Dear writers who kill dogs…

Dear Writers Who Kill Off  Dogs;

Not to be overly regulatory, but I believe if you are going to kill off a dog in a novel, you should have to put a little warning label on the cover. Readers are sensitive about many things, but there is nothing that gets down in their cockles like the mistreatment of animals. I know. In my first cozy series I committed the sin of wounding a bird in book one. The bird was damaged mind you, not killed. Though I diligently explained the bird’s road to recovery, I got more mail about that than the murdered characters. People love their animals in illogical ways, most of all, their dogs. Why is this? Perhaps it’s the fact that dogs have no voice and they are the epitome of unconditional love. I am not sure, but what I do know is if I’m writing a book about dogs, they’re going to live, by gum. If I’m reading a book with a dog as a character, I jolly well expect Fido to survive. Irrational? Yes. Unrealistic? Maybe, but it’s a deal breaker for me. If that critter dies in chapter five, I’m out, and I don’t care how riveting the plot.

So there you go. Am I alone in this? How do you feel out there writers and readers of planet Earth? Can you handle dead dogs in your novels? 

Info about Dana’s book Sit, Stay, Love


6 responses to this post.

  1. I feel the same way about cats. Like I love “Boondock Saints,” but the scene where the cat gets splattered against the wall just kills me. I can’t watch it. I had someone write a story in a creative writing class of mine where an old lady adopts a deaf kitten…and then there’s a lawn mower… *cries*

    I feel like there should be warnings on some things, but at the same time, a lot of people will use that to say, “Snowflakes want warnings on everything!”

    Sometimes there’s a plot point that’s advanced by the death of something, but sometimes it’s just put there. I can’t stand it when authors kill off animals.



    • A lawnmower? Acck! I was being a little silly about the warning label idea, but I agree with you. No need to kill a fictional animal just for the shock value. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      Dana Mentink, national bestselling fiction author

      Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col 3:12




  2. lol, had to fight my co-author about this point in the cozy mystery that was just published. I won. I don’t like it when an animal dies in a book or movie.



  3. Not malicious killing. But I read a book where an elderly dog passed away and I was okay with that.



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