Roselle, the guide dog who saved her blind master in Tower One on 9/11

roselle-with-medal

Here is an excerpt from Michael Hingson, who is blind, about his faithful guide dog, Roselle, who led him down 78 flights of stairs in Tower One of the World Trade Center on that fateful date of 9/11/2001.

  “It is strange for me to be writing this article while I have feelings of both sadness and joy in my heart.  Nevertheless, it is something which must be done.

Roselle was born on March 12, 1998 at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California.  After her time with puppy raisers she went back to Guide Dogs for the Blind for training.  I think I first met her on November 22, 1999.  It was obvious from the very beginning that we were a perfect match.  Roselle was my fifth guide dog.  I could tell that she would be an excellent guide from our very first walk together.  What took me a few days to discover was that Roselle was also quite a character; I constantly referred to her as a pixie.

On September 11, 2001 Roselle and I were in our office on the 78th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center when the tower was struck by American Airlines flight 11 which had been hijacked and was being controlled by terrorists. All I want to say here is that Roselle did an incredible job.  She remained poised and calm through the entire day.   I would not be alive today if it weren’t for Roselle.

In 2004, Roselle was diagnosed with immune mediated thrombocytopenia, a condition which caused her body to attack her blood platelets.  Through medications we were able to control the disease and Roselle was able to continue guiding.  As usual, she worked like a trooper and never once exhibited pain nor discomfort.

In February 2007 during a normal checkup we learned that some of Roselle’s kidney values were changing for the worse.  It was decided that the medication regimen on which Roselle had been placed as well as the stress of guiding were the causes for her kidney value changes.  Roselle retired from guide work in March of 2007.

In 2010, Roselle began exhibiting some chronic back pain.  We immediately took Roselle to her vet and started her on a treatment of acupuncture, some other back adjustments, and herbs which altogether mostly eliminated her chronic back pain.

Earlier this year [2011] we noticed that Roselle was beginning to have a harder time standing up on her own, although once she was standing she loved to continue her daily walks.  She stopped playing tug bone with Fantasia and Africa, but she still enjoyed lying in the sun, eating, kissing everybody in sight, and barking at the doorbell.  Her ability to stand on her own grew worse throughout the first half of this year.

Last week she began exhibiting some other signs of distress and pain.  On Friday, June 24, 2011 she had to be taken to her vet as she had begun vomiting blood.  It is suspected that somehow she had developed a stomach ulcer.  Also, it was discovered that her red blood cell count had dropped significantly.  Friday evening she was taken to the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center where she was well known and would receive over night care. She had spent many hours with Doctor Harb and the other staff working through her IMT issues.  They had also helped her in January 2009 when she developed gastric torsion and had to undergo emergency surgery to untwist her stomach.

Yesterday, Sunday, June 26, we visited her in the evening only to see her condition continuing to deteriorate.  She was in a lot of pain and discomfort.  There was no one cause for her discomfort, but Doctor Bowie of the PESC felt that some of her immune mediated related conditions had returned in addition to the possible stomach ulcer.  After much consultation and discussion we all came to agreement that the best thing we could do to help Roselle was to assist her in crossing the Rainbow Bridge and go to her friends Linnie and Panama.  At 8:52 last evening she crossed the bridge and, I am sure, is now more comfortable and has all the doorbells she wants to bark at.”

This was posted on June 28, 2011, by Mike Hingson.  For the full story, you may visit his website here.

May you rest in peace, Roselle.

Dedicated to all animal rescuers…

abandoned dog

“I am an animal rescuer.
I have bought animal food with my last penny,
I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand.
I have hugged those that are vicious and afraid.
I have fallen in love a thousand times,
and I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body too many times to count.

I am an animal rescuer.
My work is never done, my home is never quiet,
my wallet is always empty…

…but my heart is always full.”

~ Unknown

Thank you for all you do!

With love,
All dogs and animals you have rescued, and those you will rescue

Story of a rescue of a dog chained and left to die

doogiedown2

Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, was arrested September 11, 2006 for helping a dying chained dog named Doogie who could not stand in East Freedom, Pennsylvania. Below are the details of the case, with photo and video documentation.

Tammy’s statement: “I made a hard decision; I could not have lived with myself or looked myself in the eye if I were such a coward as to leave Doogie lying there dying on the ground for fear of what would happen to me. I see this case as a travesty against justice…the true perpetrators of a crime are the people who left Doogie to lie there dying for three days without doing right by him. I am very saddened that we live in a society where people have to be afraid to do the right thing, to help those in need, whether that need be human or animal. Arrests such as mine are a pitiful statement for America, and I ask all dog lovers to stand with me to insist that all charges against me are dropped and charges of animal cruelty are instead placed against the Arnolds of East Freedom, PA. The Arnolds who left Doogie to die. This video (at bottom of this post) truly speaks for itself, and for Doogie. I did what was morally right; I stand by my decision to help him and will be proud of it until my dying day. No one can take that from me.”

 

 

Here is the background info (written by Tammy):

We got a call from Kim Eicher in East Freedom 9/11/06, crying because Doogie hadn’t gotten up since Saturday. She had been calling the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society since Saturday to no avail. We told her we aren’t law officers, and she needed to call the Humane Officer. We told her to make sure she left a message, very clearly, about the problem. Then we got another call about the same dog, from another person who passes him every day. At that point we called Kim back to see if she’d heard from the Humane Officer. She had not, was very, very upset and we were very worried about him, so we promised her we’d go out and see what we could do.

