Besides my family (which includes my dog, Katniss, of course) and job, with the possible exception of football and my obsession with all things red, there really is nothing I love more in life than Batman.
I should get out more.
It started when I was a kid. I used to watch reruns of the “Batman” TV show from the 1960s, and I thought the Batmobile Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) drove was the coolest car ever, aside from maybe the General Lee (“Dukes of Hazzard”) and KITT (“Knight Rider”). On top of that, Batman’s enemies, such as the Joker, Riddler, Catwoman, Captain Boomerang, Calendar Man and the Cavalier, were all zany and psychotic. And yes, those last three villains are actual comic book characters.
In 1989, “Batman,” starring Michael Keaton, was released in theaters. This new, grittier version of him was much more my style. He was dark, haunted by the memories of his slain parents; he brooded, which I was already doing at age 9—there’s no way that could have been a good thing; he beat up goons—but never killed them—so bad that they wished they were dead; he had an array of gadgets—“those wonderful toys,” as Jack Nicholson’s Joker would say; he had a new, faster, almost invulnerable Batmobile; and most importantly, I knew if I trained myself to my physical and mental peak—and had millions of dollars—I could be Batman.
Since his creation in 1939, Batman has seen many changes in attempts to keep readers interested, from his sidekick, Robin, being killed to Batman’s suit changing styles and colors to various characters coming and going. One of those characters, who appeared in the 1950s comics, was a German shepherd named Ace who assisted Batman and Robin as Bat-Hound.
And you thought the 1960s TV show was corny.
Long story short, Bat-Hound would join the Dynamic Duo in fighting crime. Bat-Hound resembles a certain German shepherd I know who just happens to be a staunch advocate for fighting crime: Katniss.
If I could be Batman, theoretically, could Katniss be Bat-Hound? Let’s find out together by making a pro/con list like they do on TV. Consider it a tryout for Katniss.
Pro: Katniss is good at sniffing things, which could be useful in picking up a bad guy’s scent.
Con: Katniss would most likely get distracted from the scent, be afraid of said bad guy and whine at him hoping he would go away, or try to play with him (or her, you never know).
Pro: Katniss has tons of energy. When fighting crime, that has to be a good thing, right?
Con: She also enjoys frequent naps, which could be a problem when facing dangerous criminals such as Two-Face or Kite Man.
Pro: Katniss has a really loud bark and looks ferocious when agitated.
Con: She is afraid of our large trash bins, the vacuum cleaner, going to the vet or being brushed. She was also briefly afraid of the floor downstairs. And most noises make her skittish. That can’t be good when Batman is slugging it out with local thugs.
Pro: She is good at riding in cars.
Con: Katniss insists on riding in the passenger seat when traveling, and if you happen to be in the passenger seat, she is riding in your lap whether you want her to or not. That could be a distraction in the Batmobile, especially versions of the Batmobile that lack a passenger seat.
Pro: Katniss is typically good at responding to commands.
Con: The key word here is “typically.” She sometimes needs to be bribed with treats to come inside from the back yard, and she gets distracted easily, qualities that won’t help Batman in the heat of battle against the Penguin or Mister Polka-Dot. Have I mentioned her whining?
Pro: Katniss is a fast runner.
Con: Katniss would probably use her speed to run away from the likes of Killer Croc and Toyman, whining the entire way.
Pro: In addition to a great sense of smell, Katniss licks everything—that has to be good for crimefighting somehow, right?
Con: Katniss would likely lick Mister Freeze to death while assuming he was an ice cube. She loves ice cubes. Unfortunately, killing goes against Batman’s ethos.
Taking the pro/con list into account, I don’t think Katniss would make a very good assistant to Batman. She is perfect, however, for her job of being our house dog. She excels at cuddling, playing, not pooping in the house and drinking a lot of water. And I think she and I make quite a dorky dynamic duo.