Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and his four-legged best friend are among the pared-down cast of The Walking Dead extended season 10 when it returns with new episodes in February. In the aftermath of the Whisperer War, Daryl returns to the years where his two-legged best friend, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), disappeared after a seemingly fatal bridge explosion. When Daryl left the group and retreated into the woods during the six-year time skip separating season 9 episodes "What Comes After" and "Who Are You Now?," he found and adopted the canine companion he named Dog.
In the new season 10 episode "Find Me," Daryl and his other best friend, Carol (Melissa McBride), go on an adventure that turns sideways when they come across an old cabin that returns Daryl to "a time that only the apocalypse could manifest." It's here that Daryl meets the shotgun-wielding Leah (Lynn Collins), one of the new survivors encountered in these six bonus episodes.
"When I started the show in season 2, I was also Team Daryl Should Have a dog," Kang previously told EW. "It's this thing that's kind of been batted around for a long time, and it never happened. And to be honest, a dog would've died pretty quick during some of the seasons that they were in."
Kang also conceived a backstory for Daryl's dog and where he came from, which viewers might learn when The Walking Dead's extended season fills in the gaps ahead of season 11.
"We were talking about, how can we show the state that Daryl's in? And I thought that it would be great that he's been off for a while after Rick's presumed death. Daryl just went off," Kang said. "And Daryl is somebody who hunts and goes about and does things, and it seemed like a dog is a good companion. It shows that there's still a desire for him to have a connection somehow. And so the dog is his faithful companion. In my mind, there's also a story behind where that dog came from. And so that's how we ended up with a dog."