So I was thinking about this this morning after my amazement last night that they were using Old Yeller as a mascot to sell dog food: when it comes to movies, books, tv shows, etc..I seem to get much more broken up and sad when an animal, particularly a dog, dies than I do when it’s a person.
I don’t know what kind of a pathological person that makes me, but anytime I’m reading a book or watching a movie and the protagonist or group has a faithful dog, and there’s a bit of foreshadowing that something bad is about to happen…I start crossing my fingers and hoping that the dog makes it out ok, even more so than I do about most of the human characters.
With my admitted love of postapocalyptic fiction and movies, there’s plenty of times where it’s just a lone man and his dog…and a lot of time the dog dies and damn if it doesn’t make me sad every time…might even get a little dusty in the room sometimes. I recently finished a newer book in the genre where the protagonist spent several chapters mourning the loss of his trusty dog, and it made me want to go hug mine.
In real life terms, I’ve personally never had to be involved in putting an animal to sleep. My last dog died in her sleep and I ended up burying her, which was tough to say the least, but I can’t imagine how much tougher it is to do it the sterile vet office way, saying goodbye and all that stuff. I’m sure I’ll have to someday but I don’t look forward to it.
It’s not that I don’t like people, though I’m one of those folks that likes individuals more than the group as a whole for sure, and I’ve been very broken up by the deaths of many people both in my real life and in fiction, and a dog is just a dog…but I still can’t help help having a soft spot for the pups.