonder what he’s going to do from here… Anyone else see another quick bought of depression? Maybe someone questioning why he’s so sensitive?… even eventually trying to figure out a way to expose Pete?…

    Ok, maybe not that last one; it currently wouldn’t make any sense… that can only happen after he starts working on Thoth’s #5 :P .

    • Argent Stonecutter

      I think I was right: King’s going to stay a dog, and with human experience and understanding he’s going to start REALLY organizing the pets.

      • Thoth

        Well, that was one of the earlier speculations. Should be fun either way…

  81. BGs

    Pete is really like a tutor with all his proverbs.
    7th panel In Chinese proverds say: 「千里之行使於足下」「師父領進門,修行在個人」

    • Argent Stonecutter

      A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step?

      • Thoth

        Honestly, I thought it was a bit more of a fortune-cookie approach. Pete may not actually be very good at relating to humans.

        “Changes take time and work” is about as generic as you can get, and saying “Good for you” just after King said “even IF I was going to change I wouldn’t know where to start” really isn’t saying much.

        • Argent Stonecutter

          “Pete may not actually be very good at relating to humans.”

          Yeh, it could simply be that he’s one of those wacky deities who screw up people’s lives even when they have good intentions, like the Monkey King or Coyote.

  82. Squival

    hehe have fun King, be nice if he could stay that way but am happy to see which way it will go :)

    Merry xmas as well

  83. Wolfspawn

    I would be happy in his paws :P Awesome to explore the world as a dog!

  84. hennessyvenom

    Sasha looks too happy for having just slept outside in the cold and snow

  85. WolvenPaw

    I just thought of something…..Maybe Pete is a good guy and Tarot is the bad one in disguise

    • WolvenPaw

      If you think about it hard It makes sense I mean Grape did have that weird feeling about Tarot and plus Tarot uses Witchcraft I’m not saying withcraft is Evil but usually people who use it are portrayed that way excluding Pheobe Piper Page and Pru….>.> <.< Yeah I watch Charmed what of it…

  86. Weaver

    So, King’s stuck that way for a while, it seems? I was kind of hoping he’d get to be human again eventually, but by the looks of things that’s not going to happen for a while yet, if it ever happens.

    Let’s hope he at least learns the difference between good friends (Fox) and trouble (Bino), and that you don’t have to hide from the whole world just because someone abused you today.

  87. Charlie

    I knew Pete was a huge jerk (literally, at times) but he seems to be a jerk with a heart and a motive. This is a really good holiday-themed arc, in my little, unknown guest opinion.

  88. Zoe

    I want to know more about Joel/King’s pets and him! It sounds like an amazing, sad story flashback and his dog looks SO awesome. he reminds me of one of those velvet blue great danes, I am really appreciating the depth of characterization and story that is beginning to take root in this comic. You’re balancing out pretty well, and I love your emotions. Keep it up!

    • Thoth

      Well, the currently-available information on that is compiled in the Character Dissier thread over on the forums.

  89. RockstarRaccoon

    So, whatever happened to Tarot, Peanut, Grape, etc trying to stop this guy? Didn’t we establish that despite his benevolent meaning, he’s actually a possibly dangerous egomaniac? (I’m assuming that’s what Tarot meant by “Jerk” and “Beginning of the End”)

    • Thoth

      Last reference was the bit about Tarot telling Grape and Peanut not to worry about it.

      Sadly, there really isn’t enough information on Pete yet to reach any solid conclusions.

      • WolvenPaw

        Read my above comment
        Like I said I think Tarot is the evil one with another supporting detail she rants trying to stop Pete from getting freed but now that it haa happend she says don’t worry about it? Very Fishy if you ask me and not in a good way

        • Thoth

          We did read it.

          First up, Tarot is never described as “using witchcraft”. If anything, she would fall under “Medium” or “Psychic” based on the abilities she’s displayed so far. The only “witch” item is the broomstick ride in the halloween strip.

          Secondarily, she’s shown with little “heart” images – emotional shorthand for the reader that does not exist as such in the comic’s “reality” – in the snuggle strip with Peanut. Rick seems unlikely to make her both evil AND loving towards someone as innocent as Peanut.

