Thirteen years ago today, two big buildings in New York collapsed to the ground after they were hit by planes flying into them. It was a terrible act of terrorism that shook the world.
During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3000 died, nearly 100 search and rescue dogs with their brave owners were used in the rescue and recovery operation at Ground Zero.
In addition to doing what they were there to do, they also provided comfort for the brave firemen and rescue workers of the emergency services.One of the survivors who is blind was led out of the building by his seeing eye dog, Roselle. The yellow lab calmly guided her blind charge 1,463 steps out of the building. As debris fell and dust billowed, she found a subway station and led them both underground to safety.
And 27 hours after the centre collapsed, the last survivor was discovered by a dog and pulled from the rubble.
Thirteen years on, many of these dogs have passed on – for in a dog’s life, 13 years is a very long time.
May’s comment: Roselle, the lab that saved her blind owner was honoured by the American Humane Association – “Every day, across America, dogs protect, comfort, and give their unconditional friendship and affection to the ill, the infirm, the wounded veteran, and the frightened child,” Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the American Humane Association, said of the awards.“It was time to recognize the contributions of man’s best friends and celebrate the heroic feats they have performed for us every day.”
I’ll second that.
Most of these dogs are no longer with us. Ten years later, photographer Charlotte Dumas photographed some of the search dogs that were deployed at the wreckage of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Out of nearly 100 dogs, only fifteen remained, living with their handlers across the United States. Her dignified portraits of these remaining dogs were included in her book, “Retrieved” –