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JD Ruskin
09-01-2012, 07:55 PM
Deleted because someone decided my question about a fiction dog warranted sending me a threatening e-mail. I am sorry I asked.

PorterStarrByrd
09-01-2012, 08:02 PM
why not just drive a few miles off in a wrong direction and leave him at a rest stop?

The damned things are so stupid you'd be long gone before it knew it was abandoned :)

JD Ruskin
09-01-2012, 08:37 PM
I actually thought about her just abandoning the dog, but the kidnapper doesn't want the boy to know what happens to the dog. And she doesn't know the police are on to her. If she abandons the dog, the people who find him could use his chip to track the owners. If she shoves him in a bag, then no one will find him, or she believes. Thanks!

PorterStarrByrd
09-01-2012, 08:41 PM
Obviously the boy is the smartest of the three :)

xC0000005
09-01-2012, 08:42 PM
Get a plastic five gallon bucket. Like a frosting bucket from the grocery store. The lids fit tight. Just say'in.

PorterStarrByrd
09-01-2012, 08:44 PM
there ought to law against doing that to a bucket.

juniper
09-01-2012, 09:52 PM
Just sayin' here ...

If you kill a dog in such a horrible manner, so cruel to the animal, I would shut the book at that point and burn it in a public place.

And trash you and the book everywhere. :rant:

If you must kill the dog, I suggest you do it in a more humane way.

Just sayin'. ;)

JD Ruskin
09-01-2012, 10:05 PM
I can understand the reaction. I'm not planning to describe the killing of the dog. I can't write something so violent. I was only planning on having the detectives find the dog in the garbage bag and determined it was suffocated. I am certainly open to other ways of killing the dog, but I'm not sure how to do it. Drugs?

Buffysquirrel
09-01-2012, 10:25 PM
I would think the dog would tear its way out of the garbage bags pretty easily. Even small dogs have claws and teeth and a strong will to live. An overdose of a strong sedative or painkiller would probably take it out. Or she could drown it. Or choke it. Or bang it good and hard on the head. Or run over it.

None of these will endear you to the dog-loving reader, mind. You'd probably get more tolerance if you killed the child.

amschilling
09-01-2012, 10:54 PM
Considering my chihuahua/Scottie mix can chew through any toy not made of kevlar in 15 minutes, I doubt a couple garbage bags would work. That dog would be outta there before she could finish sealing with duct tape.

Rat poison in hamburger meat, however, would work. Hitting it with a car would work, too. There are a lot of scenarios. But as others said, none of them will endear you to your readers. Best case scenario would be a quick and painless death, or a sedative OD so doggy just goes to sleep.

JD Ruskin
09-01-2012, 11:06 PM
The dog's death is integral to the plot, so I can't take it out even though I find it disturbing and I am the one writing it. It sounds like a sleeping pill would be the way to go. I am only showing the scene where she leaves with the dog and then the detective finding the remains of the dog. I refuse to write the scene where the dog is killed. I appreciate the feedback.

Nekko
09-02-2012, 12:10 AM
In that case I'd ditto what amschilling and buffysquirrel said and poison it (sedative). It wouldn't paint pictures of horrific agony and terror in the dog's final moments in the minds of the reader.
Downers should dovetail nicely given that your kidnapper appears to be mentally unstable. e.g it is reasonable that she self-medicates or has been seen by a shrink and has a bottle of pills handy.

Little Red Barn
09-02-2012, 12:21 AM
i was reading an award winning book, it was awesome until the author felt the need to kill a cat.

no matter how much i loved the voice, characters etc, at that point i trashed the book, and then understood what a lot of agents say about killing an animal will stop them cold.

'course i imagine agents are referring to animal cruelty, but still ...

eta: an amber alert is always issued for a missing child if it meets a state's criteria. mine requires description of vehicle and license plate. if the local investigation reveals a child has been carried across state lines, the fbi enters into the investigation. additionally, local authorities immediately set up a man hunt.

Niniva
09-02-2012, 12:24 AM
I was going to say clock springs... [I write horror, so I have a whole arsenal of interesting ways to kill things.]

But, yeah, your character would poison it. Possibly even justify it in her mind as a kindness, taking away the pain of living. The delusion can be played up, having bipolar rages at the yipping dog create some low level unpleasantness for the animal, and once she has created misery, she just wants to take it away... and get rid of the dog.

ETA: Or, have her fail with the garbage bag. The dog is still found with a tracking chip, so it can't matter too very much to the plot, unless it is a necessary trauma for the boy. Instead of "...like she killed the dog," it becomes "like she tried to kill the dog."

