Stupid Dog This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I looked at his ruffled face. Like all Wheaten terriers, his face was scruffy and looked like he had a Fu-Manchu. Unlike most puppies, though, he was quite lethargic. He was dying, and he seemed to know it. The fur around his face was covered with drool and dried dirt. I couldn't help him. My dog died on September 11, 2002.

I began to think about September 11th of the year before. At first I'd felt astonished that the city where I was born had been the target of a terrorist attack. Like many, I had been to the top of the second tower. Soon, I wanted vengeance. Despite my conscience, I wanted someone to pay for this damage with their life. I wanted some extreme death penalty, an unpolitically correct, creative and elaborate, painful death for those responsible. The fact that so many people died had not really hit me, but by the time the individual stories began to emerge, television had gotten to it.

The week after September 11, 2001 the news seemed to slow down the "Continuous Coverage" and started with 9-11 "Special Coverage." Instead of poignant pictures, information and stories, I was watching a slick show with background music, a somber narrator and snippets from grieving family members.

Usually there was a woman dressed in modest clothing who cared so deeply about those grieving that she needed to go through make-up and hairstyling before interviewing them. "How do you feel?" she would ask the crying family members or co-workers as they watched their loved ones fall again and again from the tops of the buildings like sparks from a grill. As if the whole nation couldn't figure out how these people must be feeling, the interviewer would continue with the weeping mourners. It wasn't real.

My parents thought I was insane when I became sick of the "Extensive Coverage of America Under Siege." I was the only one in the room with dry eyes. The family on the screen was not suffering so some news station could get ratings, but for a lost family member. How could anyone feel truly sad for the victims of September 11 when you couldn't see past the news' colorful title screen reading "America Under Attack"? I could not cry when all I felt was outrage for what stations were doing to the "new day of infamy."

Television was not alone in wrecking the true feelings of September 11. Soon, t-shirts adorned with flags were sold in department stores, supermarkets, everywhere. A wonderful profit could be made by anyone who had shirts and a screen print of the American flag. And if a shirt were not enough to prove you were the best patriot in America, you could also buy the stickers and pins.

I heard the supply of flags was running out because of the demand. What I found most appalling were the flags stuck on, tied to and fluttering from cars, especially huge SUVs that use half a tank just to start their engines. It was ironic to me that gas, which had helped spark the assault, was being pumped into "patriotic" vehicles by the millions of gallons. People died on September 11 but to show you cared, you had to buy something.

I thought about my dog again. He looked pitiful. Still so young, I knew he would die, which made me think of all the things that would go with him when he passed away. I was much sadder over one stupid animal than the death toll at Ground Zero.

I thought about this for a while and then realized why: my dog would die without a corny television news headline; his death would not warrant a massive funeral; his death would not increase a product's popularity; his death would not cause all followers of a religion to be stereotyped as terrorists, and most important, his death would not cause more death in a "war against terror." I sat next to my dog and he began to wag his tail. He would die, and nothing other than my sadness would happen. So I sat there and finally cried.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Tess A. said...
Sept. 1, 2009 at 10:22 pm
wow, this is an amaizing peice! and I thought I was a good writer. You are so much better than me...Wow. Two thumbs up. take the others' advice: Keep writing!
 
Sarah W. said...
Jul. 27, 2009 at 11:38 pm
It really drew me in... its usually hard for a nonfiction story. i felt the same about the attacks. i wanted them to suffer, to make up for EVERY
SINGLE
LIFE
LOST
thankfully i saw the lite.
 
Gorillas4u said...
May 15, 2009 at 2:47 pm
... im so sorry for you. /cry
 
Florida Blonde lol said...
May 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm
You are very good at writing!!! I like how you detail things.
You should start writing a book i am writing two books their about high school and the other one is about and agent. *K E E P* *W R I T I N G*
 
SheilaZyra said...
May 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm
Wow. I never thought about what a big deal is made over a tragedy. I mean, t-shirts? The sad thing is, I've seen those of the attack. You really brought that into the light.
And you're good at writing! Keep up the good work!
 
102108<3 said...
Jan. 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm
IT WAS VERY INTERSETINGGG
 
sam said...
Jan. 26, 2009 at 7:29 pm
that was real good
i love it :D
 
penguin35 said...
Jan. 3, 2009 at 8:22 pm
That was very sad, but very good. I liked it!
 
pinkypatty21 said...
Nov. 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm
this is a really good non fiction story i really enjoyed it...keep writing!!!
 
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