I was living in New York City during 9/11. I watched the first tower fall as I waited to use the public phone to let my family know I was okay. My memories of that day is one of sirens, flashing lights, incredibly kind New Yorkers (quite a miracle in itself) and a caustic, burnt smell in the air. I will never forget that day.

In remembrance, I’ll just be posting 9/11 material today. God bless America.

— Kenn Bell

From The Scoop!


NEW YORK CITY — Not enough can be said about the heroic individuals, both bipeds and quadrupeds, who lended their abilities to the security and rescue efforts in the wake of 9/11. With that said, here are a few pictures worth a few thousand words:

“If these dogs only knew what a difference they make. Certainly, there’s nothing that can replace the precision of a dog’s nose—and absolutely nothing that can replace a dog’s heart.” — Bob Sessions, rescue worker, Federal Emergency Management Agency


Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Collies, Rottweilers and scores of mutts provide the backbone of the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations at the World Trade Center wreckage. (Photo: Sep 15, 2001, Andrea Booher / FEMA)

Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Collies, Rottweilers and scores of mutts provide the backbone of the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations at the World Trade Center wreckage. (Photo: Sep 15, 2001, Andrea Booher / FEMA)


Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Collies, Rottweilers and scores of mutts provide the backbone of the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations at the World Trade Center wreckage. (Photo: Sep 15, 2001, Andrea Booher / FEMA)

Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Collies, Rottweilers and scores of mutts provide the backbone of the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations at the World Trade Center wreckage. (Photo: Sep 15, 2001, Andrea Booher / FEMA)


U.S. President George W. Bush greets a Black Lab searcher dog after visiting the site of the World Trade Center attack in New York City. (Photo: Sep 14, 2001, Reuters / Win McNamee)

U.S. President George W. Bush greets a Black Lab searcher dog after visiting the site of the World Trade Center attack in New York City. (Photo: Sep 14, 2001, Reuters / Win McNamee)


One dog-tired rescue dog gets a drink of water during a rest break from searching through the rubble. This Golden Retriever, "Bear", was one of the first dogs to arrive on the scene and get right to work.  A dedicated canine medical camp stands ready to treat for injuries and exhaustion.  Canine ambulances are also on hand. (Photo: Sep 13, 2001, Reuters / Pool / Beth Kaiser)

One dog-tired rescue dog gets a drink of water during a rest break from searching through the rubble. This Golden Retriever, "Bear", was one of the first dogs to arrive on the scene and get right to work. A dedicated canine medical camp stands ready to treat for injuries and exhaustion. Canine ambulances are also on hand. (Photo: Sep 13, 2001, Reuters / Pool / Beth Kaiser)


Max the pooch didn't quite make the rescue squad, but he made it out alive, escorted up West Street by former resident Julie Royzman. (Photo: Sep 13, 2001, Reuters / Mike Segar)

Max the pooch didn't quite make the rescue squad, but he made it out alive, escorted up West Street by former resident Julie Royzman. (Photo: Sep 13, 2001, Reuters / Mike Segar)


“They go underneath into void spaces—anywhere we can get the dogs in. The site is very difficult agility for the dogs. They’re crawling on their bellies and squeezing through things. It’s incredible to watch.” — Sharon Gattas, Riverside Urban Search and Rescue


A rescue dog is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center. (Photo: Sep 15, 2001, US Navy / Preston Keres)

A rescue dog is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center. (Photo: Sep 15, 2001, US Navy / Preston Keres)


Emergency workers walk with two dogs down West Street as they leave the scene of "the pile".  Work shifts have been increased to 12-hour stretches, sometimes extending to 16 hours of non-stop searching. (Photo: Sep 17, 2001, AP / Roberto Borea)

Emergency workers walk with two dogs down West Street as they leave the scene of "the pile". Work shifts have been increased to 12-hour stretches, sometimes extending to 16 hours of non-stop searching. (Photo: Sep 17, 2001, AP / Roberto Borea)


“You can train all you want, but this is the mother lode. The dogs can feel it.” —  Joe Caputo, NYC Police K-9 Unit