I mainly deal with bad things happening to people who should have known better, so this is actually kinda squicky for me. Kids and pets, it's too much for me, and I've gone some horrible, horrible things to the protagonist whom my readers will learn to love before they realize that he really is a murdering b*****d.

crunchyblanket
09-02-2012, 12:41 AM
I've got a Shih Tzu, and the little swine could chew his way out of a safe if it came to it. They look dopey, but they can fight if they need to ;)

ironmikezero
09-02-2012, 03:07 AM
FWIW, I'm aware of an old case where a very disturbed individual started small, killing neighborhood pets with puddles of anti-freeze left in inauspicious places. Years later he moved up to poisoning children. He was caught working in an assisted living rest home where a number of deaths were thought suspicious. A nurse was romantically involved with him, but grew suspicious. He tried to silence her, but she survived, went into witness protection, and was to testify against him. However, he did not survive incarceration while awaiting trial - probably a homicide staged as a suicide (hanging). Child molesters/killers don't do well in jail.

StephanieFox
09-02-2012, 04:05 AM
Perhaps you could avoid an graphic dog death (which would upset a lot of people who would then never read your books again) and just have them find the dog already dead. The authorities could express great outrage, which would help satisfy your readers emotional reaction. You could even have them mention, in passing, the way the dog died. (These are little dogs and not a sturdy as a big dog.)

jaksen
09-02-2012, 04:13 AM
Where I live people would put unwanted pets in a burlap sack along with a rock, tie it off and throw it in the closest river.

I, however, don't know anyone who personally did that, but my grandfather once 'joked' about doing that to some feral kittens who were living on his property. I was horrified and he quickly said he was just kidding. (He ended up raising the kittens. One became a loyal house cat; the other two became sort of wild barn cats.) Anyhow, he told me that's what people did when he was a boy.

It would be an easy way for someone to get rid of a small dog.

HarryHoskins
09-02-2012, 04:22 AM
She's delusional ... but not an overtly violent person. How does she kill the dog?

Could you have her think the dog was her childhood Teddy -- let's call him Mister Toodles -- and, in a fit of delusion, hug the dog to death accidentally.


Just sayin' here ...

If you kill a dog in such a horrible manner, so cruel to the animal, I would shut the book at that point and burn it in a public place.

And trash you and the book everywhere. :rant:

If you must kill the dog, I suggest you do it in a more humane way.

Just sayin'. ;)

Well, in this case, how about the dog dies of a broken heart because he knows he'll never see his favourite ladydog -- let's call her Missus Toodles -- again.

Chasing the Horizon
09-02-2012, 05:51 AM
Just sayin' here ...

If you kill a dog in such a horrible manner, so cruel to the animal, I would shut the book at that point and burn it in a public place.

And trash you and the book everywhere. :rant:

If you must kill the dog, I suggest you do it in a more humane way.

Just sayin'. ;)
Wow, you must burn a lot of very popular and critically acclaimed books, not to mention trash a lot of very good authors.


Where I live people would put unwanted pets in a burlap sack along with a rock, tie it off and throw it in the closest river.
People did this in the area where I grew up too. And I did personally know people who did it. But it's unlikely to go smoothly with an adult dog, even a small one, as they have fully-developed teeth and claws to tear through the sack (normally this is done to new-born puppies and kittens whose eyes aren't even open yet, so they have no chance of clawing or chewing through). Of course, maybe the crazy villain doesn't realize this, and does the burlap sack thing anyway. Then the dog could escape, only to drown in the river and wash up somewhere downstream, where the police find it while searching for the boy.

woozy
09-02-2012, 06:32 AM
Um... as this is a work of fiction and the person doing the killing isn't meant to be sympathetic and as gritty detective novels about the societies underbelly is a perfectly legitimate genre, why exactly are we giving you a hard time about this?

My concern is that if the bipolar kidnapper is smart enough to worry about people tracking a live dog's chip to the owner, I'm not sure I buy that she'd be content to assume no-one would find the dead dog and track the chip to the owner.

Then again if she had reason to believe the body was well disposed of (an incinerator the day before a union strike; weighted down with stones in a river but she didn't spend the extra eighty cents to get the name brand garbage bags; etc.)...

Does she need to know that the dog has a chip? I'd be willing to buy that it doesn't occur to her it might chipped. Then she could be worried that someone finding a live dog would put up posters and try to find the owner but she'd assume no-one would bother to do that for a dead dog.

woozy
09-02-2012, 07:05 AM
Deleted because someone decided my question about a fiction dog warranted sending me a threatening e-mail. I am sorry I asked.
Geez! I'm really sorry about that.

juniper
09-02-2012, 07:27 AM
Geez! I'm really sorry about that.

Yeah, me too. Report it to a moderator. Threatening emails are not ok here.

juniper
09-02-2012, 07:40 AM
Wow, you must burn a lot of very popular and critically acclaimed books, not to mention trash a lot of very good authors.


