Man’s Best Apocalypse Friend

The late great Daisy. A friend, a fighter, a family member, and one hell of a dog.
The late great Daisy. A friend, a fighter, a family member, and one hell of a dog.

Written by: Guy Cain – Zombie Apocalypse Survival Camp
Edited by: Jake Sepulveda – Zombease.com

Having a good partner for the zombie apocalypse is going to be important. You’ll want someone that can read you without words, someone who knows how you think and what’s expected of them, someone you can trust your life with… and that’s a tall order to fill.

Achieving this sort of wordless communication and absolute trust takes time (even years in some cases). So what’s the solution? Start now. Find a partner and start training with them. Spend every possible moment together. Travel, adventure, explore, and even live together.

How many people do you know that could stand being around you that much? How many people could you stand to be around that much? Well, if you’re like me, it’s a pretty short list. In fact, in a lot of ways, you might be better off with a canine companion than another human being… and here’s why:

1. During the zombie apocalypse (or any disaster really), you’ll need someone to talk with. A sympathetic ear will be important after a hard day of slaying zombies and watching family members turn. It may even be the saving grace you need to keep going on. A dog can be a faithful companion, always willing to listen and never judging you for what you’ve done or are going to do.

2. Even if you are fortunate enough to be part of a survival group, few people are capable of dealing with the horrors of apocalyptic life. Many will become callous and insensitive, potentially even succumbing to a complete mental breakdown. Not so of a loyal four-legged friend. They will always make time for you, caring for you, without question, above all others.

3. Keeping your guard up is essential to survival, especially with the undead wandering about. A partner who will notice the slightest sound, like the snapping of a twig or the shuffle of an undead foot, can alert you to danger or nearby game. Someone with a superior olfactory sense can smell zombies and potential meals miles away. Sure, dogs don’t see color in the way that we do, but their eyes are tuned to movement. They were made for hunting and perfect awareness of their surroundings. With a friend like that, you’ll be able to get a little sleep, scout an area, and go about your day, secure in the knowledge that someone is always on duty when it comes to watching your back.

4. Animals are an excellent judge of character, with dogs easily ranking in the top 5. Even in an apocalyptic world, you’re bound to meet other survivors at some point. Adverse situations, like a zombie apocalypse, can create some pretty unsavory individuals and dangerous situations. How do you know if the people you cross paths with can be trusted? Are they simply after your supplies or is it something less sinister? Perhaps they even intend to “have you for dinner.” When you do meet others, your instincts may be clouded due to any number of issues like hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and so on. Listen to your dog. If they get a bad vibe from someone, so should you.

5. What about food? No, I’m not suggesting you eat your best friend and survival partner. But, can they help you acquire food? Of course they can. Even a dog with little experience in the woods has natural instincts borne from thousands of years of evolution. Follow their lead when it comes time to eat and your dog can help you find the best place to set snares by identifying small game trails, tracking prey, or even doing the work for you and catching a rabbit, squirrel, or other small game.

Just remember that your companion also needs to eat. And, they are probably willing to eat the parts that you and I would prefer not to consume such as: hearts, lungs, livers and so forth…just make sure they get their share.

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Now, please understand, I’m not suggesting that the neighbor’s prize winning pup is going to be the best choice for a zombie apocalypse partner. It’s best to be as choosy with your canine companions as you are with your human ones. Find a friend that fits your style and enjoys the same hobbies. If you like bird hunting, a bird dog might be best. Maybe a herding dog for those of you with livestock. Remember the ZA is not here yet and you will be spending lots of time with your four-legged buddy.

Another concern is size. Personally, I prefer larger dogs, but that’s just my preference and it should not influence your decision. However, if it’s the zombie apocalypse you’re planning for, than a larger dog might be in order. The last thing you want is to watch as a zombie picks up your pomer-doodle and swallows it whole before turning its attention to you. Also, large dogs can be intimidating. Bad guys tend to shy away from homes with dogs, especially those with large ones. Many of those same people are still going to be around after the ZA. They will be looking for easy pickings and a nice big dog might be enough to convince them to look elsewhere.

Spend as much time with your four-legged friend as you can. Go places together. Camp out often. Learn one another’s body language. Find out what your dog likes and what he simply will not tolerate. Each dog has its own personality, just like each person. Get to know your partner, before the zombies come for you. A good partner will make all the difference.

*This article is dedicated to Guy Cain’s late great pups and life-long pals: Daisy and Sahara.

13 Responses to Man’s Best Apocalypse Friend

  1. Very well written and something that many of us have probably not given much thought. I know I was guilty of avoiding 4-legged friends because of the risk of noise & training them to be quiet and move how/when they’re needed. My worries would be along those lines and I never gave thought to the benefits. One more reason to find a place that lets me have a dog lol. :)

    • Michael
      As you spend time together in the field, your friend will learn to read you. He/she will know what you want by a simple gesture or look from you. As with any partner it’s a matter of practicing together until you become a single unit.

  2. Daisy was the best of the best & ANYONE would do well to ever have a companion even half as dedicated as she was. In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, or any other disaster, I could not hope for a better partner than Daisy Cain & I hope that Ripley Stuefen will grow to be as faithful & intelligent as she was.

  3. This is an article right up my alley…I’ve had all sizes of dogs throughout my life and i’ve found the Medium size dogs are the best…They need at least 4 cups of food a day and about as much water as you do to survive…Plus the medium size dogs are pretty strong, and have the ability to support you if you end up getting hurt…
    Medium dogs in my book, consist of German Shepherds, Rots, Pits, Labs and other breeds that do not grow taller then thigh high…
    Large Dogs in my book, consist of Great Danes, Saint Bernards and such dogs that can stand on all fours and look you in eyes….(LOL)
    I like the fact that this article comes on the heels of last weeks episode where a dog tries to warn Daryl and Beth of walkers at the door and though Daryl did let his guard down, we see the effects of having a dog in our group would be beneficial to even the smallest child…
    Great Article and I really enjoyed it…

  4. I definitely would want a dog by my side, during any emergency, not just the Zombipocolypse. I’ve got several at home right now, various mixes, tho the one I have my heart set on (that I don’t currently have) is an Australian Cattle Dog AKA Blue Heeler (also available in Red). I might get accused of trying to be Mad Max with one, but the one I had before was one of the smartest dogs I’ve known, without much training from me.

  5. It’s really nice to see some appreciation for what man’s best friend can do for in the zombie apocalypse. All too often they’re ignored in zombie fiction.

    • The first time I ever went camping with a friend of mine, with no man around, I felt very vulnerable. Vulnerable to bears, crazy folks or whatever my imagination could stir up. Way off in the distance in the middle of the night I heard another campers dogs barking, and it struck a primordial chord deeply inbedded in my DNA… I immediately felt safer. That’s when I understood the primative relationship between man and the wolves who chose to follow hunting tribes and eventually form an aliance with man. No other wild animal on earth has chosen us. Dogs have been by our side throughout our history on this planet. They enabled us to keep livestock without a fence. To hunt things we couldn’t see or smell. They took us into their pack, and jumped into icy rivers to save our careless kids, they’ve taken bullets for us. Hell yes I will never NOT have a dog.

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