The 78-Story Story of a Hero Guide Dog

The 78-Story Story of a Hero Guide Dog

September 11, 2001

Four hijacked planes became weapons of terror. An unlikely hero emerge from the smoke.

Fifteen years ago the unimaginable happened. Among the heroes celebrated for their life-saving efforts that fateful day was a guide dog named Roselle. She helped her owner navigate down 78 flights of stairs in the North Tower of the World Trade Center to safety, just minutes before it collapsed.

In the days and weeks following that world-changing event, Roselle, a yellow Labrador, became the nation’s most famous guide dog

“I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for Roselle,” says Roselle’s owner Michael Hingson.

Over the next 6 1/2 years the duo traveled hundreds of thousands of miles throughout the United States and the rest of the world speaking about trust and teamwork, guide dogs, and blindness. They aim to help people understand that the real handicap of blindness is not a lack of eyesight, but a lack of proper education about blindness.

When Roselle died years later of an autoimmune disorder at the age of 13, Hingson had this to say his partner:

“She was an amazing dog who taught me a lot about patience and unconditional love, and when I remember how she behaved on that morning in 2001, I think the most powerful thing she taught me was that working together is the most powerful thing we can do.”

Hinson wrote a farewell letter to Roselle that concluded with these final words:

Roselle, your memory will always be with us and I know your spirit will continue to touch us all.  I know you’re watching and you’re nearby us.  Help us all to be better people and dogs, but most of all be yourself wherever you are.  I hope you’re feeling better now.  You have set a high bar of love for all of us.  Be at peace and know that we shall try to love each other as much as you loved each of us on this earth.