Author Topic: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma  (Read 4767 times)

Oldtramp

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Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« on: 11:42:11, 20/01/18 »
There's a story today in the papers (Mail, Metro, Sun and others) about a chap who left his 12-year-old collie on Beinn Sgulaird, in vile weather, after the beast lost the use of its legs.   The owner and a companion tried, they say, to carry her, but gave up as conditions worsened


See e.g.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5289949/Climber-inundated-hate-messages-abandons-dog.html


Having got down he slept in the car then went up again next day and ultimately the dog's body was found.


The mountain rescue are pretty sympathetic, saying that it was a rotten decision either way - leave the dog to die or try to hole up on a mountainside in bad weather, calling the MR for help.  I agree, and don't think there's an easy answer------ should you even call the MR for a dog?


But this isn't stopping a lot of abuse (see e.g. readers' comments in the above link) much of it doubtless from folk who've never been up a mountain in bad weather.

sussamb

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #1 on: 12:06:05, 20/01/18 »
By the sound of it the dog would have had to be put down anyway, so while a difficult decision I think it was the right one.
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fernman

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #2 on: 13:07:31, 20/01/18 »
To leave a dog you've had for 12 years to die on its own on a mountain, presumably without any shelter even, is pretty heartwrenching.

But humans get similar treatment on Everest.

Ridge

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #3 on: 16:22:02, 20/01/18 »
Awful decision to have to make, I really feel for the poor guy.
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phil1960

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #4 on: 16:45:27, 20/01/18 »
Maybe, just maybe, it wasnít the smartest move to take the poor aging dog up in the first place. Itís heartbreaking for sure and Iím a dog owner, but as Fernman said above, humans get treated the same on Everest.
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Jac

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #5 on: 21:58:48, 20/01/18 »
Maybe, just maybe, it wasnít the smartest move to take the poor aging dog up in the first place.
Maybe??!!!  Unless the poor dog had a sudden stroke or similar it was an unbelievably stupid move.

as Fernman said above, humans get treated the same on Everest.
Humans deciding to climb Everest know the risks and the possible outcome - this dog had no choice in the matter.

I'm not commenting on the final decision in case the dog did have a sudden totally out of the blue collapse but I would have called the MRT if I couldn't carry my dog - admittedly that would have passed the buck to them but I hope they wouldn't have minded; I believe they go out for cragfast sheep for which I am full of admiration for them.
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sussamb

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #6 on: 09:30:07, 21/01/18 »
Maybe??!!!  Unless the poor dog had a sudden stroke or similar it was an unbelievably stupid move.


Sorry but I don't agree with that.  Why just because a dog is elderly should it not go?  I expect to walk in the hills when I'm elderly, or should that be more elderly than I am now!  It seems like the dog suffered an unexpected event and the owner had to make a decision as to what to do next.  Would never have occurred to me to call the MRT out and even then I suspect the dog would have had to be put down. Far better for it to go to sleep naturally.  When my turn comes going the way it did would be ideal.
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Requiem

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #7 on: 10:25:05, 21/01/18 »
Like a couple of other people on here the one factor that caused all of this grief was one tiny wrong decision.


I have a Labrador - One of three, but unlike the two year-olds she's getting pretty old and stumbles a lot despite thinking she can keep up with the young whipper-snappers. I really doubt that she'll eventually die after a quiet day crashed on her sofa. She'll die almost certainly after a day tearing around on the meadow, chasing things that theres a law against chasing and generally being the pain that she's been all her life.


Doubtless someone will also criticise ME for letting her out again and shortening her life for all of two, maybe three days - and they'll get a round of [censored] and told to go do one.


The only difference between my right decision and this poor guys wrong decision is that mine won't be 'newsworthy' and deserving of experts opinions.
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Murphy

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #8 on: 11:09:24, 21/01/18 »
At what point do we decide a dog is "too old", today, tomorrow or the next day?  Am I too old today, tomorrow or will I be too old the next day?  None of us know the full facts, why decisions are made and decisions are very easy with HINDSIGHT, and a knowledge of "IF ONLY.......", but all feel we are experts and know better than the poor chap who had to make an awful decision.......I took my dog on the fells, mountains, long distance walks right up until the day before he died, which happened to be at home.  Had it been the day before, he would have been in the hills,.  Not only was he elderly, he was blind, but only I can know whether I made the right decision to take him in the hills each day...all I know is he had many years of happy life doing what he loved the most....walking the hills and fells with me.  I know that if I had to make a decision like this poor chap, then from my armchair I really don't know what I would do and would only know at the time by being there.

sussamb

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #9 on: 11:52:56, 21/01/18 »
Well said  O0
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phil1960

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #10 on: 14:02:01, 21/01/18 »
I know a couple who regularly take their dog into the hills with them as I do. In chatting to them they have now decided his hill days are over as he has been struggling for a while, he still goes out of course, but itís hand picked walks or local ones, the all weather high hill days are no more. They know their dog better than anyone as no doubt this guy did, someone a few of us know on this forum did the same thing. Of course it could well have been a sudden unexpected event, but I stand by my comments, the dog was getting old, the climber should have known the possibility or probability with the weather, no one is perfect I know and hindsight is a wonderful thing, but again I say maybe, just maybe this could have been prevented.
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ninthace

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #11 on: 14:18:21, 21/01/18 »
12 is not desperately old for Border Collies. They are a hardy breed, mine went on to 17 before she was euthanised. My daughter has one aged 15 and still going strong. The problem is that they are very good at hiding illness until it suddenly overwhelms them.
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Islandplodder

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #12 on: 14:41:39, 21/01/18 »
I have had a few collies.  One struggled on to the bitter end and for the last couple of years I had to keep him away from fences he couldn't believe he could no longer jump.  Another refused to go out with me if I had walking boots on, and would only come if she could get in the car and consider a gentle stroll on the beach, as her faculties declined.  Perhaps dogs are like people, some need to finish with their boots on, some prefer a cossetted old age.

tom83

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #13 on: 14:54:46, 21/01/18 »
Its very sad, I wouldn't like to be in that situation with either of my dogs. Im not sure I could leave them though, but I have never been in that situation, so I wouldn't know.


I do know I would be absolutely devastated if I did have to leave one of them on a mountain side, which Im pretty sure is how the bloke is feeling now.

phil1960

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Re: Farewell old pal. A moral dilemma
« Reply #14 on: 15:27:11, 21/01/18 »
I have had a few collies.  One struggled on to the bitter end and for the last couple of years I had to keep him away from fences he couldn't believe he could no longer jump.  Another refused to go out with me if I had walking boots on, and would only come if she could get in the car and consider a gentle stroll on the beach, as her faculties declined.  Perhaps dogs are like people, some need to finish with their boots on, some prefer a cossetted old age.
Made me smile that  O0
Touching from a distance, further all the time.