Dean Potter should rightfully win at YouTube: he’s combined the adorableness of yapping dogs wearing costumes with the visceral terror of wingsuit BASE videos. The result? Contemplations on dying alone, petrifying leaps of faith, and the unspoken bond between man & dog:
“The joy we have is just off the chart. We love it up there. Will this joy lead to harm or death? Something almost made me crumble when I started putting the dog on my back.”
It’s profoundly unclear whether Whisper, the mini Australian cattle dog, is really enjoying falling from a rock several thousand feet in the air any more than, say, lolling her tongue out from an open car window. But she seems pretty cool with it.
It’s fun to watch a BASE jumping video where the GoPro is turned around, rather than facing forward like usual.
That was probably the easiest part of the rig. Getting Whisper up so high certainly did not seem like an easy task, but Potter is clearly a conscientious pet owner. (In fact, he’d probably disagree with the term “owner”; Whisper has joined him on numerous mountain treks and climbs before, so perhaps “partner” is more apt.)
“I know the truth now. I know there’s more than that fantasy of like, ‘Oh, we’ll fly together.’ There’s also, ‘Oh, we could die together.’ What happens when dogs fly? It sure wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be. It was the reality of it.”
If free-falling at inhumane speeds with an animal strapped into your backpack seems at all, I dunno, weird to you, recall that BASE jumping is the kind of extreme sport that attracts high-fashion Italian supermodels, New Yorkers who break into American icons, and people who see the world’s tallest structure and say to themselves, “Yeah, I wanna jump off of that.”
So, really, maybe adding a dog in the mix isn’t that crazy.
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