Grim faces and sad tails show the frustration—and the unshaken resolve—of rescuers from the Maryland Task Force Rescue Team on lunch break.  Handlers say that dogs trained to find survivors feel as if it's their fault for not being able to find anyone.  No survivors have been located since last Wednesday when canine search teams helped locate five injured people. (Photo: Sep 11, 2001, REUTERS / Mike Theiler)

Grim faces and sad tails show the frustration—and the unshaken resolve—of rescuers from the Maryland Task Force Rescue Team on lunch break. Handlers say that dogs trained to find survivors feel as if it's their fault for not being able to find anyone. No survivors have been located since last Wednesday when canine search teams helped locate five injured people. (Photo: Sep 11, 2001, REUTERS / Mike Theiler)


“They will search endlessly for that scent until they are called off.” — Lori Mohr, National Disaster Search Dog Foundation



	 At Federal Hall, Officer D. McFadden and "Durac" (left) help oversee the safe, smooth opening of the New York Stock Exchange after the longest suspension of securities trading in history. (Photo: Sep 17, 2001, AP / Ted S. Warren)

At Federal Hall, Officer D. McFadden and "Durac" (left) help oversee the safe, smooth opening of the New York Stock Exchange after the longest suspension of securities trading in history. (Photo: Sep 17, 2001, AP / Ted S. Warren)


...While inside, "Dusty", a SAR dog from Sacramento, rings the opening bell. (Photo: Sep 19, 2001, Reuters). (Photo: Sep 17, 2001, AP / Ted S. Warren)

...While inside, "Dusty", a SAR dog from Sacramento, rings the opening bell. (Photo: Sep 19, 2001, Reuters). (Photo: Sep 17, 2001, AP / Ted S. Warren)


“They may not cry to their fellow firemen or police, but somehow they open up to the dogs.” — Laura LoPresti, dog caretaker from Monroe Township, Missouri



John Patrick and "Guese" take a minute to reflect inside St. Paul's Episcopal Chapel. (Photo: Sep 19, 2001 AP / Kathy Willens)

John Patrick and "Guese" take a minute to reflect inside St. Paul's Episcopal Chapel. (Photo: Sep 19, 2001 AP / Kathy Willens)


“All they really want to do is work hard and love you. How can that not raise the human spirit in us all?” — Gerald Lauber, Suffolk County SPCA



"Kinsey" of the Texas Task Force One has an injured paw treated—while dishing out her own dose of fuzz-therapy to weary crews. (Photo: Sep 20, 2001, Mike Rieger / FEMA)

"Kinsey" of the Texas Task Force One has an injured paw treated—while dishing out her own dose of fuzz-therapy to weary crews. (Photo: Sep 20, 2001, Mike Rieger / FEMA)


“Some couldn’t take it anymore. Rescuers asked to play fetch with Thunder. But then they’d sneak off in a corner to just be with Thunder, or maybe to talk with him.” — Bob Sessions, rescue worker, Federal Emergency Management Agency


Ohio Task Force One's Gary Flynn and his partner Tascha prepare for another shift. (Photo: Sep 18, 2001, Michael Rieger / FEMA)

Ohio Task Force One's Gary Flynn and his partner Tascha prepare for another shift. (Photo: Sep 18, 2001, Michael Rieger / FEMA)


“Just petting a dog provides comfort to those who need it—and where I am now, so many need it.” — Laura LoPresti, dog caretaker from Monroe Township, Missouri



The therapeutic value of dogs at the World Trade Center site has been widely recognized. CNN correspondent Kitty Pilgrim reports, “Not all dogs are soldiering through piles of rubble. One special unit was brought in to provide emotional support to rescue workers. They reach out to these dogs because it’s OK to.”

An unidentified rescue worker adds, “These dogs have been trained to pick up on trauma and goes towards it. So they pursue people they perceive as being in a state of trauma … We’ve been visiting a lot of firemen, police, and cleanup detail.”

And compassion is a two-way street. Exhausted, stressed and war-weary dogs receive the best care, both physical and mental, that humans can give.

