Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

I was awakened by a nearly hysterical call from my daughter, who lives in Mountain Time, an hour ahead of California.

The Twin Towers had been attacked. The Pentagon had been attacked. More planes were in the air and who knew what they would hit.

"Turn on the television, Mother!"

I told her I would first walk the dog.

Daphne was a sight-hound/terrier mix. Our first rescue. The five months she had been with us had been a steep learning curve for John and me in the ways of a canine who had spent formative puppy months learning to survive on the mean streets of L.A.

Dog walking is an anchor to reality. The dog might sense that its human is upset, but there are still smells to be smelled, friends to greet, business to be done. The fine September weather, the well kept lawns, the still leafy trees, reassured me of the normalcy of the world. A normalcy I was loathe to give up.

When I returned home, I had a delusional moment when it seemed that if I did not turn on the television, none of the terrifying news would be true.

But I did turn on the television and it all was too true and would have been true regardless.

Like most Americans, I spent the day transfixed by horrible scenes and unspeakable reports, trying to grasp the atrocity that was taking place live, in real time.

As I sat weeping, I felt a nudge. Daphne, the street wise dog with "issues", was offering me her most treasured toy. A pink dolphin that she had pilfered while I shopped at a pet supply store.

"Here, Judith, take Dolphin, he always makes me feel better."

Within a short time, Daphne had presented me with her complete collection of treasures: stuffed toys, chews--and even her beloved tennis balls.

Not long ago some recently retired friends were touting the wonderfulness of being "free from dogs", so that they could come and go as they pleased.

I really can't relate.

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