Diefenbaker (Dief for short) is one of the major characters in the much loved TV show Due South. He is part dog and part wolf. He comes originally from northern Canada, but for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, now lives in Chicago with his human, Benton Fraser, who is a Mountie. Dief is named after former Canadian Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker.
Diefenbaker first met Fraser when the Mountie rescued him from an abandoned mine. Diefenbaker later returned the favour by rescuing Fraser from the icy waters of Prince Rupert Sound, saving the Mountie's life, but also bursting the wolf's eardrums in the process. Although Dief is now deaf, apparently he can lipread, or perhaps he is just not as deaf as everyone assumes. It is hard to say!
Dief and Fraser are inseparable. For the entire length of the series, their relationship is the only one that is consistent. Yes, Dief consistently gives Fraser a hard time, partly because he saved Fraser's life and lost his hearing in the process (Fraser: "You know, you let a wolf save your life, they make you pay and pay and pay...") and partly about Fraser's highly questionable taste in women. Added to which Dief is only obedient if he feels like it. He also loves junk food, such as doughnuts, which causes the clean-living Fraser to freak out. (In fact, there is a theory in the fandom that Mervi told me about, which goes that Dief is actually Fraser's alter ego, and his waywardness and his self-indulgences are traits that Fraser is repressing as hard as he can.)
But Dief is not all criticism and carb-consumption
unlike moi: he also partners Fraser as a guardian of the peace, using his abilities to track criminals and investigate all manner of mysteries. He has a great relationship with Fraser's human partners; first with Ray Vecchio, who forges a wolf licence for him, and then later on, with Ray Kowalski, who puts up with Dief's saliva-intensive bouts of affection. :)
Dief's character was so popular during Due South's run that he received more fan mail than his human co-stars! I liked him so much I named one of my dogs after him... the other one's called Xena. :)
Wikipedia has a short section on Dief. William and Elyse's Due South site has a whole section on the various different canine actors who played Dief, which include males, females, and even a product of taxidermy!
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A Mountie's Best Friend is the only fanlisting for the TV character Diefenbaker listed at the Fanlistings Network. The site was originally opened by Mervi, who was kind enough to allow me to adopt it in October 2008.
If you haven't come across a site of this type before, a fanlisting is a place for all fans of a particular author, movie, book, etc. to connect. To my mind, it's a great excuse to build a little tribute site. :) There are over 50,000 fanlistings in existence and the number is growing every day. Some are simple fanlistings and some are part of a much bigger website. Find out more about the fanlistings phenomenon at the Fanlistings Network.
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