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This question already has an answer here:

Is the following sentence right the way it uses they after naming the two dogs?

Nap and Winkle, they looked at the hay and they didn't know what to do.

marked as duplicate by Robusto, anongoodnurse, Chenmunka, FumbleFingers, TimLymington Sep 1 '15 at 23:08

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  • Bear in mind that authors often use non-standard forms to indicate lack of sophistication in their characters (like dogs). – TimLymington Sep 1 '15 at 23:07
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The basic answer is that yes, this is just fine. I’m not sure how you want to analyse it; it could be thought of as an appositive or as a topicalization.

Usually an appositive restates a noun or pronoun:

  • The Jones, my neighbors to the south, are always giving away their tomatoes.

For me, you sentence is more of a topicalization:

  • That book, I couldn’t even start it.
  • My folks, they never called me once.
  • My neighbors, they’re alway giving away their tomatoes.

Syntactically it’s something of a discontinuity when you do it that way. But whatever fancy terms you want for it, it’s perfectly normal.

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Nap and Winkle, they looked at the hay and they didn't know what to do.

Unless this is dialog, this sentence has an awkward structure compared to this simpler alternative:

Nap and Winkle looked at the hay and they didn't know what to do.

From this, we can see that adding "they" adds nothing to the meaning of the sentence and only adds complication.

There is another alternatives that is somewhat more complicated because it adds "The two dogs...", but still more natural than the sentence, above:

The two dogs, Nap and Winkle, looked at the hay and they didn't know what to do.

If you had something to say about the internal state of the two dogs, then you could add that in a useful way, and the use of the word "they" would be .

Nap and Winkle were paralyzed. They looked at the hay and they didn't know what to do.

or

Nap and Winkle were stunned because they looked at the hay and they didn't know what to do.

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