Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust

Michael Hingson, Susy Flory

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1400204720

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Faith. Trust. Triumph.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”

George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. “My best suggestion is that you send him to a home for the blind,” the doctor continued. “He will never be able to do anything for himself.”

Forty-seven years later, a yellow Labrador retriever puppy was born in the whelping unit of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. The puppy’s name was Roselle. On September 11, 2001, she saved Michael’s life. This is Roselle’s story too.

―From the Introduction

Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.

Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.

Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

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airplane flying, New York, snow, and even the theater. I must say that I think the culture did rub off on her. After her time with puppy raisers, she went back to Guide Dogs for the Blind for training. I first met her on November 22, 1999. It was obvious from the very beginning that we were a perfect match. Roselle was my fifth guide dog. I could tell that she would be an excellent guide from our very first walk together. What took me a few days to discover was that Roselle was also quite a

and you’re nearby us. Help us all to be better people and dogs, but most of all be yourself wherever you are. I hope you’re feeling better now. You have set a high bar of love for all of us. Be at peace and know that we shall try to love each other as much as you loved each of us on this earth. Best, Mike Hingson THUNDER DOG THUNDER DOG THE TRUE STORY OF A BLIND MAN, HIS GUIDE DOG, AND THE TRIUMPH OF TRUST AT GROUND ZERO MICHAEL HINGSON with SUSY FLORY � 2011 by Michael Hingson All

60 Minutes, and around the city of Irvine the KUCI Radio Hall of Fame show pushed Mike Wallace’s face in the ratings dust. The radio station operated out of a small room in the physical sciences building. Our equipment was pretty primitive and we each produced our own show. I did research to provide some background and commentary for each vintage radio show I featured. Sometimes I conducted interviews or chatted with callers. I became very comfortable talking to people I didn’t know, and I even

totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.” George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael, was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. Michael Hingson was born in 1950, and he was fifty-nine days early. Back then, standard medical procedure was to put a premature baby in a sealed incubator and pump in pure oxygen

the truth. “Michael, you’re arrogant. People here have a lot more experience than you, and it’s up to you to get to know them.” I felt as though I’d walked straight into a telephone pole. “You are not the only blind person out there. There are a lot of other blind people who have worked together and shared experiences. It can’t always be your way. You have to meet people in the middle.” Gary cared enough about me to share the truth in love, and it was a much needed wake-up call. He became a

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