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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pet Talk: Hero dogs of 9-11 legacy

  • In 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Towers, a parade and ceremony took place by the Hudson River at a state park in New Jersey in tribute to the 300 heroic working dogs and their handlers who answered the call for help at ground zero.
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  • In 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Towers, a parade and ceremony took place by the Hudson River at a state park in New Jersey in tribute to the 300 heroic working dogs and their handlers who answered the call for help at ground zero.
    Many of the original canines from 9/11 have succumbed to old age and are no longer with us but the last remaining dogs and their handlers were present and were given special recognition.
    At one point participants walked through an "Arch of Honor" of crossed swords.
    Hundreds of currently serving comfort dogs, bomb sniffing and search rescue canines came with their handlers from all over our country to participate and honor these working dogs.
    Mixed breed canines and purebred dogs of all sizes took part. From the photos and video, I noted over 20 different breeds involved.
    These canines have received extensive evaluation and training to prepare them for their specific working dog role.
    Natural in-born traits enhance the dog's ability to perform. Breeds such as Shepherds, Border Collies, Rottweilers, Dobermans and Bull Terriers are focused, intelligent, loyal and trainable and have amazing endurance. Hounds have incredible scenting capability.
    Other breeds excel because of their particular calm, loving and comforting nature.
    There are two short documentaries about the 9/11 rescue dogs available to view on the internet.
    They are well worth viewing. The original, made soon after the events, "Hero Dogs Of 9/11," has been on the internet (http://www.thedogfiles.com/2010/09/03/hero-dogs-of-911/) and recently premiered on Animal Planet, Sept. 10, 2013, and is repeated periodically. This documentary tells the true story of the people who found themselves in the midst of the largest terrorist attack in American history, and how man's best friend irrevocably changed their lives.
    It displays these canines' stories of courage, healing and long-lasting legacy that until now has not been well known.
    Kenn Bell, executive producer/director of the Animal Planet documentary special stated that "It has been my dream and mission to show the world that dogs deserve our love, care and respect," he said "I truly believe that 'Hero Dogs of 9/11' does just that. I guarantee that after viewing this documentary, you will never look at your own dog the same way again."
    The follow-up 10th anniversary video, "Hero Dogs of 9/11 Legacy," lasting nine minutes, can be viewed by going to http://thedogfiles.com/herodogsof911legacy.
    The parade and ceremonies held in 2011 are included. You cannot help but be touched at the sight of these wonderful dogs.
    It concludes with a well-known quote from Roger Caras, president emeritus of the ASPCA. "Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe.
    Page 2 of 2 - We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.
    They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." I absolutely agree with his point of view.
    Anne Divine is a long time member of LAWS and has volunteered at Animal Control for 18 years. She can be reached at: adivine@kc.rr.com.

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