Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering September 11 and its Many Hero's

Labor Day has come and gone along with summer time.  Not the heat of September, however.  91 degrees at 8:30 PM is ugly.  Training has been restricted to indoors with the usual distractions from Bailey.  Not so much how she interacts with Dylan, but how Dylan wants to pounce on Bailey at every opportunity.  Tug-o-war is a training time favorite.  Dylan tugging on a toy Bailey has, then me tugging on Dylan trying to get her attention.

But some of the training is sticking.  Meal time was a chore trying to get Dylan to sit and stay long enough for me to set her bowl down and stand up without getting run over.  Now she sits immediately when I have her food bowl,  and waits patiently until I give her the "ok" command.  I've gone as long as 15 seconds.  Which is an eternity for a Lab.  Baby steps!

I read in the paper today the story of Michael Hingson whose guide dog, Roselle,  guided him down 78 flights of stairs of the World Trade Center during that horrible day on September 11.  Mr. Hingson, blind from birth said, "I was the pilot and Roselle the navigator".  That was how he described their descent down that tower.

Roselle died from immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, a disease that attacks its own blood platelets.  Probably caused by all the chemicals, debris and smoke Roselle ingested on that day.  Another of the true hero's on that day who paid the ultimate price for her bravery.

So when people ask us, "won't it be hard to give up Dylan when she's 18 months old?"  Yes, but to be a part of this program is a reward enough for us.  Besides, that game of tug-o-war is not just with toys.  It plays with your emotions too.

(Highlight the link and you can read the story of Roselle and Mr. Hingson)


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