1.Dorado the Brave Guide
Omar Eduardo Rivera is a blind computer technician who uses a guide dog. On September 11, 2001, Rivera was working on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center when a plane hit the building above him. His dog Dorado was under Rivera’s desk, as usual. As the building evacuation began, Rivera smelled the smoke and heard the chaos in the stairwell. He took the Labrador retriever’s leash off, so the dog could escape. Dorado ignored Rivera’s order to go ahead, and escorted his master down 70 flights of stairs. They were separated by the rush of the crowd for a few minutes, but Dorado found his way back to Rivera and continued down the stairs. They reached the ground about an hour after they began the descent, only a few minutes before the building collapsed.
2.Belle Calls 911
Kevin Weaver has diabetes. He also has a specially-trained beagle named Belle who can sense when his blood sugar levels are off. She licks his nose, and then paws at him to signal that he should take a reading. In the summer of 2006, Belle put another skill to work. Weaver suffered a seizure and collapsed. Belle grabbed the man’s cell phone and bit down on the number 9, just like she had been trained. The number was programmed to dial 911, and emergency workers soon arrived. Belle was later given the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award for those who use cell phones to save lives. Belle was the first dog to ever win the award.
3. Dexter the War Hero
Dexter’s full name is Military Working Dog Dexter CO67, but he is now retired after service in Afghanistan. Dexter served for six years, during which time he detected a garbage truck filled with explosives and saved at least a thousand military personnel and civilians. After his tour, he was scheduled to be euthanized because of hip problems and the fact that military dogs are hard to place for adoption because of their aggressiveness. His handler, Kathleen Ellison, went to work to save Dexter through the organization Military Working Dog Adoptions. Veteran Danny Scheurer, who worked with dogs during his military service, agreed to adopt Dexter and bring him home to Spring Grove, Illinois. Dexter also became the first canine member of the American Legion when he was accepted as a full member by Fox Lake American Legion Post 703.