S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
Graphics courtesy of:
S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
AMERICA-land of opportunity, hope, challenges, ambiguities, unrest, racial tensions, political disagreements…the list could go on. But-AMERICA-is and always will be the “LAND OF THE FREE!”

It has been two weeks and a day since the WTC disaster. America has been trying to put the pieces of life and country back together. The Internet has been showered with wonderful articles written by people with more prose and dialogue that I. Art work in the form of drawings, photos and illusions have been sent and received by many of us. One in particular-with Jesus atop the fiery towers, arms outstretched, welcoming the folks who lost their lives in the blast, was awesome. No matter what religious belief one holds dear, it was inspiring to say the least.

As we try to make order and semblance of the happenings of the last two weeks, my thoughts have been centered around my family, home, friends and dogs. Most of us have been glued to the television. Mesmerized is the only word for it. It is almost an obsession to see what will be next, what the government will do, what the terrorists plan, what will happen to us. We are in a kind of limbo, one that has taken over our lives and hearts. They say almost everyone in America will be touched closely by this disaster now or later. We found out last week that the young man who sold us the house we live in and who has remained a friend, had a 26-year-old son who worked on the 96th floor of the first tower. We are some of the people who knew someone who was directly involved in this terrible situation. “We are Americans.”

We go about our daily chores as usual, but are they the same? Do we now put more credence in our activities than before? I hope so, even when it’s “only the dogs,” again.

Those little creatures don’t understand the impact of our National disaster. They don’t deserve to be put on hold while we grieve for our fellowman and peace in the world. We must be careful not to exclude them even in times of upheaval.

In the first place, they give order to our lives. They still must have care and daily grooming. Maybe that is their saving grace. They keep us busy.

The first weekend after the bombings was the St. Clair Kennel Club Show in Michigan. No one knew what to expect. Would there still be a show? Would the judges be able to make it? Would the exhibitors still come?

Well…was it a “dog-show?” Of course, people would come. However, folks came with their red/white/blue outfits, the judges all had patriotic ribbons, the kennel club people worked overtime and the show did go on. It happened due to the extra effort of many exhibitors, spectators, judges and Americans. Judges had to accept extra assignments for those who were unable to fly to Michigan from far-away states; exhibitors had to be more patient due to changes in the judging schedules; pictures that took much longer than the norm required more understanding; kennel club members had an even bigger responsibility to promote positive emotions; flexibility had to be the key.

It happened. It worked. Everyone’s attitude made it possible. The show did go on, and it was GOOD!!!

It got everybody’s mind off the tragedy even if for just a weekend. Those of us involved got back to “normal.” It was a good thing.

The terrorists have tried to change America. They have attempted to take away our right to be different, to be involved in activities each according to his own interests, to be free to speak, to worship, to love and to disagree. It hasn’t worked. We have become more resolute to unite as one country and one people. We will still have our differences and our conflicts. We will still disagree even if we agree to disagree.

BUT…if the dog show, a small part of this life, is an example of Americans at work, we will unite, co-operate, bond together and come out on top. All of our lives were changed on the fateful day in September. We do now know, yet, to what extent. Whatever happens, freedom will prevail. We will rise to the challenge just as our fathers and forefathers did years ago. After all, WE ARE AMERICANS!!