Pooka is is Anastasia's scruffy pet dog. He is the first friend she made after being heartlessly sent away from the orphanage.
Little is known about Pooka's past, but it is assumed that he was either separated from his owners, lost, or abandoned soon before his encounter with Anya.
Pooka first met Anya when she was trying to decide whether to go to the fish market as she was commanded, or go to St. Petersburg and possibly find her family. Out of frustration, Anya asks for a "sign", and Pooka suddenly appears from behind a fallen tree.
Pooka wastes little time, and immediately decides to make friends with Anya by taking her scarf and leading her in the direction of St. Petersburg. Anya decides to accept the dog as her "sign" and go to St. Petersburg with him in hopes of finding a place to call "home".