Yesterday was a somber day, as it is every year now since the attacks on September 11th, but I happened to have the radio tuned in to Fresh Air on my way home from work last night and caught the interview Terry Gross did with Cynthia Otto who created the new Penn Vet Working Dog Center. Before I knew it a smile grew across my face as I heard the 11 week old Golden Retriever, Bretagne, barking randomly during the interview and even falling off of the chair at one point! You can immediately get the sense of how important these dogs were during search and rescue portion of 911, not only to find missing people, but to bring a sense of relief and some glimmer of a smile to exhausted faces throughout the search.
I think I mentioned this last year but my favorite photo was of a fireman involved in 911 sleeping next to his search and rescue dog while he was lying in his crate, hooked up to IV fluids, at the vet’s clinic. Our love and dedication is mirrored in their determination and devotion. Just take a look into your dog’s eyes, it’s there all the time- we just need to recognize it more often.
If you missed the interview please head on over to NPR to download or listen to it. It’s incredibly heartwarming and sincere. You’ll get to know more about Otto’s background taking care of rescue dogs, the dogs that searched on 911, and what training they will be doing at the new center. You’ll also get to know more about Bretagne’s background and hear her chime in every once in a while. (I don’t want to give away too much, but she sounds like she’s going to be an amazing dog!)
Or, check out the center’s grand opening video!