Is there a dog in a videogame? Well, players damn well better be able to pet that dog, especially since the rise of game-shaming Twitter account Can You Pet The Dog? (opens in new tab) which catalogues the games in which you can and cannot pet the dog.
Over the past few years, many developers have patched their games (opens in new tab) to appease Twitter's harsh judgment, but Bethesda has remained unmoved. So a modder has taken the matter into their own hands, as modders have been doing with Bethesda games since the dawn of time. Behold:
Pet The Dogs - Animations (opens in new tab) is a mod that allows you to stoop down and give your favorite mutt a good scratch behind the ears. There are three different animations depending on the friendly dog's position (keyword: friendly—you probably shouldn't try this on angry wolves). Standing, sitting, or lying down, you'll now be able to give your pooch a pat. Lovely.
The modder suggests facing your dog precisely head-on or the animations might look a bit weird ("I'm not an animator, these animations are not perfect," reads the mod's page on Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)). The animations are also designed for third-person, not first-person perspectives. You'll also need to make sure you're not holding a weapon or prepared spell in your hands before you start lavishing attention on your canine companion. Petting dogs in Skyrim is a precision activity.
To use the mod you'll need some other mods installed, like Dynamic Animation Replacer (opens in new tab) (which itself needs Skyrim Script Extender (opens in new tab) and Address Library for SKSE Plugins (opens in new tab)).
Pet the Dogs - Animations comes with an FAQ, which states the mod will not allow you to pet other creatures such as chickens, cars, horses, guards, and Jarls. You can only pet the dog. But isn't that enough?
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