- “Oh, I love her. What a perfectly beautiful little Lady.”
One evening in 1937, storyman Joe Grant invited Walt over to his house for dinner and while they ate, he showed him a drawing he'd made of his pet springer spaniel, who was also named Lady. Walt loved the drawing and suggested that Joe make a storyboard out of it. So, Joe Grant put together a pitch for a new animated film, simply titled "Lady".
This film was about a dog whose perfect life became threatened when her owner's aunt and her two cats came to stay at her house, due to the fact that the cats constantly let her take the blame for mischief that they caused. Things got further complicated for Lady after she saved her family's baby from a rat because they thought she had been trying to attack the baby and kicked her out of the house. However, after they discovered the rat's body, Lady's owners quickly brought her back home and all ended well. However, upon seeing the pitch for "Lady" in 1943, Walt, ultimately disliked the story, because he thought it was too simplistic.
Lady is rather demure and naive but makes a good friend to those who know her and is very faithful to her family. She is not completely helpless it is shown that she can be brave and protective. She was not afraid of the rat and would chase it away from her home and she took on the responsibility to protect the baby. By the sequel, she has become less naive and more motherly and responsible due to being a mother.
Lady is a American Cocker Spaniel with dark brown colored ears and brown eyes (which she passes down to her children). Most of her body is beige, with a tan muzzle and belly. Her tail is docked, as it is unnaturally short for her breed. As an adult, she wears a light blue collar with a diamond shaped license.
Lady, as a young puppy, was given to Darling as a Christmas present from Jim Dear. She is named Lady due to her good manners and ladylike personality. When Lady is six months old, she is given a collar and a license. She has a family, and is friends with two neighboring dogs, Jock and Trusty.
One day, Lady is saddened because Jim Dear and Darling have been treating her coldly. After talking with Jock and Trusty, she learns that Darling is going to be having a baby. The Tramp, a stray dog, overhears the conversation and gives Lady his own opinion, but is ordered out of the yard by Jock and Trusty.
Later, Jim Dear and Darling introduce Lady to the new baby and then leave to go on a trip. While they are gone, Lady and the baby are looked after by Aunt Sarah, who takes an immediate dislike to Lady. After a run in with Aunt Sarah's cats, Sarah takes Lady to be muzzled. A terrified Lady escapes but soon runs into some stray dogs. Thankfully, she is rescued by the Tramp, who not only assists in getting the muzzle off but takes Lady out on the town to show her how he lives. After an Italian dinner at Tony's Restaurant, the Tramp accompanies Lady home, but Lady is picked up by a dogcatcher. Due to her license, Lady is picked up by Aunt Sarah, but while at the pound, Lady learns of the Tramp's many prior girlfriends.
At home, Lady is tied to her doghouse, when the Tramp comes to apologize. Lady refuses at first, citing his many girlfriends from the past. She calls him back, though, when she spots a rat going into the baby's room. The Tramp goes to stop the rat, and Lady is able to follow him after breaking free of her doghouse. Aunt Sarah comes and thinks the two dogs tried to attack the baby. The Tramp is taken off to the pound, while Lady is locked in the basement, she struggles to break free.
Jim Dear and Darling return as the dogcatcher leaves, and they release Lady. Lady then shows everyone the dead rat, revealing the Tramp's true facts. Lady then leaves with Jim Dear, as the two rush to go get the Tramp. The dogcatcher is stopped thanks to the combined efforts of Jock and Trusty, though Trusty is injured.
At Christmas, it is revealed that the Tramp has been made a member of the family and that Lady and he are the proud parents of a litter of four puppies.
In the sequel, Lady and Tramp are portrayed as loving parents, caring for four puppies, notably more developed since the Christmas spent together at the end of the first film. Their daughters—Annette, Collette, and Danielle—are quite spoiled and snooty, while their son, Scamp, is portrayed as somewhat of a rebel and trouble-maker, wanting to live a life similar to that of his father's past. Scamp's behavior causes tension for both Lady and Tramp, and the growing disconnect prompts their son to run away and live amongst the dogs of the junkyard. A search party ensues involving Lady, but after a while, Scamp returns with a change of heart, and a new member of the family: Angel. Angel is warmly welcomed by Lady, who celebrates the reformation of her family.
Lady, portrayed by Catherine Bogdanova, makes a cameo in human form, in the Season 4 episode "The Apprentice" as a customer of the Italian restaurant where Emma Swan and Captain Hook share a romantic dinner. Lady shares the famous spaghetti kiss with Tramp, himself in human form. Knowing that other animals like Jiminy Cricket and Gus are transformed into humans by the Evil Queen's curse, it was plausibly effective also for Lady.
Cameos in other media
Lady along with the Tramp make cameo appearances out in the street during the Twilight Bark sequence of One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Lady and Tramp make cameo appearances at the end "This is Your Life, Donald Duck".
Lady has made a few non-speaking cameos on House of Mouse, always seen alongside the Tramp. In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, she and the Tramp were seen singing along during the ending song, and during the The Ludwig Von Drake Song in Ask Von Drake.
Lady and Tramp make a cameo in the forms of silhouettes at the end of The Lion King 1½.
In the first Kingdom Hearts game, when Sora enters the 3rd District of Traverse Town a fountain shows Lady as a carving with the Tramp.
At the Magic Kingdom restaurant Tony's Town Square Restaurant, Lady can be found in decor. Also in the Magic Kingdom, both Lady and Tramp briefly appear in Once Upon a Time, during Mrs. Potts' narration.
During the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, topiaries of Lady and Tramp are featured in the Italy Pavilion.
- Some of Lady's whimpering (as a puppy) would later be reused for Young Yeller at one point in Old Yeller and the Dalmatian Puppies from One Hundred and One Dalmatians during the climax.
- In an early version of the film Lady was much more developed as a character and instead of Tramp, Lady was going to be the one to kill the rat in the climax.
- Jock calls Lady "lassie", which is a common Scottish term for a young girl. This also is a reference to the age difference between the two.
- It could also possibly reference Lassie, a female Rough Collie.
- Coincidentally, the breed, Rough Collie, originated in Scotland.
- It could also possibly reference Lassie, a female Rough Collie.
- After breaking free from the doghouse, Lady remains silent for the remainder of the film.
- Her means to address a woman in a polite or old-fashioned manner and that of a superior social position, especially one of noble birth.
- This would also fit with Lady's personality and lifestyle.