It is true that death will one day come for us all and for us dogs, and that death generally lands at our doorsteps more quickly than it does for our human companions. But when we are simply watching a film, or perhaps attempting to eat a jigsaw puzzle or obtain physical affection while a movie plays in the living room, it is especially difficult to understand why we must witness the death of dogs?????? Historically this website has been a great fight against the murder of lesbian and bisexual characters in television but today would like to re-focus our attention away from the LGBTQIA+ community and towards my community, which is dogs (even though I prefer the company of LGBTQIA+ people to the company of dogs but I will save my internalized dogophobia for my therapist).
AHEM. The history of canine representation on television and film is long — in the late 19th century and early 20th century, aka “the era of the incidental dog” we simply lounged in the background and were not told what to do. Beginning in the 1920s, dogs finally found themselves in the spotlight, such as the famed Rin-tin-tin, who appeared in 23 films and pulled in big money for the studios. We eventually became adorable props, delightful matchmakers, comedic pals and adventure friends. As a chihuhua, I tend to pop up in films about wealthy people in Los Angeles. This makes me confused about my own life, because I live in Los Angeles and yet……… where is…… the wealth????!!?!?
However, we still do not see ourselves onscreen nearly as often as I see dogs when I am attempting to walk around outside, pretending that I am in fact the only dog in the entire world. That is why it is all the more tragic that, as The Guardian noted in 2015, we are experiencing an epidemic of “onscreen mistreatment of cute-as-a-button little pooches.” Especially in horror movies, dogs are killed off brutally and graphically in a way that is both unnecessary and unpleasant.
Is it true that dogs die in real life??? It is. But also, lesbians have full sex in real life and how often do we get to see that on the big screen???
My parent Riese wants me to say that as she was helping me construct this post, it for some reason felt more brutal than the dead lesbian characters post and she realized it was because we know the actors who play lesbian characters so it’s easy to separate actor from character but we don’t really know these dogs outside of their screen presences, you know what I mean? So instead of getting a normal amount of sleep, she decided to include the name of the doggie actor wherever she could find it!
**SPOILER ALERT FOR MOVIES AND TV SHOWS WHERE DOGS DIE**
Old Yeller (Spike) in Old Yeller, 1957
Cause of Death: Shot after being exposed to rabies
“This movie ruined my life”
– Riese, CEO of Autostraddle.com
Old Dan & Little Ann in Where The Red Fern Grows, 1974
Cause of Death: Old Dan dies in a fight with a mountain lion and then Little Ann loses her will to live and dies on his grave
I feel close to Little Ann in this movie because I would also die on my best friend (riese)’s grave!!!!
Dinky (Popeye) in National Lampoon’s Vacation, 1983
Cause of Death: Family forgets to untie him from the bumper before leaving a rest stop?? COME ON GUYS
Zowie in Pet Semetary 2, 1992
Cause of Death: Shot by his owner’s sadistic step-father and then becomes a zombie
Hooch (Beasley) in Turner & Hooch, 1989
Cause of Death: Takes a bullet for his owner
Tom Hanks has said that this movie would have done better if the dog had not died!!!! I HAVE TO SAY I AGREE
Charlie in All Dogs Go To Heaven, 1989
Cause of Death: Murdered by another dog but conned his way back to earth, then drowned to save Ann-Marie
The title of this movie is also a content warning, so thank you???
Cause of Death: Shot by the Union soldiers who were arresting his owner
Kaiser (Banner) in Fear, 1994
Cause of Death: Beheaded
Cause of Death: Old Age
Buckley the Beagle (Reba & Cooper) in The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
Cause of Death: Run over by a car
Wes Anderson has it out for us dogs!!!!
Harry (Red) in The Amityville Horror, 2005
Cause of Death: Killed by its owner with an axe
This death is particularly egregious because not only did the dog not die in the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror, also, the dog didn’t die in the story upon which the films were based!!
