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Name That Trauma :: Reader Rotting Rushton on a Finger Eating Dog

February 20th, 2010 by aunt john · 8 Comments

Ok. Here goes.

When I was in elementary school (possibly 2nd grade?), I checked out a collection of scary stories from the library (this part is hazy because I can’t remember if I bought this book at a book fair or checked it out). In the book I read a story about a boy who finds his dog lying on the floor in a pool of blood struggling to breathe when he gets home from school one day. He calls the vet and they come to get the dog (either they come to get him or he drops the dog off…either way…the dog gets to vet somehow).

The boy finds himself back in his house after this and hears noises upstairs. While slowly walking up the stairs to check out the noise he receives a phone call from the vet telling him something along the lines of “GET OUT OF THE HOUSE NOW!!! THE OBJECT WE FOUND LODGED IN YOUR DOGS THROAT WAS A HUMAN FINGER!!” at this moment the boy FLEES the house and the cops are already pulling in (my guess is the vet called them before the boy) and they run inside to apprehend the possible suspect.

Moments later they bring a man outside the house clutching his hand and the boy sees that one of his fingers is missing. I think he was carrying a large knife as well. I remember being terrified of going into my house when I got off the bus every day and would always stay in the kitchen to do my homework since the door was right near the table.

All of this is quite fuzzy to me and I apologize for leaving out any details but I guess my question is this:

Does anyone know the name of the book that this short story belongs to? Or even the name of the short story would be wonderful! I would LOVE to re-read it again. I think there was another scary story collection that featured a large rat on the cover with creepy red eyes. The background was red too I believe.

Anyways, if anyone can help that would rock!! Thanks!!

Rotting Rushton

Tags: Name That Trauma!

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LarissaNo Gravatar // Feb 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

    It’s not a short story so much as an urban legend.  You can read more of them at  There are a lot of collections in print, but probably the definitive ones are by Jan Brunvand.  Just do an search on “urban legends.”

  • 2 senskiNo Gravatar // Feb 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I have these books – it’s a series of paperbacks on urban legends by Jan Harold Brunvand. I think the first one is The Choking Doberman (updated in 2003), and later titles are The Mexican Pet (the one with the rat on the cover), The Vanishing Hitchhiker,  The Baby Train and Curses, Broiled Again. There are also many other urban legend titles from the same author – they’re wonderful, and very, very eerie!

  • 3 Dr. DecadenceNo Gravatar // Feb 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

    That is actually an old urban legend, and I suspect it has been featured in dozens of books over the years. However, one book that I know for sure features it is called “The Choking Doberman” by Jan Harold Brunvand.
    Actually, I just looked the book up on Amazon, and the latest reprint does indeed feature a scary-looking red dog on the cover. I’m pretty sure that’s your book!

  • 4 thunderknightNo Gravatar // Feb 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Funny, AMC Horrorfest had a Short screamer on Halloween and that was what the doctor said to a woman when a man broke in on her. About 30 to 45 seconds long I think.

  • 5 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Feb 20, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Reader Bill P. just emailed this:

    I remember one Halloween, Stephen King presented that story as the scariest True Story he had ever heard. It was ages ago during some (cable?) station’s calvacade of horror movies. It messed with me forever until I learned that he knew his Jan Brunvand as much as anyone, or better. I think he also presented the one about the gas station attendant and the guy in the back seat. My mom rocked my friend’s and I worlds with the “Human’s Lick Too” story, in concert with my stepdad. She called him from a Halloween party at a bar where he was dressed up as “The Wolf Man.” He must have sat outside for quite a while sipping a beer or two while she told the story, and when it got near the end he came in the back door and turned the lights out and banged on the walls howling. Popcorn and candy went everywhere.

  • 6 rottingrushtonNo Gravatar // Feb 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks everyone!!! You have been more than helpful! I will definitely check all of these out!!

  • 7 ballpeenNo Gravatar // Feb 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I would not recommend that this reader watch “Teeth,” then…

  • 8 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Feb 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

    “I would not recommend that this reader watch “Teeth,” then..  ”

    Vagina dentata!   :-O

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