Did you ever notice that they don’t ever show the movie “Old Yeller” on TV anymore?

At least I never see it on anymore.  This one little, seemingly insignificant thing, explains almost everything that is wrong with America today.  I bet that all of you have heard of “Old Yeller”, and that most of you have seen it, but for those of you who for whatever reason, haven’t, here’s the part of the movie that is most often referred to and remembered:

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Click this link for video. I haven't figured out how to insert videos on Word Press yet.


The thing that everyone needs to understand that “Old Yeller” was not a fantasy tale, it was meant to be a realistic story about a family’s life in the late 1860’s.  In other words, it showed how people actually thought and acted back then.


It’s not surprising that people’s attitudes have changed a lot since that period right after the civil war.  What is surprising is how and when that change has taken place.  “Old Yeller” was written in 1956, and made into a movie in 1957, almost 100 years after the story was supposed to take place.  It’s primary audience was children, and it was meant to reinforce traditional values and morals.


When I was a kid, everyone that I knew had seen “Old Yeller”  It was part of our consciousness.  I (and almost everyone that I knew) owned a dog, but we all understood that dogs don’t live as long as humans, and that no matter how much we loved them, the value of the lives of our dogs could never, and should never be equated to that of a human life.  Few people today could ever understand the bond we had with our dogs.  We spent almost every day that we were not in school with them, playing, exploring, trespassing, and otherwise getting into trouble.


I have many memories of my dogs and my friends’ dogs, but I have no memory of any of our parents spending much money on them.  Our dogs were part of our lives, until one day when they wouldn’t come to meet us in the morning.  If they seemed sick the previous day, we immediately expected the worst.


There’s few things worse than being a kid, slowly walking to wherever it was that your dog usually spent the night, knowing that you will almost certainly find he had died, or even worse, be in some type of Old Yeller situation.  There was no spending thousands of dollars on vet bills, when I was young.  Even fairly well-to-do families understood that doing so would almost certainly be counterproductive for the family budget, the dog, and children who loved the dog the most.


A suffering dog, that had less than a 50/50 chance of making it, even with the best of care, was put down, at home, for the cost of 22 shell.  A lot of crying, a hole dug in the back yard, a funeral service attended by siblings and friends, a homemade wooden cross planted in the fresh dirt, and it was over.  It did however, make us more realistic about life and the world around us, and it toughened us up emotionally, making it easier for us to deal with more traumatic things that were sure to follow.


Today, it’s hard to find movies like “Old Yeller”, or anything else that portrays traditional values, common sense, or the tough choices that must be made in life to children, and most of this change has occurred in the last 40 years.  This is the result:


source:The New York Times


All Dogs May Go to Heaven. These Days, 

Some Go to Hospice.

J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

Dr. Mary Gardner, a veterinarian, co-founded an in-home pet hospice and euthanasia service called Lap of Love.

Published: November 30


More and more, cats and dogs get the human treatment. There are pet spas, pet therapists, pet clothes. And as it goes in life, so it now goes in the twilight. The latest phenomenon: pet hospice.

Around the country, a growing number of veterinarians are offering hospice care, and marketing it as a way to give cats and dogs — and their owners — a less anxious, more comfortable passing.

The approach, in the spirit of the human variety, entails ceasing aggressive medical treatment and giving pain and even anti-anxiety drugs. Unlike in hospice care for humans, euthanasia is an option — and in fact, is a big part of this end-of-life turn. When it’s time, the vet performs it in the living room, bedroom or wherever the family feels comfortable.

That’s a big part of the job, the vets say, relieving pet owner guilt, giving them an emotional bridge to a pet’s death, and letting them grieve at home — rather than in a clinic or animal shelter. The intimacy carries a premium, sometimes costing 25 percent or more than euthanasia in a clinic. Vets, and their customers, say it can be worth it.


What better example of the negative consequences of shielding children from reality do we need?  A dog hospice.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  In order for such a thing to come into existence, a few main ingredients are required, including are adults that:

  1. don’t fully understand the reality of life and death.

  2. are so selfish that they place avoiding dealing with their own weaknesses above the best interests of their dogs.

  3. have come by money so easily their entire lives, that they would rather spend it, than deal with what they are obligated to deal with.

  4. have such screwed up priorities that they would rather spend their money on a dog that is sure to die, than other humans in need.

There is no way that I can prove it, but I would be willing to bet just about any amount of money that I could afford, that the vast majority of these dog hospice customers are liberals.  That is why it irks me so when I hear people say that liberals are more compassionate than conservatives.

