They Never Came Home

Each year when we remember September 11, 2001, the same thought passes through my mind. Whatever happened to the pets affected by the horrific explosions that claimed thousands of peoples’ lives? Those animals not directly hurt by the debris and smoke were lucky in one way. Someone, a family member or friend, would have rescued them from empty homes or apartments. Those are the animals I would like to acknowledge today.

american_flagI have had dogs most of my life. Enjoying their friendship, love and attention has been a true blessing. Feeding them, bathing them and talking to them is a way of daily living in our household. I am sure that people who perished in the demise of the twin towers left that morning after having cared for their pets. As always, they planned to return home that evening. But they never did.

There was a film recently produced about a woman killed in an accident on her way home from work. A poignant memory I have of the story was how her dog laid patiently by the front door day after day, only leaving when her husband fed and walked him. Phenomenal patience was displayed as the time went by. Of course, the dog would stop its vigil but never during the film.

My dogs, Herschell and Henrietta always waited patiently for me. Then for us, when I married my husband Jack. Many times we would return from being away and walk over the warm area that had held their little, waiting bodies. I found that comforting.

I am sure that all of the animals who survived have passed on by now. After all, thirteen years have passed since the tragedy. Those dogs, cats and birds, perhaps reptiles too, lived out their lives with someone else. I know that the Red Cross was part of relocating lost animals. Adapting to new homes or surroundings was a necessity.

My hope is that these precious creatures, cherished by their original owners, all knew how much they were loved. I wish for them dreams of that final walk in the park or a treat out of the cookie jar. I pray their masters had wonderful hours before death enjoying pictures on their desks that fatal morning.

So here’s to animal lovers everywhere. Sharing your life, sharing your home and even sharing your favorite foods lend happiness for a lifetime. A lifetime can be short or long…the sharing is the best part. God bless those who never came home because someone was waiting for them! My wish would be for all concerned to meet on the eternal Rainbow bridge.


About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

Comments (1)

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  1. Pat Greenfield says:

    Very sweet. Mary. I love animals too, so it is nice to hear a tribute to our furry friends.