Carlson killing Candy’s dog leaves Candy wishing he’d done it himself, whereas when George killed Lennie, he isn’t left with guilt. “Look Candy…This ol’ dog jus’ suffers himself all the time. If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head – right there – why’d he’d never know what hit him.”() Carlson made it obvious that he wanted to kill Candy’s dog but that the dog wouldn’t suffer. Wanting the best for his dog, Candy allows Carlson to kill him. Later regretting his decision, Candy wishes he would have done it himself. Since George sees the pain and suffering Candy goes through after he expresses that he “oughtta shot that dog [himself]… shouldn’t oughtta of let no stranger shoot [his] dog” (), George takes matters into his own hands when the entire ranch is out to kill Lennie. George decides to be the one to kill Lennie because he didn’t want Lennie to suffer at the hands of Curley. Curley stated that he would shoot him if he found him and slim planned on locking Lennie up in a mental hospital if he found him alive.
George had always looked out for Lennie and did what was best for him. Continuing to protect him, George made sure Lennie had no pain while killing him. He told Lennie to “think of the land and the rabbit,” then shot him right in the spine and neck to cause instantaneous, painless death. By killing Lennie himself, George isn’t left with guilt or regret. Both of these instances where Carlson kills Candy’s dog and George kills Lennie, supports the theme of loyalty and friendship. Carlson was looking out for Candy’s dog and didn’t want him to suffer any longer, so did a horrible act so that Candy didn’t have to. George knew that Lennie would continue to get into trouble and maybe hurt more people, so did what was best for him. If George had not killed Lennie, he knew someone else would in a more painful way. His entire life with Lennie, George protected him and did the same the day he killed him.