If you shield a child from the realities of life, the end result will almost always be a liberal adult.  That’s what being a liberal is all about, avoiding reality, whereas being a conservative is all about dealing with it.



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Comment by Neil Schnurr on December 4, 2013 at 5:45pm

Roni, I think that it's great that you love and take good care of your dogs.  That is commendable.  I love my dogs too, but I not talking about (and you know I'm not) talking about a couple hundred dollar vet bill to treat a dog that can easily be brought back to a state of good health.  It cost me over $100 for routine vet visits.

 I 'm talking about people who spend thousands, yes thousands, on vet bills for a dog that is either well past his normal life expectancy, or is in such a condition, that it is highly unlikely that he could survive, regardless of what treatment he may recieve.

 I don't know if it's from my experience raising feeder pigs or what, but I can just tell (with at least 90% accuracy), if an animal is going to make it or not, whether they're sick or injured.  I've told friends and relatives when they would be better off saving their money. Sometimes they listen to me, sometimes they don't, but the end result is always the same - a dead dog.

When you're talking thousands, there is a definite connection between excessive vet bills and paying for college tuition. Especially when running your own business and unexpected expenses and unexpected opportunities that require immediate cash outlays occur simultaneously, which is the way things so often happen. Sometimes you can get a little strapped when you take the opportunity to buy a years worth of supplies, or a piece of equipment for 50% of the going price, but the seller demands cash only.  You can't plan for opportunities like that, they just come up, usually at the most inconvenient times. 

 Dogs are an important part of many families.  I have risked my life, to save my dog.  He wandered out onto thin ice, fell through, and couldn't get out.  Regardless of the danger, I crawled out onto the ice and pulled him out.  I just couldn't watch him drown.  (I do stupid things too.)

If you are living within your budget, then none of what I said applies to you, so don't get offended by it. If you are not, then don't read my follow-up pieces on this subject.  They'll just make you mad.  Maybe TPN will not allow them to be posted.  I've already put up one post that got deleted.  In case anyone's interested, this was it:


Comment by Roni Freels on December 4, 2013 at 7:37am

Neil, I am having difficulty following your reply.  Let me first elaborate on one issue. No, I would never put my dogs life above that of a child. However, when I decide to bring a dog into my family/ home, I understand the financial responsibility that may come with the dog. I must be prepared for any emergency that may arise during that dog's life.  I would never selfishly permit my dog to suffer, but there are better ways to end suffering than shooting him in the head.  I see no connection between your dad's business ownership burdens, your sister attending college and the life of your dog. We had two dogs when my son decided to go to medical school, but we managed to get his schooling complete and afford periodic visits to the vet if my dogs needed medical attention or yearly vaccines.

If everyone had your mindset there would be no reason for vets.  Animals would suffer unmercifully and then the rifle would get loaded.

Old Yeller was a wonderful movie and I cried when he died, but he didn't actually die, he was an actor.  My 16 year old that I had to have euthanized, was not an actor; he was my best friend...he was family.  I would never put a gun to a family members head because they were ill.

I don't believe for a moment that because I love and care for my dogs that I am Liberal minded, that is an insult that you could have omitted from your article. Liberals believe it is alright to abort the unborn child; I do not!  Raising a child is extremely costly, but again, responsibility.  I would never put myself in a situation where I had to make a choice to feed my child or my dog. I have the responsibility of caring for both.  Neither the child or the dog asked to be in my care...neither should suffer.  Unable to afford a vet bill occasionally is poor planning, and I am having difficulty believing that a couple hundred dollars respectfully put your dog down would not have kept your sister from attending college; nor would it have broken your dad's business.

I understand making tough calls.  I have dealt with tough calls my entire life.  In many instances my tough calls have been in regards to my animals, which does in no way make me a short-sighted and selfish Liberal. My tough calls helped me to grow and become a responsible, caring person.  I believe shooting a dog in the head to avoid paying a vet bill is short-sighted and selfish, and I repeat...inhumane.

I am assured you could have spent your time on an article which would have been more acceptable my most Tea Party enthusiast.  Insinuating that people who spend money to possibly save their pets lives is Liberal minded is asinine. 

