Bad Dog! The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus says he felt “betrayed” by man’s best friend when Daryl (Reedus) reconnects with his dog’s original owner: Leah (Lynn Collins). In Season 11 Episode 4, “Rendition,” Daryl and Dog sniff out a familiar face when Leah returns after vanishing in the Season 10 episode “Find Me.” Leah leaves Dog in the cabin where she and Daryl spark a romance, and when his old flame returns in Season 11, it’s with the Reapers — a squad of scary-masked mercenaries who are “The Chosen Ones” commanded by Pope (Ritchie Coster). Daryl tries to leave with Dog, but he stays by Leah’s side. That’s ruff.
“I mean, it was her dog first. Maybe the dog is telling me that’s Leah. Maybe he’s helping me out. She takes off the mask, and the dog still doesn’t come to me, but maybe he’s telling me there’s something good left here. I don’t know. Who knows,” Reedus told AMC.com. “On the day, I did feel a little betrayed. I was like, ‘Come on!’ But even if he’s with his trainer and he doesn’t come to me, I get sort of upset.”
Reedus’ canine co-star, named Seven, is better trained than Dog (who runs off into walker-infested subway tunnels to start the season). And even though Daryl is out of the frying pan and into the fire by the end of “Rendition,” surviving a test that traps him with The Chosen Ones, no harm comes to Dog when he’s reunited with Leah at Meridian.
“No, no, no, they like him. He’s a good dog,” said Reedus when asked if the Reapers hurt Dog. “And remember he was Leah’s dog, so she won’t let anything happen to him.”
A live poll on a post-“Rendition” episode of Talking Dead revealed that 96% of voters say Dog belongs with Daryl over Leah, but Collins had this to say about Dog staying put despite’s Daryl’s commands to come: “Well, I mean, I’ve got a double-barreled shotgun (laughs). I think the dog is gonna stay with his alpha, right?”
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Walking Dead Season 11 airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.