We don’t talk much about 9/11 in my house. It flies by like any other day and if it weren’t for the news and friends’ Facebook messages, I’d probably forget the significance of the day. It’s not that I’m unpatriotic; I’m just very forgetful. In 2001 I went numb while the people around me cried and panicked—until I saw the rescue dogs. These dogs were on a mission and what they were finding was horrific. But, they were determined.
There is one constant reminder of that day in our basement by my dad’s desk. He found a print of a New York City fire fighter huddled by a Golden Retriever and had it framed to commemorate the heroism of our country’s dogs.
More than 350 dogs were sent to the disaster sites on September 11, 2001, more than any other time in our country’s history. There is no accurate count of how many are still alive and where they are now. Scientists at University of Pennsylvania have done research that so far shows no ill effects on the traceable dogs’ health from their rescue work. Thank goodness.
There are memorials for these dogs all over the Internet—websites for individual dogs who have passed and ones for all the dogs as a whole as tributes to their efforts, bravery, and loyalty. My dog, Bill, won’t even walk down a street if he hears a ball hit a garage door on that same street the day before. It takes an extraordinary animal to dig through the rubble of two towers and the Pentagon looking for people.
So today, when you take a moment of silence for those who perished on 9/11 and to honor those who have worked so hard in rescue and restoration efforts, don’t forget to take a moment for our four-legged friends, too.