Well, maybe. Can you give a list of very popular and/or critically acclaimed books in which dogs are tortured? I'll let you know if I've read any of them. And if I burned them. ;)

Seriously, though, of course my reply was hyperbole. I've never burned a book or trashed an author publicly. Not my style.

But - for the OP, it would depend on how the scene was written. You said in a later post that you weren't going to *describe* the killing. It's the description of torture that would cause me to stop reading. A passing remark on what had happened earlier wouldn't have the same effect on me, although it would definitely put me off that character. But that was your point, wasn't it? To show she was a bad one.

I don't like graphic violence. When I read urban fantasy, which often has a lot of violence, if the story is good enough, I skim the really rough stuff. If I'm not into the story, I'll put the book down.

I don't need to defend that position. Eh?

Cyia
09-02-2012, 07:42 AM
Deleted because someone decided my question about a fiction dog warranted sending me a threatening e-mail. I am sorry I asked.
I don't know anything about this thread, or what you asked, but if you were threatened, then report it. Forward the email to a mod or MacAllister (the site owner) or Medievalist (one of the site Admins). Threats are taken VERY seriously here, and not tolerated at all.

Chasing the Horizon
09-02-2012, 09:06 AM
Well, maybe. Can you give a list of very popular and/or critically acclaimed books in which dogs are tortured? I'll let you know if I've read any of them. And if I burned them. ;)
Stephen King in It and Needful Things
Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves
Aryn Kyle's The God of Animals has graphic animal cruelty, though not against dogs.


I don't like graphic violence. When I read urban fantasy, which often has a lot of violence, if the story is good enough, I skim the really rough stuff. If I'm not into the story, I'll put the book down.

I don't need to defend that position. Eh?
Everyone is entitled to their own tastes, but hyperboling that you would 'publicly trash' an author who wrote animal cruelty is way over the top. Especially considering the e-mail the OP got, clearly some people feel strongly enough about this for it to not be hyperbole at all.

juniper
09-02-2012, 09:31 AM
Haven't read any of those. May have read "It" a long time ago, but not sure. I read some Stephen King but not all of it.

I didn't read "American Psycho" because of the graphic violence it was said to contain. Didn't see the film either, even though Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors. Just not my thing.

Hey, I'm sorry someone sent a nasty email to the OP. It wasn't me, and I'm not influential enough for my post to inspire bad behavior.

I thought my little winking smiley at the end of my first post was a sign of "no hard feelings" but apparently it didn't come across that way.

Is everyone just on edge around here lately? Or am I extremely obtuse? (always a possibility.)

Back to lurking for me, the waters here are too choppy.

woozy
09-02-2012, 10:43 AM
I thought my little winking smiley at the end of my first post was a sign of "no hard feelings" but apparently it didn't come across that way.


Well, I got that. But what I didn't get was multiple people taking dog killing as a serious issue rather than joking about it. As we are discussing fiction, dark subject matter is perfectly legitimate it'd seem to me. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay is extremely popular and Dexter killed a few dogs in his time before moving on to people.

And JD did say she wasn't going to describe the scene. But even if she had it's her book to to write. I mean, did I miss something in the FAQ? Are we not supposed to post here if we write "gruesome" books?

Chasing the Horizon
09-02-2012, 10:55 AM
Hey, I'm sorry someone sent a nasty email to the OP. It wasn't me, and I'm not influential enough for my post to inspire bad behavior.
I never said it was you (and no, I never thought that either, I assume it's someone who hasn't posted to this thread at all). I just meant that with some subjects it's difficult to tell hyperbole from real feelings, and this is (apparently, for reasons I don't understand) one of those issues. :Shrug:

As for people's attitudes, yes, I've noticed, and I blame it on a combination of back-to-school and the Blue Moon.

ETA: No, woozy, you didn't miss anything. Some idiot just sent a bad message to the OP. That's against the rules. We discuss violence here all the time.

shaldna
09-02-2012, 11:13 AM
Where I live people would put unwanted pets in a burlap sack along with a rock, tie it off and throw it in the closest river.

I, however, don't know anyone who personally did that, but my grandfather once 'joked' about doing that to some feral kittens who were living on his property. I was horrified and he quickly said he was just kidding. (He ended up raising the kittens. One became a loyal house cat; the other two became sort of wild barn cats.) Anyhow, he told me that's what people did when he was a boy.

It would be an easy way for someone to get rid of a small dog.


It's still pretty common here in the country for folks to drown unwanted kittens - cats can quickly take over, they breed so fast, and so early. And often you can't even give them away, shelters are overrun. A lot of country folks will deal with them at a day old in a bucket of water. It's not pleasant.

Nekko
09-02-2012, 12:29 PM
Deleted because someone decided my question about a fiction dog warranted sending me a threatening e-mail. I am sorry I asked.

