The hierarchy of the animal kingdom of the Mario universe can be pretty obtuse (WHAT’S A THWOMP?) but one thing is obvious: Yoshis are basically talking dino-horses that Mario can both befriend and ride. (Did you know that the “saddle” on Yoshi’s back is, in fact, a vestigial shell? Well, I do, because of course I do, and now you must also live with this cursed knowledge.)
But if Mario rides Yoshis, what do Yoshis ride? That would be Poochy, the greatest dog the warped, whimsical ecosystem of the Mushroom Kingdom could dream up.
Like most dogs, Poochy is a pretty chill dude, always up for an adventure and barking happily to himself. Unlike most dogs, Poochy is impervious to lava, spikes, and all the other hazards of living in the Mushroom Kingdom.
He’s also pretty good at Tetris. Air Bud, eat your heart out.
First introduced in 1995’s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Poochy isn’t always around, but when he is, his presence is more than appreciated. His most recent major comeback was heralded by Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U in 2015, which was later ported to the 3DS as Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World. If you’re not charmed by gentle, light comedy featuring yarn Yoshis interacting with yarn Poochy, I don’t know what to tell you.
Oh, and he’s probably a single father, continuing my favorite Mario trend of “single monster fathers doing their best.” The Poochy Pups, his adorable triplets, may be tiny, but they’re just as hardy as their old man, since Yoshi can actively use them as ammo. Don’t worry: they’re 100% invincible, because they’re Poochys.
Who’s a good monster dog? You’re a good monster dog.