Picture this: you, your wife and your pet are all taking a boat ride when it capsizes. You’re all wearing life jackets (even the pet), but you can’t assist both your pet and your wife to shore simultaneously.
Whom do you choose to save first: your pet, or your spouse?
For everyone choosing “spouse”, congratulations! You’re wrong.
…Graham Anley and his wife, Cheryl, found their yacht sinking after it hit a reef while on a voyage from East London to Madagascar.
National Sea Rescue Institute North London station commander Geoff McGregor said all three were wearing life jackets. The 9-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Rosie was wearing a tailored life jacket equipped with a strobe light beacon.
“As the incident happened Graham sent a Mayday radio distress call and activated the EPIRB (a GPS beacon) but they were immediately forced to abandon ship,” McGregor said in an interview.
“He first swam Rosie ashore safely before returning for his wife, whose safety line had snagged on the steering gear,” McGregor added.
The couple and their dog all made it out free of injury.
While not exactly a Hobson’s Choice, this still could have been incredibly tragic. And although I’m sure there are some animal lovers out there who might disagree with me, I think this guy is a moron.
Yes, that’s harsh. No, I don’t care.
To be fair, there’s no film footage of this, and the couple isn’t talking. So, any number of explanations are possible. Maybe the wife was more concerned about their dog, and was loudly insisting Mr. Anley rescue it first. Or maybe Mrs. Anley was a world-class swimmer, whereas Rosie could only, you know, doggie-paddle.
But the point is that in a split-second decision, he placed their dog’s life and well-being over his wife’s, no matter whose idea it was. My wife could be punching me in the face while screaming to save the dog, and it wouldn’t matter too much: she’d be losing that argument fairly decisively.
And keep in mind, Mrs. Anley was NOT perfectly safe. She couldn’t save herself, since her “…safety line had snagged on the steering gear“. She was still in danger, yet her husband first saw to the safety of the family pet?
This goes back to what I was saying yesterday about men ceding their historical roles when women are in peril (“Making a (small) Difference“). But it’s even bigger than that: humans are humans, and animals are animals. And when both are in danger, you don’t choose to save the animals at the expense of a human: man, woman, or child.
In our modern-day society, the welfare of people is regularly subordinated by everything from birds to the Delta Smelt. Looked at through this prism, perhaps it’s understandable that a man sees fit to rescue the family pooch prior to guaranteeing the safety of the woman he’s promised to “love and protect, in good times and bad”.
Perhaps, …but not to me.
Nope, I don’t care if it was a sinking boat, a burning building, an overturned car, or flesh-eating Reavers: if my wife and pet were both in trouble, I’m not saving Fido first.
Which, of course, makes ME the weirdo nowadays. Go figure.