          A good theory needs to include all known facts.

          • WolvenPaw

            Good point

            But then again maybe she is just a good actor

            Oh and about the witch craft… Did you see the Halloween Wallpaper?

          • Thoth

            Yes. That’s a slightly modified version of the halloween strip referenced above. It also has Peanut dressed as a wizard and grape and maxwell dressed as lions.

            If Halloween costumes told us much about the wearers, my neighborhood would be full of skeletons, power rangers, and princesses.

  90. The game

    This is weird. my new avatar was working then it went back to what i changed it from! why???

    • Weaver

      For that matter, how do avatars work on this site, anyway?

      • Thoth

        Well, mine is simply the Gravitar image I set up on Wordpress, and it followed me over here.

        • Weaver

          Huh. Cookie based, then? That’d explain it. I might set one up soon, in that case. I was just worried that NoScript might be blocking something it needs.

          I wonder why Game’s didn’t stick.

          • Thoth

            Gravitars are associated with particular Email addresses as far as I remember. So it depends on which one you’re logged in with here, which would indeed be cookie based for recognition – unless you fill in your information again each time.

  91. BlueAnubis

    Okay, the first 4 pannels are so sweet, I think they could cause Diabeties. It’s just too cute.
    Wel’p, I’m satisfied with with this end/pause in the story.
    From the looks of it, I’ve got Rare Candy and ham comming my way. >83 he he hee
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all, comfort and joy.

  92. Rj-pilot

    And so ended the ar that spawned a thousand avatars… :XD:

  93. Will

    Ehh… I gotta say I sorta saw this happening. I didn’t know from the start if he would go back to being human so soon, so hearing this isn’t a surprise to me, but the way it went about being said is a surprise. Wonder what the other things will happen from this, I guess only time will tell.

  94. Thoth

    Well, who knows? Perhaps King will eventually wind up with a choice to make – be heroic and seal away Pete again and remain King, or return to being Joel – possibly with some reward – and leave Pete loose to cause trouble for other people.

    After all, we STILL don’t know why Pete – the ancient magical creature of vast power – is bothering with one minor, and not especially sensible, but driven, animal rights activist.

    Perhaps he needs to be bonded with someone who is driven to change the world, reckless enough to try to use unknown magical powers to do it, and desperate enough to see no other routes, to use his full powers in the Housepets universe. After all, transforming one human really isn’t a particularly apocalyptic display of power.

    Ergo, Joel – who fits most of the criteria, and is certainly being driven towards desperation and left with few other alternatives at this point.

    • slacks315

      Maybe he is to be made leader of the dogs to flush out Tarot who is secretly Pete’s nemesis and the reason why he chose Babylon Gardens.

      • Thoth

        Well that’s possible – but surely Pete could find a better minion for that, rather than messing about with making King miserable.

        Tarot seems mildly unlikey as a nemesis for Pete, unless she’s the heir to some ancient mystic bloodline or something – which is always possible. So far her powers mostly fall under low-grade Telepathy, Telekinesis, and Clairvoyance – not too much of a match for Pete unless she has special backing or other information to use against him.

        Not enough information. I’d just like to see King make a major choice on his own.

        • slacks315

          She used all of her power sealing him the first time. She needs to feed off of peanut’s love to gain strength.

          Her Ancestors sealed him and she has the power to do it again.

          She owes him money from a psychic poker game and he wants to collect.

          Also who better to lead the dogs than a human turned dog.

  95. JuniorMint

    Can someone share why my comments were deleted, so I don’t do it again?

