The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck takes place during the Great Depression, and begins besides the Salinas River near Soledad, California. Here, Steinbeck introduces the reader to the main characters, George Milton and Lennie Small, migrant workers in search of jobs. George is portrayed as the leader of the two, while Lennie is the follower. Steinbeck states that George and Lennie are opposites. George is described as a small man with sharp features, which explains Lennie's comparison to both a dog and a bear when it comes to his appearance. Many of George's actions are mimicked shortly after by Lennie, showing that he is extremely dependent on George in his day to day life. The men make their way to a ranch. The reader is introduced to a few more pivotal characters: a man named Carlson who works on the ranch and owns his very own luger, a simple old man, missing his right hand by the name of Candy who also works on the ranch, and his dog, who has no name at all. About halfway through the novel, the three characters that were just mentioned find themselves in a situation. Carlson wants Candy's dog to be put down, but Candy is hesitant to part with his old companion. The situation culminates with Carlson shooting Candy's dog. Continuing from this point, the story as a whole concludes with George's decision to shoot Lennie. Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men metaphorically compares Lennie and Candy's dog by making them both dependent on someone, continuously referring to Lennie as an animal but a good worker, and ultimately, making both of their deaths almost identical.
Both Lennie and the dog depend solely on their caregivers to survive, and although they are not independent, they are both incredibly good workers. Lennie and the dog are both companions to their "owners." Lennie and George work and travel together, and Lennie always does his job better than most men. Candy's dog has been a great sheepherder, best herding dog Candy's every had.