Roselle – Heroine Dog

guide dog roselle

Not everything we read is the truth and the other day I found the 911 rescue story of a guide dog and I decided to google it. Her name is Roselle and she sadly passed away June this year. Her story is amazing and definitely should be shared.

Dog heroes are not uncommon but every story is just as amazing. Roselle is no exception.

Roselle has been one of the greatest blessings and gifts I have ever had the joy to let into my life.  God surely broke the mold when she came into the world.  Including Africa I have had seven guide dogs and also I have had the opportunity to see thousands of them at work.  Roselle is unique without a doubt.  She worked through the most trying time in our nation’s history, and she was right there unflinching for all of it.  Her spirit never diminished and, in fact, grew stronger through the years after 9-11 which helps me be a better person today. – Michael Hingson (Roselle – A Sad Day)

As the world celebrates human spirit on the tenth anniversary of 911, we once again relive the individual stories of bravery, camaraderie, and triumph. Roselle embodied all these as well as selflessness, putting all her training, instinct, and love into those hours on that dark day.

Roselle guided her person, Michael Hingson, out of Tower Two, 78 floors, over 1,400 stairs, into safety. They guided others out and escaped not long before the tower fell, rushing into a nearby subway station to avoid the debris cloud. The dog, nicknamed Thunder Dog, also helped countless of people during the descent, giving kisses and love to those around, including the firefighter headed the other way. The real story may not be as dramatic as the one that is circulating on the internet but their story is truly one of teamwork and bravery. Michael remained calm and said he was only scared twice – when the building was hit and when the tower collapsed. Roselle just excelled in her “job”. She didn’t bolt. She didn’t whine or bark. She was calm and focused. This is a dog spooked by thunder, but unfazed by a terrorist attack.

Their rescue story did not end on 911 and in many ways, started that day. Media exposure brought so much attention to them that 911 turned out to be a life-changer in more ways than initially thought. Michael, now an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, tours the country giving speeches on topics ranging from teamwork and the human-animal bond to trust and being open minded.

Roselle passed away in June 2011 (at 13 years of age).  In 2004 she was diagnosed with immune mediated thrombocytopenia. Michael suspects it is related to the debris and toxins that they breathed that day on 911. When her kidney value worsened, Roselle was retired from guide work in 2007 and enjoyed her retirement with Michael’s current guide dog, Africa, and other Guide Dogs for the Blind fosters including Fantasia. Bless Roselle and all dogs!

Dogs amaze me and service dogs, well, they are special. Their life is given to helping others, in all kinds of circumstances. Their unconditional love and desire to please underlie their work ethics. For search and rescue dogs, handlers have to incorporate “mock finds” to stave off depression. Some dogs trained for live rescues had to be retired from 911 because they were so emotionally affected by not finding anyone alive.

But a dog doesn’t have to be a service dog or a hero dog to make a difference in your life. Every day, dogs save those around them, by being who they are, bringing joy into our lives, reminding us of what is important, showing us what unconditional love looks and feels like.

Roselle’s Dream Foundation
Michael Hingson
Thunder Dog
Guide Dogs for the Blind

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3 thoughts on “Roselle – Heroine Dog

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