JD - This was definitely wrong of the person who did this, especially to a newbie. I've met people whose critiques were brutally honest, but never anyone who was threatening. Please don't get discouraged about posting or feel in anyway unwelcome.



Perhaps you could avoid an graphic dog death (which would upset a lot of people who would then never read your books again) and just have them find the dog already dead. The authorities could express great outrage, which would help satisfy your readers emotional reaction. You could even have them mention, in passing, the way the dog died. (These are little dogs and not a sturdy as a big dog.)

Stephanie - JD said early on that he (she?) wasn't going to describe the scene, just have the cops find it already dead.

Rufus Coppertop
09-02-2012, 12:43 PM
Deleted because someone decided my question about a fiction dog warranted sending me a threatening e-mail. I am sorry I asked.
Report that to the mods. Seriously.

juniper
09-02-2012, 12:47 PM
And JD did say she wasn't going to describe the scene. But even if she had it's her book to to write. I mean, did I miss something in the FAQ? Are we not supposed to post here if we write "gruesome" books?

No, you can post whatever you want. As you said, it's your work. But if you do write something heinous, you shouldn't be surprised if some people don't want to read it. Part of sharing ideas is to see what will float and what will sink.

On the other hand, if you write something that's so milquetoast as to be not offensive to anyone, then probably no one will like that either. :)

Everyone's got a line not to cross - for me, it's animal abuse. And graphic violence.

For some, it's on-page sex, or a lot of swear words, or the "wrong" political bent or philosophy.

Can't please everyone - and will probably offend someone - that's the way the world works.

Cath
09-02-2012, 02:54 PM
Deleted because someone decided my question about a fiction dog warranted sending me a threatening e-mail. I am sorry I asked.

JD, please do let me or another mod know if someone is threatening you. That's just not permissible behaviour here and we want to know.

Folks, I saw this thread yesterday and let the question stand. I can think of a number of works of fiction where killing an animal is integral to the plot and character building (e.g.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time).

crunchyblanket
09-02-2012, 04:46 PM
The Wasp Factory involves a fair bit of animal torture too.

FFS, people, it's fiction. Horrible things happen in fiction all the time. Kids die in nasty ways. Animals get tortured. People suffer. Often, these things are used to illustrate just how awful a person/situation is. We're all grown ups here, right?

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
09-02-2012, 05:34 PM
A Lehane I recently read had someone kill a dog, but offstage.

I believe it was Prayers for Rain.

Dave Hardy
09-02-2012, 05:52 PM
Well, maybe. Can you give a list of very popular and/or critically acclaimed books in which dogs are tortured? I'll let you know if I've read any of them. And if I burned them. ;)



In Rider Hggard's Child of Storm, a bowl of milk is tested to see if it contains poison. The subject is a dog, which of course dies. My daughter had asked me to read this to her so I complied, not exactly knowing what was coming.

OMG, the tears. Of course the immediately preceding bit where a baby dies, setting up the poison inquisition, wasn't particularly a problem. She's a sweet loving child, but the dog thing did NOT sit well. :Shrug:

ETA: The Once and Future King has a very graphic scene involving Morgan le Fay and a cat. Yikes!

ETAA: The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe has some nasty cruelty to an animal. The animal gets even.

Stacia Kane
09-02-2012, 06:23 PM
Stephen King in It and Needful Things

A dog is abused in THE DEAD ZONE. And one dies in CUJO. :) King said--I think it was ON WRITING, but he may have said it in an interview or something--that people were more outraged by the doggie death than the human one, and he got a lot of angry mail.

That doesn't mean that if it fits the story, you shouldn't write it, of course.

Chasing the Horizon
09-03-2012, 01:45 AM
A dog is abused in THE DEAD ZONE. And one dies in CUJO. :) King said--I think it was ON WRITING, but he may have said it in an interview or something--that people were more outraged by the doggie death than the human one, and he got a lot of angry mail.

That doesn't mean that if it fits the story, you shouldn't write it, of course.
Hmm, I can't for the life of me remember the abuse scene in The Dead Zone, though I've read the book fairly recently. The scenes in It and Needful Things stick in my mind because they were so incredibly cruel. I'm not surprised King got hate mail, though if you have a problem with graphic cruelty towards animals or children, you probably need to get your ass out of the bookstore's "horror" section.

Does killing evil, rabid dogs count as "abuse"? I figured most people cheered at the end when Cujo was killed.

Nekko
09-03-2012, 10:17 AM
I don't think JD's been back to AW since the 'ignore me' post. After that email I think he decided we weren't people he wanted to hang out with.
His post count hasn't changed.

Whoever sent that email is a real dick.

Cath
09-03-2012, 01:37 PM
I think this thread has run it's course.