One Of The Highlights Of BlogPaws — Hero Dogs Of 9/11

by Houndstooth on

There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about going to BlogPaws.  It was an absolutely fabulous experience for me from beginning to end.  One of the highlights for me was seeing the US premiere of “Hero Dogs of 9/11” while I was there.  The movie aired last year in Canada on 9/11.  For anyone who is new to the blog, we have a Search and Rescue dog in training here named Kuster.  He’s an eight and a half month old German Shepherd.  Seeing the movie was near and dear to my heart.

Working DogsThe documentary talks about the involvement of a variety of dogs in the events of 9/11.  It chronicles the experiences of Sirius, a bomb sniffing dog who worked in the World Trade Center, Rozelle, an assistance dog who was in one of the towers with her human partner and the Search and Rescue dogs who worked on recovery after the towers collapsed, as well as therapy dogs who came to lend support to people who were working on the recovery effort.  There were a lot of photos and video footage of the dogs working and a lot of explanations about how the dogs worked and were cared for during the rescue efforts at Ground Zero.  The following video is a six minute or so description of the movie.

After the movie, the very first Dog Files Award was presented to one of the Utah Search and Rescue members who helped with the search at Ground Zero.  The dog she had during the search has passed away, but she accepted the award with her current working dog, a black Labrador Retriever.  There weren’t many dry eyes left in the room after the movie, and even fewer after she accepted her award.

On CallOne of the things that touched me was that very few of the three hundred SAR dogs who went to Ground Zero are still alive.  Their careers are very short compared to ours.  In some ways, it seems like 9/11 just happened, and in others it seems like a lifetime away.  Less than fourteen of them still survive today.

I think getting to see that movie alone was worth my trip to Salt Lake City, but if I get to go back next year, I’ll be taking plenty of tissues.  They didn’t warn me that it was going to be such an emotional roller coaster.  If you get a chance to see the movie, please do.  I really enjoyed it, even if it did make me misty-eyed.

Future Working Dog

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  • Yes that was definitely a touching and memorable moment! I had to excuse myself for a few minutes to dry my tears. 🙂

    • I was glad I at least had a napkin handy! For the second time that day! Pepi’s message from the Bridge got me, too!

  • Jen

    That really blew my mind, when I heard that so few dogs involved with 9/11 were still alive (I think I read it for the 10th “anniversary” this past September). September 11 is still so surreal for me, adding the far-too-short lifespan of dogs to the timeline of it just makes my head spin.

  • It’s just not fair they have to leave us so soon. Wow – Kuster is a total big boy now!

  • I was upset at them playing the video during a meal, because as soon as I started watching it, I ended up not being able to eat, I was too involved in the movie and too emotional from it.

  • Veronique

    Just watching the trailer makes me cry. Innocence of the dogs vs insanity of humanity.
    Those dogs did miracles.

  • Sue

    Fab post about wonderful dogs.

  • I bet Kuster has dreams of being on the big screen now 🙂

  • Very moving and emotional. What truly amazing dogs, makes me feel very proud to even be a dog owner!

  • Got tears in my eyes. Love that pictures of Kuster.

  • Dogs are man’s best friend, so we’re their companion for everything. That means the good and the bad! Don’t worry, humans, we’ve got your back!

  • sara, oreo and chewy

    I could only watch two minutes of the video, and had to turn it off. My emotions are still too raw to watch. I know many of those dogs perished earlier than they should have due to exposure to the toxins.

    So many heroes on that day, 4 legged and 2 legged.

    • Actually, during the movie, they addressed that. The dogs who worked at Ground Zero were followed in a health study. They were VERY surprised to learn that they suffered very few long-term adverse affects from their exposure there. One of the leading theories is that because they have such long snouts, they were able to filter out a lot of the toxins that humans couldn’t. Another thing that occurred to me while I was watching the movie was that they were regularly flushing the dogs’ eyes with saline solution, and that was also flushing their nasal cavities. As far as I know, most of the dogs simply died of old age-related things that happen to all dogs.

  • Dogs are amazing creatures. They are always there whenever we need them and they never turn us down.

  • Stella

    Should be required viewing for anyone who has ever said “its just a dog”. We are so priviledged to share our lives with these amazing canines. Thanks for sharing the film with us.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  • That does sound very emotional. I was going to ask about the health issues of the 9/11 dogs, but you already addressed it. I guess a lot of the dogs are just getting up there in years.

  • Great write up about it. I never would have thought that would make me tear up as much as it did. Wow. it was truely amazing to watch.

  • Michelle

    9/11 was such an emotional day for our country. Whenever I see stories about the search and rescue dogs, it makes me tear up. They did an amazing job. I can’t believe it’s been almost 11 years ago now. Kuster is growing up so fast.

  • Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    SAR dogs are amazing. Too bad not enough humans realize how much they do to help. When one thinks of only 14 remaining out of almost 300, it really makes one stop and think. We salute all those SAR pups. We know that one day Kuster will be serving well too.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  • Two French Bulldogs

    Amazing pups
    Benny & Lily

  • Such a beautiful tribute to the SAR dogs. You and Mr. T must feel so very proud of the route Kuster is going on. I think in some ways, I would also feel a little trepidation, in knowing that the sweet little puppy you raised could someday be called on to enter into a very dangerous situation in his line of work.

  • It is hard to believe that enough time has passed that these heroes have lived out their natural life spans. I am forever humbled by our canine companions’ loyalty and work ethic.

  • That was a great documentary. It’s amazing to think about what those dogs went through to help so many people. I saw a lot of people sniffling 🙂

  • That was so moving. I can’t imagine what the dogs went through trying to help so many. Unsung heroes for sure!

  • If they keep this up, I think BlogPaws needs to get Kleenex as a sponsor. And, if Kenn’s new film on BSL is ready, I think we’ll need them.

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