Canines of September 11

Nine years ago today, nearly 3,000 humans lost their lives to 19 murderers in horrific attacks.  Since over 90 countries lost citizens and since every major religion lost faithful that day, we should mourn as a united world for that horror.  But we also want to tell you about some special canines of that day that you may or may not have heard of – Sirius, Roselle, Dorado and Servus.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Port Authority Police Officers David Lim and Sirius

Port Authority Police Officer David Lim and his bomb detection partner, Sirius, a 4 year old Yellow Lab, were in the basement of the World Trade Center when the attacks began.   Saying “one must have gotten by us,” Officer Lim placed Sirius in his crate and raced to help evacuate survivors.  Officer Lim ran up 43 flights of steps to do his job.  He was carrying a woman down the steps when the tower collapsed around him.  In a miracle, he was rescued alive around 3 pm, hours after the collapse of the towers.

Unfortunately, it was not until January 22, 2002 – over four months after the attacks – that the body of Sirius was found.  He had been killed instantly when the tower collapsed.  Officer Lim was able to be at the site when his partner’s body was removed from the rubble, fulfilling the promise of his last words, “I’ll be back for you.”  The canine officer received the same stirring tribute as others – the machinery was all halted, his body was draped by a flag, men and women stood silently and saluted, and Sirius was escorted from the devastation.

Honor Guard

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

You may have heard of the story of Daisy, a Golden Retriever service dog to a blind man, who was on the 101st floor of the towers when the attack started.  She rescued 967 people by escorting them to safety, including her owner.  Mayor Guilliani gave Daisy the canine Medal of Honor for her heroics.  There is just one problem with this terrific story.  It never happened.  Sadly, as beautiful as the story is, there was no such dog.

But did you know that there were at least two service dogs that did escort their owners to safety?  Roselle escorted her owner, Michael Hingson, from the 78th floor, and Dorado escorted Omar Rivera from the 71st floor.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Finally, we want to tell you about Servus (aka “Wuss” – can you imagine?), a nine year old Belgian Malinois.  Servus was not at the World Trade Center that fateful day, but he and his partner, Illinois Officer Chris Christensen, came to help search for survivors.  On September 13, 2001, Servus fell face first about 20 feet as debris gave way under his paws.  In the impact, his nasal passages were clogged with debris and he was choking.  Responding as if any other officer was injured, fire fighters and police officers went to work rescuing their canine partner, hoisting him from the rubble, clearing his breathing, carrying him on a stretcher, and riding in a police car with a motorcycle escort to an emergency vet.  While he survived, the injuries prevented him from helping further in the search.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

After posting this blog entry, we found this video at The Dog Files.  Very touching.  (Excuse the commercial at the beginning – not our style to include advertising, but not ours).

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We are always in awe of the amazing sacrifice on and after that awful day.  Since this website is about dogs, we thought you would want to hear about some of the canines involved.  If you want to see some more pictures, we recommend going here or here.

We will never forget.


  1. You do know that your post about Daisy the dog that save 900 people at the World Trade Center is a fake? on February 9, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    You do know that your post about Daisy the dog that save 900 people at the World Trade Center is a fake

    • The Thundering Herd on February 9, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Yes, of course, that is why we say in the post above “There is just one problem with this terrific story. It never happened. Sadly, as beautiful as the story is, there was no such dog.”

  2. The Luke on September 24, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I’m two weeks late in visitin… but you have evoked the raw emotions of 2001. WONDERFUL post and BEST tribute I can imagine.

    So many reasons to be grateful… and we treasure your frienship!

    wif love from the Luke

  3. siku marie on September 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful post and especially for the fact that you saw 19 sick twisted fanatical murderers not an entire religion or culture out to bring down America. The unsung rescue animal heroes during that crises WERE amazing.

  4. Ruby's Raiser on September 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you for such a beautiful post, we had not heard these stories. Dogs played a very important part in the 9/11 tragedy, even months and years later. Kiva’s mother, Zoe, was a pregnant stray running with a wild dog pack near JFK airport in NY in 1998. The ASPCA caught her, spared her life, and she was fostered and adopted by a wonderful woman. This amazing “wild” dog went on to help many people as a 9/11 therapy dog.

  5. Priscilla on September 12, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for sharing the stories of Sirius and others. It’s a beautiful tribute. No, we will never forget!!!

