Today’s WN entry comes from Ralph Fletcher’s Tips for Young Writers: Write about an artifact (arrowhead, ring, antique, etc.). Important objects in our lives often provide excellent material to write about.
My yellow lab Sirius lays on my bed without moving. His fur is soft and he allows me to pet him without flinching. He’s tiny for a lab, but I suppose that is how the “real” Sirius looked when he was a puppy.
But wait! I have asthma and allergies. So how is it possible that I have a yellow lab? Well, he’s stuffed.
That’s right, stuffed. Sirius is a stuffed animal.
I’m 30 and I know I shouldn’t have a stuffed animal on my bed, but there’s something different about Sirius. He’s named after Sirius the Port Authority Police K9 Bomb Detection Dog who died during the September 11th Attack on the World Trade Center. Sirius died in his crate when his partner, Officer David Lim left him to go and investigate what was happening in Tower Two since he felt he’d be more effective if Sirius wasn’t with him. Unfortunately, Officer Lim was unable to get back to Sirius since Tower Two collapsed.
I might be allergic to dogs, but I still love them and always wanted one. Therefore, when I heard Officer Lim on the news talking about the death of his beloved partner Sirius, I wanted to find a way to memorialize him. Therefore, I went to FAO Schwarz and purchased a tiny yellow Labrador Retriever who I named Sirius, in memory of the PAPD Dog who perished when his kennel caved in on September 11th.
When I have children, I will introduce them to Sirius and tell them the history of his name once they’re old enough to understand it. We must never forget the people who perished on September 11th. We must never forget those who were injured on September 11th. And we must never forget the only dog who was ever killed by international terrorists.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).