Comment by Neil Schnurr on December 3, 2013 at 6:48pm

To Victorena, Ronni, and Alexia,

I sure you all love(ed) your dogs.  It's not about that,  it's about making the call.  Not the easy call (anyone can do that), but the tough call.  Spending "any amount of money" to prolong a dog's life for what ever period, is just a way to avoid making the tough call.  Liberalism in a nutshell, is spending money to avoid making the tough call. Liberalism is both short-sighted and selfish.  No adult that has to work all day and then take care of things at home could possibly love a dog more than a kid who spent the entire day, every day when not at school with his best four legged friend, but I trusted my Dad to make the right call.  He had to make tougher calls than that every day.  Running a business, decisions come up where there are thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on the line, and sometimes, the correct call must be made at a moment's notice.  There's no "I'm going to sleep on it."  The call must be made NOW and it has to be the right call. In that particular case, there was no way he was going to tell my older sister that she wasn't going to be able to go to college because he just spent $2000 on her brother's dog that's probably going to die next week anyway. When you are responsible for setting a families priorities, and looking out for their best interests, there are times where you are going to make those tough calls.  Avoiding making the call, prevents you from getting the experience to make the right calls, and sets you on a road that leads to bankruptcy.

Comment by Karen Jourden on December 3, 2013 at 1:29pm

I loved my dogs though out my life. I see nothing wrong with taking care of them but I don't believe they should be above human life. You don't jeopardize your families life for an animal. I don't believe that animals is above humans. I just lost a dog like Old Yeller to cancer. I did have her go to the vet and have her tumors taken out to prolong her life. She stayed at my house. My husband and I took care of her. We didn't shoot her or have her euthanize but made her very comfortable as possible.

Comment by Victorena Minchew on December 3, 2013 at 10:03am

I beg to differ...loving and caring for your pets in no way makes one a "Liberal".  My dearly beloved dog, when he had reached the end of his life, was brought to the vet and euthanized in as humane a manner as possible, and I would much have preferred to have had the vet come to our home for the euthanization, I just live too far away from anywhere for that to be possible.  The day the vet told me that they had done all they could do for him, and that his quality of life was over, I would have spent any amount of money to have had just one more week, one more day, to enjoy the love and devotion he had given me throughout his life, but I loved him too much to selfishly keep him alive and suffering, so I said goodbye to the love of my life and let him go peacefully.

That was the lesson I got from Old Yeller.  Maybe you missed it. 

Comment by Lizzie on December 3, 2013 at 9:25am

Roni you're close; the horses were in a paddock.  Same problem, needed to buy feed.  I'm pretty sure Children's Services would agree that the mother had a greater responsibility to feed her human children, than to feed her pets.

And no, I don't work in a pet store a anymore.  Don't know why that would make you happy-- the customers of the Mom-and-Pop store all knew me and were in fact, used to sharing much more personal information with me (for whatever reason!  I'm glad I'm not such a "good listener" anymore!).  Comment was not out of place in context.

Comment by Roni Freels on December 3, 2013 at 7:23am

Lizzie, the horses were more than likely contained in a barn. Had they been in pasture the owners would not have to go hungry to feed them.  Responsibility is a great part of animal ownership.  If those folks could not afford horses they should never have gotten them.  In essence, it really is none of anyone else's business how and why others spend their money.  I hope you have found employment elsewhere and no longer work in a pet store. 

Comment by Roni Freels on December 3, 2013 at 7:10am

Because I love my dogs does not make me Liberal minded. I am a Tea Party Conservative who believes my dogs have a right to life. To save my dogs life I would go to any limit. Dogs are not "just" dogs; they are family members. My dogs have been there for me; always waiting at the door for me to return from work. Or to lick my face should I cry. No greater friend could I ever have than my two dogs, other than Jesus. I would never consider shooting my dog in the head to relieve him of sickness. How could anyone look into the eyes of their companion; their best friend, and shoot them because they became ill? That is inhumane and in my opinion it teaches children to be abusive and ruthless.
All the creatures great and small our Heavenly Father loves them all.

Comment by Dave3200 on December 2, 2013 at 11:01pm

I agree, Old Yeller was one of the best family style movies ever. And it contained a number of valuable lessons for youngsters. Here's a link to the full length movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yaCdjNPMTs

Comment by Dennis Langston on December 2, 2013 at 10:43pm

The ASPCA and Humane Society have a great scam going. When an animal comes in they get paid to neuter it then when it stays one day too long they get paid again to euthanize the animal they just neutered.

Just scrolled across TV screen.....Lawyer filed suit in New York on behalf of a chimp  being held against his will  as a pet in a New York home. Check it out on USA Today. Wish I had it as good as that chimp. Still wondering where that lawyer learned to speak chimpanzee.

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