It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael’s hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up.
With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office.
In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.
But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.
If you know about my no-crying rule for books, then you’re probably wondering why I chose this book. I wondered the same thing. Fortunately, it was nothing like I expected. The focus of the story isn’t on his escape from the burning tower, but on how he got to that point in the first place. A small part of each chapter tells us about his experience on 9/11, but most of the book is a flashback of Micheal’s life. And an amazing life it is. We find out how he used to drive the neighbors crazy riding his bike all over town, and how he likes to mess with people by driving through his college campus.
I learned many things in this book that changed my perception of those with blindness. It reminded me of how I felt that everyone should read John Elder Robison’s Be Different in order to get a perspective on how it feels to live with Asperger’s.
This is a book about trust and courage on 9/11, but it’s also a book about humor, love, and perseverance in life.
About the book:
Title: Thunder Dog: The True Story of A Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero
Author: Michael Hingson with Susy Flory
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release date: August 2, 2011
Where I got the book: I got this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze program.