I find I can watch movies where scores of people are offed in sometimes the most dreadful fashion, but if an animal is treated poorly, or God forbid dies, I go to pieces. In fact, I havent’ watched a movie involving animals since the hugely touted “great family movie” March of the Penguins. I understand the Circle of Life. I don’t need to see it in high definition.
Now, someone has created a web site to give a heads up about whether an animal dies in a movie and/or book. The site is www.doesthedogdie.com, and you can search titles and the results gives you a brief summary and a tally of contributors who have listed “yes“ or “no” on dying. Now, the site needs work. It’s not very aesthetically appealing. It looks rather thrown together, but for all practical purposes, I got the answers I wanted and not one yielded a movie I could watch or book I could read about a dog. A Dog’s Purpose, Marley and Me, The Art of Racing in the Rain all were best-selling books and likely wonderful movies I can never watch.
Additionally, the site has over sixty other categories for possible emotional triggers.
I think because I’m getting older, the much shorter lifespans of those with fur and feathers seems so unfair. How much better is our day when we know someone at home is will be over the moon to see us when we walk through the door? We want those days to last as long as we do. When I come home, I have three parrots calling my name and two dogs with wild wiggling butts (they’re Mini Australian Shepherds so they don’t have much of a tail). Five days into a vacation, we were ready to come home because we missed our babies.
And as I write this, I have one dog shoving a ball in my lap, another pawing my arm, and from the living room all three parrots are in their morning jam session of chatter. Some days, I get few words down because of the interruptions. I used to get annoyed until I realized, my husband and I have this whole world of places to go, things to see and do, and family and friends to visit. But to my pets, we are their whole world. Nearly everything in their lives revolves around us. I can’t even remember the last time I was alone in the bathroom.
Lucy is the emotional, sensitive and responsible one. Just days after we brought her home, Lucy realized our very old dog Lily was blind and immediately became her self-appointed guide dog even though Lily had been blind for well over a year and didn’t need guiding. But when Lily crossed the rainbow bridge earlier in the year, Lucy was heart-broken and still sits for a time at Lily’s grave every day. We got Raven to be a companion for Lucy. And despite the fact, they are the same breed, two more different dogs were never born. In human form, Raven is the sixteen-year-old girl who sneaks out of the house and then lies about it with a completely straight face. No apologies or shame.
They are good companions for each other and my husband and I. They are cheap entertainment, but more importantly, our dogs make us better people. We care more others and think about ourselves less.
When I wrote my debut novel, Captured Hearts, I inserted Spencer, a lab/retriever mix into the story initially as a random thing. However, as the story evolved, he became a very important character; because this dog became a support and healing entity for my heroine. Without Spencer, Allee wouldn’t have come close to working through her problems.
Dogs can do amazing things to our hearts and lives. When a dog comes into your life, an unbreakable bond is created and will never break, even in the afterlife. Movies often do a great job of showing such a bond. Unfortunately, for me, I will never see most of them.