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Diefenbaker (sometimes shortened to "Dief") is Benton Fraser's pet half-wolf on the television show Due South. Although it is never mentioned explicitly within the show, he is presumably named after former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.
According to Fraser, Diefenbaker is deaf, but can read lips in several languages. Diefenbaker's hearing was supposedly damaged when he rescued Fraser from an ice floe. However, canon inconsistencies allow fans to suspect that Diefenbaker is merely selectively deaf and/or not able to read lips as Fraser claims. Canonically, Diefenbaker has a special "wolf license" issued by the Chicago Department of Animal Control, finagled for him by Ray Vecchio in the first season episode "Diefenbaker's Day Off."
Diefenbaker was played by two different dogs over the course of the show and a third in the pilot episode.
- a meta essay about Diefenbaker as Fraser's id?
- Diefenbaker's voice - meta discussion in ds_discourse about whether Dief really is speaking to Fraser, 2004
Dief appears in many stories and is sometimes even the point of view character. Because Fraser (and to varying degrees the show itself) attributes improbably human-like qualities to Dief, many stories incorporate this into Dief's characterization. In a Dief story, he might give his opinions on Fraser, Fraser's dead father, or Fraser's partners, or simply ignore what the humans are doing and think about food. In other stories, he behaves in a strictly realistic fashion, but another character (usually Fraser) might talk to him and interpret his responses as a contribution to the conversation.
There are a few Dief-centric fanvids:
- The 'real' Dief, Archived version by aingeal8c in ds_closet (13 December 2005)
- Diefenbaker - a team effort, Archived version by aingeal8c in ds_closet (14 February 2006)
- Diefenbaker tag at AO3