  6. Ben on September 12, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Thank you for sharing –

    Ben and the fellas

  7. Sagira on September 11, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. I guess I didn’t even think about their being service dogs in the building during the horror. I knew they were used after to help search for people.

    Will never forget that day… 🙁

  8. KB on September 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    A beautiful tribute. Thank you for telling us about those heroic dogs.

    I was once a handler, one half of a canine search and rescue team, with my dog Acadia. We humans all saw our canine partners like parts of ourselves. I’m not surprised by the honor guard for Sirius or the rescue of Servus.

    Sadly, I also personally knew more than one SAR dog who died of cancer soon after working the World Trade Centers disaster. They were heroes.

  9. Cheyenne Millie on September 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    We are especially touched by this tribute. Those dogs were wonderful and brave. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Amy / Layla the Malamute on September 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Man – you should’ve put a warning label on that post. The dogs are looking at me like I’ve gone insane, because I never really cry.

  11. Dennis the Vizsla on September 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Okay, the story about Sirius just about destroyed me …

    • andreea on September 28, 2017 at 2:23 am

      I was thinking the same thing :(( imagining he was left blocked in his crate, in the basement…and the officer just left him there…if he would have taken Sirius with him, he would have lived… the story is so sad 🙁 I don’t want to imagine what was in the little guy’s mind when he felt the danger 🙁

  12. Khyra on September 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    This was the best post of the day!

    Thanks fur sharing the true stories of the true heroes of the day and its aftermath –


  13. Pup Fan on September 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing these stories today.

  14. 24 Paws of Love on September 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing about these heroic dogs and their stories. May we never forget.

  15. Houndstooth on September 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I had heard the story of Sirius, but not the others’ stories. Thank you so much for sharing them. I hope that the results of 9/11 are that we’ve all become better people, stronger in our convictions and compassion towards others, and that by doing so, terrorists don’t win.

    I also wish like heck that we got cable so that I could watch that show! I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be available to watch online!

  16. jack & moo on September 11, 2010 at 11:51 am

    An excellent post on this day of remembrance. Thank you.

    jack a-roo & miss moo

  17. Eva on September 11, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Michael Hingson speaks publicly about his escape and I was privileged to hear him on the 5th anniversary. He described finding a woman with so much dust in her eyes that she could no longer see, and she took his arm and his dog guided them both down to safety. There’s also a great book “Dog Heroes of September 11th” with many of the pictures from the video. And another recent book “Scent of the Missing” describes the journey of one woman who became a SAR member with her golden retriever Puzzle.

  18. Emma Rose and the Duchess on September 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

    We will never forget.

  19. DogsMom on September 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

    A beautiful tribute.
    Hard to comment when tears are streaming down my face.

  20. The Army of Four on September 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Thank you for posting the stories about those amazing canine heroes!!!
    Tail wags,

  21. Sam on September 11, 2010 at 10:50 am

    What a beautiful video. I’m glad the stories of these amazing dogs are being told.


  22. The OP Pack on September 11, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Very touching stories – thanks for sharing. So many humans and canines who helped or gave their lives on that horrible day.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  23. Sage on September 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for some wonderful stories of our heroes.

  24. Kit on September 11, 2010 at 9:00 am

    There were many heroes that day…thank you for sharing these special canine heroes.

  25. Biloxi and Siber-sibs on September 11, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Dat was a bee-wootiful tribute to dem canine heroes.
    Maw had leaky eyes.
    Thank woo fur reminding efurryone ’bout dat horrible day.
    We must remember and keep efurryone and efurry dog dat helped in our prayers and hearts.

    Husky kisses,

  26. Wild Dingo on September 11, 2010 at 7:07 am

    sigh. what a nice post. thank you for researching and sharing the stories.

  27. Minnie and Mack on September 11, 2010 at 6:47 am

    What a beautiful tribute to all who fell on the terrible day.

  28. Sonic on September 11, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Those are some very heroic dogs, and no, we won’t ever forget!


Leave a Comment

Read Another Story

← Back One Story ◊ OR ◊ Forward One Story →

Hu-Dad's Latest Musing

Our Hu-Dad shares the latest updates on his writing projects, the books he's reading, and other details in random musings posted on his website. You can check out his novels there as well.

Mama Bear Warning

July 12, 2024

Mama Bear crashed through the underbrush, growling and snorting with her eyes locked on her targets—us. Her warning was clear.

Hu-Dad's Novels

His books pay for our food!