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In search of a hero

April 1, 2008 - LLee Janssen

I want to be able to rescue myself, like many women today. Yet there's always something that's most difficult to overcome alone, a time when everybody needs just a little taste of a personal hero.

That could be now for me. I've been smelling something dead in the attic, above the room where earlier this year I was working on a quilt. And because I smell it, I'm not making any progress on the quilt. I have to admit, I'm not so fond of dead things and critters. Particularly flying critters. Even when they're dead.

Fortunately, it's been a long time since I've encountered any of the flying variety. I went through a period of several years, however, where bats frequently invaded the home. Good thing for me, I had a hero back then, Ira, aka Bat Dog.

Hey, Batman, where's Robin?

Batdog got him in the back yard.

Okay, my offspring don't like me to tell that joke. Yeah, it's pretty bad ... but I just couldn't resist.

Ira lived with me for all of six years, being 2 years old when we took him in and dieing suddenly, crying out in his last breath, possibly from a heart attack but I'm not a vet and really don't know, at about 6 a.m. that day sometime in his 8th year. He was the first dog I had as a solo mom raising two boys. Naturally, though he was Dana's dog, he became mine.  And he won my heart when he first showed me his bat trick, the one where this short beagle-looking all-guy dog with 3-inch legs (okay, 4-inch legs) pointed his nose to the air and happily trotted along behind a bat swooping across the landing upstairs while I pulled my bedroom door shut in self-defense. Down in the living room, when the invader went down, Bat Dog had him, ear bitten off and dripping from his smiling dog mouth by the time I got downstairs, such great dog pride over his kill, laying there still on the floor.

So why couldn't I pick it up? Probably the same reason I'm not going up in the attic until after Dana gets back in town in a few days ... Christopher's not due back from the sandbox for another month and I just can't wait that long. There has to be a line you can draw and say, this is one area I just don't have to deal, and maybe I can find a hero to remove it and then cook him a nice meal. The young ones do seem to like my cooking ... Ira would tell you, he was treated very well for protecting his turf. In fact, I think he's still here spiritually, keeping rodents of the flying variety at bay, as it's been that long since I've had that problem.

Too bad there will never be another Ira. I do have another "best friend," but he's more of a fluffly cuddly variety and a totally other story. Let's just say, puppy-cat. Sorry, Maxie, your in a category of your own.


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