“The mayor’s office asked us to accompany families on the Ferry Boats. We would go to the site for part of the day, then to VMAT for decontamination and then make our way to the Family Assistance Center to accompany a family. A woman waiting to board the ferry boat reaches towards Tikva. ” I can’t believe you are here,” she whispers. As Tikva draws closer, the woman leans over, reaches toward her and begins to hug her, burying her face deeper into the fur on her neck and begins to cry. She looked at her badge and said, “her name is Tikva, that means Hope in Hebrew and I am Jewish”. She makes the comment that her husband loved dogs more than anything except her and that he had a merle blue collie. She thinks Tikva looks like his dog before they got together. She remarks that this thing that just happened is a gift to her husband and a sign to giver her hope and strength.”

Family Assistance Center Pier 94 Sept. 2001

– Cindy Ehlers

Founder, Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response