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Blind man and his Labrador make lucky escape: the 9/11 story no-one knows about

Labrador hugs her owner
© CBS 17 - Youtube

9/11 – a tragic date that is forever engraved in people’s minds, all over the world. But despite the painful emotions 9/11 has brought about, it also created unsuspecting heroes, including Roselle.

By Justine Seraphin, 11 Sep 2019

The world changed at 8:46 AM on September 11th, 2001, when a hijacked Boeing 767 crashed into the North Tower of the New York World Trade Center. The shocking images of the burning buildings will haunt us forever. But in every chaotic tale, a hero is born. And on this day, it was Roselle the guide dog, who stepped up to the plate and saved her owner’s life.

Guide dog turned rescue dog

When the plane crashed 14 floors above his office, Michael Hingson, who has been blind since birth, thought it was an earthquake. But Roselle knew better. She woke up from her nap under Michael’s desk and immediately alerted Michael that something was terribly wrong.

Michael could tell Roselle had sensed a serious danger, and without hesitation, tightly grabbed her leash and let her lead him to safety. Roselle bravely led Michael through the fires, the ashes, the crumbling building, the trapped and screaming people. Unable to see, Michael’s survival depended entirely on his dog. And he followed her trustfully, down the 78 floors to the ground.

Every single second of the 45 minutes it took them to reach the exit, Rosie kept her focus – letting no fear of uncertainty get in her way. Some people inside the building were inspired by her, and followed her out as well.

In the streets, she ran as fast as she could to lead Michael out of immediate danger.

“No way I would’ve been able to run successfully if it hadn’t been for Roselle,” says Michael.

As soon as she knew he was safe, her concentration broke, and she returned to her happy, playful self.

A faithful hero

Without her, Michael would’ve died that day with the other 2,977 victims of the terror attacks. Roselle’s story, though unknown in the eyes of many, is one of the most touching animal tales. In fact, she won the PDSA “Victoria Cross” in honour of her courage.

Roselle passed away in 2011, but she will live on forever in Michael’s heart.