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     Urban Legend of the Dead Dog in a suitcase on the El train (The Dead Dog Story!)
    Well, we think it is funny
    I originally posted this story on Jul 14, 2005 in the forums as Urban Legend: Dead Dog in a Suitcase stolen on the El train. It has received a large number of hits since then, so I am elevating it to the main news stories. At the time, I submitted this story to the Urban Legends Reference Pages at They never did publish it, but they have a very similar story about "The Dead cat in a package", where a package containing a dead cat is stolen by a thief who thinks she is making off with something valuable. This theme turns out to be very old indeed.

    I heard this story like this one below on the radio on the morning of July 14, 2005. Looking on Google, I found this story that closely matches. That link is now dead, so here is the story.


    Speaking of Chicago, however, you might enjoy this great story I heard from my friend -- happened a few weeks ago. A friend of mine works with a friend who knows some people who know this lady. (Sounds bizarre, but it's real.)

    The lady is single, lives downtown, has no need (usually) for a car. Well, she was dog-sitting for some friends and went to their house one day to find the dog dead. She had forgotten to feed him for a couple days, but he was a big dog; she was pretty sure that she wasn't his cause of death.

    Unsure what to tell the owners, she called a vet and asked about an autopsy. The vet said that if they had to come to her, it would be $200, but that if she could get the dog to the vet, only $100.

    None of her friends could loan her a car that day, and she pretty much had to take the dog in to the vet that day. So here's this lady (small-framed, too), and she needs to get this dead dog onto the L and to the vet. So she puts him (80lbs) into a suitcase. She drags him to the train station.

    A man sees her struggling with the weight of the case, asks her if he can
    help. She accepts his help willingly. Casually, he inquires as to what is so heavy in there. Cautiously, sheepishly, she answers, "oh, just some stereo equipment."

    Moments later, they are about to board the train. He suddenly pushes her
    away and takes off with the suitcase on the train!

    Distraught, again, over what she was going to tell the owners, she asked
    her friends what she should do. "Just tell them 'your dog was stolen.'"

    I cannot imagine being the chivalrous thief, when he opens up the suitcase
    to find, not stereo equipment, but an 80 pound dead dog.


    However the story details in the radio story I heard that morning were changed.

    * Autopsy became disposal
    * The prices were changed from $200/$100 to $300/$50.
    * The woman's staus was changed from "cannot get a car" to "Too poor" and "dog sitting" to "her dog".
    * The suitcase was stolen at the final destination stop, not at the beginning of the ride.

    The dead dog, suitcase, Chicago, El train, "stereo equipment" and good
    samaritan are the common elements.

    Here is the tipoff: "A friend of mine works with a friend who knows some
    people who know this lady. (Sounds bizarre, but it is real.)" The old FOAF tale, ah yes.

    As of 2007, searching on Google comes up with all sorts of variants on the story, many puporting to be real stories. Even funnier is that one appeared to be for a writing class where the detail was fleshed out, including the thud of the dog shifting in the suitcase. Thank heaven for Snopes!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2007 @ 11:20:24 UTC by BB
    "Urban Legend of the Dead Dog in a suitcase on the El train (The Dead Dog Story!)" | Login/Create an Account | 0 comments
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