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Does the dog die?

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I avoid any books where the dog dies.   :ban   In fact, I never did read Island of the Blue Dolphins as a kid because I heard it was sad.  I didn't read Bridge to Terabithia as a kid either, for the same reason. 
#31 - April 24, 2008, 07:22 PM

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... Did a chihuahua ever drag its owner from a burning building? ...

No, but a chihuahua did sacrifice it's life by taking on a pitbull that was attacking a toddler and more recently one saved a toddler from a rattlesnake. I'm convinced dogs don't recognize their own "size." My Sheltie is every bit as ferocious (maybe more so) than my shepherd/husky mix or my Heinz 57, who both outweigh him by 35+ pounds each. If someone ever threatened me - I'd put my money on little Clint as the one who'd rush to my rescue first.   :dog

No More Dead Dogs is one of my favorite books! I shy away from any book where the dog (or any animal) dies... although as a kid, I read every dog/horse/cat book the library had... sheesh! I did a lot of crying!
#32 - April 25, 2008, 04:54 AM
XVI, Puffin/Speak, available now
Truth, Puffin/Speak, January 2012

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In my Supernatural Rubber Chicken series, the mom is a writer who always stares at her computer and ignores her kids. (Write what you know.) In the first book of the series (coming June 10!), she wants to win a Newbery award and thinks up all these plots in which dogs die, or mothers die, or dogs and mothers die. It's obviously a pet peeve of mine, and was a lot of fun for me to write!
#33 - April 25, 2008, 06:56 AM


I think your logic is solid, kids, dog, newbery = dead dog.  Never read it, but I'd lay money on the hunch the dogs bites it.
#34 - April 25, 2008, 11:25 AM

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Well, shoot!

I told my son this was a great book no matter what, but for the moment, he's not going for it. Maybe he just needs to practice with "Shiloh" and "Where the Red Fern Grows" first...

Let this be a lesson to all of us who would kill off our animal friends in our books! (Not that my books HAVE any animals--although I was thinking of introducing a dog... who will now be immortal ... )

My 10 year old picked Where the REd Fern Grows to read this week. She can't put it down. She's been carrying it with her EVERYWHERE. SHe even took it to the grocery store AND ChikFilA to read while she waited.

I wanted to warn her that it would end with both dogs dying, so I asked if she wanted me to tell her. She said, "NO! Don't!" THEN, in the next breath she muttered, "These dogs better not die!" 

Um, I better have an emergency box of tissues and chocolate handy.

Perhaps Jack London's books might be a good chocie for her next time! :)


#35 - April 25, 2008, 11:37 AM
Being Frank (Flashlight Press)


Note to self:

Pets must not die.



I didn't want a Newbery, anyway.
#36 - April 25, 2008, 02:49 PM


I'm with the son.

I avoid books and movies where things happen to pets or kids.

If I know about it before hand I won't read or watch it. Can't even do it with tough news stories.

Barbjn, putting head back in sand. I'd say "living in la la land" but now "La la" has a whole new meaning after that "It's Just a Plant" book.
#37 - April 25, 2008, 03:26 PM



When I was in the 4th grade my teacher read Where The Red Fern Grows to the whole class.  We cried buckets, even the boys.  Before that was Old Yeller and after was Savage Sam.  It was a very weepy year.  Good idea with the tissues & chocolates.

#38 - April 25, 2008, 05:09 PM

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It wasn't just Newbery winners.  It seemed like the pet died in every book I read growing up that had a pet in it.  The minute the animal first appeared in the story, I'd think, "uh oh."  It got to the point where I wouldn't even read a book if I knew the kid had a pet.
Pets generally don't live as long as people, and pet death is many kids' first encounter with death, so it's an important topic to have in some books.  Also, in Old Yeller, the killing of the dog was an essential part of the character's growth.  But still . . . I'd like to see just as many books where the animals don't die.
#39 - April 27, 2008, 10:11 AM
Jennifer R. Hubbard

Loner in the Garret: A Writer's Companion
Until It Hurts to Stop
Try Not to Breathe
The Secret Year

Diane, the fact that the wild dogs ate the little brother was *much* more traumatic for me than the dogs death in this book. It's not for every kid.
#40 - April 27, 2008, 01:48 PM


I have a copy of NO MORE DEAD DOGS, which I've never gotten around to reading, and after reading all these posts, I was considering offering it to my 9-year-old son, who was sobbing last night about the movie THE WATER HORSE, which includes several kinds of losses (spoiler alert, but no, the water horse doesn't die--or at least, not until it's old!). I thought he'd appreciate something funny without the sadness. But the first few pages were about how his dad lied all the time, he was wrong in thinking his parents got along well, and his parents divorced when he was in 5th grade. I think that would make my son throw up as the way to start a funny book when he was already so sad about the idea of a dad gone off to war in that movie and already tense because DH and I were fighting today... So, that's not the funny book I'll be offering today! Maybe in a year or two.
#41 - April 27, 2008, 01:58 PM
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 02:01 PM by Alison »

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I remember looking and seeing if a book had an award and thinking it was the kiss of death (oops no pun intended :dr) for a book.  As a kid I never saw what was sooo great about most of those books and sometimes as an adult, I am left scratching my head.  Someone or someone's pet has to die or you have to become an adult at the age of 12?

Okay, there are great Newbery books out there, but in general I do not recommend them unless you want to cry. 

I am the same way with the books I read as an adult, mindless reading.  Take me away to where everything turns out okay.   :duel

Liz :writing
#42 - April 28, 2008, 02:13 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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This thread made me laugh.

Just last week we rented the DVD of I Am Legend, and almost as soon as it started I said, "How soon do we think the dog will die?"

#43 - May 24, 2008, 06:03 AM

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Just last week we rented the DVD of I Am Legend, and almost as soon as it started I said, "How soon do we think the dog will die?"

Oh, yeah. It is one of those moments where you think yelling at the tv will get the dog to safety.
#44 - May 24, 2008, 06:06 AM
Anglerfish: Seadevil of the Deep
Candlewick Books, April 2022


The thing is, some kids have lives that are full of loss and death and sadness.  I had several pets die before I was ten, and I absolutely loved the dead dog books (Old Yeller being my personal favorite) because I got to have the feelings with those book-dogs that I couldn't have with my own, in the privacy of my own reading.  And I got to see how parents/kids dealt with loss in a different way than my own family.

Seriously, those kinds of dead-dog (and other loss) books got me through...
#45 - May 24, 2008, 08:21 AM


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