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By Linda Fowler for NJ.com

Dogs have been lionized as man’s best friend, but they also make trusty sidekicks: Rudd Weatherwax had Lassie, John Grogan had Marley, RCA had Nipper, Turner had Hooch.

Cesar Millan, the well-followed “Dog Whisperer” on the National Geographic Channel, has Daddy, a dignified, tawny pit bull who has become the poster boy for a breed that could use some positive P.R.

Daddy’s become such a regular presence on the show that frequent viewers can pick him out among the nearly 40 members of Millan’s dog pack.

At 16, Daddy is the elder statesman — he’s a cancer survivor — but doggone it, he sure was a fine looker on the red carpet when he used to accompany Millan to black-collar events.

“My dog Daddy is from Jersey,” Millan says proudly by phone, minutes after taking the boss for a walk around his 43-acre Dog Psychology Center in California. “My right hand, who’s been with me for 15 years. Jersey boy.”

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