Friend of mine, out running in her neighborhood, was attacked by a pair of pitbulls. Or rather, they attacked her dog, a huge, fierce-looking beast who runs with her and may be the world’s largest pussycat.

The pitbulls grabbed her dog by the neck; she threw herself over the dog as a human shield, screaming. Six cars slammed to a stop and the drivers, all strangers, leapt to the rescue. They drove off the pitbulls and quite possibly saved the lives of the dog AND my friend.

She told me this a few hours later, shaking as the reaction set in. “Six cars stopped to help. SIX. Six cars,” she kept saying.

“Same thing happened to me in New York, in a dog park, and NOBODY came. They all just watched. Six cars. Six.”

Yeah. We’re like that here.

This level of humanity is one of the things I love about Glassland (AKA Portland). People hold doors open for you, offer to give up their place in the checkout line because you only have a couple of items. They give you their leftover parking permits because there’s still time left and no point in wasting it.

“I swear, if a terrorist came to this town carrying a big nuclear device marked, “DANGER! BIG NUCLEAR DEVICE!” some Portland native would walk up to him, say, “That looks heavy. Let me hold that so you can set that detonator,” sighed my cousin the counterterrorist-investigator-talk-suicide-bombers-out-of-pushing-the-button person.

Could be. Probably the only thing that saves Glassland from terrorist attack is that it’s not much fun to blow up a bunch of liberal tree-hugging tie-dyers busily putting birds on stuff. You get a lot more bang for your buck (so to speak) if you blow up those hard-nosed paranoid east coast types.

Rock on, Glassland.