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Come Back My Pet
A stock plot about pet ownership in three acts.

In the first act, we meet Alice and her pet dog Tropey. Tropey is a good boy, though he does have a few bad habits and obvious flaws. He tries Alice's patience, and after he misbehaves at a key moment, she loses her temper and sends him away. In the second act, sad Tropey is all alone while Alice is happily playing with Fido, a new pet who seems to have no flaws. But in the third act, Alice falls into danger (sometimes as a direct result of the new pet; other times unrelated). She cries for help, and it is Tropey who comes to her rescue. All is Easily Forgiven and everyone learns the valuable lesson that pets enrich their owner's lives in a way that more than compensates for the times when they're an inconvenience.

Bonus points if Tropey comes to the rescue while Fido runs away or does nothing, or if the habit of Tropey's that annoyed her so much is the very skill that saves her.

Compare with Timmy in a Well, Androcles Lion, and Tropey Come Home.


Examples

Comic Books

  • There was a Goof Troop comic in Disney Adventures in which Pete replaces his dog with a cardboard robot guard dog after their house gets robbed. Turns out "Card" is actually programmed to let its creator in to rob the house again.

Film

  • In Lilo & Stitch, Lilo tells Stitch to go away after she discovers that he's an alien, and that he's the reason that they were being pursued by Jumba and Pleakley. Right after, however, she gets captured by Gantu, and Stitch rescues her.

Literature
  • In the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Nightingale", the Emperor of China tames a nightingale, but neglects it in favor of a clockwork bird. When Death comes for the Emperor, it is the live Nightingale who charms the Grim Reaper with his sweet song.

Western Animation
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Courage routinely does this for Eustace, who routinely scares and abuses him. However, it's less out of the goodness of his heart and more because of his devotion for Eustace's wife Muriel.
  • In a Tom and Jerry cartoon, Tom's owner gets annoyed that Tom never tries to catch Jerry anymore so replaces him with a robot mouse catcher and Tom is kicked out. Since Jerry can't live in the house due to the robot throwing him out he and Tom work together and eventually the robot goes wild and Tom rescues his owner.
  • In the House of Mouse short "Pluto vs. The Watchdog", Mickey, thinking Pluto is too idiotic to be a watchdog, buys a new dog named Muncy. However, the watchdog is really working with Pete so he can rob Mickey. Pluto saves the day at the end.
  • In an episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Scooby runs away after the kids yell at him for getting in their way. When they discover the pup is missing, Shaggy immediately feels guilty and cries his eyes out while the team goes off to search for him.


Chronic Pet KillerPet and Animal Companion TropesCone of Shame
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