By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.
As a former puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the owner of two career change guide dogs, Sanchez and Gina, the story of Roselle captured my attention and my heart. Michael Hingson was working in his office on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center, Tower 1 on 9/11/01 when the terrorist attack happened. Roselle, the three year old guide dog by his side didn’t need to know that a hijacked plane flew into the building, she just knew that her job was to keep her partner safe and out of harm’s way. The circumstances were extraordinary that day, but their relationship was built on trust and teamwork and that is what ultimately helped guide them to safety.
Roselle and Michael walked side by side down 1,463 steps. They continued their teamwork after exiting Tower 1 when Tower II collapsed. Still Roselle’s work was not done, as she opened her heart, a few paw shakes and kisses to others suffering around her.
Roselle enjoyed a long working life followed by retirement with Michael and his wife. She passed away this past June at the age of 13. Michael has recently started Roselle’s Dream Foundation in her memory. I had the pleasure of speaking to him this week.
LS: What is the mission of Roselle’s Dream Foundation?
MH: The purpose of the foundation is to educate people about blindness and assist blind children and adults in obtaining some of the technologies needed to work in the world. The real handicap of blindness is not a lack of eyesight, but a lack of proper education about blindness. While there are wonderful technologies today that help the visually impaired, they are very expensive. There is a fabulous mobile device app that reads aloud what is on a printed page and converts it to speech. This would be incredibly valuable for the visually impaired, but it costs $1,800. My dream is to raise money to offset some of these costs. I’ve wanted to do this for over seven years and it is an honor to create this foundation in Roselle’s memory.
LS: Congratulations on your New York Times best seller Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind man, His guide dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero. Can you tell Care2 readers about this book?
MH: Thunder Dog is not a story about 9/11, but rather a story about trust and team work. Readers will be inspired by the bond that Roselle and I shared and how the human-animal bond is enriching and even saving lives. Autographed and “pawtographed” copies of the best-seller are available at MichaelHingson.com.
What a beautiful way for Roselle to continue to help others even after she has passed on. Do you have any stories of how the human-animal bond enriches and has even saved lives? Thanks for posting your comment below.
As co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my Care2 readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.
This post is part of a collective tribute for September 11th. Click here for more Care2 stories on 9/11.
Image Credit: Teddy Flory