Monday, September 06, 2021

9/11 The Story of a Dog


As the world is remembering 9/11 20 years later, let me share a story that to this day seems rather amazing. This happened several years ago. I think it was 2003. It was a snowy late night, close to midnight. Snow was falling lightly, slowly but persistently, covering all surfaces with a magical, sparkling white coating, obliterating all traces of footprints and paw prints. As we are shutting off the lights for the night, we notice a dog on our neighbor's porch - just sitting there, as though admiring the view. Sitting very still, as though waiting for a command or for his owner to appear. But a few things were wrong: our neighbors don't have a dog, they had had no visitors with a dog that evening, and the dog was now looking up and down the street, looking a bit confused and anxious. We figured (hoped) he would soon move along and so we waited for about 1/2 an hour. But it was late, and not a soul in sight. How could we just leave him out in the cold? But most importantly, how could we bring in a largish boxer-type dog into a house of 4 cats!? Very carefully that's how. So, Cat Wrangler (CW) goes outside, down the driveway and approaches him slowly with hand cautiously extended,  soon realizing this is one sweet dog, with no meanness whatsoever. He is easily led by his collar onto the back porch and into the house. The cats having been secured upstairs, we usher him into the screened-in front porch (with storm windows), give him some cat crunchies and water, secure the door and go to bed. 

Since we have cats, rising early is not unusual. Happily, that is the CW's job, not mine 🙂.  He heard whimpering coming from the porch, which is not winterized - the poor guy was shivering, and we realized a little too late this sweetie was certainly not used to being out in the cold for those few hours. Feeling just horrible about that, we usher the cats outside (it was for them a mild winter morning) and lead the poor cold dog upstairs and put him in the spare room. When we looked in on him later, he was so well-behaved, snoozing on a blanket and happy to be warm and secure. One of our cats, Smudge, upon sniffing the closed door, looked at us with wide eyes, as if to ask, "whadya got in there this time??" This room often being the "holding pen" for various critters needing assistance, requiring sequestration, usually cats - an occasional baby raccoon. He was such a good-natured cat and welcomed all. He even once followed a young moose after he appeared in our yard - I guess he thought it was a very large dog! 

Anyway, with poochie safe and secure, CW went off to the local grocery store up the street, where folks often post items lost/found including cat/dogs. Amazingly, as CW was posting our sign, the owner of "our" dog was affixing his (see photo). Long story short, dog and owner happily reunited, CW told me the story of this dog named Victor, as recounted by the owner:   the dog was a 9/11 survivor - he had lost his owner/s due to the tragedy in New York and was put up for adoption. Victor, being a sweet poochie, unfortunately had the habit of following children when coaxed, as children do. Turns out he lived not that far away from us, we learned - round the corner, down the street. But I guess this time, and partly due to the snow, he had gone a bit too far, lost his bearings, and so he got lost. 

CW was his saviour. Now guess what CW's birthday is? That's right - 9/11. Also born in the Chinese Year of the Dog. 🐾🐾🦮💖

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