Excellent point Justin.One small detail is all it takes to tip the scale when it comes to the public's perception of someone as a hero versus a villian.
He should never have mentioned eating the dog. He could have said that the dog wandered away or was drug off by the bear.
I'll bet that many of the New World and Artic explorers resorted to canibalism but never mentioned it in their memoirs afterward.
There are quite a few recorded cases of people in the deep freeze having to resort to sled dog consumption and or cannibalism.
Maitre d'; "Table ready for Donner party of 12...err 8, 6?