I finally mourned 9/11 – on no particular day in 2012. It was the first time I cried over this tragedy. It wasn’t just a tear. I cried until my face was all wet. All thanks to a children’s book I picked up at my local library called “It’s Still a Dog’s New York.”
This book is a conversation between two dogs, Pepper and Rover, who are trying to make sense of life post 9/11. They are scared and confused. Pepper feels guilty about enjoying music, museums, art – some of the many things that make New York so amazing. Rover reminds him it’s okay to have fun. Pepper says he’d trade everything for the lives of the people who died. Rover reminds Pepper they had no choice. Rover reminds him of the many heroes out there. That there are many more heroes than bad people. As much as I’d like to, I can’t tell you the whole story. Legally, really, I can’t. In the end these dogs remind themselves they are “top dogs,” and it’s still their New York.
I read this book time and time again, crying big sheets of tears – feeling really grateful that there is a book out there that’s so spot-on, relevant, important, helpful, NEEDED!
I can’t begin to fathom how children and parents cope with any tragedy beyond “My Barney video got broken!” But we all know that’s simply not the reality. So thanks to all the moms, dads, teachers, dogs, and otherwise (you too, Susan Roth, the book’s author) who help explain that it’s okay to feel sad, to mourn, to cry, but also to enjoy life as we try to make sense of it.