In the middle ages animals were depicted at the feet of the sculpted effigies (gisants) of the deceased. For men it was a lion, symbol of strength, justice and resurrection, for women a dog, meaning faith and fidelity. The dog was also seen as the guide in the kingdom of the dead. The seriousness of the subject didn't refrain the artists (often anonymous craftsmen) from adding plenty of accuracy, charm and humour. Several examples can be seen on the royal tombs in Saint-Denis.