9/11 Survivor Credits Guide Dog With Saving His Life
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 22, 2006
MARSHFIELD, WISCONSIN--Mike Hingson loves to tell audiences that he owes his life to Roselle, the yellow Labrador retriever that has been his guide dog for the past several years.
Roselle was with Hingson on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 when hijackers slammed a jetliner into the building several floors above them.
"Nobody knew what happened, the airplane hit on the 96th floor on the north side of the building and we were on the south side," he told an audience in Marshfield, Wisconsin last week.
Hingson said Roselle kept taking directions from him despite the noise and chaos as they headed down the stairs on their hour-long descent to safety.
Just seven floors below Hingson that morning was Omar Eduardo Rivera and his yellow Labrador retriever, Dorado.
Rivera, a blind computer technician from Columbia, quickly took the leash off the guide dog so it could escape. Dorado left, but soon returned and stayed by Rivera's side.
Rivera's supervisor showed up and led him to an emergency exit. The three spent the next hour walking down a narrow emergency staircase as crowds of others ran down the stairs to escape the burning building.
Moments after they left the tower, it collapsed.
"I owe my life to Dorado -- my companion and best friend," he said a few days after the terrorist attacks.
"Surviving the 9/11 Attacks, With the Help of a Seeing Eye Dog" (WSAW-TV)
"Hero Dog Dorado Saves Blind Owner" September 14, 2001 (Moggies)
"September 11, 2001 and Beyond: The Impact of the Terror Attacks on People With Disabilities" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)