e-book Dogs of Courage: The Heroism and Heart of Working Dogs Around the World

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It was quiet and orderly, with very little panic. However, Hingson and his colleague knew that the way the stairwells were constructed, they were probably safer there than anywhere else.


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Michael knew he had to stay calm for his dog or she would feel his anxiety and then become more concerned about him than finding the way out. Then came the second wounded person. David told him that she was worse than the first—she was still in shock and walked like a zombie, her eyes staring straight ahead. Her blonde hair was covered in grey slime. Everyone gave her a group hug and told her she could do it. Our instinct was that we had to get out and prevent panic and encourage everyone to go—we have to be a team. It was tense, but not panic.

David Frank went on ahead, almost as though he were a scout, and on the 30th floor he announced that the firefighters were on their way up. The firefighters were concerned about Michael and offered to have someone accompany him the rest of the way down; he declined.

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

Some of the group offered to help the firefighters upstairs with their equipment, but their offer was declined. On the 20th floor, the floors became slippery with water from sprinklers. It had only taken 20 minutes to reach the 30th floor but after that, progress slowed.

My legs were about to give way and I wanted to call my wife, Karen. At one point, the people in the line heading downwards told him to go ahead of them because he was blind. He refused and argued to keep his place in line but they insisted. With Roselle and David, he made his way slowly to the bottom, reaching the ground floor almost 60 minutes later. Finally, they got to the lobby—a war zone filled with firefighters and FBI agents, all helping survivors. We were confused and could only assume that the fire had jumped across.

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I learned later that this was due to all the people still trapped, calling loved ones to say goodbye. The men decided to make their way to a parking lot across from Tower Two, where David had parked his car. The two men and Roselle began to run. Dust was everywhere and so thick that everyone was blinded. Hingson grabbed her and told her to come with them. Roselle guided them through the choking cloud as they inhaled what was left of Tower Two. They ran towards an entrance for a subway station, descended to a locker room for subway employees and sat there in the dust.

Hingson estimates that ten minutes later, a police officer came down and told them the air had cleared and they should leave. They came up and began to make their way away from the area. Then they heard a further roar: another dust cloud was approaching. It was am. The pair appeared on television shows and at public events. Michael, blind from birth, even became a full-time worker for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Keep checking our website each week for more inspiring dog stories! Obi, a police dog, received an Animal Bravery Award in Getty Images.


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The dogs featured in this book come in all shapes and sizes, ages and temperaments. Often they have been bred for varying tasks in different climates, yet all show an enduring fondness for the human race. And although it might at first seem invidious to single out certain breeds, there are some who perhaps merit a specific mention without in any way detracting from the qualities of all. A comparatively modern breed, dating back to the end of the nineteenth century, the dog was originally bred to guard and herd sheep, although it eventually became recognized as one of the best breeds for police and military work due to its strength and intelligence linked with its excellence in obedience training.

In addition to patrol duty with the infantry, he was posted to sentry duty in Casablanca during the January conference between the American and British leaders, Roosevelt and Churchill. Through eight campaigns across Europe, he was also a POW guard and tank guard dog. As mentioned before, these are not the only breeds that can excel in a protective context.

There are plenty of mixed-breed dogs who perform well in these contexts, as well as other pure-bred dogs , whose individual personality lends themselves to these kinds of tasks. Curious about which breed is the most popular as a guard dog in your state? Check out this handy infographic from Your Local Security! Do you rely on a dog to help protect your family?

Share your stories with us in the comments below. Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. They look so lovely, I never knew that they could be so useful as a guard dog. How do you leave off this list the number 1 police canine — Belgian Malinois.

Heroic Hearts of Our Four-Legged Companions – 10 Pictures - Animal's Look

Also, why is the Dutch Shepherd, another common police dog not on this list. The Great Pyrenees is a livestock guardian and too independent for personal protection. The Great Dane is at best a watchdog, not a protection dog.

The breeds I listed along with the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Giant Schnauzer are the breeds that you will most often see participating in the protection sports, and the breeds that will most often be used as personal protection dogs. Hi Jason — thanks for commenting! For most individuals, a large or intimidating looking dog is all you need. We will work on incorporating your suggestions and making a clear distinction between tried and true protection dogs vs. Thank you for the feedback! I am a walker and live in Minnesota, hot in summer very cold in winter.

American Humane Association presents Medal of Courage to 4 K9s

I will be arunner soon, I need personal protector for my activity and home. I walk 4 to 5 miles a day, very fast paced my location options to walk are ok but there have been problem as I usually get out in the evening. I have had great success with a Catahoula female. She is incredible with all. We were with the Good Dog Foundation. Now in Mississippi, we have done hog baying, racoon freeing etc. She is incredibly sensitive, intelligent and obedient. Knows her hand signals and almost reads my mind. I am replacing her with a young male,who nay be the smartest dog I have ever had.

If I survive his teething on the furniture. I would love your opinion on the breed. Finally, an article about the best protection breeds that correctly identifies those breeds that have the genetics and a history of successful protection work. Only one I disagree with is the Great Dane which may be a deterrent but is not suitable to protection work.

Mali is surely a hero. But can a dog really be brave?

Thanks, to me this is very educative. However i like Doberman Pinscher and would like to know more about it.

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Make sure he gets his needed calories though. So i ended up with a server head trauma and back an neck injury. Any advice would be appreciated. So sorry you were attacked and injured, and we certainly hope you have a speedy and complete recovery. You said your pup was well trained — have you reached out to the trainer and explained what happened? Let us know what he or she says! Purported to guard military installations and prisons, the Blackie is a very large imposing-looking dog. The BRT has the size, the intelligence and the temperament to be an outstanding guard or protection dog for the right owner.

Hey, Pamela. I thought about adding BRTs to the list several times, but we had to draw the line somewhere. We may add them in the next time we update the article. Dogs perform a wide variety of services for their humans. Like it? Share it!

Written by Ben Team Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional.