The tragic, rabies-infested ending to Old Yeller is so famous that a first-time viewer might feel prepared for it. But that person would be wrong. Travis Coates may take a step toward manhood when he shoots his loyal companion with a shotgun, but when we watched the classic 1957 film, we didn’t mature at all. We cried like little babies. Sure, sure, Old Yeller left behind a new puppy through which his loyalty and friendship would live on. We don’t care: we want Old Yeller back. Why is life so cruel?