All in a picture: In memory of a puppy

I work on 19th Street and 9th Avenue in Chelsea. At about noon today, one of us looked out the window and noticed that a small white puppy was stuck on a seventh-story ledge outside of the window. The window was open a crack and the puppy had apparently crawled out of it (though how it fit through the small opening is anyone’s guess) and then had been unable, or unwilling, to back itself into the narrow slit. A few of us were watching the puppy, and I took this photo from our window. Looking down at the ledges below us, it was clear that there was barely any space to sit on them. None of us could bear to look for more than a few seconds. If the puppy fell and we saw it, that image would be burned into our memory forever. What on earth could we do? It began to drizzle, and the sidewalk started to get wet.

On the street there was an overhang, so the puppy was above plywood 15 feet in the air rather than sidewalk. We called the NYPD and the fire department and they said they were on their way. When they arrived, they responded to one of my officemate’s frustration with cool indifference. From what I hear, they canceled the call fire department, and lied to say that the fire department was on their way. I stopped to talk to the police on my way to lunch, asking them to get a mattress, trampoline, something. They asked me to leave to avoid causing a scene, and I went on my way.

I returned from lunch and craned my neck upward, seeing no sign of a puppy. The window appeared closed, which told me that somebody had found a way inside and brought the dog back in. I walked into our building and was greeted by the few-month old puppy who lives at our security desk – “you stay off of window sills,” I tell him, right before the receptionist told me that the dog had fallen. My coworker saw it happen, and she is still reeling.

I’m in shock and disbelief of the life on this poor dog, and I keep thinking of its owner coming back to find it missing. Any dog owner would have preferred their door be broken in than their puppy fall to its death, but that was not the way of the NYPD. In fact, I blame the NYPD for its death.

I share this for the reminder it gave me, of the destruction and sadness in this world that is beyond our control. It reminds me of a time I saw a hummingbird trapped in a tall room, which apparently happened often; they will fly back and forth until their heart stops, and the only thing left to do is watch. This photo tells so much of the story.





3 Comments to “All in a picture: In memory of a puppy”

  1. A dog fell to its death across from us, and the NYPD did nothing πŸ™

  2. Adam 9 October 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    Sad. πŸ™ What a shot, though…

  3. A dog fell to its death across from us, and the NYPD did nothing πŸ™

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