“Worf” located the bodies of two missing firefighters on the first day. Overwhelmed, he lay down and curled up on the spot. The dog began shedding profusely, quit eating and refused to play with other dogs. His partner Mike Owens made the decision to retire the 12-year-old German Shepherd from search-and-rescue duty permanently. They are now back at home in Monroe, Ohio, where the entire town takes turns petting and playing with Worf.


"He kind of withdrew from everything.  There was so much death there, it was emotional for the dogs." — Mike Owens, Southwestern Ohio K-9 Search and Rescue, speaking about his partner Worf (Photo: (Michael Snyder / Cincinati Enquirer)

"He kind of withdrew from everything. There was so much death there, it was emotional for the dogs." — Mike Owens, Southwestern Ohio K-9 Search and Rescue, speaking about his partner Worf (Photo: (Michael Snyder / Cincinati Enquirer)


“A Golden Retriever was carrying his handler’s helmet around the site in his mouth, bringing smiles to the grim faces he passed.” — Mac Daniel, The Boston Globe



It has become a common morale-booster for rescuers to stage mock “finds”, so that the dogs can feel successful.


 "Woody" and his partner Terry Trepanier of the Ohio Task Force Unit (above) are refreshed and ready for another go. (Photo: Sep 18, 2001, Michael Rieger/ FEMA News)

"Woody" and his partner Terry Trepanier of the Ohio Task Force Unit (above) are refreshed and ready for another go. (Photo: Sep 18, 2001, Michael Rieger/ FEMA News)


“Morale is important… So it’s my job as handler to remove her from the pile … and then what we do is we set up a scenario for her that she can win at. We used a New York firefighter. He actually hid amongst a little bit of rubble … and we sent her on a search. She finds the firefighter. He plays with her real good. She’s real happy, and she’s ready to go to work again.” — Mark Bogush, Tampa Fire Rescue, speaking about his partner “Marley”



“The dog seeks a live person in hopes the survivor will play with him. He’s not finding a live person, so there is no one to play with him. So when I get home at night, I send my 12-year-old son to hide in the woods. Then Jax finds him and they play tug of war with a towel.” — Tom Fahy, Passaic County Sheriff’s Dept., speaking about his partner “Jax”



Their sense of smell has been estimated to be at least one million times more refined than ours; they have as many as 220,000,000 “sniffer” cells, compared to a human’s mere 5,000,000; they can detect sound vibrations at 250 yards that most humans can barely hear at 25; and most importantly, these marvelous workers are dedicated, determined and motivated beyond the limits of exhaustion like no human or machine could ever be.

But when they’re asleep, they’re still just adorable, fuzzy dogs, aren’t they? We’re reminded that these indefatigable multi-sensory trackers are just big puppies underneath it all—like the saying goes: “Cold nose, warm heart.”

So let’s now take a moment to admire the “World Trade Center’s Sleepy Rescue Dogs” on a few of the rare occasions that we can catch them at rest, deeply engrossed in doggie-dreams.


(Photo: Sep 15, 2001, AP / U.S. Navy, P. Keres)

(Photo: Sep 15, 2001, AP / U.S. Navy, P. Keres)


“He’s used to working. He just worked a little too hard this time.” — Michael Norkelun of the Suffolk County SPCA, speaking about SAR dog “Ammo” snoozing nearby



Awake or asleep, these dogs are constantly at work, mending wounded spirits and providing an undying source of morale. There’s not a single veteran of “the pile” who will deny that dogs are providing just as much emotional support as technical guidance.


Just the sight of a dog is enough to lift the heaviest heart, whether the dog knows it or not.  At the moment, this one's probably just dreaming about a hot blueberry muffin. (Photo: Sep 23, 2001, Andrea Booher / FEMA)

Just the sight of a dog is enough to lift the heaviest heart, whether the dog knows it or not. At the moment, this one's probably just dreaming about a hot blueberry muffin. (Photo: Sep 23, 2001, Andrea Booher / FEMA)


"Kinsey" from the Texas Task Force One catches a few winks in the lap of a veterinary caretaker. (Photo: Sep 20, 2001, Mike Rieger / FEMA)

"Kinsey" from the Texas Task Force One catches a few winks in the lap of a veterinary caretaker. (Photo: Sep 20, 2001, Mike Rieger / FEMA)


