You & your pet are stranded far from home. Do you abandon the pet if it means you get to go back?

So I’m listening to the Wizard of Oz in concert. At the end of it, when Glinda tells Dorothy that she (that, the “Good” Witch) has gotten bored with torturing her (Dorothy) for her own amusement, little miss naive says, “And Toto too?” Glinda laughs evilly and says, “Yes, and Toto too!” (with the unspoken but obvious subtext that she doesn’t want the smelly beast around her new kingdom).

Anyway…what if Glinda had said no? What if she’d said, “You can go home, but the dog stays. And no, I’m not telling you what will happen to him once you’re gone. Oh, I’m not planning to do anything to him myself; I just don’t care and don’t plan to do anything to take care of him. I’ve got to change clothes and pop over to Narnia.” What would/should Dorothy have done in that case?

On second thought…let’s take Dorothy out of the equation, and magic too. Here’s the thread question thus:

By whatever means you wish to postulate, you are taken far from home to a place you hate, with only your pet for company. After a series of unpleasant and dangerous adventures, you’re given one chance to go home. But the person offering the chance refuses to bring the dog along; in fact, he requires that you place the dog, cat, or whatnot on the ground that instant, in his sight, and walk onto the gangplank of the ship taking you home. You have no reason to think you’ll ever have another chance to get out of this situation,and every reason to think that, if you stay in this strange land any longer, you’ll soon be either mad or dead. What do you do?

When answering, please think of your actual pet. Assuming you have one, of course; if you don’t currently own a pet, but have owned one in the past, feel free to imagine that one instead. If you don’t have a pet and have never wanted one–well I can’t imagine why you’d want to bother, but I’ll include an option in the poll anyway.

And no, kick the guy’s ass and take over the ship is not an option. If you were Batman, you’d have been prepared for this circumstance in the first place, no?

I wouldn’t trust someone who had that kind of requirement to even take me home, much less do it safely. And sometimes there’s a reason people try to make you leave your pet behind.

BTW, aren’t options 2 and 3 the same?

There could be a rational reason too. “I’m sorry, Mr. Herder, but the ship is already overloaded as it is; I’m going to have toss over some cargo I need to make room for you, and give you some of my rations as well. I really wish I could take your Irish Wolfhound along, but I can’t.”

Or “My kid is on the ship too, and she is violently allergic to ferret fur. This will be a long voyage, and I am not going to make her miserable for your ferret’s face, on account of it being a ferret. I mean, I already kicked two bad guys’ asses on your behalf and got stabbed doing it, so I feel I’ve already done more than anybody could reasonably ask.”

Oh, and you’re right. Option 3 is supposed to be I would not abandon my current pet, but I’ve owned one in the past I would.

Ah, well, then I know they’re lying. Ferret fur allergy is pretty much unknown, last I read about it. :smiley:

Edit: Just saw your edit, so I went with the revised definition of #3 - I had a few pretty ungrateful/mean/whatever pets over the course of my life that I’d put my life over without much thought but would feel bad about doing.

Well, the shipmaster’s rescued you twice (or once, from two guys, but two occasions seem more likely), so clearly he’s been around you for a little while. Probably he and the child discovered the allergy then. :smiley:

I would stick with my dog and we would find some other way home.

No. Not only No, but Hell No. My personal sense of honor wouldn’t allow me to take such an action. I’d just turn and walk away, taking the cats with me.

Sadistic nutjob! You left out I would NOT abandon my current pet, but have had pets in the past I would abandon.

Actually in my case, it’s more like, in the past I might have chosen to abandon a pet [believing it to be “logical” behavior], but now I would not. My sticking with the pet(s) would be particularly poignant in the case of our current dogs, Sadie and Simone, who have been rescued once already from abandonment. But I made a commitment to them. I have told them, here, you have a home. Here, you are safe. When we are out walking, if the see something that disturbs or frightens them (actual example: teenagers running down the sidewalk hitting things with sticks – the dogs were afraid of them, and rightly so – very dangerous to a dog, of course, if the kids decide to hit the dog and provoke an attack) I have said to the dogs, Do not fear. You are with the pack. The pack is strong together.

I will not leave them after that.

Interestingly, despite news stories claiming that the government was surprised when Katrina evacuees refused to leave their pets behind, the actual truth is that the government had done a study because of experiences in a previous evacuation (Hurricane Andrew, maybe?) and concluded that future evacuation plans MUST take pets into account because so many people would not abandon them. Forgetting this study and failing to revise evacuation plans was just a part of the general all-around failure to prepare for Katrina, just like cutting the funding for the levees.

About the only entity I love more than my current pet is my wife. I’d abandon the pet to get back to my wife.


Mm. I thought about that and my husband, but my natural distrust might still win out. Dunno.

I doubt my wife would take me back if I ditched the girls to return. She’d be furious.

I was thinking something along these lines (awww) but then I realized my husband would be pretty upset if I came back without the cat. :smiley:

My cat is probably the very best cat in the world - smart, low-key, and loyal beyond all reason. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that she loves me with all her tiny and adorable heart. I love her, too - she’s been my friend since childhood, after all.

But under the OP’s circumstances, I’d put her on the ground and walk away. If I could, I’d try to leave her some food. If I couldn’t do that, and the situation in the Strange New Land were truly such that I’d expect my cat to die lonely and in pain, I’d try to draw a weapon and kill her. But if I truly had to leave her to a short and miserable life to prevent the same for myself, I would.

Heh. Rather an unpleasant thing to realize about oneself.

After I posted my cat wandered up and scolded me (and also gave me kitty kisses) so I need to amend my answer to include him as well.

Refuse. Period.

I once had to leave two cats behind when I left an abusive relationship (I knew they would still be cared for). So I guess I’ll have to say I would leave a pet…but not unless I absolutely had to.

Nope, never. In fact, my current job states that if I’m evacuated from an overseas post, I’d have to leave my pet behind. I would refuse to do so and find some other way out. I’m single though - I imagine people with spouses and children might think differently.

I think the only thing that would cause me to abandon my pet (figuring the pet would die alone and in pain under most circumstances) would be the threat of a human being dying instead.

Allergies? Unless they’re going into anaphylactic shock, they can suck it up.

Life boat is full? Pitch some luggage overboard, people, and make way.

Religious persuasion which declares my pet unclean? I’ll pay for a cleansing ritual when we get to port.

I took my pet on knowing that I am ultimately responsible for its life, health, and comfort. Those are not responsibilities I take lightly. My pet trusts me and loves me more than 99.99% of the human race does. I pay that back by protecting it almost as much as I would my own child.

Another HELL NO. Without my pet(s), I have no real home.

So if they don’t come back with me, I don’t go.