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Roselle, The 9/11 Guide Dog, Passes Away

Roselle and Michael Hingson first met on November 22, 1999 at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Although blind from birth, Hingson earned a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of California, Irvine and has always competed successfully in a sighted world. Roselle was Hingson’s fifth guide dog and according to him “It was obvious from our very first walk together that we were a perfect match.”

The teamwork that Hingson and Roselle developed would soon however, come to the ultimate test.

On September 11, 2001 Hingson and Roselle were in their office on the 78th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center in New York City when it was struck by American Airlines flight 11, hijacked and under terrorist control. Working as a team, Roselle led Hingson, along with the others on their floor, down the darkened stairwell to safety moments before the building collapsed.

“I would not be alive today if it weren’t for Roselle,” Hingson states with gratitude.

“Roselle did an incredible job and is a true hero. She remained poised and calm through the entire day, giving kisses and love wherever she could, while working valiantly when she needed to do so,” Hingson says.

In the aftermath of 9/11, in January 2002, Roselle began accompanying Hingson, who left a long career in high tech computer sales to serve as the National Public Affairs Director for Guide Dogs for the Blind, based in San Rafael, California.

On Friday, June 24, 2011 though, Roselle was taken to her vet, who suspected that somehow she had developed a stomach ulcer. As her condition continued to deteriorate, Hingson and Roselle’s doctor came to the painful conclusion that the best thing they could do to help Roselle was to end her suffering.

On Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm, Roselle passed away at 13 years of age.

Hingson, although deeply saddened by her passing, is grateful for his time with her: “Roselle worked with me through the most trying time in our nation’s history, and she was right there unflinching for all of it.”

Hingson has written a soon-to-be released book about his special relationship with Roselle, entitled “Thunder Dog,” Roselle has also inspired the formation of “Roselle’s Dream Foundation,” which serves to educate people about blindness, and to assist blind children and later blind adults to obtain new technologies to empower them to learn, work and engage in life more fully.

Donations can be made in Roselle’s memory at: www.rosellefoundation.org.

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files

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Maresy Moran
9 years ago

You earned the rest.

Cjustpeachie
Cjustpeachie
9 years ago

AWWWWWW……….GOD BLESS YOU DEAR ROSELLE.  YOU ARE A TRUE ANGEL HERO NOW!!  FLY AWAY LITTLE ONE.  YOU HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB. <3 <3

Born2wrench
Born2wrench
9 years ago

Strange, but the qualities we deem so valuable we find so infrequently in people, yet are so common in dogs

Baker Tanya19
Baker Tanya19
9 years ago

Rest In Peace, Roselle 🙁

Sbell407
Sbell407
9 years ago

REST IN PEACE ROSELLE<YOUR A HERO AND AN ANGEL!!!  I GOT TEARY EYED READING THIS STORY, SO SAD ROSELLE IS GONE!!!  🙁  🙁

Jan Fagan Woodfill
9 years ago

Roselle, all will miss you so much.  Now you can run and play now that you have done what you were put on earth to do.  Have a ton of fun on the other side of Rainbow Bridge.

Aslutze
Aslutze
9 years ago

Roselle…truly a gift from God

Shirley Williams
Shirley Williams
8 years ago

Bless you Roselle, you were Gods little angel here on earth.  Thank you so much for saving Michael and the others on that horrible day.  You will always be remembered.   I also have a wonderful yellow Lab, Sara.  She is the love of my life and I know she would give her life for me.
These dogs are wonderful and the world would be so sad without them.  Please donate to Guide Dogs to help improve peoples lives so much more.  I recently bid on and won a beautiful print of Roselle at our local dog show in Turlock California.  I am honored to hang it on my wall to remember Roselle forever.  The proceeds went to Guide Dogs For The Blind.  Please do your part.

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