 

 

When we arrived, we took photos and video of Doogie. We initially thought he was dead, as he was not moving and his back was to us. We found out that the people were not home to talk to about him, so I made the decision that I would not leave him lying there on the cold wet ground for one moment longer, and I would accept all consequences of my decision.

Kim Eicher has agreed to testify as to the animal cruelty perpetrated against Doogie. She cried the whole time we were there, you can hear her on the video.

I think once you see the video and pictures, you’ll understand why I made this decision.

 

 

The vet documented his general negligent condition, low weight, sores, missing fur, and took x-rays of his back and hips. He determined that he has very bad back spurs that are causing him a lot of pain and are most likely responsible for his inability to walk. He also saw an undetermined mass near his hip on the x-ray. He gave him a shot for pain plus some B vitamins for energy, so that perhaps he could have even one good day or a few good hours. He wrote a letter stating his condition.

As we got to the vet, the CPHS Humane Officer Gotshall was just leaving, and he stopped us. He was about to go out to the residence. When he found out we had Doogie with us, he was not happy. I volunteered to take Doogie back and he could pick him up instead. He refused that, and stated that I should get him the vet care he needed, and to call him afterward on his cell.

When I later called him, he did not answer, I left a message asking him what he wanted me to do with Doogie, he never called back.

Shortly after we got Doogie to my home, situated, bathed—had to, the stench was too bad—and fed and watered an Officer Flaig called from the Freedom Township Police Department (Freedom, isn’t that ironic?). He wanted me to return Doogie, which I refused to do. I explained that I had video and photos documenting the animal cruelty, and the neighbor was willing to testify; why didn’t he pursue that as they were the perpetrators of the crime, and should be charged? He refused, and was not interested in seeing my evidence.

He and three other police vehicles arrived at my home at approximately 9:30 p.m. As I refused to hand Doogie over to be returned to death on a chain, and would not tell them where he was, I was taken into custody, transported to the East Freedom police office, and charged with theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass. I was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and ordered to appear at a preliminary hearing September 21, 2006.

I was treated like a common criminal, especially by Chief Reilly, who called me a ‘freakin’ idiot’, ‘incompetent’, and I overheard him telling Officer Flaig that if I ever came near his dog I would have a slug in my a**. Again, there was no interest in any evidence that the dog had been abused or criminally neglected. As far as they were concerned, the dog’s safety or condition was not even an issue.

I was released after seeing Judge Aigner, where Chief Reilly asked that I be not given bail but incarcerated for my failure to cooperate. It was 2:00 a.m., and I had no ride home, over 30 miles away. I had to walk to a local all-night store to call and get a cab, because there was no concern over how I would get home. Their attempt to dehumanize me didn’t work. I held my head high and still do. I looked Chief Reilly square in the eye at every opportunity. I will not be broken.

Here’s what I need from you all. View the videos and photos. I think you’ll agree with me that this is NOT acceptable in ANY way in any kind of civilized society. We cannot allow this kind of animal abuse. Period. Not ifs, ands, or buts. Insist that all charges against Tammy Grimes are dropped and animal cruelty charges are instead filed against the Arnolds of East Freedom, Pennsylvania. Pass along the photos and the video, or a link to it, as much as you possibly can.

Here is video taken at the scene of rescuing Doogie.  WARNING:  Have tissue handy…  This is very painful to watch.

 

 

Doogie after recovering:

 

 

For more details about this story and organization, please visit the source link below.
This rescue occurred in 2006.

Source:  Dogs Deserve Better

A poem written by a Doogie supporter and posted on source website, written by Patti Ragsdale:

The Backyard Hell

As I lay dying in a pool of dirt and mud
I felt a hand touch my matted fur
My old eyes looked up and saw
An angel with sad eyes staring down at me

The hands stroked my fur and the unfamiliar
touch puzzled, yet comforted me
Can it be that I have already died,
Released from the never-ending agony
of chains, neglect, bones grating cold ground?

Yes, my rescuer has picked me up from this backyard hell
And bathed my skinny, dirty, bony body
Released me from the heavy chains and the fleas
whose bites I long ago became accustomed to

I have little time left
But in a dog’s world, a hint of kindness,
a soft touch, a kind word and a warm blanket
overshadow the years of suffering when no one cared
Can you see the love and gratitude in my eyes?

As I lay dying, I looked up
and saw kind eyes looking back at me
An angel rescued me from backyard hell
And paved my way to eternity.

For Tammy
Who gives me the strength and courage to rise above my own fears and limitations—Patti Ragsdale

 

Cheyenne: A short story of a devoted dog and his elderly master

old-man-and-his-dog

‘Watch out! You nearly broadsided that car!‘ My father yelled at me. ‘Can’t you do anything right?‘ Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

‘I saw the car, Dad.. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving.’ My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then, turned away and settled back. At home, I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil.

What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day, I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived.

But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned and then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm.  We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory.  He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon, I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.   Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day, I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, ‘I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.’ I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one, but rejected one after the other for various reasons, too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen, a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

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