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Furry Heroes

Ten years ago yesterday an awful thing happened in this country.  I wasn’t around for it – I hadn’t been born yet, actually – but I heard about it.  I don’t have my own story to tell of that day, but it affected countless humans the world over – I doubt I need to tell you that.

Rather than wax poetic about something that never directly affected me, I wanted to share a little bit about heroes.  There are more human heroes than can be properly named in this setting, a lot of whom didn’t make it out alive.  As a dog, I want to look a little bit more at the canine heroes of that terrible day.  They helped locate survivors – and also the remains of those who were killed.

Human Mary Flood and her rescue dog, Jake.  Jake is now deceased and was found, upon necropsy, to be riddled with cancer.  The results of his necropsy have been cataloged by a medical center studying the effects of working in the World Trade Center on the body.  Here you can see Jake almost sensing how this was different from other search/rescue missions, but maybe I am projecting.

Rescue dog Porkchop, here being treated for dehydration with his person… This picture makes me sad.

Human Scott Shields with his dog Bear, also being given water (from his owner’s hand – something I like to do myself – rather than through an IV like Porkchop).

Rescue dog (name unknown) being transported out of the debris.

A canine officer and his furry partner (names unknown) taking a much-needed break September 18, 2001.

This is Apollo, the first rescue dog who was on site on what was known as Ground Zero.  I like this picture because it shows sort of the eager-to-please nature of dogs.

This makes for an amazing story… This is Roselle, who is not a search/rescue dog – but a guide dog for the disabled.  She is here with her owner, a man who worked in the World Trade Center whom she led to safety down 78 flights of stairs.  Here she is receiving an award for her dedication to duty.  As you can tell, dogs aren’t terribly impressed by awards.  All the thanks we need is love – and treats don’t hurt either.

And even out of tragedy comes hope.  These two little ones are named for victims of the attacks – Hoey and Hatton.  They are sniffer-dogs in training for the TSA – trying to follow in some majorly brave paw prints.

If you are interested in more stories of 9/11 rescue dogs, click here to see this story from the New York Times; this article has all to do with privately owned dogs who were mobilized to help with the rescue efforts.  Even more stories are available at The Daily Mail, as well as this piece on therapy dogs who helped workers deal with the devastation they witnessed.

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