You can learn much about a person’s character by the way he or she treats animals. It’s not the only method you should use, of course, but it is a good litmus test. That’s why Top Dogs and Their Pets—which collects striking black-and-white photographs of 90 notable names and their animal friends, from dogs and cats to goldfish and iguanas—is so useful. By getting these “top dogs” to pose with (and talk about, in Q&As that accompany each photograph) their pets, Dallas Morning News photographer David Woo and his partner David Pruitt remove the filters and biases, until all that is left is a pet owner. There are no complicated gray areas. Only black and white. What follows is an excerpt featuring some of those images, compiled over four years of coast-to-coast travel. More information, including videos from the shoots, is available at www.topdogspets.com.

There will be book signings, featuring some of the celebrities included in Tops Dogs and Their Pets, at Legacy Books on November 7, 4–7 pm, and Ken’s Man Shop on November 21, 1–5 pm.

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(clockwise from top left)
Dean Fearing and Gumbo
chef and partner of Fearing’s Restaurant

Daryl Richardson with Maya and Andy
director and founder of Dallas World Aquarium

Howard Rachofsky and Princess
art collector

Bo Pilgrim and Queenie
senior chairman and co-founder of Pilgrim’s Pride


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“My wife Joan, who rescued abandoned Susie from a public park, announced her name without prior consultation with me. That is also how our four children were named.”

Herb Kelleher, founder and chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines,  with Susie


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“I wish my pet could play golf. Just think how far she could kick a golf ball.”

Golf legend Byron Nelson and Peppy Lee Bueno


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(clockwise from top left)
Carly Patterson and Beijing
2004 olympian all-around champion in gymnastics

Herbert Hunt with Sweet Pea, Daisy, and Bitsy
advisor to management of Petro-Hunt

Owen Wilson and Garcia
actor

Roger Staubach and Ryan
hall of fame quarterback


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(clockwise from top left)
Kelly Rasberry and George
co-host of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show

B.J. Thomas with Sophia, Scooter, and Lulu
recording artist

Mike Modano and Bear
Dallas Stars player

Zig Ziglar and Fastidious (Fastie)
author and motivational teacher