When I was a kid my dad showed me the film “Old Yeller” at the ripe age of 8. I will NEVER forget it because not only is it the sweetest movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life it’s absolutely devastating. I mean…OLD YELLER DIES! Oops. Was I supposed to say spoiler alert?
If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m truly sorry I ruined the ending for you. If you have, you know it’s about an old school, poor Texas family living during the Civil War that adopts a dog, Old Yeller. Yeller eventually becomes a part of the family and grows incredibly close to the two boys.
After many cherished memories and wild adventures, Old Yeller has to protect the family from a terrifying and rabid wolf. The poor dog is bitten by the evil wolf and gets rabies! Oh no! Old Yeller becomes rabid himself and starts acting like a completely different dog. (This freaked me out as a kid…where did Old Yeller go?) The strict Texan dad makes his oldest boy shoot Old Yeller because he wants him to be a man I guess and Old Yeller is dangerous! Then the dog dies. The end. See?! It’s really depressing!
So, did Old Yeller really have to die? Couldn’t they have just put him in a room? Maybe give him treats? Or try to win him over with compliments? Unfortunately the answer is no. They had to kill poor Old Yeller. Bless his little heart. Here’s why:
- He was actually dangerous to himself and other animals
- Rabies is contagious to people!
- Rabies vaccinations were not around back then
- He could’ve spread the disease to other animals
And there you have it! Now you know the answer to the questions we’ve all been DYING to know. RIP Old Yeller.