  96. R-One

    One gnawing question…. having Pete (the gryphon) loose is supposed to be a semi-bad thing, right? So why the heck is he going about “helping” (if you can call it that) Joel/King out in this manner? Whats the catch? There’s ALWAYS a catch!? >.0

    And with that said, excellent Christmas strip – 10 panels, one of em a jumbo-sized one? Wow. Nice job. :D

  97. Raelynna

    Aww :3 cuddlesness! XD haha…….vet follow up…run king run! XD Although i’m sure that wouldn’t help in any way o.O ……oh well merry christmas everyone!!!! Thanks for the awesome comic strip as always ;3

  98. DPNN

    MErry Christmas everyone!!!!! Wow commenting on this iPod touch is hard… Happy new year to all of you in a few more days. Great comic Rick

  99. Cat-Lover Cross

    Rick please make an Xmas Wallpaper for us!! Pleeeaaase!! :D

  100. Accursed

    Even though I wanted King to stay, I still feel his sadness… And just like everyone’s been saying, Pete went from sort of a ‘nuisance’ to a full-fledged ‘villain’ in this strip, even though what he did was entirely in-character.

    I guess that’s the power of good story-telling! ^^

  101. othorlimmis

    so what was was said is true….

    He IS kind of a jerk.

  102. crazyredemu

    Half way threw I thought King was going to be turned back into a human and take Sasha as his pet but I was wrong. Either way I like this story line

    • Frank

      You just want to keep adding to his crimes, don’t you? Sasha’s owner may be a drunken, no-good bone-head; but he’s still her owner.

      • Thoth

        To be fair, that doesn’t necessarily imply “adding to his crimes”. Methods for this that were suggested earlier included legal action (locking her out in potentially lethal temperatures probably constitutes cruelty to animals), deus ex machina (Pete or some other intervention), Purchase, and her owner either deciding on another way to pick up girls and dumping her or on his acquiring a steady girlfriend who didn’t like dogs, and dumping Sasha. Her running away would be another possibility, although the legal ramifications of that have not yet been explored in the Housepets universe. Theft is not required.

        Most of those would probably be traumatic for Sasha, and seemed unlikely in the storyline even before this point, but none of them would be particularly criminal.

        • crazyredemu

          Yea what he said.

  103. Nohbody

    While my earlier comment on the subject seems to have been outright nuked (vice edited by a mod like with some “fixed” joke posts) due to mentioning a certain internetism, from going through all the posts it looks like the non-objectional part of the nuked post was answered.

    No, I’m not the only one who thinks Pete’s being a real jerkwad.

    (And for the record, no I’m not going to get all whiney about delete vs edit. In retrospect the other comment wasn’t the smartest thing I could’ve posted, to put it mildly.)

  104. Nitrofox

    partly, i feel sorry for king, partly i’m glad because he’s much cuter now then he was (i totally want to adopt a corgi more then ever now!)

  105. FuRrY321

    Poor King…

    I’m using Panel 9 as my new avvie…

    • slacks315

      That’s cool. Mine’s Panel 4 :)

  106. Zeek

    Magical face changing hat!

    Hehe…you can see he really ment his words in the 10th panel, great work with your expressions. Messed up ending though. XD

    Cant wait to see your gift story. :3

  107. FuRrY321

    If I was Sasha I would have probably either woken up when Pete said “King” or when King laid her down on the snow/ground.

    Of course, Pete was probably keeping her asleep – I would be pretty freaked out if a guy with the head of a griffin was talking to somebody I just cuddled up with for the night (innocently) too.

    How appropriate, that Rick is using characters such as “Pete the Griffin” when his last name just happens to be Griffin….. and, yet, Pete is nothing like Peter of Family Guy (well, maybe the jerk aspect…).

    • ilikepie

      A normal person would’ve been freaked out. I’m pretty sure Sasha would’ve thought it was awesome.

  108. FuRrY321

    BTW, Rick, you should really start putting up voting incentives for the TWC webcomic voting. Almost all the comics I’ve read that have their comic on TWC have a voting incentive every month or so. If you don’t wan’t to do one, or if you don’t have time enough to do one, I understand. The comic is wonderful enough that I can accept that. I’m just saying that my laptop hard drive is seriously lacking in respect to things related to Housepets.

    • Indagare

      I’m not sure that Rick actually cares if people vote or not. The TWC thing is pretty recent and, I think, at the request of readers to start with. Having incentives for something that started as a reader request seems a bit silly.

    • Thoth

      Even if the position on TWC actually mattered much, I’ve never felt that bribing people to vote for you was an especially good approach to things.

