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/ ARTICLE: The Desert and the Dog

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UKC Articles - on 02 Jul 2018
Sheila the Desert Dog., 3 kbThis is the most beautiful place on Earth, but of course, like Cactus Ed Abbey said, every person carries in their heart an image of the ideal place, the right place. This is just the right place for me. But, right now, something is not right, and it's pitch black anyways, no beauty to be seen.

US writer Luke Mehall shares a story from the fabled Indian Creek...
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Misha - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Really well written. Love the gentle humour. 

Frank the Husky - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

"The next day, Chad went back out searching for Sheila while we searched for cracks to climb. His terrain to search was vast and desolate...Mars might be a good comparison,"

When their buddy's dog was lost in the desert, Luke Mehall & his pals went climbing instead of helping this one legged guy find his dying companion. No amount of good writing and humour can obscure that fact.

thommi - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Yep, that's how I took it...

 

Sorry to those that did enjoy this piece, but it didn't resonate with me. And the "I'm just a f**king poet" bit really grated on me. 

 

Speed Reed - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

I feel the same.Everything should have stopped to find that dog.Going climbing andthe dog is lost in the desert is fairly unforgiveable.

Ridge - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Frank the Husky:

+1

Flinticus - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to Frank the Husky:

My thoughts too. They left their friend to search for his lost dog by himself? How could you feel refreshed after acting like such a selfish... This is a tale of extreme self-centeredness and navel gazing of the most self-indulgent kind.

Post edited at 09:59
Stuart en Écosse - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> When their buddy's dog was lost in the desert, Luke Mehall & his pals went climbing instead of helping this one legged guy find his dying companion. No amount of good writing and humour can obscure that fact.

This, except for the good writing part. I found it difficult to will myself to read to the end. Rather too much stream-of-consciousness homespun/campfire philosophy and the american English doesn't connect with me at all but each to their own. It's probably unPC to query the concept of war hero and it would likely derail the thread so I won't.

I'm glad the dog was ok though.

Frank the Husky - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to all: I'm glad that everyone seems in agreement about how selfish this guy was, and how his lack of empathy and simple human caring was completely absent. The piece was self indulgent, mean spirited and verging on cruel. Perhaps Mr Mehall would like to explain on this thread why he felt that climbing was more important than his disabled buddy's dog's life. I look forward to seeing what justification he comes up with.

 

james.slater - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Its reading in between the lines, and therefore essentially conjecture, but maybe Chad insisted that his pals go climbing instead of helping him search for the dog? They had already spent an evening of looking together. For what its worth Im not a huge fan of the writing, but he might not be the self-centred pr*** that others are suggesting.

andyman666999 - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

They should have never lost the dog in the first place ! I Like dogs myself but find myself becoming increasingly irritated at various peak crags where people seem to think that it’s ok that their dogs are not on a leash, are free to hassle the local wildlife and jump up at me “as they’re just playing”.

If you’re a decent owner it begs they question- how the hell did they lose her in the first place? 

Stuart en Écosse - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to andyman666999:

> If you’re a decent owner it begs they question- how the hell did they lose her in the first place? 

None of us are perfect. Dogs have a talent for vanishing without being noticed. I get what you are saying but I'll bet there isn't a dog owner who hasn't thought 'where's the daft bugger gone now?' Some people are irresponsible, yes, but give the guy the benefit of the doubt as far as that goes, he needs it for goodness sake, his 'friends' aren't exactly top drawer.

Post edited at 00:22
TobyA on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> I'm glad that everyone seems in agreement about how selfish this guy was, and how his lack of empathy and simple human caring was completely absent. The piece was self indulgent, mean spirited and verging on cruel.

I'm not sure I'm in agreement. I don't think we know enough to say the writer is "self indulgent, mean spirited and verging on cruel", maybe maybe not. Was it not self indulgent of the owner to take the dog out into the dessert and leave it running around free while he climbed a tower? I like most dogs but I've seen plenty of "self indulgent" behaviour from dog owners when I've been cycling or at crags.

Goucho on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

I actually enjoyed it. 

Yes, the writing style is a definite nod - intentional or not - to Thompson and Bukowski, but that's hardly a bad thing.

Regarding the dog.

Well from the perspective of literary structure, it's the fulcrum he wraps the story around, which I think gives it an extra layer of interest.

From a moral perspective, it's difficult to really know. It's a short article, therefore what looks like selfish behaviour may have involved a long dicussion which resulted in a mutual decision, but we just get the short-hand version?

Personally I'm prepared to give the author the benefit of the doubt, as I wasn't there?

 

Post edited at 11:41

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