By Dawn Aerts
We have all heard the stories of dog bravery. Sometimes that is a K-9 saving the life of a police handler, the story of a military-trained dog protecting his unit, the well-trained dog who goes into towers of broken concrete to find a single survivor in the rubble of an earthquake.
According to those accounts, it is all in a long day’s work.
But there are also the stories of unlikely heroes like a screaming parrot who wakes up a family ahead of the fire alarm, the cat who paws at an owner’ ear to get up before his house is engulfed in flames, or the little ‘Yorkie’ that scares off a midnight intruder.
These are pets who just may have the ‘right stuff.’
One story that will have you take a second look at pet-bravery is the case of September 11th – It was that morning in 2001 when a blind computer sales manager Michael Hingson went into his office on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center to prepare for a meeting with his guide dog, Roselle, asleep by his feet.
According to Hingson, it was 8:46 a.m. when the tremendous boom rocked the building as Michael grabbed Roselle’s harness, trusting that this dog would lead him out of danger. As Michael instructed her ‘forward,’ they slowly descended down the first of 1,463 steps to a heated lobby, where Roselle nudged her owner past firefighters as she gave them their last experience of unconditional love.
While Hingson and his dog finally reached the main lobby they emerged outside to a scene of chaos with Hingson still gripping the harness and using his familiar commands. Hingson survived the tragedy that day and became a spokesman for Guide Dogs for the Blind – an organization that is known for lessons on trust and teamwork.
“I’ve had many other dogs,” Michael wrote of the event, “but there is only one Roselle.”
There is also the story of the armed thief that entered a Wisconsin home and ordered the couple to the ground. But the couple’s three-legged pit bull stood his ground. As the 15-year-old dog growled at the intruder he fired his weapon, wounding their pet, before escaping empty-handed. Then there are the many harrowing accounts of the military combat dogs who subdued attackers in Iraq or Afghanistan protecting the team of soldiers and handler after being shot or even, mortally wounded.
You will find plenty of these stories on the Internet, too numerous to count. In short, it appears that our pets are sometimes our best heroes.
In support of the Enoch Animal Shelter, the Cedar Shelter and Iron County Animal Control Center. If you would like to be a hero for a dog or cat that needs a caring home, visit or call 435-586-8791 or 435-586-2960.