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According to Gahgan, this is an old screenwriting expression: "Shall we have him pet the dog?" First, has anyone actually heard that expression before? Second, what the eff does that mean?? (and if you're speculating, fine but please say so, and if you have source, please provide)
Yes, I've heard it many times. It's about getting the audience to root for the protagonist, particularly when the character is doing something distasteful. For example, if he is a bank robber, you can have him "pet the dog" (hopefully not literally, which would be quite on the nose) so the audience can mitigate against its feeling that he's a bad guy.
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