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.
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.