      Looking at it, I’d say that doing such a nice job on the strip is more than enough reason to get people to vote for it.

      • FuRrY321

        It’s okay, really. I just wish there was more actual “art” besides the bonuses, since there’s not much there besides a few extra comics strips, some guests have made, and a small amount of fan art.

        And I don’t view it as bribing the reader to vote. I view it as a special bonus you get for voting. However, if I don’t like the comic or the art style of said comic, I won’t vote just for the incentive.

        You catch my drift? I’m not demanding anything more from Rick than what he chooses to give. I just wish for more Housepets-related art, seeing as I don’t have a tablet nor good enough colouring skills with a marker to produce worthy enough fan art. :X (Which smiley is the embarrased one?)

        • FuRrY321

          Besides, I’ve been voting ever since I noticed the button on the page. I love this comic. Let me never make you believe otherwise.

        • Foxstar

          Rick’s in college, has a active church life and is working on other projects (Check his FA). He tends to limit Housepets art to the comic.

          • FuRrY321

            Again, it’s okay. I’m fine with that. My b-day is coming up soon (January) so I might be getting a tablet with the money I get, and maybe then I’ll submit some fan art of my own!

  109. Arinmal

    poor king his life is so up and down

    • Alexander

      Up and down like a haywire elevator. Only, it goes down more than it goes up. He’s probably in negative floors by now.

  110. Kaloyan

    Wow, Peat really is a jerk. And I’ll vote anyway. The comic is enough incentive.

    • The game

      You spelled Pete wrong….

      • Thoth

        Well, perhaps Pete actually is a psychic projection created by the massed consciousness of all the self-aware organisms in peat bogs around the planet. “His” agenda is actually legal rights for plants, fungi, and bacteria, and thus he’s grooming Joel – an extreme and easily led, but still relatively sane, proponent of animal rights – to become the worlds first serious plants-rights activist.

        Somehow I doubt it, but we don’t actually know enough about Pete yet to eliminate scenarios like that.

        See what you’ve gone and suggested with a single typo? Thank goodness there weren’t two.

        • MenachemSchmuel

          You… you’re a genius, Thoth.

  111. Random cat

    awwww poor king i wonder….should him and shash get together since he might not change back and bido deosnt deserve her..i think thats the dogs name that gave him the cat nip bomb……correct me if im wrong :D

    • MenachemSchmuel

      I really, really hope King and Sasha never get together, because somewhere inside, King is a human named Joel. And I don’t think the human/animal relationship would go over very well. Also, it would go against King’s current anti-animal nature.

      • MenachemSchmuel

        And even if he can’t remember his human name, and his body is that of a dog through and through, he was once human. I think he might have problems with that kind of relationship scenario.

        Also, it’s “Bino.” His brother is Fido.

  112. Saylean

    I’ve been reading for a while, but never commented.

    I have to say, I’m a little confused as to why everyone seems to be so upset about King’s situation. This is the same character who helped steal someone’s pet. Who, before being turned into a corgi, everyone wanted to end up punished. Instead of being imprisoned for x amount of time, he is turned into a corgi and essentially given a new life. How is this a horrible thing? Yes, it is not what he is used to but his fate could have been worse.

    • Thoth

      Well lets see…

      1) Quite a few people have no real objection to Kings general situation; save for the general observation that a lot of the readers think that all the pets (and ferals for that matter) deserve more rights and most deserve better treatment than they’re getting.

      2) A fair number think that Pete is indeed being a jerk – which is quite independent of his target. It could be Attilla the Hun or Mother Teresa, but it would still be obnoxious to kidnap them, not correct their false perceptions, and treat them the way Kings been treated. If you want to compare pet treatment, look at Grape and Peanut; they’re allowed to go in the refrigerator, get the soda and ice cream, and make themselves rootbeer floats.

      3) Yes, this is the same character who helped petnap Fox. It’s also the same character who objected in advance, was dedicated enough to pets rights to join any pets rights group that would have him, and who recognized (despite his own past traumas) that he and Fatty were committing a major injustice.

