Why do I care that Jennifer Aniston's dog died?

aniston_dog_norman

Image Credit: PacificCoastNews.com

In many ways, the media attention paid to the passing of Jennifer Aniston’s beloved dog, Norman, is the height of our celebrity obsession run amok. But while most readers probably rolled their eyes or quickly clicked to the next story, I admit that I’ve read the stories about Norman (left), Aniston’s Welsh corgi-terrier who passed away a few weeks ago after 15 years. Anyone who’s ever had a dog knows the empty sadness of suddenly not having that enthusiastic “hello” at the door after a long day of work, and the news that someone — anyone — has lost a furry best friend is a tender reminder of one’s own canine companions.

I know cats are great pets, too, but it’s dogs that seem to most compel humans to reciprocate their devotion. Dogs inspire not only loyalty, but outpourings of earnest emotion that we’d struggle to express for actual people. Whenever I want to scream at the views of political commentator Charles Krauthammer, I recall his tribute to his beloved Chester, which still puts a lump in my throat just to think about. I can’t read Tom Junod’s “Marco Died” unless I’ve got a good two hours away from the kids to recover. So it’s no surprise that Old Yeller wasn’t a Siamese cat and that Marley wasn’t a Persian. Cats have to settle for YouTube clips documenting their piano playing while dogs often get the feature treatment.

Did you take special notice of Norman’s passing because it made you recall your own beloved pet who made his or her mark on your home and heart? Have you ever had to compose yourself after reading a paean to someone else’s favorite pet?


Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • Oh no

    Oh no, not La Poo!

    • Brigette

      Hahah! I hope Jennifer’s nose didn’t start bleeding. Seriously, though, the news bummed me out because like the rest of America, I am delusional and thing Jennifer Aniston is my actual friend. Hope she’s okay.

      • Brigette

        *think

      • banana

        Welk said brigette— I think she’s my bff too. It’s pathetic, but true

    • Ms. Chanandler Bong

      It says he was hit by an ice cream truck and dragged for six-teen blocks!

      • cam

        La Poo!

    • Dave

      I know, it’s La Poo now but it’ll get better later!

  • Nick T

    The title tricked me into reading this.

    • chris

      Here I was more concerned about the nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan, the flooding in Mississippi and the political unrest in the Middle East.
      Poor Jennifer…

      • goose

        The interesting part is that you actually aren’t all that concerned over any of those things and sadly only use them to try to make a point

      • Johnification

        The article is self-deprecating about our celebrity obsession. We didn’t need you turning your nose at us to know it’s stupid and trivial. So basically that just makes you a d*ck.

      • Jen

        Which is why you are reading Entertainment Weekly and not CNN. Right….

  • whatevs

    Well, of course it was sad. I know how devoted she was to him and reminded me of when it happened to me. Dogs are the only ones who love you unconditionally and they live such a short amount of time.

  • Jackie

    Losing a dog, especially one you’ve had so long, can be devastating. It’s like losing a family member. My family’s first dog died when she was 17 and in very poor health. A couple of years ago, a friend talked me into reading ‘Marley & Me’, and I was sobbing by the end.

    • Brenda Barrett

      Absolutely. Losing my dog was like losing a child…it is devastating. I’m paraphrasing, but one of my favorite quotes about dogs is this one: “Astor, Carnegie and Vanderbilt together could not have afforded a quarter-share in my little dog.”

      • etm

        Aww… I like that quote.

  • amadeline

    While, as a dog owner and lover I feel sorry for Jennifer and her loss, but why the heck does she have to release every little thing about herself to the press. She should just shut up already or is she too scared of being a lonely has been. She certainly seems to be one of those celebrities who feels the need to share everything with the rest of the world. No wonder she can’t keep a husband or even a date.

    • Jen

      Well, it’s not like she called a press conference to announce it – it’s just a casually-worded comment from her rep confirming that her dog died.

    • Johnification

      The opposite is probably true…I bet Aniston would LOVE for the media to be over her personal life and actually have the privacy to actually HAVE one again.

    • userpe

      Have you lost your mind? what’s wrong with you? The fact she mentioned she lost her beloved dog is perfectly normal rather she is famous or not the real question is if your so synical then why are you reading her every word,is it because your lonely due to not being able to keep a husband? lol Dang your annoying.

  • Sue1

    Aniston dd not not release this information, her representative confirmed it after it became public. Every little thing she she does becomes public because she is followed by the press. amadeline….grow up.

    • OK

      How do you know she didn’t release it? Her dog dies weeks ago, and then two stories about her come out in People mag–one about dating and another about the dog? Looks like her rep may be doing over-time for her. BUT SUE1 who talks to celebs in her head probably knows better . . . haha

  • Kim

    Unless THIS article is the announcement, I completely missed it. Since it says several weeks ago, I guess it wasn’t as big a story as implied. I agree though, it isn’t so much a concern for the person as it is a heart reacting to the idea of losing your pet or remembering a loss that already happened. People can be empathetic of an event and understand the way a person feels without needing to know them.

  • Sean

    OK Jeff. I blew raspberries at this story until I remembered Adam Sandler’s beloved Meatball and all those fantastic videos he posted of that amazing bulldog. … Then again, I still don’t care about Jennifer Aniston’s dog.

  • jojofmfrisco

    I’m sorry for the loss of Jennifer’s dog. It is hard to loose them because they are here for such a short time but bring so much love and happiness.

  • luvlucy

    Norman was loyal companion (much better than Brad Pitt was) and dear in the heart of Ms. Aniston. He was constantly by her side, so if she was seen out and no one saw him, people/paparazzi would ask her, “Where is Norman??” By taking charge of the news and announcing it to all, she is avoiding those types encounters. Personally, I couldn’t stand telling all my friends individually that my beloved 4-legged child is no longer with me. I would rather tell them all at once and that would be the end of it. Ms. Aniston: You have my deepest sympathy for your lost of your loyal friend and companion, Norman.

    • Paul

      Yeah he was a loyal companion. He was the only (ONLY) male who wouldn’t leave her. Now there will be one side of her bed empty again. Maybe she can put her chin there.

      • BM

        Wow, paul, are you ever a d@#$.

      • OK

        Haha Paul. Very funny. Good to see someone with a little sense of humor about crazy celebs, their need to release PR statements when their pets die, and the people who worship them.

  • Jim

    Losing a devoted, loving dog is no different than losing a family member. Actually, dogs are more loyal and loving than most people. My condolences to Jennifer Aniston.

  • ben

    I think Jen killed him for the inheritance….

    • Monty

      His stash of buried bones in the backyard must be worth a fortune!

      • hm

        wow..what a bunch of nasty people..

  • T2

    “run amock”. Was that a misspelling or unintentional pun?

    • etm

      Hi T2!

      • T2

        Crikey, etm – I can’t seem to find you in one place – stay still a minute until we can catch up!

  • Andie McDowell

    Don’t worry America! My dog is fine.

  • Felix

    I’m surprised no cat lovers have crawled from their lairs to yell at Jeff for implying that cat deaths are less tragic than dog deaths.

    • Joe B.

      No cat lovers, Felix, but it’s obvious that you, Felix, are indeed not only a cat but a celebrity cat with your own classic TV show. We know who you are, you of the Bag O’ Tricks, Felix, that you reach into. What, didn’t think you’d be called out in a public forum? Ha!

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