Giraffes are pretty much my favorite animals ever, followed closely by cuttlefish (the cutest of the cephalopods- hey, the Blogger spell check is telling me that's not a word...idiots). I like animals a lot, so I tend to have companion animals in my stories. They're not usually all helpful and crap like Disney companion animals though, nor can they talk except in exceptional circumstance. They just do their animal thing, and my characters react accordingly. You can tell a lot about a character by how they act around animals.
A Video About How Awesome Cuttlefish Are
A Baby Giraffe Doing Its Awesome Giraffe Thing