My Welsh Corgi Juno was a licensed therapy dog. For years we had been visiting nursing homes and troubled children, and she seemed to have healing power.
After 9/11, in thinking what I could do to best help and be of use, I brought her to my local firehouse, known as "Big Door" (Ladder 5 Engine 24, Battalion 2) 227 Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. It was a very sad place at the time, especially because eleven men were lost from that firehouse.
From the time of our first visit I noticed how the men enjoyed seeing Juno and playing with her - one of them called her “the wellness dog”. I realized that this was a way to bring some comfort and hopefully moments of joy and forgetfulness. I took here there regularly. This painting depicts one of the firemen and my dog. In the background are some of the tributes and memorial messages left at the firehouse.
It took me many years before I could approach the subject of 9/11 (the painting was begun in 2009 and completed in 2011).
This painting was shown in the exhibition "9/11 - We Remember: Response and Healing" at Freyberger Gallery, Penn State Berks, PA.