September 12, 2017

The Dogs Of 9/11

Jack Kemp

I had a big "coffee table" book with tons of pictures about the 300 odd dogs that came to Ground Zero in NY. I gave it to a friend who has a girl (then around age 10).
The daughter loved the book and read it to her little half-brother.

There were two dogs that lead their blind owners down over 70 flights of stairs each to safety from the Twin Towers. And the rescue dogs were given IVs after working all day in the rubble by volunteer veteranarians. And the dogs wore rubber bottom booties because the fires burned under the Trade Center debris for 100 days at temperatures ranging from 800 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. I think a lot of dogs were sent home after about a week or so because there were no live people to rescue.

Bretagne was the last of the 9/11 search and rescue dogs to be laid to rest. The above video show the honor given her by the officers (video says it is Houston firefighters) as she takes her final steps. There were many American heroes in the aftermath of 9/11. These dogs were among them. The rest of this post is the first one I wrote about the dogs on the anniversary of the attack.

We have all heard that heroes come in all shapes and sizes; sometimes the most unassuming person rises to the occasion and meets the challenge. And sometimes it is a very special type of animal, a rescue dog. In the aftermath of 9/11 bombings, the world’s largest deployment of rescue dogs were used to search for survivors, working tirelessly with their handlers, searching the ruins, and according to witnesses, giving great comfort to the workers. Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas has published a book called Retrieved, featuring the surviving dogs in their final years. Read more and check out the pictures of these wonderful dogs here in this Daily Mail article.

Many of these dogs have heart wrenching stories. One of the most well known and celebrated of the rescue dogs is Jake. He was found abandoned and injured, with a dislocated hip and broken leg. Adopted when he was 10 months old by Mary Flood, a member of Utah Task Force 1, a federal search and rescue team, Flood helped train Jake to become a certified rescue dog. Jake was most known for his work at Ground Zero, but he also participated in the post Katrina rescue effort. Jake helped train other dogs for this important work in his later years. Jake died in 2007, but we remember and honor him this week as one of the true heroes who served selflessly, with courage and love.

Here is a touching quote from the rescue scene:

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