Home » Library » Enjoy » Gem Posts

Clicker Dogs and Owners Respond to September 11

Filed in - Gem Posts

From Bob Sessions, Thunder, and Sky:

Karen, I must thank you again for the training foundation skills you share so generously. I am with Maryland Task Force 1, one of the FEMA Task Forces. I was on the first recon team to enter the Pentagon on 9/11.

Sky, my Level 1 (advanced) certified black lab, worked with me. The fire, smoke and heat did not slow her down. When we would work our way to a "survivable" but collapsed area of the building, she started searching automatically.

She knows her job. She moved through the still burning sections with great confidence. In the very intense areas, I would leave her on a "sit/stay" in the totally dark hallways, and work in the areas still burning. I'd come back 15 or 25 minutes later, and shine my light down the hallway. There were always two eyes looking at me from exactly where I'd left her. She far exceeded my expectations.

Thunder, my 13-year-old black lab, was brought in the last of the eight days we worked the incident. She is an excellent cadaver dog. She acted like a puppy. She knew this was a big deal. Because of her, and other cadaver dogs there, family members will have something to bury. This helps them in their closure process. I just thought you'd like to know that two of your "students" did outstanding work on this incident. And, just for reference, dogs work these incidents totally "off lead," they don't get depressed unless the handler gets depressed, and they don't wear boots.