|Officer Robert McArdle and TC, Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images|
11 years ago today, America and the World changed forever...
There were many individuals that day that stood up, stood tall, and became the heroes that we desperately needed, especially a particular group of 300 individuals!
Here's a few of their stories:
Bretagne and Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas:
Bretagne was just 3 years old (and year into disaster training) when her Mom, Denise, got the emergency call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Within 6 days, they were clambering through Ground Zero without a leash or a collar but with a purpose and hope! Even though it was her very first emergency mission, Denise says that "she worked it like a pro. She didn't get cut up or fall or get hurt!" Bertagne was also a beacon of hope for many of the firefighters working during those early days, if just for a short talk or a pet! The couple stayed for 10 days: searching, discovering, and helping as many people that they could!
Kaiser and Tony Zintsmaster from Indianapolis, Indiana
Kaiser was just a three year old German Shepherd in Indiana when his Mom and Dad, Annette and Tony, got the word that they needed to get immediately deployed to New York! They arrived at Ground Zero on the evening of September 11th and were put to work instantly, working 12 hour shifts. Unfortunately the pair were never able find anyone alive, but they gave many families piece of mind as they discovered the remains of the lost. Even through pain and injury, Kaiser kept on working tirelessly for 10 straight days! He also provided the love that many firefighters needed, some just came up wanting a long hug!
Guinness and Sheila McKee from Highland, California
Even though Guinness was 5 years old at the time, the World Trade Center disaster was his first emergency search. He traveled all day and night, arriving at Ground Zero on the morning of September 13th. When the duo arrived, people lined the streets waving and thanking them for all of their assistance, his Mom remembers crying that day. Sadly the 20 survivors that made it out of the towers alive had already been found during the first day, so Sheila and other members of the emergency team planted "victims" in the rumble to keep the pups motivated! They searched and worked for 11 days!
Tuff and Tom Andert from Ashland, Missouri
Tuff and his Dad, Tom, got word on the morning of September 11th that they would be immediately leaving for New York with their emergency search and rescue team, Missouri Task Force 1. The group arrived at 11:00 pm that evening. Tom described the initial scene as "utter chaos", considering that it was a combination of concrete and mounds of steel! During their nine day search expedition the team was sadly unable to discover a soul, however they impressed many on the ground with their abilities to cover and clear massive areas without collar or leash!
These are just four amazing stories out of hundreds that assisted during those initial days! I just want to pause and think about the insane abilities of my canine brothers and sisters (and of course their Mommies and Daddies), you are all absolutely wonderful!
If you want to see and learn more about the 9/11 rescue pups, there is a book out called Retrieved by photographer Charlotte Dumas; I haven't been able to read it yet, but you can see her photos online and they are stunning!
Today I am thanking and thinking about all those 300 pups and countless humans that assisted and rescued the victims of the attacks! Love and Licks!!
Sources: Daily Mail - UK, New York Post, WishTV, The Press-Enterprise, and 365 Hero Dogs