"there was, of all things, a liver and white King Charles spaniel"

King Charles Spaniel
Creative Commons AttributionKing Charles Spaniel - Credit: ralph and jenny
Such an endearing addition to the story, this little spaniel may seem incongrous at first.  Yet, as the name of the breed suggests, they have always had a connection to royalty, and a lion is traditionally king of the beasts.  It also indicates Mr. Lyon's gentleness to have such a small, dainty companion.  King Charles Spaniels have been present in Europe since the 16th Century, and became especially popular through Charles II fondness for them.  They frequently appear in portraits with notable sitters, and were even attributed with healing qualities.  They remain very popular lap dogs.