I Need a Hero


Henry and I are not on speaking terms, and for the record, he started it.

You see, Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who descends from royalty, refuses to save my life. And on this, he won’t budge.

Not that my life is in any danger at the moment, mind you, but it’s the principle of the thing.

I’ve been seeing some heartwarming news stories about dogs doing heroic deeds by saving their owners’ lives. There was one who rescued his owner, a blind man who fell off a subway platform and onto the tracks, moments before a train pulled into the station. Another rescued his owner, after he had fallen down a slope, hidden from the main road. Apparently, the dog ran up to the street, barking like crazy until he got someone’s attention and led them to his master. These are the kind of stories that remind you why dogs are called man’s best friend.

Which made me wonder, would Henry do the same for me?

Now I figure I can’t count on Oliver. After all, he’s a 10-pound lightweight. If I slipped and tumbled down a ravine, I doubt very much he could drag me up the hill to safety. He’s totally adorable but useless as far as saving lives goes. Unless I was one of his toys, I wouldn’t have a fighting chance.

But Henry’s another story. Or so I thought. So I asked him.

“No,” he said rather matter-of-factly and without hesitation.

“But what if I fell in the middle of the road and sprained my ankle or a gust of wind suddenly blew sand in my eyes and I panicked because I couldn’t see where I was going. Would you guide me to safety?”

“That depends, Cook. Would this be before or after dinner?”


He paused for a moment. “Would there be anyone else at home who could prepare my meal?”

“Um, no.”

“Well then, Cook, your imagined mishap would get us both into a fine mess. You’d be helpless and I’d be famished. Who would take care of me, I ask you?”

Flabbergasted, I blurted, “Seriously, I need to know if you’re going to be there for me!”

“Frankly, it would be unseemly for me to be seen barking in desperation for help or dragging you to the top of a ravine. I’m not Super Dog, you know.”

“Are you saying on I’m my own?”IMG_2958

“Cook, are you forgetting that I’m royalty? Noblesse oblige doesn’t extend to the help, even if they are in charge of the kitchen. Incidentally, were those other dogs descendants of the throne? No, I would think not.”

“But what if I’m hit by a car?” I pressed on, beginning to believe my own scenarios were going to come to fruition.

“I’ll be sure to close my eyes so that I can’t be a witness,” he replied in a rather cavalier tone.

“But will you at least stay by my side and give me comfort until the paramedics arrive?” How can he say no to that?

“It depends. Would there be bushes of berries nearby to graze on? I’m going to need all the sustenance I can muster, what with you out of commission.”

“So that’s it, then?”

“Well, Cook, I suppose if something happens to incapacitate you, I will personally bite Oliver in the rear. He will yelp so hard that it will call attention to your plight and surely someone will come along to help you. As for me, I will be able to maintain my dignity and pretend not to know such a calamitous-ridden human as you. Now, that’s something, isn’t it?”

I’ll take it!

Wait, on second thought, maybe a 10-pound lightweight can do the job after all. It certainly doesn’t hurt to find out, right?

“You know, Henry, I’m going to ask Oliver if he’ll help me. Seems to me he has plenty of youth and vigor on his side and, well, you’re not getting any younger, I suppose. I mean, haven’t you noticed how much quicker he is at taking the stairs than you? Why you’re seven in human years, which makes you in dog years, hmm…middle-aged?”

Henry bristled at that and gave me a forlorn, woe-is-me look. Then, jumping up on the comfy chair that I was sitting on, he nestled into my lap.

Grinning sheepishly, he asked, “Why do you need that rapscallion when you’ve got me?”

Oh, Henry. Why, indeed.

So, how about you? Think your pet has what it takes to be a hero?





38 thoughts on “I Need a Hero

  1. Oh, I adore this! Sara says that when I leave the house my Maltese Lucy lays by the front door waiting for me to come home. I suspect she would save me. Though she’s a light weight compared to Ralph.

    So sorry to have missed this post. We’ve had friends visiting from the US and have had to do hostess thing. I’ve hardly had time to turn on my computer. Hope you and the boys are well.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Kathy, ordinarily I wouldn’t have bugged you about a missed post, as I know it happens to all of us. (Feel free to let me know if I ever miss one again!)

      But I had a feeling you, as a dog lover, would get a kick out of this one. I’m sure, too, that Lucy would make a terrific hero. I love that she waits for you to come home. Henry is so cavalier about my return. Won’t even get off the chair he’s sleeping on, to greet me. But Oliver is waiting by the door, chomping at the bit for a hug. He’s all smiles!

