I was watching the premier of American Horror Story last night and the wife has a little dog. And I watched the entire episode waiting for that dog to get killed and knowing that, frankly, the story so far is not good enough for me to keep watching the show after they kill that dog.
People have different squicks, different things that just kill a story for them. Animal death is mine. I have to be very invested in a story to keep going after that.
I know that they're going to kill this dog because that's what happens whenever there's a pet in a story like this.
Supernatural killed a dog a couple seasons back and if it had been any other show? I probably would have stopped watching for a while if not all together. Puppy...
I Am Legend? The dog dies. I hate that movie for that reason alone.
I'll never see Marley & Me (or read the book). Where the Red Fern Grows? Forget it. Old Yeller. The movie coming out in December called War Horse? I'm pretty sure that horse dies. I won't see the movie until I know for sure otherwise. There was an article a long time ago about a Richard Gere movie and it was all about him and this dog. I got the impression from the article that the dog dies and I have wiped all knowledge of that movie from my mind. Paranormal Activity 2 escapes this just because the dog lives.
You can do pretty much anything you want to the humans in the story and I'll be okay. But throw in a pet that gets hurt or killed and I'm gone...