      4) Yes, most of the comments at the time were quite hostile. Of course, many new readers have arrived since – and many of those comments were predicated on the simple statement “I’m with PETA”. Since then it’s become apparent the Joel was never really “with” PETA; he didn’t even listen to the orientation lecture. Joel simply assumed that PETA was sane – the mark of an easily-led individual who’s obsessed with his own goals and assumes that they’re shared. He was a stooge, not a villain.

      5) Being given a new life may well be a good thing. It might even let him fulfill his ambitions to really do something for pets. There are some objections based on his presumed loss of lifespan – which does seem excessive given the original “and the sentence was going to be time served” note – but there’s plenty of time to work that out, and he might eventually conclude that it’s worth it.

      6) As for “his fate could have been worse”, well – that’s pretty much always true. It could be eternal damnation in one of the more inventive traditional hells after all.

      The net result? A number of the readers a relatively decent individual, who’s being mistreated – and is now an essentially-helpless pet being dominated by a powerful magical being, which makes it even less justifiable. That may or may not be an accurate perception, but the viewpoint is certainly justifiable and understandable enough.

      • Thoth

        Bother. That last paragraph should say “a number of the readers SEE a relatively decent individual…”. Oh well. Typos will sneak in.

        • Random cat

          typos are evil they need chainsaws thrown at them…..or atleast be fixed

          • MenachemSchmuel

            “atleast?” ATLEAST? ANGER.

  113. Ryu

    Why does everyone assume Pete is a jerk? Whether he is or not will depend on his ultimate motives in doing what he is doing. Akkadian ruins and high technology – talking animals with opposable thumbs (the system they have would never have evolved if pets were like that from the beginning, so it has to be recent) – magic… a lot of loose elements even if you take the initial premise on its own. None of this is out of canon for the strip at all, really.

    All the humans get changed into “pets”? All the humans are “ascended” and the world is left to the “pets”? Pete really does want to end all life? Pete has some totally benign, if unexpected, motivation? The first is as redundant as simply reversing the “pet”/”Pet Owner” relationship. The second is also rather cliche. The third seems unlkely and goes FAR beyond being a mere jerk. The latter is far more likely and is most in tune with what I would do. I like unexpected, irony and humor in all sorts of combinations :grin:

    • FuRrY321

      The only reason Pete is considered a “jerk” is because he can also be considered “cruel”.
      King assumed he would eventually be turned back into a human after he learned his lesson. Having allowed King to believe that for such a long period of time and then crushing it with a simple off-handed comment allows us to call Pete things like “jerk” and “cruel”.
      Besides, Tarot already said he was a jerk, so we were already biased from the start, even before we met Pete.

      • Pop-o-lick

        Long period of time? Hasn’t it only been one day? Or two?

        • Thoth

          Undetermined; there was the time-jump to Christmas eve, but we don’t know how long before Christmas the arc started. A followup at a vets is normally several weeks though, at least for shots and things; you want to make sure that the immune reaction is complete before going on to the next series.

    • Thoth

      I think they take “being a jerk” (rude, manipulative, and somewhat unkind) as demonstrated. Motives are irrelevant; being a jerk lies in social behavior.

      As for the animals, the author has indicated that they are natural to this world and that – as demonstrated by the pumpkin-carving strip – the world isn’t necessarily entirely “reasonable”. Ergo, most speculation focuses on character motives, personal histories, and trying to guess the plot – not on trying to justify the world. If you want a semi-hard-science strip, try “Freefall”

      • Ryu

        I made the implication of some coherence due to an offhand remark earlier about a “non-canon” element in the story, which it wouldn’t be.

        And Pete will seem like a jerk until his motives are fully explored. If he fails to follow through and has no further plans for Noel/King, then Pete’s a Jerk. If he had been a Dragon, then this might be seen as just how dragons might operate, but all he is, is simply a powerful being of unkown motivations. After all, who has Pete been a “Jerk” to, except Noel/King?

        Rick wanted to know what kept fans coming back to this strip? The characters… and Pete, as well as Noel/King, sure are characters :D

        • Thoth

          I think you’ve got a difference in definition there; some of the readers are using a purely operational definition of Jerk, you’re using one that involves motivations as well.

