Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson
The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero

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Seamlessly weaving the narrative between the extraordinary exodus from the burning towers and Hingson’s fascinating life is a savvy literary device that only enriches the tale. A tragic, inspirational and enlightening memoir.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

 

About Michael Hingson

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Michael Hingson, national ambassador for the Braille Literacy Campaign, is a miraculous survivor of 9/11. He lives with his wife, Karen, in the San Francisco Bay Area with two guide dogs, Africa and Fantasia, and one cat, Sherlock. Susy Flory is the author or coauthor of four books, including So Long Status Quo, a memoir about nine women who changed the world. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children, and two dogs, Eli and Sprinkles.
 
Published August 6, 2012 by Thomas Nelson. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 02 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Thunder Dog
All: 8 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jul 05 2011

Seamlessly weaving the narrative between the extraordinary exodus from the burning towers and Hingson’s fascinating life is a savvy literary device that only enriches the tale. A tragic, inspirational and enlightening memoir.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by NICOLE LANGAN on Sep 06 2011

...a remarkable 9/11 memoir shows how a life of blindness prepared a man to trust his dog when it mattered most.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Karla Akins on Aug 05 2011

...it kept me riveted from cover to cover. I never put it down...

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Capital Area District Library

Excellent
on Jan 27 2013

You will come to view blindness in a new way as you gain new appreciation for the phrase 'man's best friend'.

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ConcertKatie

Good
on Oct 10 2011

I liked that the chapters alternated between the events of September 11th and his life growing up because if not I am not sure I could have made it through the entire book if it was strictly focused on the heavy story of the attacks.

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Muse Reviews

Good
on Aug 02 2011

Roselle gives a glimpse into the life of dogs for the blind. I learned so much about how these dogs are bred, trained, and the nature of the intensely close relationships they can form with their owners.

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Grace Notes for Me

Above average
Reviewed by Reese on Aug 05 2011

Even though I was disappointed in what I thought the book would be discussing, I did find it a good, easy, informative read. I will loan this book out to friends and family, and also recommend it to others.

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http://debrakb.blogspot.com

Good
Reviewed by Debra Brinkman on Jul 27 2011

I will have my children read this when we get to really recent history. Because this story is incredibly inspiring, and it definitely brings an interesting point of view to 9/11.

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Reader Rating for Thunder Dog
87%

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