Book Reviews

Book Review: Thunder Dog

Thunder Dog: the true story of a blind man, his guide dog, and the triumph of trust at Ground Zero.

[amazon-product text=”Thunder Dog” type=”text”]140020304X[/amazon-product] (Amazon Affiliate Link) is an interesting and captivating story of Michael Hingson and his guide dog Roselle. The book begins early on the morning of September 11, 2001 as Mike and Roselle wait out a late night thunderstorm together. Each subsequent chapter of the book tells Mike and Roselle’s story of arriving at work on September 11 and then there evacuation from the 78th floor of World Trade Center Tower 1. Each chapter connects to Mike’s biography of growing up with blindness, attending college, and his professional successes.

Mike, with the help of his co-author Susy Flory, also explore Mike’s relationships with his parents, brother, cousins, other students, and his guide dogs. Mike’s lifelong quest to be self-sufficient while also closely trusting companions and guide dogs culminates with his personal triumph on September 11.

As a first responder I was especially impacted by Mike’s explanation of his emotions as firefighters passed him on the stairs. He was descending to safety while they were ascending to death. According to Mike every firefighter offered him assistance, but he could also sense their apprehension even though he couldn’t see it in their faces. He also could feel them reaching out to scratch Roselle’s ears something almost all of us will do reflexively during a stressful moment and a dog offers us reassurance.

This week is the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11. I have poured through the technical, political, and intelligence reviews in the last 10 years. For me the best way to continue to remember the people killed that day and the triumph of the survivors is to read the personal accounts of survivors and rescuers.

I appreciated Michael sharing his story, the humility with which he told the story, and thanks he professed to the people and dogs in his life that both allowed him to get to the 78th floor and to walk down from the 78th floor. Along the way I also learned a lot about how people live with blindness and their partnership with guide dogs.

Note: I received this book at no cost from the publisher.


By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.