In the pantheon of S-tier video game protagonists, there’s a few that jump to mind readily. Sora from Kingdom Hearts, Shepard from Mass Effect, Kassandra from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. One gritty, witty character stands out as the best of the best: Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher video game series. Geralt’s iconic voice helped propel the games into RPG all-stars and even inspired Henry Cavil’s take for Netflix’s The Witcher. And that voice belongs to one man, Doug Cockle. A man who’s known and loved for his stellar acting and VO work, a man who almost had a very different future as a dog trainer.

Amazon

Say what?! Would The Witcher even have been popular without Doug?

Geralt of Rivia is known as having a gruff and calloused demeanor, especially when it comes to animals. His horse, Roach, is actually the derogatory name Geralt gives to all of his horses. Which is kind of a bummer when you realize that his horse actually dies a ton canonically. But Cockle’s relationship to animals couldn’t be more different.

His Instagram is loaded with pictures of his adorable pup with the whimsical name: Digby the Dog. He’s got pix of Digby the Dog sitting in his gaming chair, photos of him relaxing with Cockle’s family, even a video of Digby licking Cockle’s signature bald pate. He’s also proved his love of animals by putting pictures of other people’s pets on his grid. Adorable.

Doug Cockle/ Instagram

I would do anything for Digby the Dog. Or Doug for that matter.

His lifelong love of animals almost kept him from becoming the famous voice he is today. In an interview with Eurogamer, Cockle talked about his noble ambitions before he got his start in acting. "I wanted to be a helicopter pilot, or raise dogs in Oregon,"

Amazon

For some reason all the dogs have British accents on this show.

There’s even a kids program on Amazon Prime, Dog Years, where Cockle plays the father of a family with a very curious pup who teaches kids life lessons by watching the family work together. Heartwarming stuff. In the show Cockle, famous for playing a beast hunting witcher, is just a fumbling dad who loves his dog. Very fitting for someone who is most famous for playing a character also known as ‘The White Wolf’.

Read about the underdog origins of The Witcher series here.

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