After an exhausting shift, "Jake" gets pampered with a massage from chiropractor Jan Price at a care center near the search site.  Jake's partner Mary Flood (right) will have to take a number; dogs go first. (Photo: AP / Alan Diaz)

After an exhausting shift, "Jake" gets pampered with a massage from chiropractor Jan Price at a care center near the search site. Jake's partner Mary Flood (right) will have to take a number; dogs go first. (Photo: AP / Alan Diaz)


Let sleeping dogs lie (and dog-handlers, too); they certainly deserve it. (Photo: Sep 18, 2001, Reuters)

Let sleeping dogs lie (and dog-handlers, too); they certainly deserve it. (Photo: Sep 18, 2001, Reuters)


"Cowboy", a FEMA-certified Border Collie, is one of over 350 devoted dogs who lent their superhuman senses to the search and rescue operations. (Photo: Sep 21, 2001, AP / Alan Diaz)

"Cowboy", a FEMA-certified Border Collie, is one of over 350 devoted dogs who lent their superhuman senses to the search and rescue operations. (Photo: Sep 21, 2001, AP / Alan Diaz)


“He was a great, big guy, and he was just bawling. He was crying like a baby. He couldn’t talk, but he mouthed the words: ‘Thank you. Thank you—and thank the dog.’ ” — Louis Wardoup, volunteer, describing how his partner Insee unearthed the hand of a firefighter in front of his FDNY comrades.



Two Golden Retriever SAR dogs receive a Presidential "Good dog!" from George W. Bush. For all their noble efforts, their indispensable support and immediate readiness in this unexpected crisis, the dogs have certainly not gone unappreciated.  But to them, that's all just part of the job of being a dog. (Photo: Michael Rieger / FEMA News)

Two Golden Retriever SAR dogs receive a Presidential "Good dog!" from George W. Bush. For all their noble efforts, their indispensable support and immediate readiness in this unexpected crisis, the dogs have certainly not gone unappreciated. But to them, that's all just part of the job of being a dog. (Photo: Michael Rieger / FEMA News)


After the “search” effort was been downgraded to “recovery”, all of the 350 “live-find” dogs went home, and the overwhelming sense of loss at the WTC had never been so heavily punctuated.

But no effort as dedicated as the month-long canine SAR campaign can be hailed as anything less than triumphant and resoundingly successful. The mettle shown by these dogs and their human halves has affected the world in a way that should not be underestimated. Big mutts, little mutts, German Shepherds, Golden Labs, Black Labs, Yellow Labs, Collies, Rotties, Spaniels—and even a few reports of feisty little Dachshunds—have all reaffirmed the humble honor associated with the old WWII term “dogface”.


"Sirius", K-9 partner of Officer David Lim, died in his kennel beneath the WTC that morning as Officer Lim himself was buried (he lived) while rescuing those caught in the attack on Sep. 11.

"Sirius", K-9 partner of Officer David Lim. Sirius died in his kennel beneath the WTC that morning as Officer Lim himself was buried (he lived) while rescuing those caught in the attack on Sep. 11.


“We were very close; no matter where I went, he went. Whatever I asked him to do, he did. He never complained. Sometimes we’d be working for long hours, searching hundreds of cars or trucks, and he’d just look at me like, ‘What do you want me to do now?’ ” — Officer David Lim, Port Authority Police Dept., speaking about K-9 “Sirius”


At a Sirius memorial ceremony at Liberty State Park (Jersey City) on April 24, 2002, Officer David Lim held his composure but cracked momentarily when he was handed Sirius's old bowl which was found at the site.  He said: "I'm not quite the rock I thought I would be.To many other people, this would just be a water bowl, but this is something I'll cherish for the rest of my life." (Photo: Mike Derer / AP)

At a Sirius memorial ceremony at Liberty State Park (Jersey City) on April 24, 2002, Officer David Lim held his composure but cracked momentarily when he was handed Sirius's old bowl which was found at the site. He said: "I'm not quite the rock I thought I would be. To many other people, this would just be a water bowl, but this is something I'll cherish for the rest of my life." (Photo: Mike Derer / AP)


Never Forget.