Sunday, September 03, 2006

Speak up!

Everyone is recommending The Dog Whisperer these days. People talk about watching whole days of it and trying the techniques with their dog and finding their own "calm, assertive energy". So, finally with my DVR I added the series to the record list.

It took me a while to get up the courage to watch an episode, though. I can't really tell you why. I mean, I do know that I don't watch Animal Planet for a couple of reasons. First there might be snakes and that freaks me out but mostly because everything I've ever watched on there makes me cry. K-9 to 5? Good christ, it's like an hour long cotton commercial. Look at the pretty puppies! Look at them work! Look at the danger they face! Agh puppies in danger, NO!!!!! Look at them overcome the danger! Awww, puppies survived!

Yeah, so, no Animal Planet for me. It's just not healthy. But DW is on National Geographic Channel so perhaps it's safe.


It's not.

I've watched probably 7 episodes now and they pretty much all make me cry. I just watched the 2 episodes about dogs rescued from Katrina and I think I might be broken.

My mom lives within the blast radius of a nuclear power plant. There's an evacuation plan but it's ricockulous. It won't get everyone out and it'll take at least quadruple the time they're publishing and there won't be enough places for people to stay and, you know, it's radiation, it's not like it's going to stay put. As we all know now after Katrina, animals aren't allowed in shelters for humans during an evacuation. Mom has always told me that if the news shows an evacuation for the area I should know she'll be at my house with her cats as soon as she can make it. The rational part of me knows that the liklihood of her being able to pull that off is slim but it's the plan and it's the right plan so we go with it.

I live in the blast radius of terror. And, you know, of squirrel-induced regional blackouts. On 9/11 I had Carmencita walk the few blocks to my house and get Emily and my first stop on the long walk home was her house to get my dog. During the blackout I hot footed it back to my place fearing that with the house shut up for the AC and the AC off that the pets might be poaching. Not only were they not poaching my neighbor had already walked Emily.

I think about it a lot, particularly during Katrina and Rita and when the terror alert pops up or a new and useless anti-terror measure is imposed on us. What if I wasn't allowed back to my borough? What if I was made to evacuate? Both of those questions were tossed around in 2001 but it didn't come to that. I remember thinking about evacuation as I lay on my bed in my one room apartment watching the one grainy channel I still got in. How would I evacuate? I have no car. I have 2 cats and the dog. I could carry a backpack, I could put the cat crate in a luggage cart and the dog on a leash and I could walk. Very slowly. But, I suppose I could do it. And I suppose I'd just walk north until someone could help me. It would take a long damn time and none of us would be happy about it. Again, the rational part of me realizes that this is an implausible plan at best but I still find it far preferable to the guilt and pain of leaving any of them behind.

I still think about Al and the MOC. Their apartment building burned down, to the ground, a few months after they were married. They lost everything they owned and their dog burned to death. How do you live with that? And how do you get another dog unless you're going to be with her every second? I couldn't imagine getting strong enough to leave her alone in the house, all I'd think of was if the place was burning down. I'd have to have the smoke detector hooked up to my cell phone or something.

But that's life, you've got to live with the uncertainty. You don't have to watch it every day, though, so I took DW off the record list until I recover.

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