Hero Dog That Guided People Out of WTC
© AP Photo / Mark LennihanРазрушенные вход в метро и автобус у Всемирного торгового центра после теракта в Нью-Йорке
© AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
WASHINGTON (Sputnik)- Back then, on September 11, not only people were trying to save lives. Some 300 four-legged heroes were involved in the rescue efforts, as well.
One of such canines was yellow labrador Roselle, who saved her owner and 30 others by calmly guiding them to safety down 80 floors through the fire, debris and smoke.
Roselle was a three-year-old guide dog for Michael Hingson, a sales manager for Fortune 500 company Quantum, which was planning to do some special sales training seminars that Tuesday. The company’s staff was finishing final preparations when at 8:45 in the morning they heard something that resembled a muffled explosion.
"And then the building shook. It just started tipping. And we actually moved, maybe about 20 feet. It just kept tipping and tipping and tipping. Tall buildings are made to do that if they're struck. It's happened a couple of times before. But we didn't know what happened. Nobody knew what happened," Hingson told Sputnik.
The office of their company was 18 floors below where the plane hit the building and on the other side of the building. Hingson came back over toward his desk where Roselle was – her usual place. She seemed calm. One of Hingson’s colleagues saw fire and started to panic a little bit and said they have to get out of here. Hingson recalled that he tried to calm him down.
"The reason I kept telling [him] to slow down ... is that I was observing that Roselle was not doing anything to indicate that she was afraid. She wasn't sensing anything. That told me that whatever was occurring wasn't so close to us that we couldn't try to evacuate in an orderly normal way, which is what we did," he said.
When they were going to the stairs, Hingson suddenly felt an odor of the fumes from burning jet fuel. He did a lot of travel and he knew how the plane fuel smelled.
During their evacuation, Roselle who did not show any fear was receiving commands from Hingson.
"It was certainly very scary but we ran from it. And I guess I can only say when I learned that tower two had collapsed, I was speechless because there was no way to know what had happened and why it happened. And all of a sudden, tower two was gone. And then a few minutes later tower one was gone," he recalled, adding that only when they escaped into safety, he managed to call his wife and finally learned about the terrorist attacks.
Back at home, Roselle acted as if nothing happened and she started playing with Hingson’s retired guide dog, Linnie.
Roselle was fine in the beginning but later she contracted a disease called immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, an auto-immune disease where the immune system destroys platelets within the body.
"It [the disease] is usually caused either by genetics which certainly did not make sense in Roselle's case because there was no one in her bloodline that had that. Roselle comes from guide dogs for the blind in California. They have her whole history, her whole family trees. So they knew that this wasn't an issue, but the other way you get it is by Ingesting toxins. And of course, she did that on September 11th. We think that what happened on September 11th eventually affected her. But not immediately," he explained.
Roselle passed away in 2011 at the age of 14. Hingson, who after the tragedy became a motivational speaker, dedicated a book about her and set up Roselle's Dream Foundation to raise money to aid vision-impaired people in everyday life. She was posthumously named American Hero Dog of the Year 2011 by American Humane.