My daughter is an animal person. An almost-PETA animal person. She's been this way since birth. I used to tell hubby that she looked like ET in her crib, surrounded by so many stuffed animals that you could see her amongst all the critters. It should be no surprise that our house consists of two dogs, two cats, two guinea pigs, a horse, and now she's trying to get us to agree to an iguana -- which simply ain't gonna happen.
Growing up, she watched basically any show/movie/tape that had a dog in it. If we wanted to surprise her, we'd go to the video store and pick out any movie with a dog on the case. Sometimes it worked, but sometimes it didn't, because, as we found, the mortality rate of animals, especially dogs, in movies is pretty high. If you were a dog, you wouldn't want them to make a movie about you, because odds are, you'd end up dead. This was very disturbing to dd, depending upon the situation. "My Dog Skip" was ok, as she said, cause Skip was old when he died, and had lived a nice long life. "Where the Red Fern Grows" was a disaster -- how in the world was I supposed to know that the dogs died? DS watched about half of it, then left the room to go play chess online. When I went in to say hi to him later, he asked how the movie ended. When I told him, he said, without looking up, "oh dear, I'll bet that didn't go over very well." I thought that the girl was gonna have to have therapy.
One time, I got a movie for her, and watched part first part of it, then had to go to work. Later, I asked ds how it ended he said "can't you please just check for the dead dog warning before you bring these movies home? Cause you know, if there's a dog on the cover, it's gonna be dead, if there's not a dead dog warning on the case, there should be."
Then there was the night that hubby brought home "Old Yeller." Now, I haven't seen it, but I know it's an emotional trainwreck for anyone who watches it. I didn't even let the poor man in the house with it -- made him turn around and take it right back to the video store before he even put his keys down. I don't think she's seen it, to this day.
It's not just dog movies though. "The Yearling" -- she didn't speak to me for a day or two after that debacle. And "Bambi?" Oh dear Lord. When Bambi's mom died, she turned to me, terror stricken, and said "what happened to Bambi's mom?" Before I could reply, her three year old brother said, in his most booming voice, "She's DEAD. DEAD DEAD DEAD." This said, repeatedly, whilst marching around the room. "DEAD DEAD DEAD." Lord have mercy, she cried for an hour and a half AFTER the movie was over. I almost needed therapy after that one.
She's gotten a bit better nowadays, but I'm still thinking that her brother may be onto something -- perhaps the Dead Dog Warning could be his widget. Make him millions of dollars, and he can take care of mom and dad in his old age. And pay for his sister's therapy.