Book Review: Dog Heroes of September 11th  

Posted by — Kim in , , , , , , ,

Here's a fascinating book that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it inspiring! –Kim

Dog Heroes of September 11th
A Tribute to America's Search and Rescue Dogs

A Back Stage Look Behind the Book

Nona Kilgore Bauer is the author of many books on dogs, but Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America's Search and Rescue Dogs changed her life. She has written more books on her own breed, the Golden Retriever, than any other published author. While working on her "latest and greatest" book on the Golden, early in 2002, Nona received a photograph from a breeder colleague John Gassner of a FEMA search and rescue dog named "Louie." This senior Golden, with his noble expression and graying face, was sitting in front of a police barricade with the mass destruction of the World Trade Center in the background. The photo was sent directly to Bauer's editor Andrew De Prisco at Kennel Club Books.

Bauer and De Prisco had collaborated on no fewer than twenty titles over a ten-year period. De Prisco recalls the day he opened the package and saw the photograph. "Dozens of packages, manuscripts, photos submissions and the like cross my desk on a weekly basis. Opening the package and finding the photograph of Louie the Golden Retriever sitting amid the wreckage of the Twin Towers was a heart-stopping moment. I instantly thought, 'has anyone ever recognized the work these amazing dogs have done?' I phoned Nona, one of my favorite authors, and said, "Thanks for sending the photographs. Do I have an idea for you? How would you like to write a tribute book about all of the dogs who served during the 9/11 recovery efforts?' She was dumbstruck and completely resistant to the idea."

Bauer recalls, "There was no way I was going there. The tragedy was still too close to everyone, and the thought of approaching strangers and soliciting their raw emotions for a journalistic project was scary, even unthinkable. Plus, there were hundreds of dogs."

De Prisco describes his role with his authors as half-editor/half-midwife. "It's not unusual for me to coax a great author into undertaking a project, and this book seemed to me an absolute necessity. People needed to know what happened, and these dogs and their handlers deserved to be honored."

Bauer agreed to the project after about three weeks of research and soul-searching. "It didn't take long for Dog Heroes to become an obsession for me. As the handlers shared their 9/11 experiences with me, and beyond that, their total dedication to their country...and their at their own expense, most of them for years in order to be ready 'just in case,' I could think of nothing else during the time I was working on the book…I dreamed it, slept it, ate it, which still doesn't fully describe how the book consumed me. I am still awed by what they did and feel so privileged that I was able to record their stories. They have truly added another dimension to my life."

De Prisco confesses, "The book took on a life of its own. It consumed its author emotionally and intellectually. I soon discovered that the project was larger and more significant than I first imagined. I met with Wilma Melville, the founder of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF), at a Chicago trade show. She explained to me how ill prepared the nation is for a natural disaster or another terrorist attack. There simply weren't enough search and rescue dogs trained to do the work, and there wasn't money to train the dogs. It was at that moment that we realized that Dog Heroes of September 11th needed to be more than a tribute to the dogs that served our country: this book needed to serve our country — to help raise funds to train more dogs."

The publisher is donating a portion of the proceeds from every sold book to the NDSDF to help in their mission. Spokesperson for the Foundation, Margaret Logreira says, "The royalties from this book will actually train new dogs, and Kennel Club Books will be the sponsor of many, many search and rescue dogs in the years to come." De Prisco learned from Logreira that " …all of the certified dogs from the NDSDF are themselves rescued dogs, obtained from shelters across the country and trained to rescue others. Imagine a book that's helping transfigure the rescued to the rescuers!"

©2006 Kennel Club Books

Also, see:

Photo Slide Show


Order Book
Dog Heroes of September 11th

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 17, 2010 at Sunday, January 17, 2010 and is filed under , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



I loved your article it has great information. I think you and your readers might be interested in another article I found, about dogs and dry eyes.

January 19, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Post a Comment

List of No-kill Shelters and Rescues

List of No-kill Shelters and Rescues: 
Find local shelters near you! LOCAL SEARCH
You can adopt or foster from any of these shelters or donate to support their efforts. Be sure to confirm that they are a "no-kill" shelter. Then, be a part of the solution!

<< – Newer Posts / Older Posts – >>