Akita-Evita in Rent, 2005
Cause of Death: Swan dove into the courtyard of the Gracie Mews
Doc in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season Three, 2006
Cause of Death: Put down after brain cancer diagnosis
Cause of Death: After being caught in a storm in Antarctica waiting for their rescuers to return from saving the humans, Old Jack is too weak from starvation to join his pack when they set out to kill gulls for food so they have to leave him behind and he died. Then Dewey dies after slipping and falling down an incline. But six dogs live!
Sounder I in “The L Word” Season Four, 2007
Cause of Death: Euthanized by Jenny, who had just adopted him knowing he was near-death so that she’d have a reason to make an appointment with a veterinarian named Lindsay who she wanted to seduce because Lindsay was dating a girl who had given Jenny’s book a negative review
Cause of Death: Protects her owner from a zombie attack but is bitten by zombies so her owner has to kill her before she too becomes a zombie
Cause of Death: Put down because he was sick
Hachi (Chico, Layla, and Forrest) in Hachi: a Dog’s Tale (2009)
Cause of Death: Dies waiting for his owner at the train station (his owner doesn’t show up at the train station because he died of a heart attack)
Lady (Zunni) in “Game of Thrones” Season One, 2011
Cause of Death: Given a merciful execution after it was demanded she be killed instead of her sister due to some kind of idk I didn’t see the show
Snoopy (Bella) in Moonrise Kingdom, 2012
Cause of death: Arrow through the neck
Again I must ask Wes Anderson: who hurt you and was it a dog?????
Sadie (Dusty) in The Conjuring (2013)
Cause of Death: Unknown, but implied that it was killed by the evil spirits that are haunting the house
Volta in “Degrassi: The Next Generation” Season 12, 2014
Cause of Death: Run over by her owner’s father
Degrassi goes there???
Isis (Ellie) in “Downton Abbey” Season 5, 2014
Cause of Death: Cancer
Bugsy (Hachi) in The Babadook, 2014
Cause of Death: Choked by his possessed Mom because he wouldn’t stop barking
Daisy (Andy) in John Wick, 2014
Cause of Death: Killed during a home invasion
Bob (Jaro) in The Lobster, 2015
Cause of Death: Kicked/beaten to death
Wiener-Dog in Weiner-Dog, 2016
Cause of Death: Run over by several cars
You can avoid this incident by watching the whole movie and then when there are ten minutes left in the movie, just turn off the movie and go to Wendy’s and get me some chicken nuggets.
Summer (Odin) in “Game of Thrones” Season 6, 2016
Cause of Death: Stayed behind to attack the wights in order to save their master’s life so he could be in the Great War (sorry again i did not see the show because there was too much overall violence but this sounds like a sad death!)
Stanley (Mikey) in It Comes at Night, 2017
Cause of Death: Runs away, gets infected, comes home and is shot to end his misery
Gyp (Ferne) in The Little Stranger, 2018
Cause of Death: Put down after it is haunted into biting a girl’s face
Everybody needs to stop haunting and infecting dogs, we are innocent
Lil Puma in Game Over, Man!, 2018
Cause of Death: Blown up in a koi pond by a bomb strapped to its back
Even worse is that this murder is a second attempt, the first time they strap a bomb to the chihuahua but then it turned out to be the wrong bomb so when they press it to go off, instead it blows the head off of a minor Black character whose torso starts spurting blood everywhere.
Morton, Greta, 2019
Cause of Death: Drinks poison that was put in his milk
Jack, The Devil All The Time, 2021
Cause of death: Shot by his owner’s father who believes he must sacrifice him to save his wife from dying of cancer
Sparky, “WandaVision” Season One, 2021
Cause of Death: Initially mysterious, later attributed to murder
Merryboy (Ruger Ziesmer), Fear Street 3, 2021
Cause of Death: Drowns in the well
Pike, “Midnight Mass” Season One, 2021
Cause of Death: Poisoned
Biscuit, “Yellowjackets” Season One, 2022
Cause of Death: Goes missing and later his owner finds a shrine in her basement that contains his head and heart