Brave But Stupid 1

No doubt this category will have more candidates in coming months. Today it is all about the California family that have died saving their dog from high surf conditions. Sadly the dog made it out on his own while the 16 year old son that went in after him is yet to be found. The dog chased a stick thrown into the water… begging the question why do that when the surf was so rough? The boy followed to rescue the dog but made it out after realising how bad the conditions were. He was followed by his father and when he got into difficulties, the boy and his mother went to his aid. She was dragged out dead by others, the father’s body washed up while the boy is still missing. Meanwhile the dog swam ashore unaided. I wonder who will throw sticks for the dog now?

I wonder what people are thinking at times like this. I remember many years ago a family rip to the Colo River which was in flood at the time. My dog fell in and was paddling like mad against the current when my sister bravely leapt into the water and helped Bolo to shore. The thing was, as much as I loved my dog and still have sibling moments with my sister, I wouldn’t swap him for my sister. She risked her life because that river was in flood and full of fast flowing debris. I figured Bolo would get back to the bank in a second or so and then we could drag him out. My sister acted instinctively and this is what gets people killed more often than not. It can also mean the difference between life and death, tragedy or heroic rescue but we need to weigh up the risks if we have the time and presence of mind to do so.

The Army use explosive sniffing dogs for two reasons. One, they can smell explosives better than humans, although nowadays we have electronic devices that are pretty close in capability. Two, it is always better to bury the bits of a faithful canine comrade than a human one. The dog is there to take the hit, not the handler and not the people the team are protecting. Throwing a stick into heavy surf is not the smartest way of playing with your dog, nor is going in after him in such conditions. Think before you do anything and accept that Nature is not a theme park, it’s not a ride you can hit the emergency stop switch for and everyone just gets off.

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