Blind 9/11 Survivor Thanks Guide Dog for Saving His Life at Ground Zero

by Samantha Whidden

Prior to the 20th-anniversary ceremonies of the September 11th attacks, blind survivor Michael Hingson opened up about his experience at Ground Zero during the now infamous day of terror. 

During his interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Thursday (September 9th), the Ground Zero survivor recalled being 78 stories up in the World Trade Center and being unable to see what was happening around him.

“We heard a muffled explosion. The building sort of shuttered,” Hingson recalled. He also stated that no one had any idea what was going on because the airplane hit 18 floors above him and his co-workers on the other side of the building. “But clearly, we needed to evacuate.”

The Ground Zero survivor also said that his heroic guide dog, Roselle, led him and others to safety. He ran out of the building just as the World Trade Center’s South Tower collapsed. “We kept running and then we became engulfed in the dust cloud. All the dirt and debris. I couldn’t breathe.”

Hingson & His Guide Dog Escape the Ground Zero Chaos 

Hingson also revealed during his interview that he continued to yell commands at Roselle while getting through the Ground Zero chaos. The sweet dog managed to lead him to safety.  “Roselle was absolutely perfect,” he proclaimed. “[She’s] very used to unusual.. surprisingly situations and behaved very well.”

Hingson then added that although he wasn’t able to see anything that happened on September 11th, he is able to function very well without eyesight. “You may do things differently and use different techniques,” the Ground Zero survivor shared. “But the results are the same.”

Hingson Writes A Book That Shares His Experience At Ground Zero

Hingson went on to write about his experience at Ground Zero in his 2011 book, Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust. The book gives readers an inside look at Hingson’s story.

The book’s description reads, “Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.”

Roselle lived until June 2011. She was Hingson’s fifth guide dog. Following the attacks, she was named American Hero Dog. On the American Humane Association’s website, Hingson wrote, “She saved my life.”

More than 400,000 people voted for Roselle and seven other finalists for the American Hero Dog title. Hingson added, “When everyone ran in panic, Roselle remained totally focused on her job. While debris fell around us and even hit us. Roselle stayed calm.”