A hero could be many things. He could save a child from a burning building. She could lift a car off a child. They could rescue animals, rescue people from animals, rescue children from bad people. She could stand up for her beliefs, even if no one stands with her. He could take a risk against all odds. They could beat the odds. They could go down fighting and with their heads held high.
Or, a hero could be someone who pulls a tick out of her dog's ear without retching, without squealing in disgust and only wanting to cry.
Oh my gosh you guys! Pippi had her first tick today. (I'm telling myself it was today, because if not it was in my bed last night and this is unacceptable.) To make it worse, I discovered it at our first obedience training, so I had to go through class for an hour knowing my dog was playing host to a disgusting parasite, which really inhibited my ability to pet her without cringing. (It was behind one ear. Scratching a dog behind her ears is practically the American way.)
The three of us made it through class -- not particularly well, as my sweet, loving, friendly dog is about as well behaved as King Kong. I got her to sit, then we got to lying down, which she was really good at until I told her to lie down, at which point she wanted nothing more than to stand on all four legs and get her treat. When we had to walk, with her to my left and staying just even with me, she not only did not stay to my left, nor did she stay even with me, but I stepped on her multiple times and I never pulled on the leash at the right moments. I really hope the class has a money-back guarantee.
But I digress. Pippi got along well with the other dogs, which I was worried about because she's afraid of the dogs we meet on walks (of course, those dogs all weigh 10 pounds or less, so I totally understand why they're frightening while the huge Australian shepherd is just fine) .
Anyway, digressing again. I asked the instructor to check it. She confirmed it was in fact a tick. She did not volunteer to remove it, as I was hoping. She told me to either dab clear nail polish on it (I'm out of it -- I do have red, though), or hold a lit match close to it (I'm not sure lighting my dog on fire is really the best way to handle this particular issue) or pulling it out with tweezers.
Well, if you've met my dog -- or King Kong -- you can imagine how excited she was to sit still while I gathered the gumption and then tried to get a handle on that disgusting little arachnid. Two or three times I got a grip but it wouldn't come. When it finally did, I took one look at it before sticking it onto the waiting heated burner. (Interestingly, my mom is right; it is psychically satisfying to hear them pop.)
It wasn't until 15 minutes later, after I subdued my mild anxiety attack and remembered I was only a few days away from her next tick treatment and gave it to her early, that I noticed drops of blood on my floor. Yuck! How do people have kids? I can't even deal with my dog's disgustingness.
Yes, Michael. You and me -- heroes.
Look how cute she is tick-free! And she is tick-free. I summoned up all my courage to check inside her ears and in between the pads on her paws to make sure another critter hadn't made itself at home. And now I itch everywhere. *shudder*