He's Batman

by Lorin Michel Sunday, September 23, 2012 9:31 PM

Regular readers may recall that my favorite superhero was and remains Batman. I like that he’s always been dark and mysterious, that he became a crime fighter to avenge the death of his parents. I especially like that he doesn’t have any special powers; he just has really cool toys, not the least of which is the Batmobile. It’s always been a great car, regardless of the incarnation. The 1960s version was a bit cartoonish, as was the entire series. But it was campy and fun. Then Michael Keaton got some great wheels in the Tim Burton smash in 1989. Christian Bale’s dark night got some equally fabulous wheels in his trilogy, including a motorcycle.

Since his creation by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane in 1939, Batman has been known as the Bat-Man, the Caped Crusader, and the Dark Knight. In Davis, California there is another name for the creature who wears a bat-themed costume and possesses indomitable will. Meet the Dog Knight.

He's Batman

He’s a three-year-old Formosan, a type of small to medium sized mountain dog indigenous to Taiwan. They’re known to be alert, faithful, bold and fearless, all characteristics that fit this Knight whose name is, appropriately, Batman.

Batman was found in an alley in Taiwan after apparently being hit by a car that didn’t stop to help. The dog dragged himself from the street, and was discovered several days later, his spine fractured, his back legs useless. A local veterinarian did the initial surgery and then decided there was virtually no chance of adoption. They put him into a foster care system and left him in a small area by himself. A rescue group in San Ramon, California called Love & Second Chances heard of Batman’s plight and raised the $1400 needed to fly him to his new country. Batman underwent more surgery but the veterinarian had sad news: the window of opportunity for the most optimal treatment has passed. Batman would never walk again.

Love & Second Chances is a group of interconnected rescuers in Northern California committed to helping abused, neglected, homeless and dogs on death row to find loving homes. No dog is too big, too old, too injured to qualify for their help.

New legs!

Batman now has a wheelchair and tears across a parking lot, over grass, even up and down stairs. He plays with other dogs, he chews on his toys, he’s as happy a boy as he can be, especially when he’s sporting his special Batman cape. Recently, he has also showed signs of something called reflexive walking where he can wiggle his back legs a bit. He’s able to spin around on the ground and even to use the legs sparingly because his spinal cord is steering his movements without the use of his brain. This 26-pound hero is now being outfitted for custom leg braces that will be donated by a canine-prosthetics company, enabling him to also get around without his Batmobile.

I came across Batman’s story earlier this morning and watched the youtube video put out by the group who is trying to find him a forever home. On one hand it’s painful to watch; I wanted to turn away, especially when they showed some of the dog’s injuries. But when I saw him racing around on his wheels, and playing with the other dogs in the park, it made me smile. I’m not going to embed it but here is the link: http://youtu.be/puN4ZcS4AtU

This dog was showing, in just the few minutes of video that are available, the power of determination, a dominance of spirit and the strength of character that we all wish we possessed ourselves. Dogs are a special species in that they simply are what they are. There’s no pretense; they don’t feel sorry for themselves. They rarely sit around and think that the world has dealt them a bad hand. All the more amazing because dogs like Batman definitely got dealt from a deck that was stacked against him. But he doesn’t let it get him down. I doubt he even knows that he’s different. He’s simply alive and living it out loud.

That’s why they call him the Dog Knight.

The Batmobile

So often dogs can show us the people we can and should be. Rising above challenges, not letting anything get in our way, being the superheroes we always imagined we would be, the crusaders for justice that we were meant to personify. Bold, fearless, living with joyous abandon; loving life.

He’s Batman and that’s what he showed me today.  

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live out loud

Comments (2) -

9/24/2012 10:03:57 AM #

Batman is easily one of the greatest most inspiring stories I have ever had the privilege to experience in my lifetime. He just gave me hope where no hope existed before.

Fred United States

9/24/2012 3:32:27 PM #

This is an amazing story, with amazing people behind it. God bless them for all they've done to help this dog.  This blog entry has even inspired me to have Lucky wear the Batman cape of Caden's for Halloween! Smile

khris United States

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