For dogs, part of being man’s best friend is following your owner just about everywhere—even if that owner is nuts enough to huck himself off of cliffs and bridges for fun. Or at least such was the case for Whisper, an Australian cattle dog that just so happened to be the pet of world-famous rock climber, high-liner, and human flyer Dean Potter.
On a recent trip to Eiger, Switzerland, Potter decided to go for a BASE jump and bring his trusty companion along with him, harnessing Whisper into a backpack, according to KENS 5 News San Antonio. Then the two took flight.
Surprisingly, Whisper stays calm throughout the entire ordeal and even looks excited after the duo lands safely. Still, many viewers haven’t seen it that way, thinking that Potter unnecessarily endangered his pet against its will.
“This is extremely selfish. This man deserves a restraining order from animals,” said one YouTube commenter.
“Pure animal cruelty for the sake of ad money,” said another.
Potter defends his actions in an online letter, stating that he does “everything possible to keep Whisper super safe, well beyond the equivalent safety of a human being in the same scenario.”
He continues by saying the RuffWear DoubleBack Harness that holds his pup would be strong enough to hold another person if it needed to, much less his 22-pound companion.
The short video is actually a teaser to a full-length 22-minute documentary titled “When Dogs Fly”, which made its debut at the Mountainfilm Festival and Tour over the weekend. The film features Whisper and Potter as the world’s first man-and-animal BASE jumping tandem.
But while Whisper may seem like the calmest dog on the planet, even she isn’t totally fearless.
“She doesn’t like vacuum cleaners,” Potter tells National Geographic. “They are all too noisy.”
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