Repost: Yellow Lab who saved her blind owner on 9-11 is named America’s Top Hero Dog

Roselle calmly led her owner down 1,463 steps to safety on September 11.

photo courtesy

[Editor’s Note: On this 11th anniversary of 9-11, it seems fitting to repost stories of dogs who performed heroically on that tragic day. This story was first posted on 10/6/11.]

Last Saturday night, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles, and among the honorees was a yellow Labrador retriever named Roselle, famous for her heroics during the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. A guide dog for her blind owner, Michael Hingson, Roselle led the way down 78 flights of stairs, and the pair had just made it across the street when the tower they had fled collapsed:

“When everyone ran in panic, Roselle remained totally focused on her job as we ran,” Hingson wrote. “When debris fell around us, and even hit us, Roselle stayed calm. Because of her poise, we found an entrance to the subway system where we could go underground away from the heavy dust cloud. Through the dust, I still don’t know how she saw the entrance to the stairwell to the subway station. As usual, Roselle stopped at the top of the stairs and waited for me to command her to go forward and down.

“All that day Roselle worked flawlessly. She saved my life and truly is the greatest dog hero of all.”

For her calm resolve, strength, and devotion to her owner, Roselle was named Top Hero Dog. Unfortunately, the award was posthumous, as Roselle passed away over the summer. But in her name, a $10,000 donation will be made to Guide Dogs for the Blind. It’s a fitting tribute to one dog’s unfailing bravery and loyalty.

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