A wingman (or wingmate) is a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous flying environment.
The traditional military definition of a “Wingman” refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off the right-wing of and behind the lead. This second pilot is called the “Wingman” because he or she primarily protects the lead by “watching his back.”
I’ve seen movies where a “wingman” is very important to the pilot, such as “Top Gun” and “Pearl Harbor”. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept. That protection. That feeling of safety. Knowing someone has your back – priceless.
We all have humans in our lives that we think of in this way. My husband Greg, for example is my “wingman” in every sense of the word. He stays with me – protects me from unseen things, keeps me feeling safe, etc.
But I also have a canine “wingman”. My puppy, Dexter.He takes his job seriously. Barks at anybody near to me and gets agitated if he cannot get close enough so that he can protect me. He is never far from me during the day. When I’m in my office typing – he is at my feet or by my side – amusing himself with a toy or bone for hours at a time. When I leave the room, he dutifully follows. If I’m in the kitchen, he sits on the floor and watches everything I do. When I sit to watch a movie, he joyfully jumps into my lap, his favorite place to be. At night he cuddles up next to me – happiest under the covers with his head resting on my arm.
He is my “wingman” extraordinaire
Of course this togetherness can get a little trying at times – especially when I have students coming and going during the afternoon for lessons. His sharp barking reminds everyone coming in the house that he is trying to protect me! And although very endearing – it gets annoying and I have to be firm with him and tell him to stop that barking! But it is also sweet and loyal – how angry can you be with an adorable puppy who just wants to be with me?
It’s funny. Our Bichon has never had any concept of “protecting” me. She is a loveable, complicated, high maintenance, beautiful, and independent dog. But she never stays with me very long. Her favorite thing to do is go for a ride in the truck – go for a walk on the trail – or go upstairs and hide from Dexter – sleeping for several hours at a time. Dexter loves to run upstairs and find her – jump on top of her and wrestle. She will play along most of the time – and it’s cute when they play together. But other times she will give a warning growl when she has had enough! Sometimes in the evening we won’t see her from 7:00 – 10:30! Not so with Dexter. He is happiest when he can see me and be beside me. Oh he’s not a perfect dog – barks too much at the neighbor dogs and most of the time will not come when called.
But I have decided that the positive far outweighs the negative. I do love my little “wingman”.
- Dad’s Wingman (jaydonanddaddy.com)