Survival Tip #21: Domesticated Animals
We’ll start with transportation. This covers horses, donkeys, mules, alpaca, lama, ostrich, or anything else you can think to use. First and foremost, once the Primal Age begins it is not the right time to learn how to ride an animal. If beforehand you are a world class equestrian maybe this option is for you, but for most people you should disregard using animals as transportation. They require a knowledge base that you didn’t get during drivers ed. They need food to function. They can get sick, injured, or killed. The Comanches had their horses so well trained that an enemy soldier could not spook them or run them off. If your animal is this well trained you might be in luck, however in all stages of the Primal Age panic is the worst possible thing. So, if the animal you are riding can’t handle swarms of walking corpses, or volleys of gun fire, you just got yourself a broken neck. Bottom line, if you don’t have great training and a better trained animal, it’s best to pass up on this option.
Animals as protection. I am going to use dog as my animal of choice for this, but it covers any protection serving animal. Dogs were the first domesticated animal and are man’s best friend. I’d like to say yes bring a dog along, but again this depends on how well trained you have your dog. You can’t spare a hand to hold a leash, so if your dog can’t listen to vocal commands, you might not want to be bringing him along. If your dog barks at the right time, it could save your life. If your dog barks at the wrong time, it could cost you your life. With animals as protection I would exercise extreme caution in your choice.
Animals for companionship. Yes it seems like a brilliant idea to bring along a noise making, food eating, creature that doesn’t contribute to your survival. (If you believed that the Primal Age is no place for you)
In summary, if it doesn’t fit these three criteria, you shouldn’t consider it as an option: Does it serve a survival purpose? Is it trained well enough? Are you trained well enough?
More on animals tomorrow.