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9/11 Revisited- The Stories of the Dog Heroes
With Guest: Nona Kilgore Bauer, author of "Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America's Search and Rescue Dogs."

Original Air Date: 09-11-2009

Listen to the show

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It's September, 2010. Another anniversary of 9/11 has just passed. On that day, two weeks ago, I watched alot of the television shows that told stories of how people responded to the events that I had not seen or heard of before. Perhaps you saw some of the same coverage. Here's something else you may have not known much about. The details of all the dog teams that were some of the first responders to Ground Zero. In today's episode, a replay show, you'll hear Nona Bauer, the author of the book"Dog Heroes of September 11", share some of the stories in the book and her experiences as she interviewed the handlers about their dogs that served our nation in the recovery missions following the terrorists strikes on America. This dog is Riley, a golden retriever, handler, Chris Selfridge.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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From the dedication page of the book,"Dog Heroes of September 11th."
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Louie, a golden retriever, (handler, Amy Rising.) This haunting photograph was the inspiration for the book, "Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America's Search and Rescue Dogs."
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Abby, a labrador retriever, (handler, Debra Tosch), searches while the Fire Department of New York, firefighters watch....and wait....and hope. Abby's indications brought four families closure and peace.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Anna, a golden retriever, handler, (Rick Lee), checks an underground area with Rick, but sadly she does not alert to the presence of anyone alive. Anna and Rick were among the first teams to report to Ground Zero on the 12th.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Willow, a labrador retriever, (handler, Bobbie Snyder), training on a simulated rubble pile helped prepare her for the job site she faced in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Here Willow makes a "find" during a training session. As there were no people found alive at Ground Zero, sometimes someone acted as a plant for the dogs to find, so that the ones trained to "live find" would not become too discouraged.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Dusty, a golden retriever and handler, Randy Gross. Randy relates that the dogs performed better than he could have ever imagined. They flew across dangerous terrain like it was a field of grass, where at any point they could have slipped and fallen into a black hole of torn metal. There were areas that were considered unsafe for people to go into, but the dogs went in with no problem.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Riley, a golden retriever, (handler, Chris Selfridge) in his most memorable moment. In order to search the top of what was left of the North Tower, A Stokes basket was set up to transport Riley over a canyon 60 to 70 feet deep. At first after being strapped in, he seemed nervous, but then just lay down and waitede while he was transported over the void to his waiting handler.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Thea, a labrador retriever and handler, Elena de Mesa. I was struck by all the protective clothing that the emergency workers and handlers wore against the contrast of the totally unprotected dogs.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Gus, a labrador retriever, (handler Ed Apple) being checked in the decontamination area. Dogs worked in rotations of 12-hour shifts. After or during shifts when needed, they were taken to the veterinary-care tents to be examined and bathed and have their eyes, ears and noses flushed.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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The border collie, Cowboy receives veterinary care, a chew toy and lots of love at the MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) station.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Cowboy, a border collie, (handler, Dave Richards) "loved the firefighters. He always found a piece of wood or a stick and would throw it down in front of them, wagging his tail and demand that they play with him. They all started calling him "that cowboy dog.' He really did his part in making those firefighters forget their sadness for those few minutes every day." From the book, "Dog Heroes of September 11th."
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Some dogs were injured and here one receives veterinary care and comfort.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Kaiser, a german shepherd, and handler, Tony Zintsmaster. Even though Kaiser suffered an injury to his paw on his second day of work, after being bandaged up, he wanted to go right back to work.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Jenner, a labrador retriever, (handler, Ann Wichmann), when taking a break from searching, was comforting the other emergency workers. "He seemed to understand the deep grief that pervaded everyone on the site."
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Storm, a german shepherd and his handler, David Sanabria. The dogs work for rewards, often being a toy to play with. Storm is excited about getting a water bottle as his toy reward.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Hawk, an australian shepherd, (handler, Cathy Schiltz) is trained for human remains detection as well as live find so he was eager to search regardless of the task. Due to his skills, the police and firefighters would ask for "that hawk dog" because they quickly learned that when he made an alert, they would find someone.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia, damaged by fire and partly collapsed.
(photo by Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill, Department of Defense)

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Otto, a german shepherd, (handler, Sonja Heritage) almost invisible in a huge pile of rubble at the Pentagon. The massive destruction at the Pentagon site did not hinder search and rescue dog Otto.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Dusty, a labrador retriever, (handler, Mary Berry) performing his mission - to help recover the remains of all the victims of this national tragedy. Like all of the search dogs working there, he tirelessly worked to the best of his abillity to meet that challenge.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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The third site that the dogs worked in the aftermath of 9/11. This is the landfill on Staten Island, NY, named the Fresh Kills Landfill that had been in operation for 50 years before closing it. It was reopened so that the million of tons of debris from the fallen World Trade Center could be brought here. The search and rescue dogs, handlers and workers painstakingly and carefully sifted though all the debris, searching for the smallest of pieces of human remains in order to identify (through DNA testing) and notify families that their loved ones had been found.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Radar, a labrador retriever and his handler, Amir Findling, working at the Fresh Kills landfill after rescue workers rake out a pile of debris, making it easier for the dog to search for remains of the victims of the World Trade Center attack.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Louie, a boxer, (handler, Michele Verral) was the only member of the boxer breed to work search and rescue during the September 11 tragedy. Louis was able to make numerous finds very quickly, using his nose to locate for example, 14 finds in about 20 minutes. A dog's sense of smell is highly developed. We humans have approximately five million sensory cells in our noses, dogs, have about 125 - 200 million sensory cells.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Ivey, a german shepherd and her handler Nancy Hachmeister. Ivey is certified in not only urban disaster search, (having worked at Ground Zero) but also in wilderness search and avalanche search amoung others. She seems quite comfortable as she dangles here in this photograph.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

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Bretagne, pronounced, (Brittany) a golden retriever and her handler, Denise Cortiss. Utilizing their noses for recovery of fallen victims and offering their furry presence for comfort of the workers, all of the search and rescue dogs were American's unsung heroes.
(Photograph courtesy of Dog Heroes of September 11th. Kennel Club Books)

z66-guest-nona-golden-duotone.jpg A 15-time Dog Writers Association of America nominee and frequent winner, Nona Kilgore Bauer has authored nearly two dozen books on canine subjects.  She was the recipient of the Vern Bower Humanitarian Award from theGolden Retriever Club of America.  A breeder and trainer of Golden Retrievers for the past 30 years, Nona has excelled with her dogs in field work, including hunt tests and field trials.  She completed her first Filed Champion/Amateur Field Champion with her Labrador Retriever Schatzie in 2003.  She lives with her husband Phillip and her Golden and Labrador Retrievers in La Belle, Missouri.  She recently finished writing her first book on training retrievers for sport, and is working on a book for future parents on raising dogs (and kids)."
Nona Kilgore Bauer's Website

Dog Heroes of 9/11 Website

To Order the book

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

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