The dog dies...a cautionary list.

I remember as a child I would happily pick books off the library shelves based on the happy dog (horse, etc.) on the cover, only to find that the animal kicks it miserably partway through.
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195 books · 174 voters · list created August 19th, 2008 by Sarah (votes) .
35 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Sarah 2181 books
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Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah The Hotel New Hampshire is a great addition to this list. My mother read it the year it came out, when I was five. She told me the whole saga of the dog (before and after death);she thought it was hilarious, but it haunted me for years. Years later, I read the book, and that whole incident was exactly how I had remembered it. It was still disturbing, but as it turns out, my mother was right, and it was sort of hilarious as well.


message 2: by Katherine (new)

Katherine These books are ones that I've sworn to never read. People tell me that they're worth it, but I refuse!!!!! The dog dies!! why would I read it?


message 3: by Camila (last edited Jan 03, 2009 07:02PM) (new)

Camila Love That Dog and Marley and Me are two of my most favorite books even though the yellow labs in them remind me so much of my old lab, Sadie. I love the books so much because they have that ability to make you laugh and to make you cry. And laugh until you cry! ; ) They're both really great books that will touch your heart and will be worth the tears.


message 4: by elissa (new)

elissa Uh, the dog was still alive at the end of THE UNDERNEATH.


message 5: by Leela4 (new)

Leela4 What a great idea for a list! Very useful!


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy Neither of the two dogs died in "The Red Pony."


message 7: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I have read and enjoyed many books in which the dogs/animals die very sadly, but it is nice to have some forewarning. Thanks for this list!


message 8: by manatee (new)

manatee I used this list to provide some reading suggestions for a homebound patron at my library who wanted novels about dogs.
Thanks for the help. Very useful.


message 9: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I appreciate this warning very much, I hate thinking about animals suffering.

I added Hawkmistress -- I can't remember for sure if the hawk dies, but I know a lot of awful things happen that I was not at all old enough to read about when I got this from the library.


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited May 31, 2010 03:45PM) (new)

Katherine wrote: "These books are ones that I've sworn to never read. People tell me that they're worth it, but I refuse!!!!! The dog dies!! why would I read it?"

So you can cry your eyes out. Still crying.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Dogs are better than people! Except for pit bulls but that is the fault of people.


message 12: by Miriam (new)

Miriam The more I know of men the better I like dogs

Years ago I read a novel where at the end the boy's dog gets put down because it bit a man who attacked the boy. Does that sound familiar to anyone? I don't remember the author or title but it should go on this list.


message 13: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls Miriam wrote: "I added Hawkmistress -- I can't remember for sure if the hawk dies, but I know a lot of awful things happen that I was not at all old enough to read about when I got this from the library. "

The hawk doesn't die, but the horse does, and it's terribly traumatic.

It's traumatic for a purpose, but that didn't stop me from crying hysterically everytime I reread the book. :)


message 14: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Same here.

And if we're including ones where the horse dies, I guess I should add Magic's Pawn.


message 15: by Myles (last edited Mar 24, 2011 03:42PM) (new)

Myles Added Pride of Baghdad, if horses count then this one should be up there; and Sharp Teeth, which is obvious, but so is Cujo.

Edit: Added A High Wind in Jamaica, very early on a beloved housecat dies.


message 16: by Erica (new)

Erica I thought about putting Life of Pi on here. Do you think it makes sense? It is very animal violent and I found it traumatic. I realize the animals aren't pets, though.

Also, I had always wondered about I Am Legend. I had wanted to see the movie, but as soon as I saw he had a dog as a companion I didn't think I should risk it!


message 17: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.


message 18: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I added Judas Child. It was an amazing book, but incredibly sad! I avoid sad animal stories like the plague - fact or fiction, I just cannot bear for animals to suffer. I've often wished for a list like this, so that I know beforehand when NOT to read something! Thanks so much!


message 19: by Kelly (new)

Kelly BTW, if The Red Pony is like the movie... omg, way too sad.


message 20: by Tamsen (new)

Tamsen Thank you, I went ahead and removed any book that was still to-read!!!


message 21: by Silver (new)

Silver I have always wanted to read stories about dogs. But I don't like sad endings. This list would help me choose a book that won't make me depressed about it. I just want a happy dog read. So, thanks for the list!


message 22: by Juuli (new)

Juuli I added The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.


message 23: by Claire (new)

Claire In Lassie Come-Home, Lassie doesn't die. It's another dog who dies when her master is attacked and Lassie fight the attackers.


The Lady Inquisitor I'm going to stay far away from the books on this list lol. Even though Marley and Me is a favorite of mine :)


message 25: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper I hate being made to cry, it drives me into a spiral of depression and bad moods. So, a very good list!

I added Kholstomer, the horse's death haunted me throughout my youth, and added To Wed The Widow which is all playful about puppies and dogs, to then have her most beloved dog shot for a cheap thrill. Endlessly drawn out and in full detail as well. Yuck. Not what you'd expect in a romance.


message 26: by Milli Linnea (new)

Milli Linnea Thanks. Very useful list. I hate reading books that are upsetting, especially when it's about animals. Life is sad enough as it is.


message 27: by Autumn♥♥☽ (new)

Autumn♥♥☽ Miriam wrote: "The more I know of men the better I like dogs

So true!



message 28: by Anna Serene (new)

Anna Serene For real I cried for HOURS after reading Where the Red Fern Grows. I couldn't stop. I both hate and love that book.


message 29: by Beth (new)

Beth Roberts I second Where the Red Fern Grows. I couldn't believe it. I still remember the chair and position where I was sitting when I read that part. It's been 40 years and it still haunts me.

I added NOS4A2 and Funerals for Horses. It's a horse in the second one and you know it's coming, but it made me sob into my dog's neck. So, same thing, right? Dog thought I was nuts. If you can hack it, I enjoyed "Funerals for Horses" very much.


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