I’m playing through The Last of Us: Part II right now (expect a written review and podcast to go up on the site on or around June 12, 12:01 a.m. PT/3:01 a.m. ET), and one of the big changes to combat Naughty Dog has mentioned in marketing (and GameStop did too, unfortunately) brings is the addition of guard dogs. These adorable but vicious canines add another danger to encounters that make it harder to just stay in one spot and bide your time than you could in the original game, as they’ll sniff you out and come for you if you’re spending too long in one spot.
But it got me thinking, in the event that the cordyceps outbreak happened tomorrow, what would I have in my arsenal to help me survive in this post-apocalyptic world? There’s probably a hand gun somewhere in the house, and if The Last of Us: Part II has taught me anything it’s that you can make a weapon out of almost anything, but do the baddies in this game have a point when they use their dogs to help sniff out would be assailants? And if so, how would I fair on that front?
Meet Lily, my 14-year-old yorkie-chihuahua. If I needed her to help me through the apocalypse, I’d be absolutely, 100% fucked, and here’s why:
Despite having the energy to frolic around like a dog half her age, Lily’s favorite things to do are nap and stare out the living room window. When she goes outside, she does her business and then comes right back. If she doesn’t have to walk around she will not, so why would she ever be willing to not only walk around an area to track a baddie, but also verociously attack them? Couldn’t be her.
As the culmination of two tiny dog breeds, Lily weighs about eight pounds and can barely reach my knees standing on her hind legs. There’s no scenario where she is able to reach any vital part of a bad person’s body to do any real damage. Plus, her teeth are so small all it’s going to feel like is a nasty bee sting, at worst.
She smells food, not people
Along with napping and staring out the living room window, Lily’s favorite way to pass the time is to stare at human food. I can’t so much as open a bag of chips without her interrupting whatever she’s doing to run into the kitchen and just look at me while I eat them. As time has gone on and she’s gotten older and a little more impatient, she now actively whines until she’s given a treat, but I’ve gotten older and more impatient too, so now I just put something in her line of sight so she cannot see it. But if food is not there, she does not perceive human beings, so she would not sniff out any threat to my post-apocalypse group unless they also happened to have a three-course meal waiting for her in their backpack.
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She’s a scaredy cat, despite being a dog
Like most dogs, Lily talks a big talk when she sees people, cars, or other dogs outside the house. She’ll growl, she’ll pat my shoulder in an attempt to warn me, but I’ve come to realize she’s not ready to fight to defend her home, she’s just letting me know so I’ll do something about it instead. One time, some of these dogs she was barking and growling at were let into the house, and the second those dogs that were a good five times her size darted at her to say hello, that growling stopped and was replaced by the biggest “oh shit” face I’ve ever seen a dog make. She is going to run in the opposite direction of any rival group that we come across in the post-apocalyptic, and that is just not guard dog behavior.
I would never let her out in the field, are you kidding me?
Lily is not going to see the outside world in this hypothetical cordyceps outbreak because like Joel murdering doctors and rebel factions at the expense of everybody else, I would do anything to protect my child from the state of the world. You think your dog is a tactical advantage Named Enemy Screaming out Your Dog’s Name As I Kill Them to Get Away? Fuck you. Dogs should be good and happy boys and girls, not some weapon to put in harm’s way.
The Last of Us: Part II is coming to PlayStation 4 on June 19.