    • Glad you enjoyed this story. Next time you have a moment, you might want to check out some of the past stories featuring my dogs, including the time Henry thought he was Sherlock Holmes. You’ll find these stories by clicking on one of the above tabs. 🙂

  2. Love to hear from the dogs. Too bad they don’t have the – what’s the word gumption? courage? valor? smarts? to be your hero – or did you neglect to mention those traits to Henry.

    • Perhaps, I did forget to teach Henry those traits. His head is so full of royal flattery, after all. To be fair, though, Oliver never protested about having to save my life. Only Henry. Sigh.

  3. Could it all just be that Oliver and Henry are him and you are well, a woman? Listen to Professor Henry Higgins in a “Hymn to Him.” Yes, Henry and Oliver are both singing it.
    Henry and Oliver: “…by and large we are a marvelous sex!
    Why can’t a woman take after man?
    Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
    A better companion (better companions) you never will find.”
    ♪ “Well, why can’t a woman/cook be like us?”
    Men, whatever breed, are men.

    Delightful post on so many levels. Good luck with your men.

  4. There’s no empathy these days. Every dog for himself. Maybe keep a doggie treat somewhere on your person at all times, in case something happens. That may inspire Henry to recollect your value.

  5. Especially funny for me to be reading this as I’m immersed in a Nova series, “Inside Animal Minds.” It’s really fascinating — to see that dogs (oh so beloved to me) may not be as smart as they’re cracked up to be. Then again, it boils down to what we think of as ‘intelligent.’ Dolphins, on the other hand — a big OMG. Seriously — lest I digress too far from woman’s best friend when she’s in need of him 😉 — the notion of community (i.e., social bonds) as something that keeps species going in ways that defy rational thought gives me heart. Charming post, Monica

  6. He needs a royal assistant who could carry out the lifesaving duties that Henry would want to perform but isn’t allowed to by royal decre.

  7. Well, you know Monica, royalty is royalty. They certainly need to think about… um, important things like their next meal, keeping safe and protecting themselves – William got special permission from the queen to take Prince George on their trip to Australia. Two heirs traveling together and all. So Henry must think about that a bit, his place in the world you see…although I imagine his chivalrous tendencies ( part of his heritage of course)will bring out his true nature and save your life no matter the cost.
    Like Robert, I really enjoyed the pun on Cavalier 🙂 you are too good my friend.

    • Henry keeps wondering when the Queen will beckon him back to his rightful place by the throne. I told him, when he’ll freezes over, but he doesn’t appreciate sarcasm or so he says. He’s sure his orders to return got held up somewhere in royal bureaucratic red tape. Poor Henry. Poor us,

  8. I’ve figured out your problem, Monica — neither of your dogs (while totally CUTE!) are Shelties. Now Shelties are rescuers. My Dallas never left my side during my unfortunate tumble shortly after Christmas. We Sheltie owners are quick to point out that Timmy never would have even fallen down that well if he’d had a Sheltie (rather than Lassie)! So your next dog should be a Sheltie! By the way, I’ll bet you’d get more help from Henry and Oliver than they admitted!!

    • I’ll let Henry know. Maybe he can transform himself into a Sheltie, working his royal magic. You never know! All kidding aside, Shellie’s are beautiful. Glad Dallas is someone you can count on.

  9. I’m not sure how Lola would respond in an emergency. Fingers crossed she wouldn’t try to protect me from a rescuer!

    I bet Henry would surprise himself with how much if a hero he could be.

  10. Well perhaps Henry needs to have storytime, you know here about royal heroes of which I am certain there are some.

    Poor Henry, no one to look up too. Perhaps his fare is to rich?

    • He’s too big for this humble abode. Sigh. Oliver and I try to pamper him. Oliver serving as his valet, sometimes has been known to hold his tail up for him when he doesn’t have the stamina. Still it’s not enough.

  11. I loved this entry! You had me totally engaged. Plus, your dogs are too adorable! Combined they look like my Pixi! LOL

  12. I have worked out the problem Monica.
    They say a dog is a man’s best friend, and you’re a woman. That’s the problem.

    Mind you royalty are a funny lot generally, over here they generally grow bald and late in life marry ugly women. Young William is the first one to get it right in centuries.

    As for Henry I reckon you should take him out on the walk for dogs in May, then he can mix with the commoners in the dog world and see what it’s like to be a hero and you can have a nice stroll. Job done.

    I got the pun by the way where you slipped in the comment about his cavalier tone. Good play on words that….

    Young Henry, a word in your ear….. If cook ever needs your help and you don’t give it and therefore she can’t cook for you then I will come over and do your cooking. Then I can assure you after just one of my meals you would be regretting not rescuing cook!!!! I can burn a salad….

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