          Sadly, differences in definitions are not resolvable by debate.

          Fortunately, everyone who does keep coming back does seem to enjoy the characters…

    • Frank

      “Pete is neither kind nor good, he’s actually sort of a jerk”

      After Tarot said that on November 23, people didn’t just take up on it, they’ve clung on it as if their lives depended on it.

      • Thoth

        Not really. Occult sources of information are notoriously unreliable and Tarot is more than a bit spacy anyway.

        It did seem likely to be a statement of Tarot’s real opinion, but little more.

        On the other hand, if you want to talk about behavior – Pete has kidnaped someone, broken jail, involuntarily transformed someone (assault and battery at the least, probably criminal mischief and more esoteric charges as well), and subjected his victim to unlawful imprisonment and medical experimentation (canine shots were not designed for transformed humans).

        And all of that came even before letting him work under the wrong assumptions for a fairly long time and then casually squashing his hopes. That’s nasty enough even if King wasn’t already troubled.

        Tarot’s opinion is not governing, but observation is.

        • ndigit

          Tarot isn’t spacey, in fact its clear she has genuine power. She’s odd certainly but she definitely seems to know what she’s talking about. (Except for that end of the world bit. That was weird)

          Also, after what Pete did and from what we’ve seen, King is a dog, through and through. So pet shots shouldn’t really be an issue. (Although it IS somewhat cruel and unusual.)

          • Thoth

            Having actual power does not keep her from being spacey. While she hasn’t appeared much, we do know that she managed to lose the TV remote in about thirty seconds – and that seems to be blissfully unaware that using odd powers for trivial ends might upset people. Thus spacey – disconnected from her environment.

            As for shots, King may indeed be a dog through and through – but anyone lacking omniscience cannot actually know that; hence the the action remains an experiment.

          • Thoth

            Sorry, there’s an extranious “that” before “seems”. Late night typos I’m afraid.

        • FuRrY321

          Tarot’s not even a bit spacey? How about when she asked the spirits where she placed the remote? I’d have at least looked for it…

  114. MenachemSchmuel

    Man, and I was about to start liking Pete. At least he said SOMETHING nice.

    By that “not changing back” statement, I’m wondering whether Pete meant that he was never, ever going to change King back into Joel, or that it wouldn’t happen for a very long time–at least until King actually changed. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

    • Alexander

      To me it feels like he’s leading Joel-King (intended “joking” pun?) on with all of this. It’s obvious he’s trying to teach a lesson of humility, however cruel the lesson may be. Pete is a jerk, but he doesn’t come across as evil, just one of those “though love” types. Only, instead of a sack of tomatoes (doesn’t leave bruises), he uses regular vet checkups.

      • Thoth

        Those who can’t do, teach?

        Hard to get much more arrogant than deciding to forcibly teach someone humility.

      • Snowmon

        I don’t think that Pete was trying to teach a lesson at all. I mean from the very start, we don’t know what Pete’s intentions are. He doesn’t ever seem to “lie”, however he let’s everyone deceive themselves. If you notice that from the very start Pete didn’t say anything about teaching Joel a lesson, or that he was ever going to turn him back into a human. King Assumed everything in “An Undigested Bit of Beef”, while we assumed that he was right.

        When Pete said “On the ball today, aren’t we?”, he was using sarcasm for Everything that Joel said up to that point. (Point and case proven in this triple strip.) Joel essentially is a nice guy (I mean was a nice guy, now a nice dog.). I mean what “evil” person actually wants to turn himself in. He may have “animal issues”, but he still cares about the “animals”. The fat guy was the one who should have been punished for these crimes.

        To summerize: Pete is a JERK. Joel/King was/is “innocent”. Chubby should suffer.

  115. Argent Stonecutter

    I don’t think Pete means that he’s not going to, or going to, he’s being strictly by-the-letter truthful, but not in the least bit honest.

  116. Flexico

    “Humility? Empathy?” — My mind reads those with a funny accent that was used by some guy on some show who was “standing here beside himself”! XD Also a character from Short circuit who had a similar accent — been so long since I saw the movie I’m not sure if that actually is the one. XD