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Posted on 09-11-2012

9/11

911dogs.jpg

On this day each year we reflect and remember what that fateful day was like 11 years ago.  We all remember where we were, what we were doing and what utter disbelief we were feeling on that day and in the many months and years to follow.

We take a moment each year to remember the heroism of so many both in the private sector and those first responders who lost their lives in NY, the Pentagon and in the outlying field in Pennsylvania. We remember all of those who worked tirelessly to save the lives of those in NY and the Pentagon. We salute everyone lost in the tragic events of that day.  We also continue to pray for the families that lost husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.

Being in the field of veterinary medicine and working in a small animal hospital for so many years, we see dogs in and out of our office everyday.  We know how special they are, how they make us smile, how deep and endless our bond can be with them.  I want to make special mention of the K9 Search and rescue/rocovery teams that spent countless days and nights searching for signs of life in NY and the Pentagon. The highly trained S/R dogs were dedicated along with their human partners to do everything possible to find signs of life, they suffered from exhaustion, burns, cuts, broken bones.  When the time came to transition from rescue to recovery efforts, the goal was to do everything possible to give some sort of closure and comfort in finding someone's loved one so they could be laid to rest.

These dogs and their partners worked until they could work no more.  The picture above shows several remaining S/R dogs that were still alive 10 years after the horrific events of  9/11.  I'm not sure if today all those dogs are still alive, but I wanted all of us to stop for a moment to give thanks and remember the dogs who gave so much to help us.   Not only did they help try to find loved ones lost in the disaster, but they also unknowingly offered comfort and solace to the people working along side them in such unspeakable conditions. There's nothing more rewarding and comforting than the love and companionship of a dog, a dog dedicated to you, devoted to the work you do with them.

Here's to the canine heroes of 9/11. We will always remember and we will always remember what you did for us as a nation, for your S/R partners, for the families of the victims.

So the next time you have the opportunity see a service dog of any kind, stop for a minute, look into their eyes and see what many times is overlooked by most of us who do not rely on the faithfulness, companionship and most of all devotion of the service dog.  Watch them with their people and and quietly thank them for their service to us as human beings.  They give us so much and ask so little in return.

 

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