Our across-the-street neighbor, John U., once remarked that when Jada and Tillie go out for walks in their winter coats, they look like superheroes. This is generous considering they would be the only superheroes on leashes.
But tonight, they made good on his observation. This evening, while John M. was waiting for me to call him from the train station so he could pick me up, someone walked in to our house. Just opened the front door and walked in. John was in his downstairs office writing and couldn't see who walked in but thought it might be me, and so instead of getting up to greet me, he decided to finish the sentence he was writing. The whippets, who were asleep upstairs (and done writing for the day), had no such priorities. So they raced down the stairs ready to greet me.
At the sound of them, though, or maybe it was the sound of John typing a period, the intruder changed his mind and backed out of the house. John investigated and had a brief exchange with the man, who admitted the dogs scared him and mumbled something about thinking someone else lived here.
John called the cops. The Urbana police happened to have someone staking out the neighborhood because there had been a rash of break-ins (or walk-ins?), so they found the guy almost immediately.
So now John, and even more so, the crime fighting whippets, are the heroes of the neighborhood, even though Jada and Tillie are utterly harmless and probably would have only wrestled with each other for the intruder's attention. Our neighbor, John U., who happened to be on my train and gave me a ride home, however, reminded me that "an avalanche of whippet toenails" descending the stairs would startle anyone.
They didn't have their coats on at the time of course, but their coats nevertheless showcase their true heroism, we think.