Peg is off this week, so she has handed over the laptop to me. I’m Ivy Claire, the dog with the perky face on the right of her column photo.

Every once in a while, Peg runs low on creative juices and then she asks me to cover for her. I do so gladly because I like to write and our gentle readers seem to like my contributions too. I think because they enjoy a new narrative voice.

Peg’s a good person, but she tends to whine a lot.

I’m just a little dog. I weigh 27 pounds, which is three or four pounds more than I can comfortably carry on my frame. (Note: no fat shaming please!)

As my friend Popeye always said: I yams what I yams and that’s all I yams.

Anyhooooo … this column is all about super heroes. Popeye being my favorite. I know he’s not as likely as some of the other new superheroes who look great in tights, but do you know a single superhero who can down a can of spinach and then grow huge muscles (or as he says “muskels”) and then thump that Bluto and protect his sweetie Olive Oyl?

Now that’s a super hero. He might not look so great in a cape, but I like how he jigs around in that white sailor suit and downs his spinach.

He stood as a great incentive for kids to eat their greens. No small thing.

Superheroes for today’s kids include Superman, Spider Man, Batman, Hulk, Green Lantern, Flash and Captain America — oh and the token female Wonder Woman. There are also a whole rabble of Star Wars heroes.

All of those obvious superheroes aside let’s not forget the canine superheroes.

Taking the top spot is probably LASSIE!

That beautiful collie stopped at nothing to save Timmy from the well. I do wonder why Timmy (seemed like a bright kid) was always falling into that well (gotta ask why someone didn’t think about putting a cover over it?) I also wonder why his mother always wore that apron and why she was shown pulling cookies out of the oven at least once during every program. How many cookies could one family eat anyway?

Then there was Rin Tin Tin. He was the first of the German Shepherd superheroes who appeared in many movies always as the hero saving soldiers in war, finding lost children and playing many cameos as a wolf who just happened to come along to pull people from rocky outcroppings in steep canyons.

He was a great dog, but allow me to say that he seemed quite full of himself and a bit aloof, but I never really met Rin Tin Tin and I am sure he would be the first to snub an aged wire hair fox terrier who had never saved anything but her own dinner. But, I digress.

In real life, there are dogs who have performed amazing miracles on behalf of their people. These canines are loyal beyond any human and I am talking about sleeping on their owners graves every day and one who rides the bus every day (I am not sure how it knows its stop) to get to the cemetery.

I am proud of the dogs who aren’t decorated Hollywood hero types, but those who have been trained to alert to a child about to have an epileptic seizure or to lead a visually impaired person through their dark world.

It is a common story that dogs alert their owners that the baby is in distress, or there’s a fire in the kitchen or there’s an intruder trying to get into the house.

Heroes all. We have a new canine hero in Price County. It is a German Shepherd and is sharp as a tack (again I have not met this bruiser). In its new career, “Dixon” will save the lives of others by alerting officers to hidden drugs and weapons, he might save a hunter lost in the Northwoods or maybe even pull a little boy out of a well! Move over, Lassie!

Another local hero is “Sailor” — a big, beautiful dog who loves to have children read to him at the Park Falls Public Library and the children learn to read far better than they’d imagined — because of the attention paid by Sailor.

I mention these acts of bravery, because it is important to remember that while they don’t have “super powers” these dogs can provide common surveillance and even keep loneliness at bay, provide emotional support to those who are ill and just be great friends to all.

Well, gentle readers, I am signing off and I’ll be back to fill this space some other day! Believe me that takes some courage all on its own!

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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