Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A hero passes

Riley, the Golden Retriever whose calm demeanor while being ferried across the ruins of the World Trade Center epitomized the heroism of search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs, died on February 26. He was 13.

His owner and handler, Chris Selfridge, says that while Riley had aced a physical this past December, a mass was found in his abdomen on February 20. Surgery to remove the mass took place on February 24, but Riley died two days later.

Chris and I exchanged email last fall when I was writing my book about Golden Retrievers and wanted to feature Riley as a representative of the breed. At that point, Riley was still enjoying chasing Frisbees and had helped to welcome a new puppy into the family. He clearly was enjoying his retirement from SAR work -- and, as seen in the video below, which was shot two days after the twin towers collapsed, few dogs have done more to earn that retirement.

1 comment:

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

I'm so sad to hear the news. I cannot watch the video because I know I would just bawl, and there has been enough of that lately.

All hail Riley, an angel and hero of dogs