May 30th, 2014
11:38 AM ET

Meet Whisper, the BASE Jumping Dog

Daredevil Dean Potter has been tightrope walking, climbing, and wingsuit flying for 27 years, but for the last handful – he hasn't balanced, jumped or flown alone.

That's because he's had Whisper, his 4-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, by his side. Or on his back.

Video of Potter and Whisper BASE jumping from over 13,000 feet off of Mount Eiger in Switzerland last summer has now gone viral.

While Potter says Whisper has loved experiences like this, some people are worried about the safety of the dog.

So we asked the adventurer to expand: What are five things people should know about him and his BASE jumping pet?

1) I'M A NATURALIST: 

Potter says he's a naturalist and compares himself to John Muir. Since that famous wildlife expert traveled with his dog into the mountains in Alaska, Potter says "what I'm doing is nothing new really." He calls himself a 'very primitive guy' with a 'very strong connection to nature' where 'it just seems natural to bring my dog with me.'

2) THIS IS NOT WHISPER'S FIRST ADVENTURE: 

While some humans may get out in nature occasionally, Whisper seems to hit the trails and the skies pretty regularly.

"She's flown Half Dome," Potter says, referencing the famous summit within Yosemite National Park.

"I want to bring my best friend with me everywhere."

3) IS SHE SAFE? 

Potter got Whisper when she was nine weeks old, so he says she's had a 'lifetime of training' on adventures with him.

"We live in an area full of some of the best wilderness, biggest waterfalls and mountains – she's followed me in the most extreme places on earth," he shares.

There is one safety concern though, but it's more of a worry for him than it is for her.

He says it's more difficult to fly with the dog because she weighs 22 pounds, and you're supposed to be as light as possible in the air.

"The main problem was finding a way that was comfortable for me to fly and for Whisper to be contained while being light enough for us to actually fly."

3) OK – BUT IS SHE HAVING FUN?  

Austalian Kettle Dogs are one of the smartest breeds of dogs so they give you clear signals if they don't like something, Potter notes.

He says she doesn't like the vacuum cleaner or going in helicopters or planes. (But jumping out of planes seems to be OK because that's like "sticking her head out the window of a car.")

He says he knows when she's unhappy because she puts her ears back, trembles and shakes.

"We don't force Whisper. If she doesn't like something, she doesn't do it. "

4) WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE PAIR?  

Potter aims to go to the Himalaya Mountains with Whisper.

He's also hopes the notoriety from the video will lead to a half hour TV show for the two.

------

------

Posted by
Filed under: Interview • News • Videos
soundoff (No Responses)

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.