A Truly Heroic Dog

Jameson's picture
Submitted by Jameson on Tue, 2009-08-25 11:07

This remarkable video poses the question: can animals be heroic in the human sense?

Well, you know what they say:

Frediano's picture

"It's a dogs-don't-eat-dogs world."

Maybe someone passed an 'Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Law' while we weren't watching.

Where do these phrases for things that never happen come from?

I would beleive the hero narrative if the dogs had some kind of a relationship before the event. I'm not talking a spaghetti dinner, a little discussion of Sartre, a nice Merlot, and a movie, I mean, they hung out together. You know, they'd often sniffed each other's butt a few times in happier times--like dogs do.

Maybe they were rugby playing dogs?


Rosie's picture

There are lots of stories about dogs doing fantastic (in the true sense of the word) feats. A journalist in our neighbourhood recently wrote a book about these sorts of dog stories from our neighbourhood alone. The funny thing was, at the book's launch, half the invited guests were dogs! It was hilarious.

Here is a link to another dog-saving story.

Just about the only logical explanation, Mark

Jameson's picture

: )

Could it be by a series of

Mark Hubbard's picture

Could it be by a series of wires and pulleys?

And obviously that first dog was a stunt dog.


sharon's picture

"Very cynical, Fred"

Oh, I think Fred’s conjecture is entirely cynical. These are not Wolf dogs in the wild. They are, in all likely hood, domesticated dogs who get their second helping of Alpo. But the event does strike me as extraordinary, only in that I have never seen or heard of such a thing.

Fighting off a predator

Jameson's picture

that's threatening the pack is instinctual. Crossing a 6-lane freeway at rush hour to drag another dog to safety - what's that?! What's the reward?

Hold on

Kasper's picture

Aren't dogs, like dolphins, highly social animals that express empathy and kin ship. I think this is a well known fact. Does this not eplain what you're after here? They can be paternalistic to their owners and other dogs or even household pets.

Very cynical, Fred

Jameson's picture

Though logical. I still can't quite put this anywhere in my understanding of animal instinct. I would've thought the dog's survival bones ran too deep to attempt retrieving a free dinner this dangerously placed, yet it seems highly implausible that it would risk its life for no obvious reward at all.

I was hoping someone on SOLO with a better understanding of animal behaviour could explain this extraordinary event.

How does anyone know...

Frediano's picture

...that the dog wasn't just about to eat the roadkill, and was simply picking up lunch?

Dogs don't eat dogs?


The current narrative is more heartwarming. Maybe it's true.


Kasper's picture

It is rather apparent that Richard has not read ITOE by now Mr Perren, don't you think? She actually did make the comparison of an infant/toddler and the perceptual stage of cognition liking it to the level of the animals.

If he did it was probably over his head.

Confirmation and a Question

Jeff Perren's picture

From personal experience, with some qualifiers that need not concern us here (like the very important difference that dogs never progress beyond that stage), I can easily agree with this fairly obvious observation about dogs. The alternatives presented (humans in fur vs biomechanical automatons in fur) are views I've never heard any dog owner, or even the average person, express. Sounds a lot like more of the typical modern skeptic's "Everything you think you know is wrong" writing.

What's more interesting is why you have such an animus toward a woman who advocated that one should be reasonable, honest, and just, that one should be productive, not parasitic, that one should engage in trade voluntarily, respecting the rights to life, liberty, and property of all, that one shouldn't initiate force against others to violate those rights. Since you claim to support these views and values, one has to wonder what is your major beef.

With regard to this specific issue, she may well have been wrong about the mental capacity of animals. If so, so what? Nothing much hangs on it with regard to the validity of her philosophy unless you believe (as she did not) that "rational animal" is supposed to exhaust everything there is to say about the concept "human." Her ITOE deals specifically, in part, with that issue.


Richard Goode's picture

Can animals be heroic in the human sense? Yes.

This is an interesting article.

I wonder what Rand would make of the claim that the average dog can reason on a par with a human 2 -year-old.

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