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I think that people are looking at this novel in the wrong light entirely. I mean, yes, it does involve dogs and there is an element of sadness to it.. but it's about life, the entire novel is about life and devotion and love, and it's kind of sad to see it broken down into some book about "cute things" dying.

Also, I have to point out that Where the Red Fern Grows isn't a boy and his dog book so much as a two dogs and pure, hardcore emotion. I don't remember the parts of the story that dealt with the boy nearly as well as I remember those which were solely about the animals. That may sound silly.. but I tend to think that dogs are passionate animals. The story is touching, and yes, it is also quite sad, but life is sad. Sometimes the most achingly beautiful things in life are also those that emanate with sadness.

It's easy to peg a book like this one down as being a travesty to dogs, or something along those lines, or even as just another Disney type flick.. but if you really read it, actually pay attention to it, it's a nice story. I like the fact that the boy in the book can see the bond between the two animals, but a lot of people reading don't understand. I think it's sort of a testament to the kind of devotion you just don't see very often anymore.. perhaps this is why so many people miss it in the novel.