There is just something about dogs that make me happy. They are way better than cats (and no I won't apologize for that statement.) Dogs can be your best friend, counselor, bodyguard, running buddy, wing man, and plate cleaner. The learn your moods and know exactly what you need, sometimes before you do. I think that's why I've always been drawn to dogs in fiction, especially when they are almost human in behavior. They are the dogs that fill your imagination as a kid, and what kid didn't love Scooby-Doo.
Now in the above paragraph I mentioned one of the benefits of having a dog is that you have a built in bodyguard, well if it's Scooby, you can forget that part. This great dane is not your average dog filled with courage and guts. If you need him to do more that bark a few times, you better have a box of Scooby-Snacks on hand in order to bribe the help out of him. Of course the fact that he hangs out with a human, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, that is about as cowardly as him doesn't help matters.
Come to think of it, I never understood why Fred, Daphne, and Velma ever brought the other two along with them. I get solving mysteries came be dangerous, and that there is probably safety in numbers, but are two cowards going to make all that much difference. Of course, it should be pointed out that is was normally Scooby who ended up catching the bad guy, even if it was normally by accident. I will also have to admit that if were them, I would have felt safer with a dog by my side as well. Even a dog who hides, eats way too much junk food, and seems to be on mind altering substances more often than not is better than no dog.
Then they had to bring Scrappy into the mix and Scooby was forced to make a few changes. He had to get a little tougher and braver, how could he be upstaged by the little whippersnapper that was Scrappy. The toughness of Scrappy forced Scooby to step it up a bit and he did for the most part. He still had his moments, but he was a braver guy for the most part. We won't even go into how he changed when Flim Flam and Vincent Van Ghoul took him, Shaggy, and Daphne on a real ghost hunt. But I will say that despite everything, Scooby remained a dynamic character that never failed to entertain.