“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” —Matthew 24:19

At some point we need to cover a difficult topic that will effect many prospective survivors—our perceived responsibilities to those who are not as likely to be wilderness survivors.

Let us start with a relatively simple aspect of this problem—pets and animals. And if we can get through that, maybe just maybe we can touch upon the dilemma that belongs to parents of young children and infants.

Looking over my 2016 outdoor journal entries, I come across a teachable moment from May 31st. It was a Tuesday, which is not the typical day I go ‘walkabout’ but I was trying to make up for what may qualify as the worst Memorial Day Weekend ever—replacing an old septic tank to a neighboring cabin. We were robbing Peter to pay Paul, working on Memorial Day Weekend so that the cabin would be ready for the big family reunion on July 4th, and there were not many opportunities to do the dirty work between the two holidays.

Anyhow, with work and other obligations strangely aloof on the backside of the long weekend, I try to use Tuesday as a chance to go walkabout.

Journal Entry—May 31st, 2016:
I leave the cabin at 0900. The temp is 51 degrees F and rising. Beautiful blue skies, the best weather of the year so far, (though this is not saying much looking back at most of my walkabout in recent weeks, which have been consistently challenging weather-wise).
The mistake: taking a small dog, especially one that will not listen well. On trail, he does pretty good, though he does tend to get too far ahead. My intended course today took us off trail in the first hour, and through fairly obstructed terrain with many fallen logs on steep ground. Daunting for myself, must have been 10x more for [the chihuahua]. Well, at one point he hurts himself on a sharp stick while trying to cross a small log, and he decides it is time to go home. I try to coax him into going farther but all attempts are futile, Even carrying him a ways does not encourage him to do anything but head back for home.
Within about a half an hour of being off-trail, we were getting separated, out of sight from each other, though we both were heading back downhill and over, under, and across many logs. A time or two I have to go back to get him out of a tight spot. For a few moments I lose track of Pete altogether, unsure whether he is ahead or behind, so I sit down and wait for a bark, which he will eventually offer up as a “Come on, let’s go!”
Turns out he is about 20-30 yards downhill. As I begin to head that way, I soon hear a “Yip” thinking he might have stepped onto a sharp stick or walked into one. Twenty seconds later I hear a second “Yip” but much farther down the hill, as if he is either running at full speed or being carried off by a predator. For five minutes, I look around the area, thinking the worst: that some cougar or coyote has dispatched our beloved Pete.Then I hear a bark from one of the dogs owned by the camper at the bottom of the draw just East of the ridge we had been climbing, and I think that maybe just maybe Pete was the cause of that single bark.
I quickly descend to the campground and find confirmation that Pete is indeed well ahead of me and apparently in good shape. Relief I feel, though a bit put out that what turned out to be a good start quickly turned into a failed walkabout. I have an arbitrary standard that anything less than three hours is not a true outdoor experience. This ruined walkabout, however, which totaled about 1.5 hours from leaving cabin to returning to cabin, has compelled me to write down some thoughts on a tough subject.
#1—small dogs, especially one’s that do not listen well and that like to bark, will prove more of a liability than an asset when it comes to enduring a bug-out situation. Instead of taking such an animal along, I would be more likely to give him to a dog-pound or animal shelter, or leave him with a ‘friend’ to ‘pet-sit’ while I go on a ‘trip.’
While both of these options seem unpleasant, one might have little choice. Even big dogs, unless well trained and very obedient, would prove to be a liability in a bug-out situation.
Better than having to face the choice between leaving a pet behind or taking him along and most likely suffering for it, the smart thing to do would be to not own a difficult pet in the year(s) leading up to the bug-out.
#2–Considering how much of a dilemma pets could create for a potential survivor, how much worse of a dilemma could young children create.
It may be a lot easier to put off having kids than it would be to figure out what to do with the kids when the bug-out situation arises. I do not envy people faced with the dilemma that small children will create in that time: take them along on the bug-out, (as if it is not difficult enough for people in good health to leave in a big rush with their own gear), or leave them behind to be at the mercy of a doomed society.
Though seemingly cold, the child stands just as much chance in the hands of strangers as it would in the hands of their parents if those parents decide that for the child’s sake they will conform to that society and take the mark. Losing their soul for the sake of the child’s everyday needs being met, some could argue that a parent might feel enough for its own child that it would make such a sacrifice in a worthwhile manner. I point out that those parents, being soon made desolate the fruits of the Spirit, (love, joy, peace, etc.), [see Abomination of Desolation: Trigger of Great Tribulation”], 
may soon feel so much hatred and resentment toward that child, that the child is in more danger from its natural parents than it would be in another’s care.
Ideally, no one who wants to survive the great tribulation, or attempt  to do so, will have children in the years leading up to the bug-out. Fortunately, we will have a seven year notice of the season when the bug-out will occur. At least those blessed with certain foresight will have such notice. Others may not be so fortunate, whom we must try helping any way possible when the time comes.
Coma patients, young children, and most pets or animals in zoos, farms, and aquariums will be spared the fate of those who take the mark of the beast. Although, they may be in the eye of the storm of that lost society, and they will be surrounded by people suffering emotional chaos and extremely stressful circumstances, they are not subject to the punishments that belong to those who willingly and culpably submit to the mark of the beast. When the Lord intervenes in worldly events to give the marked their just desserts, the Lord’s angels will also intervene to protect and preserve those who had to endure in the eye of the storm.
For a new parent to abandon their child to the mercy of the eye of the storm while that parent attempts to escape that storm in the other direction is an unimaginable dilemma for me. I sympathize with those who must deal with that. Best case scenario, (besides not having young kids), they have a great bug-out site and can at least try taking the child along for the attempt.
Less desirable would be to leave the child with relatives or friends (who will not bug-out but will take the mark).
Least desirable is that the parent would not attempt bugging-out at all for the sake of the child. On the one hand, this choice involves the martyrdom of the parent, in which case the child ends up in other people’s hands anyway. On the other hand, the parent decides to take the mark in an attempt to preserve the child. While this may seem more noble, it could actually backfire on the child where he or she is at the mercy of a lost soul who may wind up feeling great and unanticipated feeling of anger, hatred, and loss of hope, and the child becomes the perceived cause of that change in mood and circumstance.

Well, maybe the May 31st, 2016 Walkabout was a failure, but counting the writing time and the importance of the material, it was not a total failure.

“…The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off” —Henry David Thoreau (Walden, p 66).

petekayak
Pete in Kayak

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