A Sinister Shadow
Joel's backstory is revealed.
Comic: "I'm Never Gonna Understand Humans" (click for full size)
Number of Comics 15
Dates Published April 27th - May 29th 2009
Featured Character(s)
Fox, Fido, Joel
Following Arc
Roadtrip Woo

A Sinister Shadow is the 19th arc in Housepets!.

It marked the introduction of the human Joel Robinson to the comic, and is also the first time that a human character's entire face and eyes are shown. It also marks the first appearances of several members of the K-9 Unit.

Characters Edit

Plot Edit

Jeff answers the door at his house and is greeted by Joel, who refers to himself as a member of PETA. Jeff promptly punches him in the face.

Back in a van, another fatter gentleman (whom Joel seems to regard as a superior) rambles on about how pets are slaves, even as images of the pets we know show the exact opposite. Joel is annoyed by what he is saying but suggests they try a different approach. Joel's reactions to the growing extremity of the fat guy's views suggest he didn't fully realize what he was getting into with PETA. As they approach a dog park, the plan is to kidnap a dog. They end up targeting Fox, with the fat guy assuming he can't possibly have any powerful friends since he's reading a book.

Fox is chloroformed; stripped of his collar, book, bandana and dog tags; and thrown in the back of the van. When he awakens to find his collar missing, he quickly figures out he's been kidnapped again. He is not happy, and barks and growls at the humans incessantly. The fat guy is insistent on releasing Fox far away in the wild, but Fox does not want that. Joel quickly sours on the situation.

Before they can drive away, Bill shows up. The fat guy crawls into the back to silence Fox, leaving Joel to figure out a way to make Bill go away. He says a friend of his called about punching a PETA representative whose description fits Joel's. He then found out shortly after that his dog was kidnapped, and taken into a van that fit the description of the van his friend saw. Joel tries to peel off, but the van's engine fails to turn. Joel surrenders and is handcuffed, but the fat guy runs off. Joel sneaks away when Bill chases the fat guy.

Sergeant Ralph finds Fox unconscious and wakes him up with a bucket of water. The fat guy had tried to smother Fox. While Bill succeeded in catching the fat guy, Fido is in pursuit of Joel, much to Spo's delight.

Joel considers giving up, showing he's already been in prison, and realizing he really doesn't stand a chance resisting arrest. While he considers surrendering, he is tackled by K-9 Unit officer Kevin. Fido catches up and reads Joel his Miranda rights, which he is permitted to do under the Supreme Court decision Terryson v. Florida. Joel counters that pets don't get their rights to read if they break the law, but Fido doesn't seem to care since the fat guy tried to kill Fox.

Joel apologizes for what the fat guy did to Fox, and Fido expresses disbelief as to why Joel would go along with what PETA is doing. Joel, to the shock of those present, confesses he was kidnapped by his own pets once. He says his parents abused his pets, a dog and a cat, and they ran away, taking him with them. Eventually, they turned feral and started mistreating him. Joel now believes all pets are no different than how his pets turned out. He did what he did because he doesn't want other pets ending up like his pets did.

Eventually, Joel and the fat guy are taken away by Ralph and his human partner. Ralph makes a smart remark about how a PETA operative could remain so fat, which makes both his partner and Joel stifle laughter.


  • Joel Robinson is introduced. He would go on to be better known as King Milton.
  • First appearance of Jeff; Maxwell and Bino's owner.
  • First appearance of Ralph, Kevin and other members of the K-9 Unit.
  • Fox is kidnapped for the second time in his life, the first time happening in Housepets Babies!. Though this is the first time shown in the comic.
  • Joel's face is shown, marking the first time a human's face is seen in the comic.
  • Joel and his accomplice are arrested, making way for his trial and eventual transformation in It's A Wonderful Dog's Life.


  • N/a

External LinksEdit

Story Arcs
Imaginate! | The Game | Cat Tail | The Raccoons | The Adventures of Spot | Fido's Return
| Mouse Mouse Revolution | Thematic Arc of Questionable Quality | The Zoo | The Grove |
Housepets Christmas | The Yarn Ball |
The Further Adventures of Spot | The Vet | A Mouse Named Spo | Zap! | Fall of the Pridelands |
The Continuing Adventures of Spot | A Sinister Shadow | Roadtrip Woo | Down At The Farm |
Money Sharks | n-ple Date | The Uncanny Adventures of Spot | The Visitor | Oops I Arced |
It's A Wonderful Dog's Life (All the King's Men) |
Ocean's Two | Imaginate, Too! | The Present | Spot McCloud Presents Comics |
Dog Days of Summer | Theme Park World | The Adventures of Stripe | Movie Night |
Scaredy Cats | Noob Tube | Hope of the Pridelands |
We're Snowed In! | The Preeminent Adventures of Spot | The Arc Specifically About Being Naked |
Not All Dogs | The Great Water Balloon War | Let's Imaginate Macbeth! | The Interview |
The Case of the Aztec Gold | A Respite In The Country | Spots and Stripes | A Holiday at the Zoo |
Housepets Babies! | Show Business | What Money Buys | The Mall |
The Critical Review of Spot | The Trial in Heaven | Let's Imaginate Guys and Dolls! |
Testing Grounds | Taking Cover | PsyCon | Getting Physical | PsyCon2: PsyConner |
The Retroactively Continuous Adventures of Spot | Temple Crashers |
All Hallow's Ween | The Unbearable Lightness Of Being A Dog |
One Cat's Treasure | Love And War | Jack of One Trade | The King And I |
Jungle Fever | Yes, Jessica, There Is An Opener Of Ways |
Let's Imaginate And Then There Were None! | What's The Story? |
Tiger's Very Own Super Special Television Show! |
Heaven's Not Enough, Part 1 | The Interlude of Spot | Heaven's Not Enough, Part 2 |
The Ineptitude of Spot | Heaven's Not Enough, Part 3 | I Need A Vacation
All Hallow's Ween: Resurrection | Rabbit's Foot | Pageantate! |
Maternal Instinct | Wolf's Clothing | Ea(s)ter | The Future of Tomorrow, Today! |
All's Fair, Part 1 | The Plot Against Spot | All's Fair, Part 2 |
Housepets 5000 BC, Part 1 | Housepets 5000 BC, Part 2 | Housepets 5000 BC, Part 3 |
Special Delivery |
The Spot-tacular Spot | Flip That Den! | Fort Pillow |
The 4 Animals You Meet In Heaven |
Puppy Power | Real Stories of the K9PD | Snow Joke |
Save the Date, Part 1 | Save the Date, Part 2 |
Temple Crashers 2: Temple Crashers, Part 1 | Temple Crashers 2: Temple Crashers, Part 2 |
Temple Crashers 2: 2 Temple 2 Crashers (Part 3) | Temple Crashers 2: Temple Crasherser (Part 4) | Temple Crashers 2: Temple Crash (Part 5) | Temple Crashers 2: First Blood Part 6 |
Temple Crashers 2: Oops (Part 7) | Temple Crashers 2: Final Crashers (Part 8) |
Temple Crashers 2: Epilogue Crashers (Part 9) | Call o' th' Wild |
Directed To Video | The Hot Springs Episode | Hot Springs Encore |
The Maxwell Thing |