Family Guy surprised its viewers with a shock plot twist as one of its iconic characters was killed off last weekend.
In an episode first aired in the US on November 24, Brian the talking dog - voiced by creator Seth MacFarlane - met his grisly end after being hit by a car. However, there has been speculation among Family Guy fans that Brian's demise may not be all that it seems.
So, as viewers come to terms with the loss of the loyal and beloved Brian, we attempt to tug on your heartstrings a touch more with 8 of the saddest fictional dog deaths on the big and small screen.
1. Turner & Hooch
We can still taste the endless salty tears that streamed down our face following Hooch's untimely death in the line of duty in Turner & Hooch.
Detective Scott Turner (Tom Hanks) adopts Hooch (Beasley) after the brutal murder of the dog's owner Amos Reed in a bid to solve the crime. Although Hooch at first turns Turner's once immaculate life upside down, the pair eventually bond before Hooch makes the ultimate sacrifice and takes a bullet for him. And after taking a bullet for Turner, he only then goes and saves his life for a second time.
We were utterly inconsolable, and not even the replacement puppy could rouse a smile.
2. I Am Legend
Just when you think life couldn't possibly throw anything else at Will Smith's Lt. Colonel Robert Neville in a post-viral-apocalyptic world, his one and only companion goes and dies. Neville and his loyal German Shepherd eat together, run together and curl up and sleep in the bathtub together each and every day in Francis Lawrence's sci-fi thriller I Am Legend.
Loyal Sam comes to Neville's rescue after he becomes caught by two infected dogs and their now-zombified owner. Sadly she gets bitten by one of the bloodthirsty hounds and thus infected with the deadly virus. We can almost hear the sound of Neville's heart breaking when he realises that he's going to have to kill his last connection to his deceased family - and his one and only friend left in the whole world.
This heartbreaking Futurama scene really gave us a lump in our throat. Fry's dog Seymour waits patiently outside Panuccio's Pizza anticipating his owner's return - and it never comes. Fry thinks that his dog has moved on to another master, but the harsh reality is that Seymour refused to give up on him, waiting there for the rest of his days.
Connie Francis's 'I Will Wait for You' playing over the scene also adds to the pathos. We're openly weeping onto our keyboards.
4. Game of Thrones
Poor Lady meets her fate at the hands of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), after the merciless Queen Cersei orders her death following Nymeria's attack on Joffrey Baratheon. Gut-wrenching and completely brutal.
5. Old Yeller
Reliable Old Yeller protects his family - including Travis, with whom he has an unbreakable bond - from an attack by a rabid wolf, only to be bitten in the struggle. They pen him in a corn crib after he contracts rabies, and when Yeller nearly goes for Travis's younger brother Arliss, a bereft Travis is forced to shoot him. It was a cold wake-up call as a young child of how cruel and harsh the world can be.
6. Of Mice and Men
Carlson and Slim attempt to persuade Candy, an old ranch hand, to end his long-term canine companion's misery and suffering in the 1992 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. A distraught Candy is unable to bring himself to do it, so Carlson takes the poor old dog outside to shoot him.
Following the tormenting sound of the gun shots ringing out, Candy later laments: "I ought to of shot that dog myself. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog." Pass us the Kleenex.
7. Marley & Me
Johnny and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) adopt an adorable Labrador they name Marley to see if they are ready to raise a family in 2008's Marley & Me - based on John Grogan's memoir of the same name.
Marley becomes a much-loved (albeit at times monstrous) member of their family, as well as a fixture in John's newspaper column. Sadly as their lives move on, Marley begins to show signs of arthritis and deafness and eventually is put to sleep, with an inconsolable Johnny by his side. We knew it was going to happen, but we still came over all teary.
8. EastEnders' Wellard
Wellard was one of EastEnders' longest-running characters, and died after 14 years on the soap as Robbie Jackson's (Dean Gaffney) beloved pet Belgian Tervuren and ultimately, his best mate.
In an episode first aired on August 15, 2008, Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) feeds him a chocolate, and poor Wellard develops theobromine poisoning and has to be put down. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.