Saturday, September 11, 2010

Memories, 9-11-01

Shortly after 6am, Pacific Time, I was awakened by a phone call from my daughter, who lives in Mountain Time. I could scarcely absorb what she was telling me. New York City and Washington, D.C. were under attack. "Turn on the T.V., Mother!"

Not until I have walked the dog. I'll deal with it after I have walked the dog.

The dog was Daphne, our first rescue. The charming outcome of a mix of a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and a sight hound--Whippet or Greyhound, I was never sure. We had adopted her in April, 2001 and were quite unprepared for the "issues" of a dog who had been abandoned on the streets of L.A. as a puppy, who had been adopted and rejected by two families, and had spent two years in a rescue kennel. She wasn't eager to share anything, space or food. I had never before had a dog who was so possessive of toys, gathering them together, noticing if one was missing, guarding them as treasures.

In numb disbelief, I threw on some clothes, leashed Daphne, took her for an extended walk and reluctantly returned home.

I really didn't want to turn on the T.V. I really didn't want to know for sure what was happening on the other side of the country. But denial was too hard to maintain. I settled in for what turned out to be hours of unbelieving monitoring of horror. As I watched, tears blurring my vision, I felt a damp nudge on my leg. I looked down into Daphne's face. She was holding her most prized toy in her mouth, a well-licked peachy pink Dolphin that she had picked off a display the first time I took her to a pet supply store.

"Here. Take this. It always makes me feel better. It will make you feel better, too."

Daphne stayed right by me during that terrible day. And each time I gave way to tears, she brought another one of her treasures to me. She had given me her entire collection by the end of the day.

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