By Mark Bellinger
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the news business we are taught not to be the story. It’s not about us, but in this case we’re going to make an exception.
If 9/11 did anything, it made people want to get involved and do something to help.
In the days just after the attack on America my wife and I seized an opportunity when a woman dropped off a puppy from Manhattan at the animal shelter.
We named the puppy Manhattan.
She’s a mix between a German shepherd and a Collie. In other words she’s a mutt, but a mutt that will always hold a special place in our hearts even after she’s long gone.
When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, Manhattan was right there in the middle of it all. She was just a puppy wandering the streets.
A woman leaving Ground Zero picked her up and brought her to the animal shelter in Nashville.
September 11, 2001 left a mark on everybody. We all have kind of a connection or we wanted to have a connection and we wanted to do something.
We did a story and I decided to adopt the dog. It wasn’t much, but I felt it would always be my connection to 9/11.
At our home in Bellevue it was love at first sight.
My wife Cindy said, “She’s the best little doggie there is. Everybody loves her.”
Well, not everybody. The cat had some reservations.
There were some burn marks on her paws that we saw when she was at the shelter. She also had some small burns on her belly, but they’ve healed nicely.
Manhattan still hates loud noises. Judy Laudebache at the Metro Animal Shelter thought it was because of the planes crashing into the towers. She’s never gotten over that.
Manhattan has turned into the ultimate family pet. Everybody loves her, and she loves us.
I knew she was special when I first saw her at the shelter. You could just feel it. When I was holding her you could tell she was going to be a good dog. She has been a great dog.
In my family Manhattan is more than just a part of New York City. She will always be special and a reminder of what happened ten years ago.
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